Blue Peter's John Noakes (83) dies after years of Alzheimer's
Former Blue Peter host John Noakes, famous for being the TV show's longest-serving presenter, has died aged 83.
Noakes, who worked on the BBC children's show for 12-and-a-half years in the 1960s and 70s, had been suffering from Alzheimer's and his release from the illness "must be counted as a blessing", said a family friend.
Tributes poured in for the star, hailed as the "best" Blue Peter presenter, from former hosts Peter Purves, Janet Ellis, Konnie Huq and Anthea Turner.
Family friend Wendy Downes said he died peacefully on Sunday morning.
"He had endured and suffered from Alzheimer's over recent years," she said.
"While he will be greatly missed by his wife, family and many friends, his release from continuing ill health must be counted as a blessing.
"His many escapades with his faithful companion Shep during his time with Blue Peter will live on in many people's memories, and that is how his family would like him remembered."