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EDITIONS
Monday, 30 November, 1998, 12:33 GMT
No more drugs - sacked Blue Peter star
blue peter
Richard Bacon with his former colleagues Stuart Miles, Katy Hill and Konnie Huq
Shamed former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon has vowed never to take cocaine again.

Mr Bacon said there was no excuse for what he had done, and that he hoped his downfall would put youngsters off taking drugs.

The 23-year-old star, who was sacked from his job by the BBC after the story of his drug taking emerged in a national newspaper, said: "It was my decision to take the drug and ultimately my fault.

"I remember watching the BBC when they made the announcement. It was an impossible situation for them.

"They had to send the right message. I agree with the fact that I was sacked.

blue peter badge
Clean-cut image
"Blue Peter is seen as a moral guardian. It has a clean-cut and safe image and this could not be seen in any way as a positive thing."

He added: "I don't want to try and excuse this as a moment of madness. I have been exposed to drugs in the past and during that time my tolerance to them has become stronger.

"When I look back at it now I think as a children's television presenter how did I get into the situation where I went to the nightclub and took drugs?"

The experience of taking cocaine had been a let down, Mr Bacon said.

"I didn't like it. And there is no way I would ever take it in my life again," he told Talk Radio.

"It was a drug that I found to be a huge anti-climax. It is incredibly expensive and very complicated. The whole thing is a very seedy process and the effect is minimal.

"After 20 to 25 minutes I found I needed to stave off the depression. It went on for 12 hours."

The former presenter, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, said he now plans to continue working with his local anti-drugs charity DARE - Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

And he has donated the near 20,000 fee he received for writing a newspaper article about his drugs shame to the scheme.

He added: "I think I'm in a better position to help them because of my personal experience. I hope I can put across a positive message."

His drug taking emerged after a friend told a Sunday newspaper of a drink and drug-fuelled night where they visited several central London nightspots.

See also:

18 Oct 98 | Entertainment
19 Oct 98 | Entertainment
22 Oct 98 | Politics
23 Oct 98 | UK
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