Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Newcomer lands Blue Peter role

Lindsey Russell, centre, with current Blue Peter hosts Barney Harwood and Helen Skelton (BBC/PA Wire)

TV newcomer Lindsey Russell has landed a role as a Blue Peter presenter after triumphing in a nationwide talent hunt.

The 22-year-old became the 36th host of the show after winning a viewer vote from a shortlist of three candidates, joining current presenters Barney Harwood and Helen Skelton.

Russell was announced during an edition of the show which was being broadcast in front of a live audience in Leeds, and she will join the programme in September.

She landed the job only weeks after graduating from the University of Bristol after a four-year French and drama course.

Russell told viewers: "I feel amazing. It's the best job in the world - you get to do incredible things. Right now it feels a little strange. I'm quite shaky."

The search for a new presenter featured in a CBBC series Blue Peter - You Decide over the past few weeks as 10 hopefuls were put through their paces by a panel including Eamonn Holmes and Myleene Klass.

Challenges included including helping to paint Blackpool Tower while talking to camera and interviewing girl-band Stooshe.

Around 20,000 people got in touch with the show to apply to be considered as a new host for the long-running series which celebrates its 55th birthday later this year.

Russell, from Oxford , is a keen skier, lacrosse player and musician, playing both piano and saxophone.

Talking about her desire to win a place on the show at the outset of the contest, she said: "It would also mean I didn't have to grow up and go into the boring adult world after uni.''

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