Richard Bacon: Blue Peter cocaine scandal is part of who I am

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·3-min read

Watch: Richard Bacon 'doesn't mind' talking about Blue Peter cocaine scandal

Richard Bacon has said he has embraced his Blue Peter cocaine scandal because it is part of who he is.

The 45-year-old TV presenter and father-of-two was sacked from the BBC children's show in 1998 after a tabloid newspaper exposed his drug use. But the shamed broadcaster bounced back and has gone on to have a successful career in TV and radio.

Bacon told The Sun: “I don’t mind talking about Blue Peter or the cocaine. It’s all such a prominent part of my past.

Richard Bacon addresses Anti-Brexit campaigners at a rally after the People's Vote March for the Future in London, a march and rally in support of a second EU referendum. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Richard Bacon has embraced his drugs scandal past. (Getty Images)

Read more: Richard Bacon had to stop Amazon Echo from telling kids about his Blue Peter scandal

“But I’m very comfortable making jokes about it. I just don’t care. It doesn’t make any difference to anything.”

But the producer of new BBC game show This Is MY House confessed he is relieved social media was not around in 1998 - as he believes he would have been lambasted far more about his drugs scandal.

Bacon said: “My experience on Blue Peter would have been very different if social media had been around.

“The intensity of the storm is even more fierce and more frightening now.

From left; Stuart Miles, Katy Hill, Romana D'Annunzio and Richard Bacon, presenters of the BBC flagship children's programme Blue Peter, which returns for its fortieth series this month, at the launch of the BBC Children's TV Autumn schedules today (Wed). Photo by Ben Curtis/PA   (Photo by Ben Curtis - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Richard Bacon presented kids show 'Blue Peter' with Stuart Miles, Katy Hill and Romana D'Annunzio from 1997 to 1998. (Getty Images)

“If you’re caught up in a massive scandal there are probably tens of thousands of tweets about you.”

After being sacked from Children's BBC in 1998 and forced to hand over his Blue Peter badge Bacon went on to host Channel 4's The Big Breakfast in 2001, as well as Top Of The Pops and other reality shows. He also landed a late night hosting slot on Radio 5 Live.

In 2014 he moved to Los Angeles and moved into TV production. Following the success of his game show The Hustler, he has signed a lucrative contract with NBC Universal to create new shows.

This Is MY House, hosted by Stacey Dooley, has just launched on BBC One, in which a panel of celebrity judges - including comedian Bill Bailey actress Emily Atack, comedian Jamali Maddix and Loose Woman star Judi Love - must guess which of four contestants is the true owner of the home on show.

Former BBC TV Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon leaves Lewisham Hospital in south east London with his wife Rebecca. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Richard Bacon leaves hospital with wife Rebecca after battling pneumonia in 2018. (Getty Images)

Bacon is also working on a memory quiz show I Literally Just Told You for Channel 4 and NBC.

In 2018 Bacon was placed in a medically induced coma after he fell ill on-board a flight to the US and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Read more: Richard Bacon put in induced-coma and fighting for life following pneumonia

He said: "The doctor said to me after I recovered, ‘If you get a critical illness in the next five years you’re 20 per cent more likely to die.

“So don’t get a critical illness in the next five years’. A year and a half after that, the pandemic hits.

"LA has been a good place to be during the pandemic. I have already had my first vaccination.”

Watch: Richard Bacon discusses making a documentary funny