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!”