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Customers' Awards 2012

New category


Helen Skelton - Travel Personality of the Year

Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton joined the world's longest-running children's television show Blue Peter in 2008. She was the thirty-third presenter to take on this role since the show began in 1958. Since joining, she has not got too comfortable on the famous TV sofa.

In 2009, Helen was the second woman to complete the Namibia Ultra Marathon. This 74-mile expedition across one of the world's largest and most remote national parks is considered by many to be the ultimate endurance test for runners.

The following year, Helen completed a 2,000-mile trip by kayak along the Amazon River to raise money for Sport Relief. Kayaking 60 miles a day, Helen fought off alligators, anacondas and piranhas and achieved two world records for her trouble: the longest solo journey by kayak and longest distance in a kayak completed by a woman in 24 hours.

Helen’s travelling continued when she was welcomed to the Countryfile team to present a BBC One travel documentary in 2011 - Country Tracks. While presenting the show, Helen visited the South Wales coast, East Anglia, Isle of Skye and the British Channel to name a few.

This year, Helen attempted a Polar challenge to raise money for Sport Relief once again. She battled freezing temperatures travelling to the South Pole on skis, kite-skis and a specially-designed bike. Helen successfully completed her 500-mile challenge and raised over £150,000 for the charity.


After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Cumbria, Helen briefly worked in public relations before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She began by working in the newsroom at CFM Radio, then became breakfast presenter on BBC Radio Cumbria in 2005. At just 23, she was the youngest person to present on the BBC network.


2010: Longest solo journey by kayak and longest distance in a kayak by a woman in 24 hours.

Other nominated travel personalities below:

Ben Fogle
Billy Connolly
Caroline Quentin
Charley Boorman
Joanna Lumley
Karl Pilkington
Martin Clunes
Paul Merton