BBC’s Blue Peter announces new presenter


Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s TV show, has today announced that Bangor-born Joel Mawhinney is to be its newest presenter.

Mawhinney is the 41st Blue Peter presenter and will co-host alongside Richie, Mwaksy and Henry the dog, with his first live show airing Friday 11 November on CBBC and BBC iPlayer at 5.00pm.

Mawhinney, 25, is a magician and content creator who first appeared on Blue Peter in 2018 as a guest. 

He also guest presented the show over summer 2022 when he taught some of his co-presenters magic tricks. 

It was his rapport with both the audience and fellow presenters that made producers sit up and take notice.

Mawhinney’s interest in magic started at the age of five at a magic emporium at a theme park, where his grandfather bought him two illusions. 

It ignited something in him and he began performing at the age of 11. 

He is best known for his illusions on social media where he has a huge following, with over 16.5 million on one platform alone. 

He also starred in his own BBC NI TV series ‘Life is Magic’ in 2020.

The BBC said family is important to Mawhinney and his tricks often feature his brother (and best friend) Ethan. 

He also credits his dad for ‘teaching me that being kind is the greatest magic there is’.

Mawhinney attended Bangor Grammar before going on to pursue his career in entertainment at age 18. 

In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing the piano and, of course, magic.

The broadcaster said he is over the moon at his new role. 

“Becoming the 41st Blue Peter presenter is a surreal – and dare I say it – magical experience. 

“I’ve always loved making people smile with my magic and I want to do the same for the Blue Peter audience. 

“They have high expectations and I’ll do my best to live up to them, I can’t wait to get started.”

Mawhinney will be thrown in at the deep end in true Blue Peter style with a road trip to Scotland, where there will be surprises and challenges suggested by the Blue Peter audience. 

This is set to include glamping, kayaking and cliff jumping into the cold waters of Loch Ard as Mawhinney takes on his first Blue Peter adventure.

The show’s Editor, Ellen Evans, said: “Joel is a fantastic entertainer, he is creative, hardworking, and ready for any challenge that we can throw at him. 

“I think that our Blue Peter audience will love the energy and fun he’ll bring to the show.”

Mawhinney follows in the footsteps of fellow Northern Ireland presenters Adam Beales, who left the show earlier this year, the late Caron Keating, and Zoe Salmon, who is also from the same seaside town of Bangor, Co. Down.

Blue Peter is produced by BBC Studios Kids & Family. It is on CBBC every Friday at 5pm and is available on BBC iPlayer.