[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
John Leslie's varied career
ohn Leslie with Blue Peter co-hosts Diane-Louise Jordan (left) and Anthea Turner
Leslie became a star after presenting Blue Peter
Television presenter John Leslie, who will not face charges of sexual assault, has had a long and varied career in television.

A former choirboy, nightclub DJ, children's TV presenter and tabloid favourite, John Leslie is a household name.

The tall Scotsman's enthusiasm and charm have made him a natural performer on shows like Wheel of Fortune and Blue Peter, where he has had to engage guests while entertaining viewers.

As well as being known for his TV shows, he has also been known for his social life, enjoying showbusiness parties and having a relationship with actress Catherine Zeta Jones.

John Leslie on Blue Peter in 1991
Leslie took part in stunts and international trips for Blue Peter
Born John Leslie Stott in Edinburgh in 1965, he was destined for a career in music technology until a television producer told him he would look great on screen.

An encouraged Leslie (he dropped the Stott) proceeded to make a demo tape and sent it to every TV station in the country.

His first break came when Yorkshire TV gave him a job presenting a late-night show, The Music Box, but it ended in 1987 and he moved to London to pursue his career.

The move paid off two years later when he became the 18th presenter on long-running BBC children's show Blue Peter.

Suddenly, millions of children and parents knew who he was and he was seen taking part in the new adventure sport of bridge-swinging within days of joining the programme.

John Leslie presenting the Network Q/RAC Rally
He also presented coverage of motor rallying
He presented the show for four years - and co-hosts included Anthea Turner, Caron Keating and Diane-Louise Jordan, among others.

At the same time - unusually for a children's TV presenter - he was also appearing in newspaper showbiz columns due to his fun-loving lifestyle.

He said he started going to nightclubs and parties to combat loneliness when he first moved to London.

And when he was with Catherine Zeta Jones in her pre-Hollywood days, they were one of the hottest celebrity couples in the UK.

After leaving Blue Peter in 1994, he began his long association with ITV daytime show This Morning when he featured on the show as entertainment correspondent.

John Leslie on Style Challenge
He fronted the BBC's Style Challenge in the late 1990s
He also hosted an ITV sci-fi game show Scavengers, which was billed as the "toughest game show ever".

Other ventures included Entertainment Express with Selina Scott and the adults-only pub quiz Whose Round Is It Anyway? with Mandy Smith.

When comedian Bradley Walsh left prime-time ITV game show Wheel of Fortune to become a father in 1997, Leslie stepped in to become host and declared himself happy with the mainstream success.

"It's not rock 'n' roll, but I've never been Mr Trendy," he said in 2001.

"I've no great desire to go off and do something wacky and cutting edge. Mainstream means longevity."

John Leslie with Jenny Powell on Wheel of Fortune
And he also hosted Wheel of Fortune with Jenny Powell
He has now calmed down since his party animal days, he says, because he is "very settled and fairly secure".

If anything, he has stepped up his TV commitments, with prominent roles on reality show Survivor plus makeover programme Style Challenge in the late 1990s.

He became a regular presenter on Granada's This Morning in 1999, and took over full-time when hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan left in 2001.

He and co-host Fern Britton struggled to fill Richard and Judy's shoes, however, attracting one million viewers per day - a million less than their predecessors.

Following the allegations made against him, which have now been dropped, he was sacked from his job as co-host of Granada's This Morning programme on ITV1.

Bosses said he had "failed to respond" to the allegations.

Leslie, who denied the allegations, maintained a public silence for more than six months while awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.

He was replaced on This Morning by Philip Schofield and Granda have said they are unlikely to rehire Leslie for his old job.

Instead, Leslie is currently mulling over an 1m deal from digital channel Sky to front his own prime-time TV talk show.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific