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Shep (British dog) facts for kids

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Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed Border Collie
Sex Male
Born 1 May 1971
Died 17 January 1987 (aged 15 years 8 months)

Shep (1 May 1971 – 17 January 1987) was a famous Blue Peter dog, a border collie. Shep was bought by the BBC to replace Patch, one of Petra's puppies, born in 1965. He became the main Blue Peter dog when Petra died in 1977.

Shep is remembered by British TV viewers as inseparable from Blue Peter presenter John Noakes. Shep was excitable, and Noakes would often have to restrain him. Noakes' common refrain, "Get down, Shep!", became a catchphrase, and The Barron Knights released a song with that title. Shep left Blue Peter when Noakes departed in June 1978.

Shep also appeared with Noakes in six series of Go With Noakes, from 1976 to 1980. Noakes left Blue Peter on 26 June 1978. and the BBC offered to let him keep Shep, as the dog had lived with him since his TV debut. Despite Shep living with Noakes, the dog was always legally owned by the BBC and in rules that also applied to himself whilst under contract to the BBC, he could not use Shep for advertising or commercial purposes. Noakes was paid a stipend to cover all Shep's costs from the Blue Peter budget (as was Peter Purves for 'Petra' and later Simon Groom for 'Goldie') and as part of the agreement to keep Shep after leaving the show, Noakes agreed to continuing the no-advertising condition.

However, shortly after leaving the show, Noakes was furious to discover that what he called his "dog money" ceased to be paid and he confronted Biddy Baxter in a phone call. Baxter was adamant that since Shep had left Blue Peter, the programme should no longer be responsible for any of Shep's costs, although she did sympathise with some of his argument and felt that the BBC should pay Noakes for Shep to appear in Go With Noakes or for 'personal appearances' the dog made. Regardless, she later wrote that Noakes was too angry to discuss the matter and the two rarely spoke again. Soon after this angry confrontation, Noakes relinquished Shep, who went to live with Edith Menzies.

Noakes subsequently appeared in a series of television advertisements for Spillers "Choice Cuts" dog food, using a dog that was indistinguishable from Shep but named Skip. The clear subterfuge led to a deeper rift between him and Baxter. Noakes called her a "stupid woman" in a televised 2008 documentary celebrating the show's 50th anniversary. Shep died in 1987, and Noakes often became emotional when asked about him; he openly wept on an edition of The Weakest Link when hostess Anne Robinson asked him about the dog.

Preceded by
Shep Blue Peter Dog
Succeeded by
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