Queen gets John Noakes on board

John Noakes has been persuaded to attend Queen Elizabeth’s party to mark the 50th anniversary of children’s TV show Blue Peter after initially turning down the invitation.

The long-serving presenter had decided against turning up to celebrate the birthday of the popular BBC programme because of a feud with the show’s editor Biddy Baxter.

But the 74-year-old quickly changed his mind after the queen personally insisted he attend – because she likes him the most.

Noakes told the Daily Mirror: “I got the call saying the queen had personally insisted that I am there because I was her favourite presenter.

“When I heard that I changed my mind immediately. There was no way I was going to let Her Majesty down.”

But the star has admitted he is not looking forward to bumping into Baxter at the televised bash.

He said: “Biddy was a very difficult woman. She was a bully who treated me like some country yokel from Yorkshire. I couldn’t abide her then, so I won’t pretend I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with her now.”

Noakes – who said he is now so “scruffy” has had to buy a new suit for the party – is hoping Princess Anne will attend the royal celebration after developing a crush on her when she was on the show in 1971.

He said: “I was smitten in an instant. I remember Valerie saying to me, ‘I think she fancies you’, and I replied, ‘Yeah, and I fancy her’. I could have ended up being King John!”