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NI YouTuber Adam Beales 'over moon' to be named Blue Peter host

Adam Beales (20) following in the footsteps of Zoe Salmon as 40th presenter

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Adam Beales

Adam Beales

New role: Londonderry YouTuber Adam Beales is the latest presenter to join Blue Peter

New role: Londonderry YouTuber Adam Beales is the latest presenter to join Blue Peter

PA

Zoe Salmon was the show’s 30th presenter

Zoe Salmon was the show’s 30th presenter

Adam Beales

It's a vastly different programme from the days of sticky-back plastic, home-made Tracy Islands and "here's one I made earlier".

But Blue Peter, the world's longest-running children's TV show, is still aiming to be as relevant today as when it started in the late 1950s.

So, who better to be rolled out as the new presenter than 20-year-old Northern Ireland man Adam Beales, who is already a YouTube star with almost three million subscribers?

He is unlikely to have to grapple with an incontinent baby elephant like legendary predecessors John Noakes and Valerie Singleton but, during his debut, the St Columb's College past pupil will face something almost as frightening when he is winched down a cliff face as part of a mountain rescue exercise.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph ahead of his first appearance on Thursday, the Londonderry man said he was excited to be the show's 40th presenter, not to mention the first with a Northern Irish accent since Zoe Salmon signed up 16 years ago.

"I received an invitation to audition for the show just before Christmas last year. The screen test was in late January. It was pretty rigorous and I was over the moon to be selected a few months later," Adam said.

"It's kind of weird that the show I once watched when I was younger is now the show I will be presenting."

Although he watched Zoe, a former Miss Northern Ireland, present the show from 2004 to 2008, Adam said it was Konnie Huq, Simon Hammer, Matt Baker and Liz Barker who formed "the team of four I remember".

The YouTuber, whose subscribers enjoy his in-vogue channel, featuring pranks, challenges and DIY crafts, said he would split his time between Manchester and his native city, "where all my YouTube stuff is".

Adam is already familiar with the CBBC audience as he is a regular face on the panel show The Dog Ate My Homework.

He had plans to study computer science at university before his online channel took off.

It regularly features his parents Edelle (42) and Paul (44), who left their jobs two years ago to become part of his production team, and his brother Callum, who is 11.

"Callum loves being involved in the videos, even though it involves a lot of pranks. He gets his revenge back on me quite often as well," Adam said.

"In terms of Blue Peter, he was shocked - as well as the rest of our family - in a good way when I got the job."

But his stardom doesn't mean he gets special treatment at home. In fact, he still has to complete his chores.

"I get landed with the dishes, the washing... there are no by-balls in our house," Adam said.

"I started making home videos when I was six or seven on a rubbish Nokia phone.

"I used to record little funny clips with my friends and experiment with camera angles.

"I was always interested in video making and video editing and video production in general.

"I really enjoyed being in front of the camera and having a laugh and sharing experiences with people."

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New role: Londonderry YouTuber Adam Beales is the latest presenter to join Blue Peter

New role: Londonderry YouTuber Adam Beales is the latest presenter to join Blue Peter

PA

New role: Londonderry YouTuber Adam Beales is the latest presenter to join Blue Peter

Adam is best known for his pranks, which means he should slot right in with the creations on the show, as well as the formidable challenges the irrepressible John Noakes was renowned for taking on and which modern-day presenters still have to have a go at.

For his first challenge, he will be winched down a cliff face to complete a training exercise with the Buxton Mountain Rescue team and will share the results of his challenge live in the studio in the coming weeks.

Closer to home, Adam is proud of his "Tesla drives itself" prank, which involves the electric car.

"I parked in an empty car park, got out and told my mum, dad and little brother I was going to a shop and that I'd be back in a minute," he said.

"I then used my phone to move the car out of its space remotely and filmed them all freaking out."

Blue Peter editor Ellen Evans said the YouTube star "really impressed during his auditions".

"He's a natural in front of the camera but he's also very funny and incredibly warm," she added.

"He's brilliant with kids and also perhaps a little bit mischievous, which the Blue Peter audience will absolutely love."

Helen Bullough, head of BBC Children's in-house productions, said the entire team could not wait for "Presenter Number 40 to join us and get stuck in".

Adam will present with Lindsey Russell, Richie Driss, Mwaka Mudenda and Henry the dog. He follows in the footsteps ofNorthern Irish hosts the late Caron Keating and Zoe Salmon, the show's 30th presenter.

Send your Blue Peter memories to newseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph