It all depends on how old you are. If you are under 35 you will shrug and say yeah, so what; Peter Purves, the grey-haired guy who presents Crufts every year. However, if you are the wrong side of forty, I imagine you will be as aghast as I was to hear that Peter Purves is 70 (seventy!) today.
Whilst old school pals claim on Facebook that “you don’t look any different” no orchestra plays the cold symphonic march of Father Time quite like hearing the fate of much loved faces from your goggle-boxed childhood. That Magnus Pyke and Jack Hargreaves long-ago reached the pearly gates is not so shocking, but when kindly uncles like Brian Moore or Tony Hart pass away, a little bit of your childhood goes with them.
And because I have not followed the career of Peter Purves too closely over the last thirty years, I still think of him as the dude with groovy, big collared flowery shirts on Blue Peter, who was the straight man to everyone’s favourite twit John Noakes. He was good with dogs and still carved out a decent post-Blue Peter career, it’s just that I wasn’t tuning in (I wasn’t into Stopwatch, Kickstart, darts or dogs).
I think Blue Peter counts as having a place in pop culture. Albeit that the nearest they ever got in the old days was having Slade on a good five years past their prime, with Bucks Fizz being about as racy (Racey! Now there’s an act from pop Armageddon) as they got. I doubt it’s any different now.
And today he will have 70 bloody candles on his cake. You youngsters reading this – one day it’ll happen to you. One day Phillip Schofield, Andi Peters and Yvette Fielding will be seventy and you will feel every bit as old as I do today. Whatever next ~ you’ll be telling me that Sarah Greene and Janet Ellis are in their fifties!
So, in tribute, we could play Mike Oldfield’s appalling reworking of the Blue Peter theme, but because I can’t think of a song with Peter in the title, I’m using it as an excuse for one of the ‘oos greatest, but most bizarre, ditties; Dogs.