Andy Akinwolere joins BBC Inside Out West Midlands

This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join a great team with a track record of uncovering some fantastic stories.Andy Akinwolere
Date: 23.06.2014     Last updated: 23.06.2014 at 14.12
Former Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere is joining BBC Inside Out West Midlands to front the regional current affairs programme.

Andy, who presented BBC One’s Blue Peter for five years, will be on screens from 1 September when the new series of BBC Inside Out starts.

Andy is taking over presenting duties from Mary Rhodes, who will still be very much part of the BBC Inside Out team, contributing reports for the programme on issues from across the West Midlands region.

On his new role with BBC Inside Out, Andy says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join a great team with a track record of uncovering some fantastic stories. It's great to be working in and around a place I have lived and grown up in and asking the questions that the people of the West Midlands want answering.”

He continues: “This is a different sort of show than I have been known for previously and I’m looking forward to the challenge enormously.”

Born in Nigeria, Andy moved to the UK at the age of eight and grew up in Birmingham after his father was offered a scholarship at Birmingham University.

After graduating from a Media Studies and Film degree at Sheffield Hallam, Andy trained as a News Assistant at Calendar News whilst also hosting a 15-minute slot on Robert Beckford’s BBC WM show covering new and local music.

After six months honing his skills behind the microphone, Andy joined the BBC as a runner and his energy and charisma was instantly spotted and he was asked to audition for Blue Peter and in 2007 Andy became the first black male presenter on the show.

Andy has also presented CBBC art show SM:ART, appeared on ITV’s Saturday night show Dancing On Ice, put his baking skills to the test in a special series of The Great Comic Relief British Bake Off on BBC Two, joined the Great British Banquet, presented The 100 Greatest Toys for Channel 4 and continues to host ITV’s Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge.

BBC Inside Out returns on Monday 1 September on BBC One at 7.30pm with surprising real-life stories and investigations from your region.