Suffolk star dropped from Crufts commentary team
PUBLISHED: 13:54 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:59 09 December 2019
Suffolk television presenter Peter Purves has been dropped as a commentator from Channel 4's coverage of the Crufts dog show.
The former Blue Peter host and Doctor Who star, who lives near Saxmundham, said he was "shocked" and "hurt" after being told the broadcaster was "refreshing" its line-up.
Speaking to the EADT, he said he believed he had been axed to make way for a younger person after 41 years with the show as a presenter and commentator for the dog show "I was given no reason for being axed from the show other than that they were looking to regularly refresh it and it was a case of 'one in, one out'.
"I was absolutely choked, I try to be sanguine about it but it is very upsetting. That show has been a big part of my life.
"But I have had some amazing support which has made me feel very humbled, there have been hundreds of tweets on Twitter."
Mr Purves, said he has been invited to be a paid guest contributor to Crufts coverage.
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But he added: "The point was I'm not part of the commentary team and the executive producer has invited me to be a guest contributor on two of the programmes on the Saturday and Sunday.
"I'm going to be at the show because I'm gong to be presenting the award, so it's no skin off their nose so they can do something very nice for me.
"I feel it was just a bit of a sop and it was perhaps to soften the blow and it didn't."
Now aged 80, dog lover Mr Purves, who has five pets of his own, has been involved with the Suffolk Dog Day for 11 years and he said it was something he hoped would continue.
"My voice is still the same, it's as strong as it ever was," he said.
"I'll carry on living my life, I'll always be open for work and I've got a couple of plans in the pipeline. If they come off then great."
A spokesman for Sunset+Vine, the production company that makes Crufts for Channel 4, said: "Peter has been a much loved part of the Crufts team and we're delighted he will continue to be part of our coverage and join us on-screen at the weekend of Crufts, the culmination and most watched part of the four-day event."