Richard Bacon denies rumours he snorted cocaine off the Blue Peter tortoise

Richard Bacon shut down rumours he was fired from Blue Peter for snorting cocaine off of the show's tortoise.

The television presenter, 45, was fired from the BBC children's television programme 19 months into his contract after reports emerged he had taken drugs.

During a television appearance on Mel Giedroyc's Dave comedy show Unforgivable alongside Jimmy Carr, Judi Love and Lou Sanders, Bacon put to bed the urban legend that he once snorted cocaine off of the reptile.

Host Mel teased him saying: "Do you remember Fred and Frieda the tortoises? Big white line", as she mimed taking lines of cocaine on the tortoise's shell.

Guest Judi Love asked: "He gave them coke?"

Richard stressed: "I didn't give any tortoises coke. So I got fired for taking drugs."

Bacon joked about his infamous career moment which saw him fired from Blue Peter in 1998.

Speaking about his dismissal, which was a huge scandal in its day, Richard joked: "They would shout 'that's a wrap' and I would shout 'where?'"

The star added: "I got fired for punctuality because if you take a lot of coke you're always late."

Richard's firing was a huge story at the time, with the head of BBC Children's Programming Lorraine Heggessy making a TV appearance to address the sacking.

She said Bacon had "let down the millions of children who watch Blue Peter".

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However, he returned to the kid's show in 2018 in a special episode to celebrate Blue Peter's 60th birthday.

He said: "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."

Bacon went on to host Channel 4's The Big Breakfast and BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge.

The media personality, who later moved to live in America, has also filled in for Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable is tonight at 10pm on Dave

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