Noakes: I hated `Blue Peter'
Tuesday 22 June 1999
And had Noakes been able to mask his Yorkshire accent in a casting interview with Sir Lawrence Olivier, he may have denied a generation of children his regular televised tussles with Shep, the excitable Blue Peter collie.
Noakes's admission that he wished he had never set foot inside the Blue Peter studio came as he prepared to make his return to television on ITV with a new series, Mad About Pets.
He said: "Given my time again I wouldn't have done Blue Peter. I'd done theatre for six years and was tired," Noakes told the Radio Times.
Noakes, who quit the show in 1978 after 12 years, had only joined Blue Peter because it was regular work after six years of acting.
"I'd have done reasonably well. Olivier wanted me once, but I'd just played a Yorkshireman and the blasted accent had returned.
"He wondered if I could lose it in three weeks and my drama teacher said: `It took him two years to get rid of it last time'."
Despite the effervescence on-screen that endeared him to millions of children and gave the world the catchphrase of desperation, "Get Down, Shep!", Noakes said he was remorselessly exploited by the BBC. "The pressure was terrible," he said. "One year I did nine weeks with only one-and-a- half days off. I collapsed on the floor and couldn't go on. That's the nearest I came to a breakdown.
"When I left Blue Peter I was offered the part of Willy Mossop in Hobson's Choice at Oxford and three weeks of doing that gave me the equivalent satisfaction to 12 years of TV." He said he was never paid what he was promised by the BBC and was scathing about the show's editor. "Biddy Baxter was an awful woman," he said. "I don't want to talk about her."
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...