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Peter PurvesBorn: Fri 10th February 1939 (age: 75)
Peter Purves is one of Britain’s most experienced TV presenters of “live” magazine programmes, with literally hundreds of credits to his name.
He is probably best known for his work on the BBC TV children’s programme, Blue Peter , which he presented for ten and a half years from 1967 to 1978. As part of what is affectionately known as the “Dream Team” (together with Valerie Singleton and John Noakes) he appeared in more than 850 episodes of what has become the longest continuously running children’s TV programme of all-time.
His career began in the theatre, in what was known as weekly rep., with the Renaissance Theatre Company, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Barrow-in-Furness. It was a time he remembers with great affection, as the best training, the worst paid, the hardest work and the happiest two working years he has ever known. From the early 1960’s he appeared in many of the then current and popular television series for both the BBC and ITV.
In 1965 he joined the original Doctor Who, William Hartnell for a year as his sidekick Steven Taylor. He occasionally attends the conventions held around the world for the show’s aficionados. Though he does limit these to one convention every three or four years!! He left the show in the summer of 1966.
He auditioned for Blue Peter programme in the autumn of 1967 and first presented the show on November 11th of that year. After ten and a half years he felt it was time to move on and he left the show at Easter 1978 to go to present three other series for the BBC, Stopwatch (a children’s sports programme), We’re Going Places (a forerunner of Holiday) and a series of Blue Peter Special Assignments. Many other guest appearances followed in various shows, and he has remained in great demand ever since. He has regularly presented the BBC coverage of the world’s greatest dog show, Cruft’s since 1976 and in 1999 - 2005 the coverage also went to the USA for Animal Planet. Interestingly, the American producers are also the producers of Breed All About It, which Peter voices for the European Discovery Channel market.
Amongst his most most recent projects is Teen Trials a series for Granada Television. He was also the host of Pet’s Go Public series for Channel 5’s Good Afternoon I. n the autumn of 2005 he was navigator for his old Blue Peter colleague, John Noakes in Channel 5’s Britain’s Worst Celebrity Driver which took the pair on a tour of Britain ending at Lands End, after starting in one of the few places Peter had never been to before, John O’Groats.
He regularly commentates at major national events such as the Royal Show, Discover Dogs, All About Dogs and the fast-growing Wag and Bone Show.