Matt Baker

Matt Baker

Biography

Matt Baker first broke onto our screens as a young Blue Peter presenter in 1999, where he stayed for 7½ years.

The nature lover then presented a series of animal shows and is now the face of BBC One's Countryfile, regularly pulling in 6 million viewers on Sunday evenings.

But will the Blue Peter hero be able to take on the challenge of Strictly?

I reckon I'll be more of a Latin boy - I like to be cheesy and freak out!Matt Baker

Career

Matt joined Blue Peter midway through his university degree. During his time on the show he trained as a stuntman, slept in jungles and lived with a nomadic family in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

He won two BAFTAs for Best Children's Presenter and an RTS Award. He left the show in the summer of 2006 and presented daytime shows such as BBC One's City Hospital. He also made the final of BBC Sport Relief's showjumping series Only Fools On Horses.

He joined the BBC's sports team as a presenter and commentator for gymnastics events, ranging from the Glasgow Grand Prix Gymnastics and Women's European Gymnastics Championships right through to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He loves countryside and animals and has presented Animal Rescue Squad, One Man And His Dog, Summer Countryfile Diaries, Crufts and Animal Rescue Live.

Matt has hosted four Family Proms in Hyde Park and many live Proms from the Royal Albert Hall. He was also the co-host of the Olympic Handover Concert, officially marking the start of London's tenure as Olympic host city.

In 2009, Matt was one of the celebrities who took part in Around The World in 80 Days for BBC Children in Need, travelling from Kazakhstan to Mongolia with his Countryfile co-host Julia Bradbury.

He has done some acting work, playing himself in an episode of Cutting It and in an episode of Doctor Who in 2005. On stage he played Caractacus Potts in the recent revival of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Background

Matt was born in County Durham, where he grew up in the dales on his family's sheep farm. He has one sister and two step-sisters. As a boy, he was a British Gymnastics champion.

In the late 1990s he worked as a DJ and toured with disco-dancing groups. He played the part of 'Butch Vendor, the LA Bartender' in a comedy disco show, Disco Inferno. He had to juggle wooden clubs that were painted to look like spirits bottles, and do back flips.

He originally wanted to be a physiotherapist but didn't get the right grades, so someone suggested he try drama. Matt attended Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh from 1997-9. He left after two years when he was offered a presenting job on Blue Peter.

Trivia

Matt lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and their two children, Luke and Molly.

Whilst on Blue Peter, Matt broke the world record for the highest altitude towed hang-gliding launch.

To relax, he likes to draw.


Are you a fan of Matt and Aliona?

Why not join in the discussion at Matt & Aliona's Blog page - the home of "Team Mattiona"!


Dancing partner

Aliona Vilani

Matt Baker will be dancing with Aliona Vilani

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Our Celebrity Dancers

Pro Dancers Showdancers


Matt's progress

Grand Final

Samba

38/40

Showdance

34/40

Paso Doble

35/40

Viennese Waltz

37/40

Matt and Aliona were voted the runners-up of Strictly Come Dancing 2010.

Semi-Final

Tango

38/40

Salsa

28/40

Swing-a-Thon

4/5

Week 10

Jive

35/40

Week 9

American Smooth

33/40

Week 8

Samba

38/40

Week 7

Rumba

35/40

Week 6

Viennese Waltz

35/40

Week 5

Argentine Tango

34/40

Week 4

Charleston

35/40

Week 3

Quickstep

31/40

Week 2

Foxtrot

31/40

Week 1

Cha cha

31/40

Judges' comments

Len Goodman comments on Matt's progress

High point

"You're an excellent ballroom dancer."

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