Blue Peter’s John Noakes ‘was allowed to keep’ dog Shep despite previous claims

Blue Peter presenter John Noakes previously claimed he had been left bitter after he was “forced apart” from his beloved dog Shep when he announced he was leaving the BBC show in 1977.

However, a new biography of Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter has now claimed BBC bosses did not forcibly separate the pair.

John and Shep’s much-loved friendship was a huge draw for audiences during the 1970s, and the fallout over the dog following his exit from the show proved controversial.

Now, Biddy’s new book has alleged John did actually get to keep the border collie, but that he ended up giving him away when he decided to go on a round-the-world sailing trip.

One complication was that, while John was said to have been told he could take with him, he was then asked to sign a disclaimer that the dog would not appear in adverts or shows by competitors.

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This apparently left the TV star fuming, with John reportedly tearing up the paper on his last day of work according to Biddy’s biographer Richard Marson, as reported via the Daily Mail.

It was then claimed that the man and his dog spent the next few years living happily together, with Shep even joining him on his BBC adventure show Go With Noakes.

According to the book, Biddy Baxter: The Woman Who Made Blue Peter, John and his wife then decided to sell their home and go on a huge sailing adventure, which meant they had to part ways with the beloved pooch.

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It was said that Shep continued to stay in the BBC family, as he went to the home of Blue Peter’s long-standing pet keeper Edith Menezes.

The revelation comes after John claimed in 1983 that the BBC hadn’t allowed him to keep Shep.

“I thought Shep was mine – they told me I could keep him, but they went back on their word,” he claimed at the time.

This then resulted in Biddy receiving hate mail accusing her of cruelty, and it seems the pair had a fraught relationship up until John’s death in 2017.

Biddy edited Blue Peter from 1962 to 1988, while biographer Richard worked on the show for almost a decade as a producer and then editor.

John presented the programme in the 1960s and 1970s and was the show’s longest-serving presenter, with a tenure that lasted 12 years and six months.

Biddy Baxter: The Woman Who Made Blue Peter will be released on July 3, retailing at £17.99.

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