John Leslie (TV presenter)

John Leslie
BornJohn Leslie Stott
(1965-02-22) 22 February 1965 (age 53)
Edinburgh, Scotland
OccupationTelevision presenter, property developer
Known forBlue Peter
Wheel of Fortune
This Morning

John Leslie (born John Leslie Stott; 22 February 1965)[citation needed] is a Scottish former television and radio presenter. Debuting on Music Box in 1987, he later presented BBC One's Blue Peter, and ITV's This Morning and the gameshow Wheel of Fortune. He was also the studio host for the first series of the UK version of Survivor.

Personal life[]

John Leslie Stott was born in Edinburgh,[citation needed] the brother of Grant Stott. He attended Liberton High School and James Gillespie's High School. He spent his early years in the church choir, studied music on leaving school, and worked as a DJ in Copenhagen. His first television work was on Yorkshire Television, when he hosted Music Box's all-night music show, Formula One, in 1989. Prior to his television career he worked as a DJ in nightclubs in Edinburgh[1] and Newcastle becoming resident at the Blu Bambu club.

Leslie is also known for a celebrity sex tape he filmed of his girlfriend, Abi Titmuss, having sex with another woman, which was originally a home movie but was made public.[1]


Leslie is also known for his affinity for football. He played in goal for the Scottish team in the Celebrity World Cup Soccer Six tournament, which took place on 14 May 2006 at St Andrew's, the home of Birmingham City. He is a supporter of Hibernian.[2]


Blue Peter[]

On 20 April 1989, Leslie became Blue Peter's first Scottish presenter, and also the tallest at 1.93 m (6'4").[3] He was the second Blue Peter presenter to take part in the London Marathon, following Peter Duncan. He finished in four hours, thirty-six minutes.

On his last show he was set John's Final Challenge which involved abseiling down BBC Television Centre, completing a velcro and wheelbarrow obstacle course, then trampolining and conducting an orchestra in the studio. Leslie presented Blue Peter with Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding, Diane-Louise Jordan, Anthea Turner and Tim Vincent.[3]

Wheel of Fortune[]

Leslie succeeded Bradley Walsh as the main presenter of the British version of Wheel of Fortune. He was succeeded in 2001 by Paul Hendy. That year, he turned up on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[4][5]

This Morning[]

From series 11 in 1999 Leslie, alongside Fern Britton, was a regular presenter of the Friday show.[6] When Madeley and Finnigan departed the show in 2001, they were replaced by Coleen Nolan and Twiggy, with Britton and Leslie remaining on Fridays.[7][8] However, Nolan and Twiggy proved less popular with viewers,[9] so Britton and Leslie took on the full job of presenting the show, bringing the ratings back up to around one million. In 2002, after allegations of sexual offences were made in the press, Leslie was dismissed from the programme and replaced by Phillip Schofield from Mondays to Thursdays and by Eamonn Holmes on Fridays with Ruth Langsford.[10]

Music and radio[]

In December 2003, Leslie appeared in the music video for the Christmas single "Proper Crimbo", released by Bo' Selecta! creator Leigh Francis, alongside Matthew Wright in a spoof of their presumed rivalry.

In November 2012, John Leslie began to present Friday's Drivetime show on 98.8 Castle FM, hoping to revive his career as a radio DJ. In March 2013, Leslie was among the Castle FM presenters who walked out in a disagreement with their management, only to be locked out when they tried to return. By the end of the year, the radio station had become automated, with no presenters.[11]

On 28 March 2014, it was announced that Leslie would begin presenting his own Saturday (10:00 to 14:00) radio show across the Scottish Bauer Radio AM network, debuting the following day.[12]

Rape and assault allegations[]

In October 2002, it emerged that Ulrika Jonsson had written in her autobiography, Honest, that "an acquaintance" had raped her when she was 19. It became known that the man was a TV presenter after comments by Jonathan Ross on his chat show.[13] Amid media speculation, television presenter Matthew Wright disclosed on The Wright Stuff that Leslie was the alleged perpetrator.[14] Jonsson has never said whether the correct person was named.[15][16]

Shortly afterwards, other women made accusations of indecent assault against Leslie, and he was arrested in December 2002 on one count of rape and two concerning indecent assault, and released on bail after being interviewed by the police.[17] Leslie was charged in June 2003 with assaulting a woman twice between 25 and 28 May 1997.[18] He was never charged for offences against Jonsson.[19] The prosecution dropped the charges against Leslie at Southwark Crown Court on 31 July 2003 after new information from the alleged victim.[20] On the court steps after he was cleared, Leslie said that he had "been to hell and back" and that he had "maintained [his] innocence throughout".[20]

In January 2006 Leslie was interviewed for the BBC series My Childhood, during which he analysed his childhood memories, with psychiatrist Linda Treliving. In the programme Leslie admitted that he "had never learnt how to treat women with respect" and "never learnt how to chat up women", admitting that he abused drugs, but claiming he did so as a result of childhood trauma. Shortly afterwards, in an interview with The Independent, he repeated this version of events, admitting "my behaviour was at times inappropriate".[1][21]

On 23 June 2008, British media reported that Leslie had again been arrested in relation to an alleged rape that happened in November 1995.[22] Again, no charges were brought.[23]

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak programme in early 2013, Leslie recounted the events subsequent to the allegations being made and said that he had contemplated suicide.[24]

In November 2015, Leslie was suspended from his job on Radio Forth while police investigated claims he sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman following a radio awards ceremony. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: 'Police in Edinburgh are investigating a report of a sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman, which took place between the evening of Thursday 19 November and the morning of Friday 20 November in Edinburgh'. The investigation into this allegation was dropped on 14 February 2016.[25][26]

In May 2017, Leslie was reported to be in talks to appear on Celebrity Big Brother in a bid to revive his career.[27][28]

In November 2017, Leslie was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh on 25 June 2017.[29] His trial started at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 18 June 2018; he was defended by Derek Ogg QC. A woman alleged that she had been dancing with Leslie when he put his hand down the back of her trousers.[30][31] On 22 June 2018, Leslie was acquitted by the court after the charge was found not proven.[32]

In July 2018, Leslie announced that he was going to make a complaint against Police Scotland after being cleared of sexual assault.[33]



  1. ^ a b c Storr, Will (23 February 2006). "John Leslie: 'My behaviour was at times inappropriate'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 February 2006. During his teens, he says he was too obsessed with football and music to think about women. So when he left school, his career as a DJ playing in nightclubs with names like Cinderella-Rockerfellas took off and he was bombarded by amorous women, he says he suddenly found himself in a thrilling but completely alien world, the subtleties and social codes of which he'd never learnt
  2. ^ Beckham Backs Hibs Star Retrieved 26 June 2008
  3. ^ a b "Blue Peter - John Leslie profile". BBC. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  4. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 25 March 2001. ITV.
  5. ^ "Lily Savage's Blankety Blank". 27 May 2001. ITV. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  6. ^ "Tears aplenty as Fern Britton leaves This Morning in emotional tribute - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  7. ^ "Twiggy and Coleen Nolan join This Morning".
  8. ^ "Twiggy to front This Morning". Digital Spy. 2001-08-16.
  9. ^ Jessica Hodgson (2001-10-02). "ITV axes Twiggy". The Guardian.
  10. ^ John Leslie is sacked by ITV Telegraph, 31 October 2002
  11. ^ "John Leslie among Castle FM radio hosts locked out" - The Scotsman, 25 March 2013
  12. ^ "John Leslie Gets Regular Show With Bauer" -
  13. ^ Cozens, Claire (21 October 2002). "Desmond axes Express astrologer over Jonsson deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  14. ^ "John Leslie named as mystery man in Ulrika rape claim". The Herald. Glasgow. 24 October 2002. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Leslie parents hit out at Ulrika Jonsson". Yorkshire Post. 3 August 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  16. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (27 August 2011). "Ulrika Jonsson: 'I'm a walking dichotomy'". Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  17. ^ Seenan, Gerard (6 December 2002). "TV presenter John Leslie arrested on rape and indecent assault claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Sex charges for British TV host". CNN. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  19. ^ O’Leary, David; Pooran, Neil (23 November 2012). "John Leslie hails Edinburgh ahead of first ever show as radio DJ". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Leslie sex charges dropped". BBC News. 31 July 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Entertainment News | Music, Film, Showbiz, TV, Celebrity Gossip | Orange UK | Orange UK". Archived from the original on 17 November 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Leslie quizzed on rape allegation". BBC News. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  23. ^ "report on second set of charges being dropped". BBC News. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  24. ^ "John Leslie: 'False Assault Allegations Made Me Contemplate Suicide'". The Huffington Post. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  25. ^ Knapton, Sarah (2015-11-22). "John Leslie questioned over allegations of sex assault on 22-year-old woman".
  26. ^ "John Leslie 'questioned' by police over sexual assault allegation". 2015-11-22.
  27. ^ Caroline Frost (28 May 2017). "John Leslie 'In Talks To Enter Celebrity Big Brother House In Bid To Reboot TV Career' - The former Blue Peter presenter's career came to a sticky end".
  28. ^ Joseph Gamp (28 May 2017). "John Leslie in talks for Celebrity Big Brother: 'He now feels that he's got nothing to lose'".
  29. ^ "Former TV presenter John Leslie charged with sexual assault". BBC News. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  30. ^ Cockburn, Harry (21 Feb 2018). "John Leslie pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting woman in Edinburgh nightclub". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  31. ^ "John Leslie goes on trial accused of sex assault". BBC News. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Former TV presenter John Leslie walks free after sexual assault charge not proven". Sky News. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  33. ^ "John Leslie to make complaint against Police Scotland". STV. Retrieved 8 July 2018.

External links[]

Preceded by
Mark Curry
Blue Peter Presenter No. 18
Succeeded by
Tim Vincent
Preceded by
Bradley Walsh
Host of Wheel of Fortune
Succeeded by
Paul Hendy
Preceded by
Coleen Nolan and Twiggy and Andy Craig
Host of This Morning
with Fern Britton

Succeeded by
Phillip Schofield