There have been nearly 40 presenters of Blue Peter in its 60 years but have there been any openly gay or LGBT+ presenters of the long-running magazine show.
In the 1980s Blue Peter hired Michael Sundin who was a gay man. Michael appeared on his first programme in September 1984. However, his time on the show was short-lived when pictures of the presenter appeared in the tabloids of him with a male stripper appeared in print.
He presented 77 shows, but his contract was not renewed in 1985. Theories as to why he was renewed are various; some feel that he was denied an extension to his contract was due to his sexuality, however, bosses at the show apparently thought he had little rapport with viewers. There were also reports that some parents had an issue with his effeminacy.
In an interview in 2007 a former editor of the show, Biddy Baxter denied that Sundin had been sacked because of his sexuality, saying “It was his leaving the programme because children didn’t like him – nothing to do with his sexual proclivities”.
Sadly Michael Sundin would die just a few years later in 1989 from AIDs related complications. He was just 29.
Mark Curry presented Blue Peter between 1986 and 1989. Curry’s co-hosts during his time with the programme were Janet Ellis, Peter Duncan, Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding and John Leslie. In September 2008, Curry formed a civil partnership with his long-term partner, Jeremy Sandle.
Stuart Miles joined the Blue Peter presenting team in 1994. He was not openly gay when he presented the show. Since leaving the show, he said, in the News Of The World, “I’ve never made any secret of my sexuality. Sexual frustration can be a powerful thing. I should know after five years on Blue Peter, where you’re expected to be like Action Man – smooth all over with no genitals”.
He joined the Gaydar Radio (now Gaydio) presenting team in 2008.
To our knowledge, there has never been a transgender presenter of Blue Peter.