Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 12:27 UK

Singleton reveals Purves 'fling'

Peter Purves and Valerie Singleton
Purves and Singleton decided to stay friends after their encounter

Former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton has revealed she had a "brief fling" with her co-host Peter Purves.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, the 71-year-old, said: "He was lovely - warm, interesting and fun - and he was between marriages."

The encounter apparently happened after filming on location for the BBC show. Singleton said "one thing led to another" after wine at their hotel.

Purves said: "I've got no comment to make. It was an interesting article."


Singleton said: "It was one of those impulsive, enjoyable experiences but more a friendship thing than anything else.

"Sleeping with people you work with is generally not advisable, so we didn't want to pursue it.

"There was always an unspoken acknowledgement that something rather nice had happened and we remained even better friends. We still are today."

Valerie Singleton
Valerie Singleton insists she is not gay, despite rumours

The presenter, who joined Blue Peter in 1962 and left 10 years later, said their affair remained a secret until the couple appeared on the BBC quiz show The Weakest Link.

It was during their appearance that host Anne Robinson enquired about their relationship and Singleton alluded to their fling.

For years, many fans thought the presenter was gay, but although Singleton was aware of the rumours, she denies there is any truth in them.

"Every single friend of mine has at some point had to deny the rumour," she said.

"It really is rubbish. I'm very honest and if I were that way inclined I'd have said so."

She has also candidly revealed how she fell pregnant during her first year at Blue Peter with another partner and, because she had "never wanted children", had the child aborted.

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