Pooch takes a piece out of Peter Purves

Emma Knights In all his years working with animals the BBC presenter of Crufts has never been bitten by any of the dogs he introduces. But in Norwich a little crossbreed terrier left former Blue Peter host Peter Purves nursing a bleeding hand.

Emma Knights

In all his years working with animals the BBC presenter of Crufts has never been bitten by any of the dogs he introduces.

But yesterday in Norwich a little crossbreed terrier left former Blue Peter host Peter Purves nursing a bleeding hand after it snapped at him during a competition.

Mr Purves received a deep puncture wound to his left hand and had to have hospital treatment - but he was determined that the show would go on and returned to his duties at Notcutts All About Dogs Day as soon as he left the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.


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The show at the garden centre in Daniels Road included regional heats for the crossbreed competition Scruffts and Mr Purves was judging one of the categories when he came face to face with the terrier.

He said: “We were judging the handsomest dog and the third one in the line, a crossbreed terrier, bit me.

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“I looked at its teeth and then in its ear and it brought its head around and bit me.

“It all happened very suddenly. It was a bit of a surprise. The dog deliberately bit me. I have no idea why. It gave no signal.

“There was blood dripping everywhere but it looked worse than it was.”

Mr Purves, who is no stranger to animals misbehaving after appearing in the famous Blue Peter episode with Lulu the mischievous elephant, had his hand dressed by Notcutts staff and then got straight back to judging the category.

Only after the handsomest dog contest had finished did he go to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he had his hand bandaged up and was given antibiotics and a tetanus jab.

Then it was back to show where he enjoyed meeting more dogs and carrying on with his judging and presenting duties.

Mr Purves, who has four of his own dogs, said despite what happened he still loves working with animals.

“These things happen. I have been involved with dogs for the past 30 years and there is no reason why I would stop now.

“I have been bitten before but never at a show. I have been bitten by one of my own dogs about five years ago. It bit my little finger and I lost my finger nail.”

The terrier was automatically disqualified after biting Mr Purves yesterday, and both the dog and its owner swiftly left after the incident, even taking the entry form with them so nobody could discover who was responsible for injuring the BBC legend.

Sarah Brighton, pets and aquatics manager for Notcutts Garden Centre and who organised the show, said: “We got Peter to casualty and he wanted to get back to the show as soon as he could.

“It is the third time Peter has been at the show and he is a very popular. It has been a hugely popular event which we hope will raise lots of money for guide dogs.”

Mr Purves first appeared on the small screen in Doctor Who before spending 10 years as presenter for Blue Peter, joined by his canine sidekick Petra.

He started presenting at Crufts Dog Show for the BBC in 1976 and has been principal presenter and commentator since 1989.

His many other shows include shows including Pets Go Public for Channel 5, the Discovery Channel's Breed All About It, All About Dogs and Superdogs.

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