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Peter Purves (born 10 February 1939) is an English television presenter and actor. He played Steven Taylor in Doctor Who during the era of the First Doctor, a role he continues to play in audio dramas for Big Finish Productions, and later became a presenter on the BBC children's programme Blue Peter, a position he held for eleven years. He has continued to make regular appearances on television, including an association with television coverage of the Crufts dog show.

Peter Purves
Peter Purves at The Television & Movie Store, Norwich, England, on 28 March 2009.
Peter John Purves

(1939-02-10) 10 February 1939 (age 80)
OccupationTelevision presenter, actor
Notable work
Steven Taylor in Doctor Who (1965–1966)
Blue Peter Presenter (1967–1978)
Gilly Fraser [actual name Gillian Emmett]
(m. 1962; div. 1982)

Kathryn Evans
(m. 1982)


Early lifeEdit

Purves was born in New Longton, near Preston, Lancashire. His father was a tailor who also ran a hotel in Blackpool for a short period. He was educated at the independent Arnold School in Blackpool and in the sixth form at Barrow-in-Furness Grammar School for Boys for a year, where he took A-levels and gained a pass in mathematics.[1] He originally planned to go into teaching, training at Alsager College of Education, but began to act with the Barrow-in-Furness Repertory Company instead.[2]

Doctor WhoEdit

Purves first appeared in Doctor Who in the role of Morton Dill in The Chase after being cast by director Richard Martin.[3]

At twenty-six years old, Purves first became known to television audiences in 1965 as Steven Taylor, one of the early time-travelling companions in the programme Doctor Who, when the Doctor was played by William Hartnell.[4] He has provided DVD commentaries for many of the surviving Doctor Who episodes he appeared in and documents the making of each of his Doctor Who stories in his autobiography, Here's One I Wrote Earlier. He was also a good friend of the actor Jon Pertwee, who played the Third Doctor.[5]

Purves has said that he preferred the historical stories on the show, such as The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and The Myth Makers.[6]

In 2007, he returned to the role of Steven Taylor in the audio drama Mother Russia and has portrayed him in several additional audio dramas in the years since.

Blue PeterEdit

After leaving Doctor Who, Purves became a regular presenter on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter from 1967 to 1978.[7] He co-presented Blue Peter first with John Noakes and Valerie Singleton and then with Noakes and Lesley Judd, during the programme's so called 'golden age'. After Noakes, Purves is the second longest serving male Blue Peter presenter.

He maintained his connection to Doctor Who throughout his time on Blue Peter, often hosting special features on the programme and interviewing the actors. These included many clips from episodes which are otherwise now lost, most notably The Daleks' Master Plan, in which Purves himself had appeared.

Dogs have featured in Purves's career since his Blue Peter days when he was given charge of one of the "Blue Peter Pets", Petra, a German Shepherd cross. Purves also presented the spin-off Blue Peter Special Assignment.

Subsequent television appearancesEdit

After leaving Blue Peter, Purves presented Stopwatch and We're Going Places and then later a spell as the front man for darts events on the BBC[5] and as presenter of the long-running BBC1 motorcycle trials series Kick Start.[8] He also presented much of the BBC's darts coverage from 1975 to 1983.

His later TV career has included cameo appearances in episodes of the soap opera EastEnders and sitcom The Office. In The Office episode "Training Day" Purves played himself in a customer care training video that David Brent and his staff were being shown (incidentally, Purves is a qualified business trainer and a motivational speaker).

Purves has had a thirty-year association with television coverage of major dog shows such as Crufts and in 2007 his appearance as a judge on the reality TV programme The Underdog Show. He also writes for the dog press and regularly presents at dog award shows. Marking his 70th birthday, his 2009 autobiography Here's One I Wrote Earlier was released at The Kennel Club.

In the theatreEdit

Purves is a noted pantomime director, enjoying a good working relationship with the Chuckle Brothers, and has directed over 30 pantomime productions.[8] In December 2012, he portrayed Alderman Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington at Harpenden Public Halls: this was the first time he performed in pantomime since 1985. He is also an after-dinner speaker.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Purves lived for a time in the Bilton area of Rugby, Warwickshire,[9] and then Northamptonshire, and now lives in the Suffolk village of Sibton with his wife, the West End actress Kathryn Evans.[10][11] In 2008, Valerie Singleton revealed she had had a "brief fling" with Purves.[12] He is a confirmed atheist.[2]


Audio dramasEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Doctor Who: Mother Russia Steven Taylor[13]
2010 Doctor Who: The Suffering Steven Taylor[14]
2011 Doctor Who: The Perpetual Bond Steven Taylor[15]
Doctor Who: The Cold Equations Steven Taylor[16]
Doctor Who: Tales from the Vault Steven Taylor[17]
Doctor Who: The First Wave Steven Taylor[18]
Doctor Who: The Five Companions Steven Taylor[19]
2012 Doctor Who: The Anachronauts Steven Taylor[20]
Doctor Who: The Burning Prince Steven Taylor[21]
Doctor Who: Return of the Rocket Men Steven Taylor[22]
2013 Doctor Who: Upstairs Steven Taylor[23]
2014 Doctor Who: The War To End All Wars Steven Taylor[24]
Doctor Who: The Bounty of Ceres Steven Taylor[25]
Doctor Who: An Ordinary Life Steven Taylor[26]
2015 Doctor Who: The Secret History Steven Taylor[27]
Doctor Who: The First Doctor Volume One Steven Taylor[28]
2016 Doctor Who: The Ravelli Conspiracy Steven Taylor[29]
Doctor Who: The Sontarans Steven Taylor[30]
2017 Doctor Who: The First Doctor Volume Two Steven Taylor[31]


  1. ^ Peter Purves (10 February 2009). Here's One I Wrote Earlier. Green Umbrella Publishing. ISBN 978-1-906635-34-3.
  2. ^ a b "Peter Purves interview". Archived from the original on 31 May 2008.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Peter Purves Interview - Interviews - Doctor Who - Online Magazine & Fan Site Archived 18 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b "Peter Purves - Doctor Who Interview Archive".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Where's Steven now? - Dr Who companions - where are they now? - Pictures - Tvradio - Virgin Media".
  8. ^ a b c Ben Dowell. "Blue Peter presenters ... where are they now?". RadioTimes.
  9. ^ "30 celebrities you probably didn't know were from Warwickshire". Coventry Telegraph. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Miserly BBC never paid what it should have - but I did once buy a Bentley: Peter Purves says Blue Peter was no money-spinner". This is Money. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Blue Peter star's fire drama". BBC News Online. 16 January 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  12. ^ BBC Singleton reveals Purves 'fling' 23 June 2008
  13. ^ "2.1. Mother Russia". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  14. ^ "4.07. The Suffering". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  15. ^ "5.08. The Perpetual Bond". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  16. ^ "5.12. The Cold Equations". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  17. ^ "6.01. Tales From the Vault". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  18. ^ "6.05. The First Wave". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  19. ^ "x. The Five Companions (subscription exclusive)". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  20. ^ "6.07. The Anachronauts". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  21. ^ "165. The Burning Prince". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  22. ^ "7.05. Return of the Rocket Men". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  23. ^ "8.03. Upstairs". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  24. ^ "8.10. The War To End All Wars". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  25. ^ "1.3. The Bounty of Ceres". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  26. ^ "1.4. An Ordinary Life". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  27. ^ "200. The Secret History". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  28. ^ "9.0. The First Doctor Volume 01". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  29. ^ "3.3. The Ravelli Conspiracy". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  30. ^ "3.4. The Sontarans". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  31. ^ "11.0. The First Doctor Volume 02". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 31 July 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Christopher Trace
Blue Peter Presenter No. 6
Succeeded by
Simon Groom