Gethin Jones to quit Blue Peter

Gethin Jones is quitting Blue Peter after more than three years fronting the long-running BBC children’s programme.

Cardiff-born Gethin, who reached the semi-final of last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, is leaving to pursue other projects.

Joining Blue Peter in April 2005 alongside Konnie Huq, Matt Baker, Liz Barker and Zoe Salmon, Gethin became the show’s 31st presenter.

He hosts his last programme at the end of the current series in June, leaving Zoe as the only presenter from 2005 remaining on the BBC1 show.

A spokeswoman for Gethin said he had always wanted to leave at the age of 30 after three years on the show.

The BBC is now hunting for a new presenter to take over in the autumn series of the programme, which was hit by controversy last year when it emerged it had faked the result of a poll to name a cat and was fined £50,000 for putting a fake competition winner on air.

Gethin said: “I’ve had a career on Blue Peter that you wouldn’t even dream about and for that I feel privileged and fortunate.

“I’ve appreciated every day of the past three and a bit years and am grateful to all the viewers for tuning in.

“It’s astonishing how much the little blue badge can help others, and long may that continue.”

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