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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December 2004, 14:25 GMT
NI presenter's Blue Peter debut
New Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon
Zoe Salmon got a law degree before training to be a solicitor
A County Down woman has made her debut as Blue Peter's 30th presenter on Thursday.

The former Miss Northern Ireland, from Bangor, is the fifth member of the current team.

Zoe Salmon, 24, took up her role on the BBC One and CBBC channel show as host Liz Barker went on maternity leave.

Her audition included conducting an interview while on a trampoline and handling an animal from London Zoo.

She has been filming for a couple of months, but made her debut appearance in the Christmas special.

Salmon was picked to join Blue Peter from literally hundreds of other hopefuls in October.

"It just hasn't sunk in at all," she said.

"Two months later - and I have been filming all over the place - and every morning I still wake up and think: 'Gosh, I can't believe I'm a Blue Peter presenter'."

Salmon said she was determined that fame in any form would not change her.

"I think I'm pretty grounded anyway at the minute," she said.

"With the whole Miss Northern Ireland experience before me, I sort of know what it's like to be in the limelight a bit.

"Obviously this is on a completely different scale, but I'd like to think I wouldn't change that much."
Salmon said she was determined fame would not change her
Salmon said she was determined fame would not change her

It may be all baubles and glitz on the show itself, but Salmon was not celebrating her debut in similar style.

She was back at home in Bangor watching it on the box with family and close friends.

Salmon answered an anonymous advert in a local newspaper and did not even know she was applying for Blue Peter.

Blue Peter, which has been on air since 1958, is now screened five nights a week.

It is on BBC One on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and every weekday on the digital CBBC channel.

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