Every so often we have an excuse for a Blue Peter get together – the last was the programme’s 50th Birthday. This time it was the retirement of one of its most adored Directors Alex Leger. Alex was the director we feared and loved in the same sentence; he would push you to your limits of endurance and in my case made me face my fear of water by taking me to Crystal Palace to shoot a film about high board diving. Never have my knees knocked so much. Ex Olympian Chris Snowed was my trainer. After fessing up to him my fear and that swimming a length badly was all I could endure he set about teaching me not to improve my swimming but dive. I went from bunny hops on the side of the pool to hurling myself of the 10 meter board. Once I’d achieved this he then said now swim and it was if I had developed flippers. By conquering my fear of emersion the swimming was easy. Since that euphoric day in 1992 I have taught so many petrified swimmers to swim by actually teaching them to dive.
Alex and I made many films together he was an ex-military man so the happy relationship between BP and the forces was cultivated. Para shoots, Ejector seats, Helicopters, Jets -Between us we did the lot. The only one I missed out on was to fly with the Red Arrows; it was because I couldn’t put on the extra half stone that was needed for the ejector seat regulations. Funny how easy I would find that now! This picture I will cherish, a collection of presenters surrounding Alex all with great memories of amazing films that probably now would never pass ‘Health and Safety’