The Radio Times logo

Meet BBC Olympics swimming presenter Helen Skelton

The former Blue Peter presenter is also known for taking on some gruelling sporting challenges of her own...

Published: Tuesday, 9th August 2016 at 8:40 am

Helen Skelton can currently be seen poolside in Rio, presenting the BBC coverage of the Olympic swimming alongside former Team GB stars Rebecca Adlington and Mark Foster.


But Skelton is probably best known as a former Blue Peter presenter and occasional Countryfile host – so how did she get into sports presenting?

Actually, Skelton has been adding to her portfolio for some time now. She's been behind the scenes at Wimbledon for the BBC, and since 2014 has presented their London Marathon highlights programme. She's fronted live women's football for BT, and earlier this year brushed up on her swimming credentials for the Beeb at the World Championships in Canada.

Sport even runs in Skelton's family – her husband is England rugby league star Richie Myler – but her most impressive sporting credentials are the series of gruelling physical challenges she has completed, mostly in the service of Sport and Comic Relief, some of which have even netted her World Records in the process...

In 2009, Skelton became only the second woman ever to finish the 78-mile Namibian ultra-marathon, in just shy of the 24-hour time limit. And while it almost pales in comparison, she's also completed the London Marathon...

In 2010, she set two Guinness World Records – the longest solo journey by kayak, and the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman – as she paddled the entire 2,010 mile length of the South American river.

In 2011, she walked a 150-metre tightrope suspended 66 metres above the ground between two of the huge chimneys at Battersea Power Station. And celebrated in style...

And in 2012, as a Blue Peter presenter, she biked, skied and kite-skied to the South Pole, setting a new World Record for the fastest 100km by kite ski.


So while she may now be ensconced by the pool in Rio, Helen Skelton is the last person you could ever describe as an armchair sports presenter...


Sponsored content