BBC Olympics presenter Matt Baker shares old Hartlepool Mail clippings of his days as a champion gymnast
He is now a familiar face and voice on TV. But presenter Matt Baker still remembers his roots.
Matt, who is currently commentating on the Tokyo Olympics for the BBC, shared a picture on Instagram with fans of newspaper clippings from his scrapbook, including from the Mail.
He said: “For all those asking... here’s some clippings from my Old scrap book!”
They show numerous articles that Easington-born Matt, 43, has kept from his days as a junior gymnast when he achieved some notable successes.
One Mail cutting from the 1990s shows Matt pictured alongside the headline ‘Expert Soviet coaching for Matt’.
Others report how he was ‘jumping for joy’ after being awarded a perfect 10 at the British Amateur Gymnastic Association finals when he was aged 12.
Sadly, Matt was forced to give up gymnastics after he was diagnosed with anaemia at 14.
But on his Instagram post, which has had almost 32,000 likes, he wrote: “As a lad gymnastics was my life...it taught me the simple recipe if you work hard you get a result.
“Without my sport I would never be where I am today.”
He went on to present Blue Peter, The One Show and for several years has led a Rickshaw Challenge with inspirational young people which has raised millions for Children In Need. It visited Hartlepool in 2016.
Matt recently appeared in Our Farm in the Dales, a four-part TV series showing him and his family returning to help run his parents’ farm in the Durham Dales.
The broadcaster has been in for a treat with Team GB’s performances at the Games while he has been commentating.
Great Britain claimed a first women’s team gymnastics medal since 1928 as they delivered an extraordinary bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
The team of Alice Kinsella, Amelie Morgan and 16-year-old twins Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova impressed throughout and moved above Italy in the final rotation.
The Britons totalled 164.096, with the Russian Olympic Committee taking gold and the US team settling for silver for the first time since 2008.
Team GB’s gymnasts have also gone on to impress in other categories, including Jessica Gadirova becoming the first British woman to place in the top 10 of the women’s all-around gymnastics competition.