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One gay Blue Peter host, some lippy and a frock – all you need to make your own Fringe show

HERE'S one that has definitely been made for later.

For five years Stuart Miles was a wholesome, badge-wearing mainstay of the world's longest running children's programme.

But now he is preparing to don a dress and wig to launch a one–"woman" stage show aimed right at the bows of the national institution.

The openly gay star is hoping that his strictly adults-only drag act at this summer's Edinburgh Fringe will destroy his goodie-goodie image once and for all.

The show's post-watershed, sexually-explicit humour is enough to force Biddy Baxter, Blue Peter's famously prim former editor, to cover her ears with sticky-back plastic.

But the 38-year-old revealed he has no qualms about sending up the show which brought him to national attention.

It is the latest in a long-line of decidedly adult controversies involving presenters and former presenters of one of TV's most family-friendly shows.

The Adventures Of Pink Peter will see Miles appearing as Valerie Singleton's embittered sister and launching a mock charity appeal.

The Bournemouth University graduate first appeared on the Blue Peter couch in 1994 and worked alongside Konnie Huq and Scot Romana D'Annunzio as well as Richard Bacon – who was famously sacked for snorting cocaine.

Miles said: "I have been away from children's TV for nearly 10 years now and it is time to move on.

"Some people may be shocked by some of the material in the show, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. If they have a perception of me as a wholesome kids' TV presenter, they will certainly leave the show with a different perception of me. What I'm doing now is far more like the real me than the Stuart Miles they saw on Blue Peter."

The poster for Miles' show features a pink boat, similar to the galleon in the famous Tony Hart-created Blue Peter logo.

"There will be references to Blue Peter throughout the show, but it will be fairly subtle. There will be a charity appeal and I will be making something."

The on-screen daredevil, who flew with the RAF, will portray Vera Singleton as well as fashion victim Stella Ratner and cosmetic surgeon Dr Noreen McAvity.

He said: "When it comes to Blue Peter there is only one icon in my opinion and that is Valerie Singleton.

"Sadly I couldn't bring her to Edinburgh, and thought the next best thing would be to get hold of her estranged sister.

"It turns out that Vera thinks she would have been a better Blue Peter presenter and is fairly annoyed about the whole thing."

Miles is sure the show's matriarch, who appeared between 1962 and 1973, will laugh off the unorthodox tribute.

"I have met Valerie a couple of times and she has a great sense of humour. My plan is to invite her to come along and see the sister that she never knew she had. I'm sure she'll think it is funny."

Miles admits he is really enjoying pushing the boundaries in his new show.

"It is so much fun for me because I come from a background in children's TV where you have to mind every word that you say."

The show will also feature dressing room cameras which will allow the audience to see Miles changing into his various characters.

Since leaving Blue Peter he has reported on This Morning and presented ITV's Dial-a-Date as well as anchoring numerous satellite TV shows.

The former Saturday Disney host currently presents a show on Gaydar Radio and has ruled out returning to his roots.

"I'd never go back to kids' TV now. I have changed and the stuff I do now is definitely not suitable for children.

"I loved being on Blue Peter but it was non-stop and became your life. When I left I realised that I could do what I wanted and nobody would criticise me for being a bad role-model or whatever. It was a liberation."

The broadcaster was less than happy about how his friend and co-presenter Bacon was treated, following his drug-related sacking in 1998.

"When you join Blue Peter no one warns you that you are expected to behave like a member of the Royal Family."

A BBC spokeswoman reserved judgment on the risqu venture and said: "Stuart's show sounds intriguing".

Valerie Singleton could not be contacted for comment.

The Adventures Of Pink Peter will be at the Sweet Teviot venue at Edinburgh University from August 2-24.

Here's a scandal we made earlier

Last year the good ship Blue Peter sailed into choppy waters after the BBC admitted that the results of a competition were faked.

Teatime viewers were invited to call a premium rate line to win a toy, but "technical failures" meant that a caller was not selected and they were forced to apologise.

But controversy is nothing new to the show, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year. Anita West was ousted from the couch after just 16 editions in 1962 because of her imminent divorce to musician Ray Ellington.

Similarly, in 1987, unmarried Janet Ellis left the show shortly after announcing she was pregnant live on air. In 1968 the first Blue Peter presenter, Christopher Trace, was forced to resign after he had an affair with a 19-year-old during a BBC trip to Norway.

In 1980 it emerged that marathon-running action man Peter Duncan, now the UK's Chief Scout, had previously appeared in a porn film, and five years later presenter Michael Sundin was pictured stripping in a gay nightclub.

But the show's most infamous scandal came in 1998, when it emerged that presenter Richard Bacon had topped off a 12-hour drinking session by snorting cocaine.

The revelation came just before Bacon and his co-presenters were to be awarded with a prize for "an outstanding contribution to children's television" – Bacon never again appeared on the show.

 
 
 

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