Richard Bacon says he ‘doesn’t mind’ talking about his Blue Peter cocaine scandal

Richard Bacon has said that he ‘doesn’t mind’ talking about his Blue Peter cocaine scandal and that he is now ‘comfortable making jokes about it’.  

The presenter, 45, reflected on his past behaviour which saw him sacked from the programme in 1998 after admitting he took drugs in a London nightclub.

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

Moved on: Richard Bacon has said that he 'doesn't mind' talking about his Blue Peter cocaine scandal and that he is now 'comfortable making jokes about it'

Moved on: Richard Bacon has said that he 'doesn't mind' talking about his Blue Peter cocaine scandal and that he is now 'comfortable making jokes about it'

Moved on: Richard Bacon has said that he ‘doesn’t mind’ talking about his Blue Peter cocaine scandal and that he is now ‘comfortable making jokes about it’

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

However he added that his experience on the show would have been very different if social media had been around at the time. 

He explained: ‘The intensity of the storm is even more fierce and more frightening now.

Scandal: The presenter, 45, reflected on his past behaviour which saw him sacked from the programme in 1998 after admitting he took drugs in a London nightclub

Scandal: The presenter, 45, reflected on his past behaviour which saw him sacked from the programme in 1998 after admitting he took drugs in a London nightclub

Scandal: The presenter, 45, reflected on his past behaviour which saw him sacked from the programme in 1998 after admitting he took drugs in a London nightclub

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

Richard was just 18 months into his dream job at Blue Peter when he was fired at the age of 22 after admitting he took cocaine in a London nightclub. 

At the time the BBC issued a statement from Lorraine Heggessey, head of children’s programmes, which said: ‘It is sad that such a talented presenter as Richard Bacon has not only let himself and his colleagues down but, most important of all, he has let down the millions of children who watch Blue Peter.’   

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

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

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

A producer told Bacon he would never work in television again.

However more than two decades on, Richard’s career has seen him present multiple television programmes for the Corporation, as well as for Channel 4 and ITV. 

During his candid interview with The Sun Richard also spoke about feeling anxious during the coronavirus pandemic as in 2018 he had a near-fatal lung infection. 

After falling ill on a flight from America the star was put into an induced coma after he failed to respond to treatment for pneumonia.

All in the past: Last month Richard shut down rumours he snorted cocaine off the two Blue Peter tortoises, 23 years after being fired from the childrens' TV show

All in the past: Last month Richard shut down rumours he snorted cocaine off the two Blue Peter tortoises, 23 years after being fired from the childrens' TV show

All in the past: Last month Richard shut down rumours he snorted cocaine off the two Blue Peter tortoises, 23 years after being fired from the childrens’ TV show

Richard told how after he recovered the doctor told him if he ever got a critical illness over the next five years then he would be ’20 per cent more likely to die’. 

He added that living in LA has been a good place to be during the pandemic and that he has already had his first coronavirus vaccination.  

Last month Richard shut down rumours he snorted cocaine off the two Blue Peter tortoises, 23 years after being fired from the childrens’ TV show. 

During an appearance on Dave show Unforgivable, the topic of why he left the series came up with host Mel Giedroyc probing about the two animals called Fred and Frieda.   

She asked: ‘Do you remember Fred and Frieda the tortoises? Big white lines.’

Show pets: During an appearance on Dave show Unforgivable, the topic of why he left the series came up with host Mel Giedroyc probing about the two animals called Fred and Frieda

Show pets: During an appearance on Dave show Unforgivable, the topic of why he left the series came up with host Mel Giedroyc probing about the two animals called Fred and Frieda

Show pets: During an appearance on Dave show Unforgivable, the topic of why he left the series came up with host Mel Giedroyc probing about the two animals called Fred and Frieda

Guest Judi Love, who hadn’t heard of Richard’s past on Blue Peter, misunderstood what Mel was getting at as she sounded surprised and asked: ‘He gave them coke?’

Quick to put a stop to any more rumours, Richard told her: ‘I didn’t give any tortoises coke. So I got fired for taking drugs.’ 

Judi had kicked off the conversation when she innocently asked ‘why did you leave, what happened?’ as the guests, which also included comedian Jimmy Carr, chatted about Richard’s former life as a Blue Peter presenter.  

After the panel all had a good laugh about her being oblivious to the infamous reason, Richard told her that he got ‘fired for punctuality’, adding: ‘Because if you take a lot of coke you’re always late.’

Lightheartedly reflecting on the event 23 years ago some more, Richard teased: ‘They would shout “that’s a wrap” and I would shout “where?”.’  

Moving on: Despite leaving Blue Peter in scandal, Richard returned for the show's 60th anniversary episodes on 2018 (pictured far right with Anthea Turner, John Leslie, Diane-Louise Jordan, Tim Vincent and Katy Hill)

Moving on: Despite leaving Blue Peter in scandal, Richard returned for the show's 60th anniversary episodes on 2018 (pictured far right with Anthea Turner, John Leslie, Diane-Louise Jordan, Tim Vincent and Katy Hill)

Moving on: Despite leaving Blue Peter in scandal, Richard returned for the show’s 60th anniversary episodes on 2018 (pictured far right with Anthea Turner, John Leslie, Diane-Louise Jordan, Tim Vincent and Katy Hill)

Despite the past scandal, Richard made a return to Blue Peter in October 2018 for the show’s 60th anniversary show, writing: ‘In a day they (and I) said would never come, I’ll be back on Blue Peter.

The star then made light of his shock sacking in a further social media message, writing: ‘I can never hold down a job for long. 

‘I’ve hosted a lot of shows in a lot of places. And yet the one I have the most affection for is the one I got fired from. Happy Birthday Blue Peter. I love you.’ 

Richard also revealed last June that he was given a nasty surprise when his son Arthur, eight, and daughter Ivy, six, asked an Alexa who their father was.  

Back then: Richard was just 18 months into his dream job at Blue Peter when he was fired at the age of 22 after admitting he took cocaine in a London nightclub (pictured in 1997)

Back then: Richard was just 18 months into his dream job at Blue Peter when he was fired at the age of 22 after admitting he took cocaine in a London nightclub (pictured in 1997)

Back then: Richard was just 18 months into his dream job at Blue Peter when he was fired at the age of 22 after admitting he took cocaine in a London nightclub (pictured in 1997)

Speaking on Andy Coulson’s Crisis What Crisis? podcast the TV presenter admitted he had to jump in and tell the electronic device to ‘stop’ when his children, who he shares with wife Rebecca McFarlane, curiously asked about him. 

He explained: ‘I am sitting in a room in my house in Los Angeles and there is one of those Amazon Alexas next to me and my kids said, ‘Oh Alexa, who is Richard Bacon?’

‘And it comes up straight away, ‘Richard Bacon is an English television presenter. He was fired from Blue Peter in 1998 for taking…’

‘I jumped in and said, ‘Alexa stop. Stop’. They said, ‘What are you saying stop for? Why did you get fired?’. And then they asked again.’

Richard then remarked at his surprise that his drug scandal was still ‘at the surface’ on the internet even two decades had passed.

Incident: Richard also revealed last June that he was given a nasty surprise when his son Arthur, eight, and daughter Ivy, six, asked an Alexa who their father was (pictured with wife Rebecca)

Incident: Richard also revealed last June that he was given a nasty surprise when his son Arthur, eight, and daughter Ivy, six, asked an Alexa who their father was (pictured with wife Rebecca)

Incident: Richard also revealed last June that he was given a nasty surprise when his son Arthur, eight, and daughter Ivy, six, asked an Alexa who their father was (pictured with wife Rebecca)

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