Excelling at music and sports from an early age John's football and tennis was always in competition at school with the orchestra, choir and his double bass lessons.
On leaving school, music won out, with John taking a course in musical instrument technology which led to his other passion in life.. the Piano. During his studies, his income was supplemented by becoming a DJ at the local roller rink. This part time job soon became full time. A successful DJ career followed that took john to London, Sweden, Denmark and Newcastle, before auditioning for the satellite TV station Music Box as a video jockey.
The confidence and experience gained was put to good use in 1989 when Blue Peter was looking for a new face to join Mark Currie, Caron Keating and Yvette Fielding, on its flagship BBC children's programme. John was duly installed as the programme's 17th presenter. He was an instant hit with the producers and viewers alike, with audiences peaking at 7 million. Expeditions to Japan, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean and the Falklands followed. Some of his personal highlights, during his successful 5 year long stay with the programme, were training with the Royal Marines, conducting an orchestra at the Albert Hall and playing football with his beloved Hibernian FC.
After leaving 'Blue Peter', John Leslie was in demand. A variety of TV programmes followed on Sky, Channel 5, BBC and ITV, where he joined Fern Briton taking over from the hugely popular Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan on the station's flagship programme 'This Morning'. John won the first of his 2 BAFTAs for his work on 'Blue Peter', his second was for 'This Morning'. It seemed John was destined for better and better things.
John Leslie loved living in London. He bought a piece of land and built his own home overlooking Richmond Park. John lived the high life, which led to a few too many parties with what he would now refer to as, the wrong party crowd.
A successful trip to the top in television and the media was about to take an unexpected detour. In 2002, with a certain celebrity book launch that contained serious allegations but mentioned no names, John was to find himself at the centre of a long running media frenzy of scandal and rumour. As John's career took a downward spiral, book sales and tabloid newspaper sales soared. Lots of people were making money out of the graphic stories and innuendo but not John. The trial by the press and the subsequent fall from grace was catastrophic for John and his family. His high profile TV career was brought to a premature end. Even though John was duly cleared of everything and with an apology from the police, there was no way to turn the clock back.
On realising the phone wasnt going to ring for TV work, John returned home to Edinburgh, to run his house renovations company, play piano and to build the house he had promised for his mum and dad. He has also just completed converting a stunning 26 bedroom, former care home back to its original 100 year old manor house splendour.
John still has 2 burning ambitions - to play Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago and to conduct his own orchestra and choir, with his interpretation of classical, movie and modern music.
TV and Theatre
TARTAN EXTRA, SKY SPORTS 1
A weekly in-depth round up of the best of Scottish football, a particularly tough programme for John to do as that season his team got relegated.
John played the commander in this sci-fi adventure game show set in space and filmed at Pinewood Studios (I kid you not!)
STYLE CHALLENGE, BBC1
Still to this day regarded as one of the best makeover shows with that ''moment in the mirror''.
How to have the same holiday three different ways, spend a lot, spend a little and something in-between, channel 5's first programme to reach a million viewers.
''The Apprentice'' for Robinson Crusoe's, with the 1st million pound prize money on British TV for the winner
WHEEL OF FORTUNE, ITV1
John presented no less than 735 showswith Jenny Powell and Terri Seymour
THIS MORNING, ITV1
John and Fern Briton together for 3 years, successfully taking over on the couch from Richard and Judy.
PRIDE & PREDUICE, Two touring productions with John cast against type as Wickham (An English army cad) opposite the loveable Darcy.
CINDERELLA, Prince Charming - Glasgow Kings Theatre
BABES IN THE WOOD, Robin Hood - Edinburgh Kings Theatre with Cannon & Ball
ALLADIN, Aladdin -Royal Tunbridge Wells with Isla Fisher