Helen Skelton reveals she picked out 'cute' guinea pig - and then unwittingly ate it deep-fried for lunch in Peru

25 January 2024, 17:31 | Updated: 25 January 2024, 17:33

Helen Skelton
Helen Skelton. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Helen Skelton has revealed she unwittingly ate a deep-fried guinea pig for lunch during a trip to Peru.

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The TV star said she visited South America for a charity trip in 2011, where she tucked into the baked guinea pig.

The 40-year-old had unintentionally chosen her lunch after pointing out one of the "cute" rodents she had spotted in a garden.

Skelton has travelled the world for her job, kayaking along the Amazon, becoming the first person to reach the South Pole on a bicycle, and taking part in the Namibian ultra marathon.

But her experience trying the traditional Cuy al Horno (baked guinea pig) is one she said she would take to the grave with her.

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Cuy al Horno
Cuy al Horno. Picture: Getty

"So I went to Peru and did a lot of filming with some wonderful charities who were educating children who worked on rubbish dumps, who basically went out every day, scavenging for bits, take them back, clean them, sell them," Skelton told the Spooning with Mark Wogan podcast.

She continued: "And so the charity were trying to get them into schools and they were showing us their wonderful work and as part of showing us what happened they took us out for lunch."

The former Blue Peter presenter said she was taken to "the middle of nowhere" and shown a garden full of hutches with guinea pigs.

After pointing out a "cute" one, she soon discovered it had been "spatchcocked and deep-fried" for her to eat.

"I was enthusiastic because they were proud and I was being respectful," she said.

"I thought they were just showing me their guinea pigs, I didn't realise that I was picking my lunch!"

Skelton said she has filmed in "loads of random places" and experienced different cultures.

"I can't say that's wrong, that's their world," she said.