Richard Bacon forced to deny snorting cocaine off the Blue Peter tortoises as he mocks being fired from kids' show

RICHARD Bacon has shut down rumours he snorted cocaine off the Blue Peter tortoise.

The 45-year-old presenter was fired from the squeaky-clean children's show after it was revealed he had taken drugs.

Speaking about his dismissal on Dave series Unforgivable, host Mel Giedroyc raised an urban myth that he snorted lines of cocaine off the pets.

The 52-year-old star teased him, saying: "Do you remember Fred and Frieda the tortoises? Big white lines."

Slightly missing the point, guest Judi Love asked: "He gave them coke?"

Richard stressed: "I didn’t give any tortoises coke. So I got fired for taking drugs."

Poking fun at his dismissal, which was a huge scandal in its day, he added: "They would shout 'that's a wrap' and I would shout 'where?'"

The star added: "I got fired for punctuality because if you take a lot of coke you’re always late."

Richard became the first host to ever be axed from the children's programme when in 1998 after he admitted taking the Class A drug.

However, he returned to the show in 2018 in a special episode to celebrate the show's 60th birthday.

He said: "I can never hold down a job for long. I’ve hosted a lot of shows in a lot of places. And yet the one I have the most affection for is the one I got fired from. Happy Birthday Blue Peter. I love you."

Richard went on to host Channel 4's The Big Breakfast and BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge.

The star, who later moved to live in America, has also filled in for Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain.

Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable is tonight at 10pm on Dave

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