John Leslie Stott
22 February 1965
|Occupation||Television presenter, property developer|
|Known for||Blue Peter|
Wheel of Fortune
John Leslie (born John Leslie Stott; 22 February 1965) 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.
John Leslie Stott was born in Edinburgh, 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 and Newcastle becoming resident at the Blu Bambu club.
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.
On 20 April 1989, Leslie became Blue Peter's first Scottish presenter, and also the tallest at 1.93 m (6'4"). 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.
From series 11 in 1999 Leslie, alongside Fern Britton, was a regular presenter of the Friday show. When Madeley and Finnigan departed the show in 2001, they were replaced by Coleen Nolan and Twiggy, with Britton and Leslie remaining on Fridays. However, Nolan and Twiggy proved less popular with viewers, 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.
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.
In October 2002, 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. Amid media speculation, television presenter Matthew Wright said on The Wright Stuff that Leslie was the alleged perpetrator. Jonsson has never said whether the correct person was named.
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. Leslie was charged in June 2003 with assaulting a woman twice between 25 and 28 May 1997. He was never charged for offences against Jonsson. The prosecution dropped the charges against Leslie at Southwark Crown Court on 31 July 2003 after new information from the alleged victim. 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".
| Blue Peter Presenter No. 18
| Host of Wheel of Fortune
Coleen Nolan and Twiggy and Andy Craig
| Host of This Morning
with Fern Britton