|Born||Richard Paul Bacon
30 November 1975
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
|Education||Worksop College, Nottinghamshire
(independent boarding school)
|Alma mater||Nottingham Trent University|
|Occupation||television and radio presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Rebecca McFarlane (m. 2008)|
|Children||Arthur Bacon (b. 2011)
Ivy Bacon (b. 2014)
Richard Paul Bacon (born 30 November 1975) is an English television and radio presenter. He is best known for having been a host of the popular children's show Blue Peter—his first high-profile media role—from which position he was fired in 1998 after 18 months. Following Blue Peter he worked as a reporter or presenter on numerous television shows, including The Big Breakfast, and on radio stations including Capital FM and Xfm London. Beginning 14th November 2016, Bacon became the new presenter of The National Geographic Channel's reboot of its documentary/panel discussion hybrid TV series, Explorer.
Bacon grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and was educated at St Peter's Church of England Primary School on Bellamy Road, followed by two independent schools, also in Nottinghamshire: at Wellow House School, a preparatory school on Newark Road in the village of Wellow, and then at Worksop College, a boarding school on Windmill Lane in the town of Worksop. He studied Business Studies with Electronics at Nottingham Trent University, but dropped out after a year.
His first job in the media was as a reporter for BBC Radio Nottingham, notably on the programme The Beat. In February 1996 he joined L!VE TV as a reporter; this saw him being banned from the State Opening of Parliament, and having a beer thrown at him by Damon Albarn as he tried to interview him leaving a nightclub.
Bacon's television break was as a presenter on the children's show Blue Peter, which he joined on 21 February 1997. He presented alongside Romana D'Annunzio, Katy Hill, Konnie Huq and Stuart Miles. On 19 October 1998 he was the programme's first-ever presenter to have his contract terminated in mid-season, after the tabloid newspaper News of the World published a report of Bacon taking cocaine and cannabis. His tenure on the programme lasted just over 18 months. After his dismissal, the then Head of BBC children's programmes Lorraine Heggessey went on air to explain the situation to CBBC viewers.
In August 2005 the band The Magic Numbers walked out of Top of the Pops, after Bacon made a remark that was widely thought to be about the body shape of members of the band; during rehearsals he referred to the band as a "big, fat melting pot of talent".
Bacon guest-hosted ITV's This Morning during 2005, Channel 5's The Wright Stuff on several occasions during 2007 and 2008, and BBC Two's Something for the Weekend from 2008 to 2009. He was the narrator for series 1 to 3 of Sky's police documentary Brit Cops.
In late 2010 he presented Richard Bacon's Beer & Pizza Club on ITV4. A second series aired in late 2011. Just before the 2010 World Cup he hosted a show called World Cup's Most Shocking Moments, with Peter Crouch.
Bacon presented editions of BBC Three's Young Voters' Question Time. He has made several TV cameo appearances as himself, including Hotel Babylon in 2007 (in which his character hires escort girls to play Scrabble with him all night), the episode "Video Killed the Radio Star" of the TV series FM, an episode of The Thick of It (both in 2009) and an episode of Psychoville in 2011. In October 2011 he hosted BBC Three's Up for Hire, an interactive series over the course of five nights tackling one of Britain's biggest issues – youth unemployment.
In April 2012 he presented the Channel 4 television series Hidden Talent, where each programme featured ordinary members of the public taking tests in certain fields or skills to identify any previously unidentified talent.
On 17 February 2014 he hosted a one-off show, Benefits Britain: The Debate, for Channel 4. In 2014 he presented the live Channel 4 programme How Rich Are You?, about the UK economy.
In 2015 Bacon presented The Big Painting Challenge alongside Una Stubbs for BBC One, and sports show Eternal Glory for ITV. He also joined Reena Ninan as a substitute co-host of the American Broadcasting Company's World News Now overnight and America This Morning news program.
Beginning 14th November 2016, the U.S. worldwide educational cable network National Geographic Channel (hereinafter NGC) debuted its "global" overhaul and rebranding of the channel with its entirely new primetime lineup that night: the much-anticipated, multi-million U.S.-dollar docudrama miniseries Mars, followed by the NGC reboot of Explorer, and then Star Talk, a lighthearted panel-discussion series loosely centered around astrophysics and astronomy, hosted by astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Bacon became the presenter for the Explorer programme, which comprises several (usually three ) short films, introduced by Bacon and shot from all over the world, involving matters of social, political, environmental, and/or humanitarian significance. Each film is then discussed before a live studio audience with Bacon moderating and usually includes the filmmaker or another representative of the film. Then, at least one expert on either side of the issue also joins the discussion. The live-audience segments of each episode of Explorer are filmed at CBS Studios in New York City.
He returned to 5 Live, and from November 2007 until December 2009 presented the late-night programme, in which his sign-off ("Goodnight Great Britain, wherever you are") copied that of Jack Killian, the main character in the NBC television series Midnight Caller. He also on occasion stood in for Simon Mayo in the daytime film review programme, and stated that his favourite film is The Apartment.
In January 2010 Bacon became the regular presenter of the 5 Live mid-afternoon show from Mondays to Thursdays, where he replaced the departing Simon Mayo. The show covered news, sport, celebrity interviews and special features. On Tuesdays there was a TV review with Boyd Hilton and another guest, looking back over the week's television and previewing future programmes. In the Moan-In on Wednesdays, listeners could share their moans and receive marks out of 10 from Bacon and a guest, often Dave Vitty. On Thursdays the feature was Chart The Week, where two guests would discuss the week's most talked-about news stories. At the same time, Bacon started to present a regular Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music; he later left to concentrate on other commitments. He returned to 6 Music in January 2012 for six weeks to present a Saturday morning programme.
Bacon's afternoon show attracted criticism for its content, which was classified by the BBC Trust as "news". Rival broadcaster Talksport made a general complaint in 2010 to the BBC Trust, claiming the BBC Radio 5 Live station was not providing its mandatory 75% news output, "with many items falling outside of the remit, such as 'entertainment-based interviews' ... and listener-generated features." Talksport's complaint "particularly singl[ed] out Bacon's two-hour weekday afternoon show for criticism", finding in a poll that only 20% of listeners considered Bacon's show to comprise "news". In their response, the BBC Trust rejected Talksport's complaints, but admitted that a review was required to develop "'a more nuanced method of monitoring the proportion of news output' on 5 Live compared to the current system, which counts the whole of Richard Bacon's afternoon show as news".
In August 2011 Bacon recommended that his listeners should watch a YouTube video of comedian Doug Stanhope, in which he mocked Sarah Palin's disabled son Trig. The Down's Syndrome Association complained to the BBC about the broadcast, stating "the association is shocked that a BBC employee has publicised the work of a comedian which is nothing more than a vile offensive rant." Both Bacon and the BBC apologised for the broadcast, with Bacon writing "I full well understand my responsibilities as a broadcaster and such a reference fell below the standards I set myself personally in my broadcasting."
On 1 July 2014 it was announced that Bacon would be leaving BBC Radio 5 Live later in the year. Bacon's last Radio 5 Live show was broadcast on 24 September 2014.
Bacon also has covered for Simon Mayo on his BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show, when Mayo was on holiday in August 2015, and more recently in April 2016.
Bacon married Rebecca McFarlane in 2008; they currently live in California, where Bacon has moved in an attempt to work on U.S. television. On 31 October 2011 his wife gave birth to a son, Arthur, which Bacon revealed on his Twitter account the following day. In October 2011 Bacon announced on his podcast that he had been contacted by the Metropolitan Police, who advised him that his phone had been hacked by the disgraced private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
His wife gave birth to a daughter, Ivy, in 2014.
|Blue Peter Presenter No. 25
|XFM Drivetime Presenter