Richard Bacon is a British TV and radio presenter who will be hosting National Geographic’s educational series, Explorer. Bacon, 40, got his start in the 1990s, and has since worked at a number of celebrated news and television stations across the world. According to The Guardian, the series has talent from both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report working on its production team.
Read on to learn more about Richard Bacon.
1. He Was Fired From Hosting a Children’s Show After Reports of Him Taking Cocaine Surfaced
Bacon’s big break as a television host came on the children’s show Blue Peter. His work on the series began in February 1997, and in October 1998, his contract was terminated after a tabloid newspaper leaked a report of Bacon taking cocaine and cannabis. The head of BBC children’s programs, Lorraine Heggessey, issued a statement following his dismissal that said, “It is sad that such a talented presenter as Richard Bacon has not only let himself and his colleagues down but, most important of all, he has let down the millions of children who watch Blue Peter.”
In 2014, the Daily Mail wrote that the incident “would have been career suicide for most people”, but for Bacon, it didn’t turn out that way. In fact, the TV presenter has said that “positive things” came out of him being fired for taking cocaine. 16 years after being the first host to be fired from the children’s program, Bacon said that “the Blue Peter thing served as an ‘ice-breaker’, which opened doors in other directions.”
2. He Grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Bacon grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He attended Nottingham Trent University, where he studied Business Studies with Electronics. Bacon dropped out after a year. In 2011, he told The Guardian that he worked at McDonalds as a teenager, before entering the world of media. “For the first fortnight, I loved it. I found all the facts about it really interesting. Regular meat that you get in Big Macs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers goes from frozen to cooked in 44 seconds. And quarter-pounder meat goes from frozen to cooked in 62-64 seconds, which is pretty amazing. But the enthusiasm lasted two weeks exactly.” Eventually, his enthusiasm drained. Bacon’s first job in the media was for BBC Radio Nottingham, where he worked as a reporter on The Beat.
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3. He Is Married With Two Children
Bacon married his wife, Rebecca McFarlane, in 2008. The couple gave birth to a son, Arthur, in 2011, and birth to their daughter, Ivy, in 2014. The family currently lives in California.
In an interview last year with Express, Bacon revealed that his wife is his best friend. “She has fantastic judgment along with the great combination of being rational, brilliantly organised and 10 per cent hippy.”
4. He Narrated BBC Three’s ‘Most Annoying People’
From 2006 to 2011, Bacon narrated the British series, Most Annoying Person. The show counted down the 100 “most irritating” people, and featured celebrities like pop stars and politicians.
The TV presenter went on to guest-host ITV’s This Morning, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, and BBC Two’s Something for the Weekend. Bacon also presented BBC Three’s Young Voters’ Question Time and Up for Hire.
After quitting his job on Radio 5 Live, Bacon spoke to his friend Matthew Freud about moving to America and taking a shot at working on American TV. Speaking about Freud, he told The Guardian, “I told him about this LA plan and he said, ‘I think you will have a good time. You will get two or three years out of it, but it will end in failure. You just need to make sure it’s a dignified failure.’ And with that happy thought dancing round my head. I put my wife and kids on a plane and moved to LA.”
5. He Has 1.49 Million Twitter Followers
Bacon has 1.49 million Twitter followers. In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Bacon describes the number of Twitter followers he has as “a freak of nature”. He explains that accumulating the fan base was an “accident” of sorts. After Twitter learned he was a Twitter fan, they put him on their suggested user list, along with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher.
When asked if having so many followers is a burden, Bacon says, “…For a while it was a bit of a burden… It was like having these hungry mouths to feed… You realize, over time, they’re not hungry mouths to feed. They’re not waiting for your Tweets- they don’t care.”