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Monday, 15 January, 2001, 11:24 GMT
Blue Peter 'for over-35s'
John Noakes with Shep, Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves
John Noakes with Shep, Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves
Three Blue Peter presenters from the 1970s want to introduce a version of the show for the middle-aged.

John Noakes, Peter Purves and Valerie Singleton, whose names are still familiar to those aged over 30, aim to show older viewers "how to fill their time".

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that the proposal was being considered by the BBC, but that nothing had been commissioned as yet.

John Noakes
John Noakes and the infamous baby elephant
John Noakes, 66, known for his madcap escapades and his affection for the show's border collie, Shep, said they hoped to recreate their memorable combination of entertainment and education.

"In a way there will be no change at all," he told the Sunday Times.

"When we did it first time round, we helped give a lot of bored children ideas on what to do.

"Now, more than 20 years after I left the show, I see a lot of middle-aged people retiring early who never did anything but work and really don't know how to fill the time."

Peter Purves, 61, added: "Everybody above 30 grew up with us. Now I think they want to see what happened next."

The 2000 Blue Peter team
Current presenters: Matt Baker, Simon Thomas, Liz Barker and Konnie Huq
The presenter said he and Noakes, famed for a particular show when a baby elephant relieved itself live on air, still have a "natural rapport".

"I know what he's going to say, often before he's thought it," he told the newspaper.

"He might not be the brightest tool in the box, but he's always been a brave man, even if he acts very flippantly about it.

"There's more to him than he lets on."

The three presenters were reunited last month for BBC Two's Christmas show I Love a 70s Christmas.

Blue Peter badge
Prized possession: Blue Peter badge
The modern version of the show now has four presenters and is shown three times a week.

But it still sends presenters on special assignments, has charity appeals and makes toys out of kitchen cast-offs such as washing-up liquid bottles and cereal packets.

Noakes, Purves and Singleton have discussed plans for a peak-time magazine show and will present proposals to Lorraine Heggessy, controller of BBC One, next month, the paper reports.

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See also:

23 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Blue Peter unveils new host
17 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Blue Peter's Katy quits
16 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Return of an 'idiot called Noakes'
10 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Here's one the BBC made 40 years earlier
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