Former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes dies

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TV presenter John Noakes has died aged 83.

A family friend confirmed the news of the former Blue Peter host's death on Monday.

Noakes grew up in Halifax, and was educated at Rishworth School before training as an actor.

He joined Blue Peter in 1965, and went on to become its longest-serving presenter, occupying the role for over 12 years.

Noakes had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and in June 2015 went missing from his home in Majorca after going on a walk. He was later found in a storm drain that he had fallen into.

Family friend Wendy Downes said in a statement:

"John Noakes died peacefully on Sunday morning, May 28.

"He had endured and suffered from Alzheimer's over recent years and whilst 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 peoples memories and that is how his family would like him remembered."

Noakes landed the Blue Peter job after notching up small TV parts in series like Redcap and Mogul, when editor Biddy Baxter decided to have a third presenter on the show to join Christopher Trace and Valerie Singleton.

His feats while included ascending Nelson's Column without a safety harness using just a rickety wooden ladder, a sound problem meant he had to repeat the climb, a bruising encounter with a bobsleigh and a record-breaking skydive.

As well as Blue Peter, he made 1970s travelogue spin-off Go With Noakes, where he travelled around the UK with Shep alongside him.