Peter Purves was born in New Longton, Lancashire on 10 February 1939. After leaving school he took a four-year teacher-training course. In 1961, after only one year as a teacher, he turned to acting, initially with the Barrow-in-Furness Repertory Company and later with the Wimbleton Theatre Company. His first TV role was in Z Cars (1962) and more TV work followed, including a play called Armchair Theatre: The Girl in the Picture (1964) and an episode of The Villains (1964). In 1965 he auditioned for the part of a Menoptra in the Doctor Who story “The Web Planet”, but was turned down. However, the director, Richard Martin, later cast him as Morton Dill in Doctor Who: Flight Through Eternity (1965), and this led to him playing regular character Steven Taylor. After Doctor Who (1963), Purves became a regular presenter on the children’s magazine programme Blue Peter (1958). More presenting work followed, primarily on sports-based programmes, and it is for this that he is now best known. He has also been managing director of a video production company.