TV Presenter - Actor - Director - Producer - Writer - Trainer - After Dinner Speaker

With Jamie, Billie and Freddie 1995 (photo by Marc Henrie)
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With a much loved group (photo by David Dalton)
Photos above by David Dalton and Marc Henrie.

With Lulu the Elephant, Alec the keeper and the three of us - one of television's greatest moments.

A Lifelong Passion

Pets and animals have played a big part in Peter’s life, although he didn’t have a dog until his parents inherited one when they took over a pub in Derbyshire, when Peter was 11 years old. This was a lovely Black Cocker Spaniel called Rusty.

An actor’s life was generally not ideal for the keeping of pets, so it wasn’t until Peter took over the ownership of Petra, the first Blue Peter dog, that he began to keep a pet again. Dogs have been his passion ever since. When he met his wife, Kathryn Evans, she had one small Pekingese called Georgie who was joined by both Billie and Freddie (also Pekes). After Georgie died the Purves’s started to keep Newfoundlands, beginning with Mishka, followed by Gulliver and latterly Kent. Jamie, another Peke, also followed Mishka and Hollie and Tillie.

From L Woody, Teddy, Dottie and Hattie
The current dogs in the household are two young Pekingese, Bea (3), who is jet black, and Lillie(2) who is a very light cream (almost white.) And there are four Standard Wire-haired Dachshunds – Hattie (mum), Woody (Dad), and two of their puppies, Dottie and Teddy. Peter and Kate bred the litter of seven puppies in October 2007, kept two, and found lovely homes for the other five. They remain in touch with the other owners.
Peter and Woody Dec 2013
Woody with his son, Teddy
Peter and Woody Dec 2013
Woody with his son, Teddy
Bea and Lillie
On the Beach, March 2014
Bea and Lillie
On the Beach, March 2014

Crufts dog show is now back on TV with Channel 4 and More 4, and you can find out about this year’s show on the Current Activities page, and catch up with what happened at the NEC on and explore the videos on stream. There are several features presented by Peter, and many more on which he commentated at the 2014 and 2013 shows.

Peter has also been involved in the presentation and narration/commentary of a number of other dog programmes including 65 editions of Pets Go Public for 5, Breed All About It for Discovery Channel, and Superdogs for the BBC. He recently became a judge on the Dog-training reality programme for both the BBC and CBBC called The Underdog Show.

Peter with Annie Clayton (L) and Kay Lawrence -
Judges on the Underdog Show

There have been numerous other dog events, several for the Guide Dogs For the Blind Association; All About Dogs at Brentwood, several for Notcutts Garden Centres, also called All About Dogs; The Cold Wet Nose Show, The Wag and Bone show, Discover Dogs and many, many others.

Peter was editor of the monthly dog magazine, Peter Purves’ Mad About Dogs; and is Vice Patron of Dogs for the Disabled, and the Bella Moss Foundation, and is President of the Canine Supporters’ Charity and The Rugby Animal Trust.

Animals were, of course, also a feature of Blue Peter as Peter recalls.

Peter and Petra

"Petra was certainly the most famous of the Blue Peter dogs, but was a very nervous dog. She was owned by the BBC, but producer Biddy Baxter suggested that I looked after her at home so that she would feel she was with a friend when she came to the studio. It was a good idea and to a degree worked. she wasn't the best natured dog in the world and hated other dogs, but she became my dog and lived with me and my family until she died. I was very fond of her, and I think she was of me."
Peter and that Elephant
"This is one of those pieces of television that everyone remembers - a real classic.

It all happened when Lulu, the baby elephant from Chessington Zoo, came on the show and caused chaos. Lulu did the lot! She drank and she peed, poohed and generally misbehaved - dragging her poor gamekeeper through the mess. Val gamely struggled to keep us all on the script, but john and I could not stop laughing. It was really Biddy Baxter's fault. She asked the keeper to do without the stick he used to keep Lulu under control. Without it Lulu did exactly what she wanted. Great fun - and you couldn't have written it."

Links & Contacts to Charities

The Kennel Club - organisers of Crufts.

Peter is a great supporter of animal charities. Please use the information below to find out more.
Dogs For The Disabled or E-mail:
The Canine Supporters Charity or E-mail:
Our Dogs magazine

Rugby Animal Trust
11 Elsee Rd, Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 3BA - Tel: 01788 576680

Heelwork to Music Trainer
For more doggie info from one of the best Heelwork to Music Trainers go to

Dog Lost / Dog Theft
I have been approached by a group called Dog Theft Action which has been set up in the hope that there can be a national register, co-ordinated and operated by all police forces and dog rescue centres, to ensure that there is a better chance of re-uniting lost dogs with their owners than there is at the moment. I, and Nick Mays of Our Dogs, are acting as advisors to the group, and you can find out more about them and their aims on the following sites.

Dog Theft Action
Dog Lost