Meet presenter Ayo Akinwolere
Ayo Akinwolere, fresh from a stint in the Celebrity Masterchef kitchens, joined BBC Inside Out West Midlands in 2014.
Ayo, who presented BBC One’s Blue Peter for five years, says: “I’ve loved being back in the West Midlands and in Birmingham – the city I grew up in. Over the past year we’ve told some fantastic stories, brought you some hard-hitting investigations and met some amazing people.
“Personal highlights include visiting a company that makes fake snow for the movie industry, meeting a real life Peaky Blinder and finding out about Malcolm X’s visit to Birmingham in 1965. I had no idea about this at all – which just goes to show there are always fantastic stories to find.”
Born in Nigeria, Ayo moved to the UK at the age of eight and after his father was offered a scholarship at the University of Birmingham.
After graduating from a media studies and film degree at Sheffield Hallam, Ayo 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, Ayo joined the BBC as a runner. His energy and charisma were instantly spotted and he was asked to audition for Blue Peter. In 2007 he became the first black male presenter on the show.
Ayo has also presented CBBC art show SM:ART, appeared on ITV’s 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 to hosted ITV’s Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge.