TV Presenter & Actor
Commentator of Crufts
In March 2018, Peter celebrated his 40th Anniversary as TV Presenter and commentator of the world’s greatest Dog Show, Crufts. His interest in dogs began whilst presenting the children’s TV programme Blue Peter for the BBC back in the late 1960’s, when he was asked to look after the nation’s first surrogate pet, Petra. Since then his life has been filled with dogs. For 18 years he kept Newfoundlands, but today, he and his wife keep one Mini and three Standard Wire-haired Dachshunds, two Pekingese, and a blind and deaf Cocker Spaniel. He cannot envisage a time when he would not have a dog.
In a varied and exciting 60 years carer, Peter has appeared in approximately 2500 TV shows. Brought up in Blackpool, the Mecca in the 40’s and 50’s for all things showbiz, it was inevitable that the stage would attract him. He was a successful actor in TV for several years, including a 46 episode stint as Companion to the original Doctor Who (William Hartnell), before his career changed course and he became a TV Presenter. His Ten and a half years in Blue Peter was followed, by 5 series of his own sports programme, “Stopwatch”, a holiday series called “We’re Going Places”, numerous Specials, plus the Motor Bike Trials programmes, “Kickstart” and “Junior Kickstart.” which ran for 13 years.
For eight years he presented many hundreds of the BBC darts programmes, when the sport was in its heyday. He was also host for three series of the amusing word game, Babble, for Channel 4; and he and his Crufts colleague Jessica Holm hosted three series of “Superdogs”, an entertaining and competitive inter-regional competition. He hosted his own 96 episode Chat/food/travel show on a Satellite channel called Destination Lunch. He also found time to be CEO of his own Video Production company, Purves Wickes, for almost 15 years until the turn of the century.
He has recently returned to acting with the Audio Recording Company, Big Finish, where he has starred in 28 original Doctor Who stories, recreating his original character Steven Taylor, and giving a passable impression of the great William Hartnell as the Doctor, a role he thoroughly enjoys. He has also recorded several Doctor Who stories for BBC Audio Books.
Two New episodes of Secrets of the National Trust include Peter as a guest presenter, and he has appeared in numerous celebrity specials including Antiques Road Trip, Pointless Celebrities, Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, etc. etc. and was involved in the recent tribute to his friend and colleague, the late John Noakes. He also made memorable cameo appearances in Eastenders and The Office.The revival of Doctor Who has had him visiting conventions both in this country, Germany, Czech Republic and various parts of the United States. He has also given numerous talks on cruise ships for P&O, Saga, Cunard and Thompson.
At the beginning of August he hosted the Dog Arena at BBC Countryfile Live, which was held for four days at Blenheim Palace.
He lives in the heart of rural Suffolk