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Peter Purves (born 10 February 1939) is an English television presenter and actor.

Purves was born in New Longtonmarker, near Prestonmarker, Lancashiremarker, England, and was educated at the independent Arnold Schoolmarker in Blackpoolmarker, he had originally planned to go into teaching, training at Alsagermarker College of Education, but began to act with the Barrow-in-Furnessmarker Repertory Company instead. He also attended Manchester Polytechnicmarker.

Doctor Who

He first became known to television audiences in the mid-1960s as Steven Taylor, one of the early time-travelling companions in the programme Doctor Who, when the Doctor was played by William Hartnell. After leaving Doctor Who, Purves became a regular presenter on the children's magazine programme Blue Petermarker from 1967 to 1978. Purves maintained his connection to Doctor Who throughout his time on Blue Peter, often hosting special features on the programme and interviewing the actors. These included many clips from episodes which are otherwise now lost.

Blue Peter

Purves co-presented Blue Petermarker first with John Noakes and Valerie Singleton and then with Noakes and Lesley Judd, during the programme's so called 'golden age'. After Noakes, Purves is the second longest serving male Blue Peter presenter. He was so closely associated with the programme, "the sensible one", that he found his association difficult to shake off. Purves moved on to other jobs as a presenter including Blue Peter Special Assignment, "Stopwatch" and "Going Places" and then later a spell as the front man for darts events on the BBC and as presenter of the long-running BBC1 motorbike trials series Kick Start.

Other television appearances

His recent TV career has included cameo appearances in episodes of the soap opera EastEnders and sitcoms The Office and I'm Alan Partridge. In The Office episode "Training Day" Purves played himself in a customer care training video that David Brent and his staff were being shown (incidentally, Purves is a qualified business trainer and a motivational speaker). In I'm Alan Partridge, Purves featured in one of Partridge's typically bizarre anecdotes. (He and Steve Coogan, who plays Alan Partridge, went to the same educational institution, the then Manchester Polytechnic, now Manchester Metropolitan Universitymarker)

Right, I'll tell you an anecdote. In 1974 I was catching the London train from Crewe station. It was very crowded; I found myself in a last-minute rush for the one remaining seat beside a tall, good-looking man with collar-length hair, it was the seventies; buckaroo! I looked up and saw it was none other than Peter Purves, it was the height of his Blue Peter fame. He said, "You jammy bastard" and quick as a flash, I replied, "Don't be blue, Peter!" Needless to say, I had the last laugh, now fuck off!

Dogs have featured in Purves's career from his Blue Peter days. He was given charge of one of the "Blue Peter Pets", Petra, a German Shepherd cross. This led to a thirty year association with television coverage of major dog show such as Crufts and in 2007 his appearance as a judge on the reality TV programme The Underdog Show. Purves also writes for the dog press and regularly presents at dog award shows. On 31 July 2008 he was bitten by a West Highland terrier whilst judging a dog show at a garden centre in Norwich. Purves was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitalmarker where he received treatment to his hand.

In the theatre, Purves is a noted pantomime director enjoying a good working relationship with the Chuckle Brothers. He is also an after-dinner speaker.

Purves now lives in the Suffolk village of Sibton. In 2008, Valerie Singleton revealed she had had a "brief fling" with Purves.

Marking his 70th birthday, his 2009 autobiography Here's One I Wrote Earlier was released at the Kennel Club.


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