Actor and TV action man Peter Duncan officially became the new Chief Scout at a ceremony at Chingford, Essex.
Peter Duncan says he is proud to be the new Chief Scout
More than 4,000 Scouts and adult volunteers attended the Sunday event at Gilwell Park, the Scout Association's HQ and international campsite.
Mr Duncan, the eighth Chief Scout, said he was proud to be part of the worldwide movement.
"The funny thing is, I've lived like a Scout all my life - I just haven't realised it until now," he said.
Mr Duncan is famous for his round-the-world expeditions, as well as presenting Blue Peter and Duncan Dares in the 1980s.
He is looking forward to 2007 which will see a year-long programme of events around the world to celebrate Scouting's Centenary.
There are more than 16,500 members of the Scouting movement in Essex, which will play host to both the European Scout Jamboree in 2005 and the World Scout Jamboree in 2007.
Both will be held at Hylands Park, Writtle, Chelmsford.
In August more than 7,000 Scouts and Guides took part in the Essex International Jamboree at Kirby-le-Soken.