Yvette Fielding has claimed she was bullied by Blue Peter during her ‘traumatic’ first year and forced to live with golden retriever Bonnie.
The 55-year-old presenter, who became the show’s youngest presenter when she joined the show in 1987 aged 18, said she was left ‘a shaking, jibbering wreck’ after being ‘scolded’ by her former boss Biddy Baxter.
Yvette claimed that when she got the job, she had to leave her parents’ house and flew to Russia for six weeks before being told by the producers that she had to live with and care for Bonnie.
The television personality said the responsibility of caring for Bonnie, a puppy from Blue Peter dog Goldie’s second litter, was terrifying as she was “the most famous dog in the country”.
‘I felt very lonely because I was the youngest. I was considered a child – and a pain in the heart of a child,” Yvette said on the Celebrity Catch-Up: Life After That Thing I Did podcast.
‘Nightmare’: Yvette Fielding has claimed she was bullied by Blue Peter and forced to live with golden retriever Bonnie during her ‘traumatic’ first year
Tough: Yvette claimed that after she was offered the job, she had to move out of her parents’ house and was told by the producers to live with Bonnie (pictured with Mark Curry and Caron Keating in 1988)
‘I didn’t like the first year. I found it very traumatic. It got to the point where I just had enough. Since I was forced to live with the dog, I had no say in the matter: “You’re going to move out of your apartment and you’re going to live in this house with the dog.”
‘Given this dog to take care of at 18 years old, and not just any dog – the most famous dog in the country.
‘Poor Bonnie longed for her owner and scratched at the door every night. It was too disturbing.
“Imagine how many hearts would be broken if something happened to her. It would have been national mourning.”
Bonnie first appeared on the show when she was six weeks old and later took over for her mother when she retired in the summer of 1986.
Yvette was desperate to impress Biddy, who edited the show for 25 years.
“The problem was that I wanted so badly to please my boss, but my boss just seemed—I don’t know why—unbelievably cruel,” she said.
‘I thought I would be fine, but then I was told I was useless. Absolutely useless, again and again and again.’
‘I was a shaking, jibbering wreck’: Yvette claims she was ‘scolded’ by her former boss Biddy Baxter, who edited the show for 25 years (Biddy photo in 2013)
Learning curve: Most Haunted presenter said her experience with Biddy shaped her career and has ‘no bitterness’ towards her
Daunting: The television personality said the responsibility of caring for Bonnie, one of Blue Peter dog Goldie’s second litters, was terrifying (pictured together in 1987)
‘I wanted her to be so proud of me, but it was still like being spanked by a parent. Every time I did what I thought was right, she would come back and say something awful, or berate me in front of other people. It was absolutely soul-destroying.”
Yvette added: ‘You have to be confident in front of eight million people twice a week, but my confidence was at an all-time low. I was a shaking, babbling wreck.”
The Most Haunted presenter said her experience with Biddy shaped her career and she has ‘no bitterness’ towards her.
She said: ‘The number of terrible people in the television industry… I always thank Biddy because I don’t think if it had been for her there is no way I would have stood up and told them where to go and continued with it. .
‘She did. She gave me the balls to do that. And I thank her for that. There is no bitterness whatsoever.
‘But when people say to me, “Oh, wasn’t it great? Didn’t you have a fantastic time?” I think, no, not the first year. It was horrible. It was like a nightmare.’
The BBC was contacted for comment.
Yvette left after five years in 1992 and went on to present the ITV Saturday show What’s Up Doc? followed by Disney Adventures in 1995.
Together with her husband Karl Beattie she now presents the series Most Haunted.