Noakes will forever be known as the affable daredevil presenter of the long-running Blue Peter. He joined the show in 1965 and stayed until 1978, making him the longest serving presenter in the show's illustrious history. His action man persona, undertaking challenges such as scaling Nelson's Column and becoming the first civilian to freefall from a height of five miles in a spectacular jump from an RAF plane, was matched by his gentle side, with his faithful companion Shep the dog by his side. Like Peter Pan, he seemed to be the eternal child, and the children at home loved him for it.
Noakes had been suffering from Alzheimer's for some time and had sparked concern and fears just a couple of years ago when he went missing from his home in Majorca. He was subsequently found in a bad way some ten hours later at the bottom of a storm drain in a nearby strawberry field. The only comfort to be taken from today's sad news is that he is suffering no more.