Yvette Fielding claims she was bullied on Blue Peter and forced to live with the show’s dog Bonnie during her ‘traumatic’ first year: ‘I was a shaking, jibbering wreck’
Yvette Fielding has claimed she was bullied on Blue Peter and forced to live with golden retriever Bonnie during her ‘traumatic’ first year.
The presenter, 55, who became the show’s youngest presenter when she joined the show in 1987 aged 18, said she was left ‘a shaking, jibbering wreck’ after being ‘berated’ by her former boss Biddy Baxter.
Yvette claimed that upon winning the job she had to leave her parents’ house, was flown to Russia for six weeks before being told by producers she had to live with and care for Bonnie.
The television personality said the responsibility of looking after Bonnie, who was a puppy from Blue Peter dog Goldie’s second litter, was terrifying as she was ‘the most famous dog in the country’.
‘I felt very lonely because I was the youngest. I was considered a kid – and a pain in the a**e of a kid,’ Yvette said on the Celebrity Catch-Up: Life After That Thing I Did podcast.
‘Nightmare’: Yvette Fielding has claimed she was bullied on Blue Peter and forced to live with golden retriever Bonnie during her ‘traumatic’ first year
Tough: Yvette claimed that after she was offered the job she had to leave her parents’ house and was told by producers she had to live with Bonnie (pictured with Mark Curry and Caron Keating in 1988)
‘I didn’t enjoy the first year. I found it very traumatic. It got to the point where I’d just had enough. Being made to live with the dog, I had no say in it: “You will move out of your flat and you will move into this house with the dog”.
‘Given this dog to look after at 18, and not just a dog – the most famous dog in the country.
‘Poor Bonnie was pining for her owner, scratching at the door every night. It was too upsetting.
‘Imagine how many hearts would be broken if anything had happened to her. It would have been national mourning.’
Bonnie made her first appearance on the show when she was six weeks old and later took over from her mother when she retired in the Summer of 1986.
Yvette was desperate to impress Biddy, who edited the show for 25 years.
‘The problem was that I was trying to please my boss so much, but my boss seemed to be – I don’t know why – just incredibly cruel,’ she said.
‘I thought that I’d be doing OK and then I was told that I was useless. Absolutely useless, again and again and again and again.’
‘I was a shaking, jibbering wreck’: Yvette claimed she was ‘berated’ by her former boss Biddy Baxter, who edited the show for 25 years (Biddy pictured in 2013)
Learning curve: The Most Haunted presenter said her experience with Biddy has shaped her career and has ‘no bitterness’ towards her
Daunting: The television personality said the responsibility of looking after Bonnie, who was one of Blue Peter dog Goldie’s second litter, was terrifying (pictured together in 1987)
‘I wanted her to be so proud of me, yet it was like being beaten by a parent. Every time I did what I thought was right, she’d come back and say something awful, or berate me in front of other people. It was absolutely soul destroying.’
Yvette added: ‘You’ve got to be confident in front of eight million people twice a week, but my confidence was at an all-time low. I was a shaking, gibbering wreck.’
The Most Haunted presenter said her experience with Biddy shaped her career and she has ‘no bitterness’ towards her.
She said: ‘The amount of awful people in the television industry … I always thank Biddy because I think, if it wasn’t for her, there’s no way I would’ve stood up, told them where to go and got on with it.
‘She did that. She gave me the balls to do that. And I thank her for that. There’s no bitterness there whatsoever.
‘But when people say to me, “Oh wasn’t it wonderful? Didn’t you have a fabulous time?” I think, no, not the first year. It was horrific. It was like a nightmare.’
The BBC were contacted for comment.
Yvette left after five years in 1992 and went on to present the ITV Saturday show What’s Up Doc? followed by Disney Adventures in 1995.
She now presents the Most Haunted series with her husband Karl Beattie.
MailOnline takes a look at the previous presenters who worked on the iconic TV show.
Presented Blue Peter from 16 October 1958 to 24 July 1967
Original line-up: Christopher Trace and Leila Williams on the first edition of Blue Peter in 1958
Chemistry: Blue Peter presenters Christopher Trace and Valerie Singleton on the show in 1966
Christopher Trace was one of the two original presenters of Blue Peter when the show first aired on October 16 1958.
After leaving the show in 1967 he became a writer and Production Manager for a film company before returning to television and later radio.
He returned to presenting shortly before his death in 1992, appearing as a regular guest on BBC Radio 2’s Are You Sitting Comfortably.
Presented Blue Peter from 16 October 1958 to 8 January 1962
Glamorous: Leila Williams on Blue Peter in 1958, left, and holding a Bafta in 1998, right
The year after winning Miss Great Britain in 1957, 21-year-old Leila Williams joined Blue Peter as the show’s first female presenter.
The glamorous presenter gave up TV to run pubs with her husband Fred Mudd, the lead singer of pop group The Mudlarks, before retiring to Spain.
Williams, who turns 80 this year, still keeps in touch with the show and sends Blue Peter a birthday card every year, the BBC reports.
Presented Blue Peter in 1962
Career cut short: Anita West in 1965, left, three years after leaving Blue Peter. Right, in 2008
When Anita West joined Blue Peter in 1962 her six-year marriage to the late jazz musician Ray Ellington was under enormous strain.
Worried about how her private life would affect the show’s squeaky-clean image, Anita decided to resign after just 16 episodes. She is Blue Peter’s shortest serving presenter, other than stand-ins Sandra Michaels, Ann Taylor and Tony Hart.
Anita later appeared in the TV series The Saint and a few movies. Ellington died of cancer in 1985, aged 68, and Anita is now a grandmother.
Presented Blue Peter from 3 September 1962 to 3 July 1972
Popular: From left to right, Blue Peter presenters Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes with Shep in 1972. Singleton joined the programme in 1962
Distinguished: Purves, left, Singleton and Noakes at the 2008 National Television Awards
West’s departure opened the door to actress and voice-over artist Valerie Singleton, who joined Blue Peter in 1962.
After a decade presenting the show Valerie left and went on to present news and current affairs show Nationwide from 1972 to 1976. She continued as a roving reporter on Blue Peter until 1981.
Valerie later had stints on the Money Programme on BBC2 and presented PM on Radio 4 for 10 years until 1993. In 1994 Singleton was awarded an OBE for services to children’s television.
Presented Blue Peter from 30 December 1965 to 26 June 1978
TV legend: John Noakes, left, with co-hosts Valerie Singleton and John Purves on Blue Peter in 1971. Noakes, now 82, remains the children’s show’s longest serving presenter
Quiet life: Noakes, pictured with his wife Vicky, now lives on the Spanish island of Majorca. In 2015 Vicky revealed her husband had lived with Alzheimer’s for a ‘number of years’
John Noakes, who died in 2017 aged 83, remains Blue Peter’s longest serving presenter, fronting the children’s show with a variety of co-hosts including Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves from 1965 until 1978.
In 1982 he and his wife set sail to travel the world, but were shipwrecked in a hurricane. In 1984 they tried again and got no further than Majorca and ended up settling.
In 2015 he sparked a huge search when he disappeared for ten hours near his home in Andratx, on the Spanish island of Majorca. His wife Vicky, whom he married in 1965, revealed he had lived with Alzheimer’s for a ‘number of years’.
Fearless: Noakes carries out a free fall parachute drop from 25,000ft as he trains with the RAF’s Flying Falcons in a 1978 episode of Blue Peter. At the time it was a record-breaking stunt
Royal fan: Noakes with the Queen at a reception to celebrate 50 years of Blue Peter in 2008
Presented Blue Peter from 16 November 1967 to 23 March 1978
Mainstay: Peter Purves with Blue Peter dog Petra in 1977, left, and at a 2008 awards ceremony
Peter Purves only intended for Blue Peter to be a six-month break from acting when he signed on to the show in 1967. But he stayed for more than a decade, appearing alongside Noakes, Singleton and Lesley Judd.
Purves continued to present segments for the show even after leaving as a full-time host. He went on to present Crufts, Stopwatch and We’re Going Places.
The ex-Blue Peter star is also a noted pantomime director. He lives in Suffolk.
Presented Blue Peter from 15 May 1972 to 12 April 1979
Talented: Lesley Judd on Blue Peter in 1977, left, and at Buckingham Palace in 2008, right
Dancer Lesley Judd joined the team after teaching Valerie, John and Peter a routine on one edition of the show.
She left the show in 1979 to look after her husband Terry Gabell, a editor on the show, who had multiple sclerosis.
Judd went on to front her own children’s show, In The Limelight With Lesley, and was a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour between 1982 and 1988.
Judd, 70, now lives near Toulouse, France, and works as a conference organiser.
Presented Blue Peter from 5 May 1978 to 23 June 1986
Groom worked enjoyed a short stint as an English teacher before joining Blue Peter in 1978. He presented alongside Lesley Judd, Christopher Wenner, Tina Heath, Peter Duncan, Sarah Greene, Janet Ellis and Michael Sundin.
After leaving Blue Peter in 1986 he continued to work for a time as the show’s countryside correspondent. He went on to produce a string of TV documentaries. For a time he presented ‘Groom’s Gold’ for BBC Radio Sheffield.
Groom, 66, is married to wife Gilly. Together they run a sheep farm in Derbyshire.
Presented Blue Peter from 1978 to 1980
Short stint: Christopher Wenner, pictured in 1978, left Blue Peter in 1980 after two years
Back together: Back row (l-r) Peter Duncan, Christopher Wenner, Sarah Greene, John Leslie. Front row (l-r) Peter Purves, Leila Williams, Diane Louise Jordan, John Noakes in 1998
Christopher Wenner reportedly left Blue Peter after producers failed to renew his contract. He went on to pursue a career in journalism.
In 1985 he went missing while working as a war correspondent in Beirut but turned up safe and well after 18 days. Two years later he was beaten by Serb civilians while covering a mass protest of more than 150,000 Kosovo Albanians for ITN.
The father-of-four, 62, now runs his own production company alongside his work in journalism.
Presented Blue Peter from 1979 to 1980
Left the limelight: Tina Heath in 1979, left, and with Simon Groom, left, and Mark Curry in 1998
Tina Heath had already appeared in a string of TV children’s series before joining Blue Peter in 1979.
Tina was the first Blue Peter presenter to become pregnant while on the show and filmed segments having a sonogram and learning how to bathe a baby.
She left in June 1980 to have daughter Jemma and has led a quite life away from the limelight. A committed Christian, she has voiced passages from the bible for audiobooks.
Presented Blue Peter from 19 May 1980 to 27 June 1983
Reality TV star: Sarah Greene in 1982, left, and ahead of her turn on Dancing On Ice in 2008
Twenty-two-year-old Sarah Greene was the youngest ever presenter when she joined Blue Peter in 1980. She presented the show for three years.
Greene went on to present Saturday Superstore with Mike Read and Going Live! with Phillip Schofield. She also appeared in Casualty, Brookside and French & Saunders.
Greene, now 59, competed in Dancing on Ice in 2008 and regularly appeared on ITV’s This Morning.
Presented Blue Peter from 1980 to 1984 and 1985 to 1986
Adventurer: Duncan with wife Annie and children Lucie, Katie, Georgia and Arthur in 1999 before the family embarked on a six-month tour around the world that was filmed for TV
Peter Duncan first appeared on Blue Peter in 1980 but his time of the show was hit with scandal four years later when clips of him in a so-called soft porn film surfaced.
He took part in the movie five years before joining the programme when he was just 21 but has maintained it was not pornographic and was a ‘psychological thriller.’
The same year, he left Blue Peter to film TV series Duncan Dares, which was based on the derring-do image he had built for himself. He returned for a second stint in 1986.
After leaving the show he returned to acting and in 1995 was nominated for an Olivier award for his role in the musical The Card.
He married wife Annie in 1980 and together the couple have four children. The family featured in TV series about them backpacking around the world.
Between 2004 and 2009 he served as Chief Scout.
Presented Blue Peter from 1983 to 1987
Janet Ellis trained as an actress before becoming a presenter. She was scouted for Blue Peter while hosting children’s puzzle programme Jigsaw.
The mother-of-three left Blue Peter in 1987 to have her second child, Jackson Ellis-Leach. Her eldest daughter is popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
She has since appeared in episodes of shows Waking The Dead and Hotel Babylon, and celebrity specials of The Weakest Link, Come Dine With Me and Antiques Road Trip. Ellis published her first novel in February last year.
Presented Blue Peter from 1984 to 1985
Tragic: Presenter Michael Sundin, pictured in 1985, died from an AIDS-related illness in 1988
Michael Sundin was part of the British Men’s National Trampoline squad before he embarked on a career in acting. He joined Blue Peter in 1984.
He was cast in the 1985 film Return to Oz and was invited to join Blue Peter after he was interviewed by Janet Ellis during filming.
Sundin’s contract was not renewed and in 1985 he left and returned to acting. He died in 1988 from an AIDS-related illness. He was just 28.
Presented Blue Peter from 1986 to 1989
Funnyman: Mark Curry with fellow Blue Peter presenters Caron Keating, centre, and Yvette Fielding in 1988. Curry worked on a number of BBC children’s series before joining the team
Private life: Mark, right, married long-term partner Jeremy Sandle, left, in 2008
Mark Curry, 55, worked on a number of BBC children’s TV series before being spotted by a producer and asked to join the Blue Peter team.
After leaving Blue Peter, Mark has gone on to present a number of other series including Catchphrase and interior design show Change That for the BBC.
Mark, who married long-term partner Jeremy Sandle in 2008, splits his time between his homes in Eastbourne, East Sussex, and the Spanish village of Mijas.
Presented Blue Peter from 13 November 1986 to 22 January 1990
Fashion forward: Caron Keating, left, with Blue Peter co-stars Yvette Fielding and John Leslie in 1989. Right, Keating in 2001, three years before she lost her battle with cancer
Fashion-forward Caron Keating enjoyed a four-year stint on Blue Peter before leaving in January 1990.
She took time out of presenting to raise her two sons before returning to TV in 1996, standing in for Richard and Judy on This Morning.
Keating was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 but went on to present Work It Out and appeared in television commercials. Keating lost her battle to cancer in April 2004, aged 41.
Presented Blue Peter from 1987 to 1992
Ghost hunter: Yvette Fielding aged 18 in 1987, left, and at an event in September 2015
Yvette Fielding, 48, was just 17 when she joined Blue Peter in 1987.
After leaving the show Yvette and husband Karl Beattie set up their own production company and produced Most Haunted for the Living channel.
Fielding went on to present a number of paranormal-based shows, including Ghosthunting With…
The mother-of-two also runs and co-owns a tea shop in Manchester. She appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2015.
Presented Blue Peter from 20 April 1989 to 20 January 1994
Embattled: John Leslie with fellow TV personality Emma Forbes in 1992, left. Right, Leslie on Good Morning Britain in February 2016 when he spoke of the false allegations against him
Blue Peter’s first ever Scottish presenter, John Leslie enjoyed a five-year stint on the show before leaving to become This Morning’s entertainment correspondent on ITV.
In 2001 Leslie and Fern Britton took over from Richard and Judy as the show’s hosts but left the following year after he was ‘outed’ as the alleged rapist of Ulrika Jonsson. He has always denied the accusation.
In June 2003 Leslie, now 51, was charged with assaulting a woman twice between 25 and 28 May 1997. The charges were later dropped. Five years later he faced fresh rape accusations. The case did not reach court.
Speaking in 2013, Leslie said the false allegations led him to contemplate suicide.
Presented Blue Peter from 25 January 1990 to 26 February 1996
Lasting impact: Diane-Louise Jordan, right, with Blue Peter co-stars Tim Vincent, Katy Hill and Stuart Miles. Right, the Songs of Praise host with designer Stephen Webster in November 2016
Diane-Louise Jordan turned down a Coronation Street contract to join Blue Peter, becoming the show’s first black presenter.
A devoted Christian Jordan left to present Songs of Praise and has hosted the show since. Her book How To Succeed as a Single Parent was published in 2003.
The 56-year-old also dedicates much of her time to charity and is one of the trustees of the BBC’s Children In Need Appeal.
Presented Blue Peter from 1992 to 1994
Golden girl of TV: Anthea Turner on Blue Peter in 1993, left, and right in August last year
Anthea Turner was already an established TV presence when she joined Blue Peter in 1992. She later presented GMTV, the National Lottery and Wish You Were Here.
Her squeaky-clean image was shattered in 1998 after it was revealed she had been having an affair with a married family friend Grant Bovey, whom she later married.
Anthea divorced Mr Bovey in 2015 after she discovered he was cheating on her with a woman 26 years his junior.
Presented Blue Peter from 16 December 1993 to 24 January 1997
Broke America: Tim Vincent, left during his Blue Peter days in the mid-90s, has gone on to present Miss World and Miss USA. Right, with a former Miss USA queen at the 2007 contest
Hollywood life: Vincent has worked on a correspondent on NBC’s Access Hollywood, above
Tim Vincent kept up his acting career during his four-year stint as a Blue Peter presenter, appearing in two series of BBC One drama Dangerfield.
After leaving he presented The Clothes Show and Short Change for the BBC. In 2000 he returned to acting and appeared in Emerdale and feature film Sorted.
The 44-year-old is now best known as a correspondent for NBC’s Access Hollywood, a popular entertainment show in the US. He has also presented a number of Miss World and Miss USA competitions.
Presented Blue Peter from 1994 to 1999
Stuart Miles came to the attention of the Blue Peter team while working on Saturday Disney. He has since guest presented shows including This Morning, Holiday and Soap Fever.
Miles also started regularly performing his drag act as a character called Stella Ratner.
Miles, 47, now works in radio and presents a breakfast programme on Heart 96.6 with former Blue Peter star Katy Hill.
Presented Blue Peter from 23 June 1995 to 19 June 2000
Katy Hill realised her childhood dream of presenting Blue Peter in 1995.
During her time on the show, the vicar’s daughter married her childhood sweetheart Andrew Frampton and proudly boasted that she was a virgin on her wedding day.
She left after five years to join the team on Live and Kicking and went on to present Top of the Pops, Football Fever and the Millennium Quiz Show.
But two years after marrying she divorced her then husband and shortly after began dating her Live and Kicking co-star Trey Farley.
The pair married in 2004 and have a daughter called Kaya, aged 10 and a nine-year-old son Akira.
Hill, 45, now has her own lifestyle and parenting blog and co-presents Heart Breakfast for Heart Radio in the Four Counties region with Stuart Miles.
Presented Blue Peter from 1 March 1996 to 20 February 1998
Romana left Blue Peter after two years to focus on her acting career and went on to find some stage work.
In 2004 Romana enrolled at the University of Edinburgh and graduated with an MA in English and Italian.
She went on to study for a post-graduate diploma in education at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 2009. Romana now works as a teacher.
Presented Blue Peter from 1996 to 1998
Scandal: From left to right, Richard Bacon, Konnie Huq, Stuart Miles and Katy Hill in 1998
Richard Bacon presented Blue Peter for just 18 months when he was abruptly sacked after he admitted taking cocaine in a London nightclub.
He has previously claimed ‘positive things came out of’ his being fired and he has since built a successful presenting career, guest hosting on This Morning and The Wright Stuff. He also hosted a regular show on Radio 5 Live.
Bacon, who has two children with wife Rebecca, has moved to the US where he hopes to build a television career.
Presented Blue Peter from 1997 to 2008
Nation’s favourite: Konnie Huq, pictured left in 2006 with fellow Blue Peter presenters Andy Akinwolere, Zoe Salmon and Gethin Jones, topped the list of the most popular host
Family: Konnie, pictured left in 2016, met husband Charlie Brooker, pictured together right in 2012, when she appeared in an episode of his Screenwipe on BBC1 in 2008. The couple have two children together
After a last-minute surge in votes, Konnie Huq, 41, was this week crowned the nation’s favourite Blue Peter presenter of all time.
Huq has enjoyed a varied career since leaving the show in 2008, presenting The Xtra Factor, presented the One Show and wrote a short film, Ahmed & Mildred.
Konnie met husband Charlie Brooker, 45, ten years ago when she appeared in an episode of his Screenwipe on BBC1 in 2008. The couple have two children together.
Presented Blue Peter from January 1999 to April 2005
Fresh faced: Konnie Huq, Matt Baker, Zoe Salmon and Simon Thomas on Blue Peter in 2004
Football fan: Simon Thomas, 43, now presents Sky Sports’ Football League coverage
Having previously worked as a runner at the BBC, Thomas stepped into replace Richard Bacon after his sacking. During his six-year stint on Blue Peter Thomas also presented CBBC Proms in the Park.
Thomas later joined Sky Sports News and was one half of a presenting team that fronted our daily shows from the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Thomas, 43, now presents Sky Sports’ Football League coverage.
Presented Blue Peter from June 1999 to June 2006
During his seven years on Blue Peter Matt Baker won two BAFTAs for Best Children’s Presenter two years in a row.
From 2009 Baker, 39, started co-presenting Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday nights. After a stint as a guest host, Baker became a full time host in 2011. He appears alongside Alex Jones.
Baker, who has two children with wife Nicola, was runner-up in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Presented Blue Peter from 2000 to 2006
Proud mum: Liz Barker, right, with Matt Baker, Simon Thomas and Konnie Huq in 2000
Liz Barker had been on the show for four years when she announced she was expecting her child with husband Michael Todd.
She brought baby Dexter Barker Todd on to the show when he was just 13 days old and later returned full time. Barker left in 2006 to spend more time with her family.
Barker went on to present Totally Doctor Who with CBBC’s Barney Harwood before leaving the industry. She spent several years decorating cakes at her family’s bakery chain. Barker, now a mother of four, is a presenter on a community radio station.
Presented Blue Peter from 2004 to 2008
Zoe Salmon won the title Miss Northern Ireland while studying for her law degree but abandoned her legal career to co-present Blue Peter. A year after leaving the show, Zoe appeared as a contestant on BBC’s Dancing on Ice.
In 2011 she met husband William Corrie at a friend’s wedding in Castle Leslie, County Monaghan. The couple were engaged in Barbados in November 2015 and returned to the island last year to marry.
Salmon’s presenting career has cooled but she continues to appear in a number of TV shows including Celebrity Masterchef and Pointless Celebrities.
Presented Blue Peter from April 2005 to June 2008
Prior to his television career, Gethin Jones worked as a bank clerk, a telephone hotline officer and as a research assistant.
Since leaving Blue Peter in 2008 Jones has had a number of presenting roles on Sky and the BBC, and was a reporter on ITV’s Daybreak.
Jones, 38, was a reporter for the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.
Presented Blue Peter from 2006 to 2011
32nd presenter: Andy Akinwolere, centre, with Konnie Huq, Gethin Jones, and Zoe Salmon
Born in Nigeria, Andy Akinwolere joined Blue Peter after working as a runner at the BBC. He was on the show for five years.
In 2013 Akinwolere, 34, appeared in a special edition of the Great British Bake Off.
He started presenting Inside Out for the West Midlands in 2014.
Presented Blue Peter from 2008 to 2013
In August 2008 Helen Skelton replaced Zoe Salmon on Blue Peter, becoming the show’s 33rd presenter.
Since leaving the show she has presented episodes of Countryfile and two series of two series of Holiday Hit Squad on the BBC.
Skelton, 33, has also made a name in sports broadcasting. Last summer Skelton received widespread acclaim for her coverage of the swimming events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Skelton married England rugby player Richie Myler in 2013. Their first son Ernie was born in June 2015 and the couple are expecting their second child this spring.
Presented Blue Peter from 2008 to 2010
Last to leave: Joel Defries, centre, with Helen Skelton and Andy Akinwolere. He left in 2010
Joel Defries started his broadcasting career in New Zealand before moving back to the UK and joining Blue Peter.
While on the show Defries, 31, also appeared on CBBC programme Keep Your Enemies Close.
According to his Twitter account, Defries now works as an ASOS model.
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