and animals have played a big part in Peter’s life, although he
didn’t have a dog until his parents inherited one when they took
over a pub in Derbyshire, when Peter was 11 years old. This was a
lovely Black Cocker Spaniel called Rusty.
actor’s life was generally not ideal
for the keeping of pets, so it wasn’t until Peter took over the
ownership of Petra, the first Blue Peter dog, that he
began to keep a pet again. Dogs have been his passion ever since. When
he met his wife, Kathryn Evans,
one small Pekingese called
Georgie who was joined by both Billie
(also Pekes). After Georgie died the Purves’s
started to keep Newfoundlands,
beginning with Mishka,
followed by Gulliver and
latterly Kent. Jamie, another
Peke, also followed Mishka.
From L Woody, Teddy, Dottie and Hattie
current dogs in the household are Tillie
Hollie, two delightful 11 year-old Pekes, and there are four Standard Wire-haired Dachshunds
– Hattie (mum), Woody (Dad), and two of their
puppies, Dottie and
Teddy. Peter and Kate bred the litter of seven puppies in
October 2007, kept two, and found lovely homes for the other five. They
remain in touch with the other owners.
presenting Crufts Dog
Show for the BBC in 1978, after an initial one-off appearance in 1976.
He continued to be Presenter and commentator up until 2008 when the BBC
decided not to proceed with coverage in 2009. This followed a serious
falling out with the Kennel Club
over the inclusion of certain breeds at Crufts, following the BBC programme “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” to
which the KC and many breeders took exception. He says, "Whether the
ever be healed I have no idea, but it is disappointing that after 31
years’ involvement, that the viewing public will not get the
chance to see on television the finest dogs in Britain (and from
abroad) at the world’s greatest dog show. I shall still be
attending the show (I am a member of the KC after all) and will be
working with my colleague Nick Brooks
Ward on the Main Arena programme. I expect also to be involved
with the “Friends
event, and if I can find the time, I will also be signing my
been involved in the presentation and narration/commentary of
a number of other dog programmes including 65 editions of Pets Go Public for 5, Breed All About It
for Discovery Channel, and Superdogs
for the BBC. He recently became a judge on the Dog-training reality
programme for both the BBC and CBBC
called The Underdog Show.
Peter with Annie Clayton (L) and Kay Lawrence - Judges on the Underdog Show
numerous other dog events, several for the Guide Dogs For the
Blind Association; All About Dogs at Brentwood, several for Notcutts
Garden Centres, also called All About Dogs; The Cold Wet Nose Show, The
Wag and Bone show, Discover Dogs and many, many others.
editor of the monthly dog magazine, Peter Purves’ Mad About Dogs;
and is Vice Patron of Dogs for the Disabled, and the Bella Moss
Foundation, and is President of the Canine Supporters’ Charity
and The Rugby Animal Trust.
were, of course, also a feature of Blue
Peter as Peter recalls.
Peter and Petra
"Petra was certainly the most
famous of the Blue Peter dogs, but was a very nervous dog. She was
owned by the BBC, but producer Biddy Baxter suggested that I looked
after her at home so that she would feel she was with a friend when she
came to the studio. It was a good idea and to a degree worked. she
wasn't the best natured dog in the world and hated other dogs, but she
became my dog and lived with me and my family until she died. I was
very fond of her, and I think she was of me."
Peter and that Elephant
"This is one of those
television that everyone remembers - a real classic.
when Lulu, the baby
elephant from Chessington Zoo, came on the show and caused chaos. Lulu
did the lot! She drank and she peed, poohed and generally misbehaved -
dragging her poor gamekeeper through the mess. Val gamely struggled to
keep us all on the script, but john and I could not stop laughing. It
was really Biddy Baxter's fault. She asked the keeper to do without the
stick he used to keep Lulu under control. Without it Lulu did exactly
what she wanted. Great fun - and you couldn't have written it."
have been approached by a group called Dog Theft Action which has
been set up in the hope that there can be a national register,
co-ordinated and operated by all police forces and dog rescue centres,
to ensure that there is a better chance of re-uniting lost dogs
with their owners than there is at the moment. I, and Nick Mays of Our
Dogs, are acting as advisors to the group, and you can find out more
about them and their aims on the following sites.