Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette
We were very lucky to get TV legend PETER PURVES into the Phoenix FM studio at the weekend.
Peter was visiting our next door neighbour, The Essex Dog Training Centre, to present some awards to some outstanding children and dog handlers.
We got him into the studio to talk about his love of dogs, which inevitably led to talk about his eleven year stint on BBC1’s Blue Peter, when the programme was at its most popular – it’s thought that almost every child in the country watched the programme each week. I certainly did!
Peter was also one of the first Dr Who assistants too, playing Steven Taylor in 1965 and 1966 and reprising the role in audio dramas many times since – so we also had a chat about his time with the first Doctor, William Hartnell.
The Essex Dog Training Centre, founded in 1979 by Roy Dyer, has been doing great work recently in helping children overcome cynophobia – a morbid fear of dogs.
Roy and Peter have had a relationship going back many decades too. Peter’s love of dogs is well known, looking after Petra, who was undoubtedly the country’s most famous dog in the 1970s. He was also the voice of Crufts for over four decades, commentating every year on the UK’s top dog show.
It was a real delight to chat to Peter, who was an absolute gentleman, and happy to talk about anything – we could have kept him in the studio all day.
You can hear the interview again at phoenixfm.com – and you can find out more about the Essex Dog Training Centre at essexdogtrainingcentre.co.uk.