The World Gymnastics Championships are back with Matt Baker presenting but why is the former Blue Peter star taking centre-stage for the gymnastics?

We often forget that TV presenters are people off-camera and have lives of their own.

That’s certainly the case for the BBC’s Matt Baker who is this week presenting the final few days of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships currently being held in Stuttgart. 

The presenter is widely known among BBC viewers for his regular spot alongside Alex Jones on The One Show as well as a number of other programmes.

But a number of viewers are curious as to why the revered presenter is currently hosting the BBC’s coverage of the Gymnastics Championships. As it happens, there’s a very good reason for that.  

Matt Baker: TV presenter

Matt Baker made his TV debut on the long-running series Blue Peter way back in 1999. His stint on the show lasted a whopping seven years with the County Durham-native stepping down in 2006.

Following his departure from the children’s TV classic, Baker took on presenting roles in the likes of Countryfile thanks to his farming background as well as the BBC’s coverage of Crufts and even took on presenting duties for The One Show in 2011.

In 2010, Baker even competed on the ever-popular Strictly Come Dancing and finished runner-up in the series. 

On top of his traditional presenting roles, Baker has been part of the BBC’s coverage of the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as taking charge of presenting duties during the World Gymnastics Championships since 2017. 

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Matt Baker: Gymnast

The reason behind Matt Baker’s regular appearances in the BBC’s coverage of gymnastics events is because of his history in the sport.

Until the age of 14, Baker competed at junior level in gymnastics and was touted as having some real talent. However, he was forced to give up competing in the sport due to being diagnosed with anaemia.

As a result, rather than competing in gymnastics events, Matt Baker instead presents them.

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World Championships coverage

Coverage of the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships can be found on BBC Two from October 9th until the 13th with various amounts of coverage each day. 

The event has been running since October 4th but the BBC coverage has only just got underway due to the early stages of the competition clashing with the World Athletics Championships which were being broadcast on the BBC instead. 

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