Belfast Telegraph

Blue Peter's Janet Ellis pays a heartfelt tribute to John Noakes

The former presenter said he was like a member of the family.

Former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis has paid a heartfelt tribute to her predecessor John Noakes following his death aged 83.

She said that his 12-year run on the children’s show through the 1960s and 70s set the tone that the popular programme still holds today.

Janet, who worked on the show through the early 1980s, said: “I grew up with him, like a lot of people did. I watched him at home and it felt like he was a member of my own family.

“It’s a live show, everyone had to know exactly what they were doing, but he had an extraordinary ability to look natural on camera.
“He set the standard.

“He wasn’t pretending to be anyone. If he was nervous, he said so. He definitely was his own man. He set the tone for how Blue Peter is today.”

She said that, together with Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves, Noakes “grew the programme.”

Janet said: “It’s that have-a-go spirit that continues in the programme now.

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“Everyone then was speaking in received pronunciation…. He bounced in with that ability to cope with whatever was thrown at him. It was like watching a big brother on screen.

“His enthusiasm and naturalness set the tone for the presenters of the future and he insisted that viewers could cope with that. It’s a real loss”.

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