Monday, 29 May 2017

RIP John Noakes

Sad to hear that that legend of BBC children's television, John Noakes has died at the age of 83.

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.



  1. Very sad, another piece of my childhood world lost. He was the only bearable part of that programme for me. He appeared to have no fear at all; I'm sure he was the inspiration for many an adventurous soul. RIP.

    1. I wasn't around for his tenure, I had to make do with the copycats like Peter Duncan. It's easy to forget though how much of a breath of fresh air Noakes was, because his presenting style was hardly in keeping with the rest of the BBC at that time, which was still stiff upper lip and somewhat condescending. He really perfected that affable, daredevil uncle character, changing the landscape of kids TV. I always found it interesting that Peter Purves said the John Noakes offscreen was nothing like the one on, and I guess adopting a persona makes sense when you realise he set out to be an actor initially.