Richard Bacon returns to Blue Peter 20 years after being sacked

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Richard Bacon

Richard Bacon was welcomed back to Blue Peter almost 20 years to the day after being sacked to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the show.

Another former host, Peter Purves, pinned a coveted Blue Peter badge on Bacon's top at the celebrations, saying “welcome back into the fold”.

Bacon, who went into a medically-induced coma in July after suffering pneumonia during a flight from the US to the UK, had to return his original Blue Peter badge in 1998. He had admitted taking cocaine following a newspaper expose.

He remains the only Blue Peter presenter to have been sacked. The longest-running children’s TV series in the world celebrated its 60th birthday in style on Tuesday night with an anniversary special broadcast live on CBBC.

This was followed by a party attended by Bacon, Purves and fellow former presenters including Katy Hill and Matt Baker, as well as pop stars Ed Sheeran and Sophie Ellis Bextor, daughter of former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis.