Entertainment & Arts

New Blue Peter presenter revealed

Lindsey Russell (centre) with Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood
Image caption Russell (centre) will join Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood on the BBC show

University of Bristol graduate Lindsey Russell has been revealed as the latest Blue Peter presenter after a nationwide talent search.

The 22-year-old, from Oxford, was named live on the show by current presenters Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood.

CBBC viewers voted for her to become the 36th presenter of the world's longest-running children's TV show.

It is the first time in the BBC programme's history that a presenter has been chosen this way.

Twenty thousand people applied to be a presenter. They were whittled down to 10 finalists who took part in a series of programmes called Blue Peter - You Decide!

The contenders were put through a series of tasks before judges, who included Myleene Klass, Eamonn Holmes and teenage actor Ceallach Spellman.

One applicant was eliminated each week until just three remained. CBBC viewers then voted for their favourite from the final contenders.

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Media captionLindsey Russell beat 20,000 other hopefuls to become Blue Peter's latest presenter

The other finalists were psychology and cognitive neuroscience graduate Ben Hunte and farm-raised Freddie Ingleby.

Russell presented student television programmes during her time in university and also performed in an award-winning comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

"I feel amazing!" said the nose ring-sporting redhead as she thanked everyone who voted for her.

"It's the best job in the world - you get to do incredible things. Right now it feels a little strange. I'm quite shaky."

CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor said it was "brilliant that viewers have been so closely involved in choosing a new Blue Peter presenter".

"We can't wait to see how Lindsey gets on."

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