Richard Bacon denies snorting cocaine off a Blue Peter tortoise

Richard Bacon has poked fun at his notorious Blue Peter sacking in 1998 when he admitted to taking cocaine during a 12 hour drinking binge.

A week after Blue Peter’s wholesome 40th anniversary celebrations, the then kids’ TV presenter was immediately dropped from Blue Peter before going on to host Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast.

More than 20 years later, Richard joins Jimmy Carr and Judi Love on tonight’s episode of Unforgivable, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Lou Sanders.

And while the scandal was front page news in 1998, Judi was none the wiser as Richard recalled the incident.

‘I got fired for punctuality because if you take a lot of coke you’re always late,’ he joked before Mel recalled a famous urban legend which did the rounds on Twitter a few years ago, from someone who claimed Richard snorted the A-class drug off one of the Blue Peter tortoises.

‘Do you remember Fred and Frieda the tortoises? Big white lines,’ teased Mel.

Visibly taken aback, Judi gasped before Richard shut down all speculation that he used actual tortoises as a prop to snort coke from.

‘I didn’t give any tortoises coke,’ he stressed. ‘So I got fired for taking drugs.’

At the time of Richard’s highly publicised sacking, head of the BBC Children’s Programming, Lorraine Heggessy 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.’

However, 20 years later, Richard attended Blue Peter’s 60th anniversary celebrations where he was finally awarded a Blue Peter badge and welcomed ‘back to the fold’ by fellow Blue Peter alumnus, Peter Purves.

Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable airs tonight at 10pm on Dave.

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