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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Blue Peter presenter leaving show
Matt Baker and Meg the sheepdog
Matt Baker joined Blue Peter straight from university in 1999
Award-winning TV presenter Matt Baker and his sheepdog Meg are to leave the BBC's long-running children's series Blue Peter at the end of this month.

Baker said it was "time to try some different challenges" after seven years and more than 700 editions of the show.

He is to host a new BBC programme where youngsters experience life as evacuees in the 1940s and will take part in the Sport Relief charity fundraiser.

He won best children's presenter at the Bafta TV Awards in 2003 and 2004.

The former champion gymnast and acrobat joined Blue Peter in 1999 aged 21 after graduating in drama from Queen Margaret's University College in Edinburgh.

Matt is one of the all-time great Blue Peter presenters
Richard Marson
Blue Peter editor
During his time on Blue Peter, he has set a world hang-gliding record and appeared in the West End musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He also passed a Royal Marines training course and has reported from more than 20 countries.

"Matt is one of the all-time great Blue Peter presenters," the programme's editor Richard Marson said.

"His warmth, courage and personality come right through the screen and audiences recognise the genuine article when they see it.

"He has worked incredibly hard throughout his long stint on the show. No-one could say he hasn't seized every single opportunity we've given him."

Baker's last show will be on 26 June and there will also be a number of special programmes featuring him and his beloved dog Meg later in the year.

His replacement will be announced when Blue Peter returns from its summer break in September.

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