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article imageRadzi Chinyanganya makes his 'Blue Peter' debut

By Mathew Wace Peck     Oct 18, 2013 in Entertainment
Radzi Chinyanganya has made his debut appearance as the new presenter of “Blue Peter”, the BBC’s popular, long-running children’s magazine programme.
Chinyanganya made his first live broadcast on the show on Thursday afternoon, joining the show’s senior presenter, Barney Harwood, and recent addition Lindsay Russell.
The Loughborough University graduate seems well suited to the challenges ahead of him on the show – which is known for subjecting its presenters to a variety of sporting and other physical tasks – telling CBBC News, “I absolutely love sports, any sports really! I’m an adrenaline junkie … the faster the better!”
He is already well known to CBBC viewers as the co-presenter of Wild, the live-broadcast Saturday-morning show that has been aired over the summer.
To a wider audience, Chinyanganya is known as one of the presenters of the BBC coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, having secured the role as the official weightlifting presenter after a successful screen test at the O2 Arena in front of more than 5,000 people.
On the strength of his presenting duties at the Olympics – which, as detailed by ACE, him host to a “seven-thousand strong crowd [as well as] speak on stage at the Excel Arena, interview athletes, introduce the weight categories and entertain the crowd” – Chinyanganya was taken on by Channel 4, as a presenter at the London 2012 Paralympics, too.
Born to a Scottish mother and a Zimbabwean father, Chinyanganya’s family background, “with its mixed cultures and traditio”, has, according to ACE, fed his interest in “personal identity and what it means to be British [and a] growing interest in both current affairs and politics”.
Before joining Blue Peter, he filmed Your Body: Your Image, which focuses on body image in schools, for BBC Two’s “Learning” strand.
Away from television, Chinyanganya was selected to attend Kiss FM’s Presenter Academy, and became an online reporter for the Bauer Media radio station.
Since Blue Peter was first broadcast, on Thursday, 16 October 1958, there have been a total of 38 presenters, including the well-known fox puppet, Basil Brush, and the three incumbents, plus a number of guest presenters – most recently Chief Scout Bear Grylls.
Of the current team, Harwood was, prior to joining Blue Peter in 2011, a regular CBBC continuity announcer for a number of years, and the lead presenter of Crush (2004–5) and Totally Doctor Who (2006–7).
Russell earned her place as a Blue Peter presenter after winning the reality-TV series, Blue Peter – You Decide, which, for the first time in Blue Peter ’s history, gave the show’s young viewers the power to decide who would join the presenting team.
Chinyanganya takes over from Helen Skelton, who left Blue Peter in September, after five years on the show. He previously auditioned as a presenter for the show, in 2011, reaching the final stage of three.
Blue Peter is currently broadcast on Thursdays, on CBBC, at 5.30 p.m.
More about Radzi Chinyanganya, Blue peter, Barney Harwood, Lindsay Russell, Totally Doctor Who
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