Helen Skelton says there's 'lots of things you can't say' on BBC
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This Week On The Farm presenter Helen Skelton, 37, has spoken about how she has children’s favourite TV programme Blue Peter to thank for allowing her to go on adventures around the world. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the star credits her five years at the helm of the children’s show – from 2008 to 2013 – with allowing her to undertake global challenges, due to the programme’s large audience and high ratings at the time.
I got into doing all of that through kids TV
The TV host candidly put her experiences down to her starring role in Blue Peter.
“I got into doing all of that through kids TV,” she said, before saying that she’d always had a sense of adventure.
“I literally did, well, I’ve always been into travel.”
She continued: “I did quite a lot of random trips, when I was 22 I got on a plane and went to France, I didn’t want to go to university.”
Helen revealed that she made the spontaneous decision to book a one way ticket to France on a whim.
“I just got on a plane and went to France and didn’t book a return ticket,” she recalled.
“I worked in bars and stuff so I guess I’ve always been up for the unexpected, but in terms of the big challenges that was through Blue Peter.
“I was on that show at a time when they had a big audience and a bigger budget, and a responsibility to excite and enthuse kids about the world. I just knew when I was on it I wanted to make the most of that opportunity.”
The world’s longest running TV show, Blue Peter was at one point watched by eight million viewers.
However, in 2017, it was recorded that not a single person tuned in to watch a repeated, signed episode of the children’s show on June 13, despite 53,100 viewers tuning in to watch the original airing of the episode a week earlier.
Addressing the figures, CBBC Controller Cheryl Taylor said: “An additional repeat of this episode in a different time slot had an average audience of 46,000 and a 10.3% share of children aged 6-12 which is above the slot average. It has also been viewed 39,000 times on BBC iPlayer so far.”
In 2012 Helen completed a 500 mile trek to the South Pole as part of the show to raise money for Sports Relief.
Two years earlier, the star kayaked over 2,000 miles down the Amazon to also raise funds for the charity.
Addressing her challenges, the Channel 5 star said she was able to do the extreme challenges as the world was “really different”.
She explained: “I went to the South Pole – it’s not as easily done now because we’re all much more aware of climate change and you have to be conscious about what you’re taking.”
Following her adventures, the star penned a children’s book encouraging girls to become inspired by the outdoors.
The star said: “I’m not saying to everyone with that book, ‘Go on, just go and walk to the South Pole or canoe the Amazon,’ I want people to take on relative challenges.”
“It’s not about the scale of the adventures it’s about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and that’s what it’s about.”
Later this year Helen will be competing against Natalie Pinkham, Fleur East and Bela Shah for the opportunity to compete in the BMW PGA Championships through the Slingsby Gin Golf Academy.
Slingsby Gin is a proud sponsor of the BMW PGA Championship, and has launched its celebrity Golf Academy to encourage more women to take to the course this summer and to champion the social side of the sport.
Please click here for more information, and follow Helen’s journey on @slingsbysocial.
This Week On The Farm is available to watch on Channel 5’s My 5.
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