Belfast Telegraph

Peter Purves: BBC was exposed unfairly in many ways

Peter Purves was a presenter on Blue Peter between 1967 and 1978.

Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves has said he has mixed feelings about the BBC being “exposed” over the gender pay gap.

The television star and actor, 79, said while the revelations were an “eye opener” he thinks the disclosure was unfair in some ways.

Purves also said he was “paid so badly it was ridiculous” when he fronted the popular show between 1967 and 1978, but that “it was such a good job you did it anyway”.

Asked whether the BBC transparency was a good thing, he told the Press Association: “Yes and no.

“The BBC have been exposed, I think unfairly in many ways, exposing fees and everything else because that’s always in my mind been a confidential thing.

“I’ve never been a top earner so it doesn’t affect me.

“In fact when I did Blue Peter for all those years – I did 850 shows of that – we were paid so badly it was ridiculous.

'When I did Blue Peter for all those years - I did 850 shows of that - we were paid so badly it was ridiculous' - Peter Purves

“But it was such a good job you did it anyway. It was a terrific job, it’s a terrific programme and the only down side was they didn’t pay us well.”

Purves said he has “never been in the top earning bracket”.

He said “the disclosure in some ways was unfair, but it’s a bit of an eye opener”.

“You get elements of resentment about it, I suppose, when you think ‘Oh for goodness sake, he/she is not worth that?! It’s ridiculous’, but it’s a market-led thing and people get paid what the company decides is necessary to pay them to keep them,” he said.

The star also weighed in on Jodie Whittaker taking over the Tardis in Doctor Who, which he starred in from 1965-66 as the character Steven Taylor, one of the companions to the first Doctor, William Hartnell.

Jodie Whittaker, the latest version of TV's popular Time Lord (Ian West/PA)

The actress is charting new territory for the time-travel show by becoming the first woman to portray its title character, the Doctor.

Purves said: “I think it’s very interesting, but I thought, ‘No, give her a chance and see how it goes’.

“I have no preference one way or the other.

“I think it’s an unusual choice but it’s a good choice, because she’s a good actress, but how well it works as Doctor Who I’m not really sure.”

Purves will be a commentator at Crufts dog show in March.

– Crufts is held from March 8-11 at the NEC Birmingham. Viewers can follow all the action and highlights on Channel 4 and More 4 and for further information and tickets visit


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