Alexa is pretty useful for finding out the weather forecast or proving you’re right in a trivia debate – but if you’re a celebrity, it can be a dangerous game.
Richard Bacon has revealed that he had to act fast to stop the device telling his children that he was fired from Blue Peter for taking cocaine.
The 44-year-old lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rebecca and their children Arthur, eight, and Ivy, six, and the kids decided to ask trusty Alexa ‘who is Richard Bacon?’
The TV star told The Sun: ‘It comes up straight away, “Richard Bacon is an English television presenter. He was fired from Blue Peter in 1998 for taking…”.’
Bacon jumped in to tell the Amazon device to stop, but kids being kids, Arthur and Ivy were not deterred.
He explained: ‘They said, “What are you saying stop for? Why did you get fired?”. And then they asked again.
‘And so it is right there at the surface even though it was 21 years ago.’
Richard joined the team at Blue Peter in 1997, hosting alongside Konnie Huq, Katy Hill, Romana D’Annunzio and Stuart Miles.
However, in October 1998, after 18 months on the show, the then 22-year-old became the first Blue Peter presenter to have their contract terminated mid-series, after the News Of The World reported that Bacon had been taking cocaine in a London nightclub.
The major scandal saw the then Head of BBC children’s programmes Lorraine Heggessey going on air to explain Bacon’s exit to CBBC viewers, with a statement reading: ‘It is sad that such a talented presenter as Richard Bacon has not only let himself and his colleagues down but, most important of all, he has let down the millions of children who watch Blue Peter.’
And the star was even forced to hand over his Blue Peter badge.
Despite the furore, Bacon’s TV career weathered the storm, and he went on to work on shows like The Big Breakfast and This Morning, and worked with the BBC again on Top Of The Pops and BBC Radio 5 Live.
This year it was claimed that he is set to present a new reality game show called This Is My House for the broadcaster.
He even returned to Blue Peter for its 60th anniversary celebrations in 2018, joking on social media: ‘I can never hold down a job for long.
‘I’ve hosted a lot of shows in a lot of places. And yet the one I have the most affection for is the one I got fired from. Happy Birthday Blue Peter. I love you.’
Bacon now works behind the scenes in television in the States, with ABC commissioning his game show The Hustler last year, and he landed a deal with NBC off the back of the series.
And while he isn’t keen on his kids finding out about why he was fired from Blue Peter, Richard said that he always tells his bosses in the US about the drug scandal before they find out first.
He said: ‘Anyone who has a very big dominant scandal in their life it will always be there in some form so it’s partly about you owning it by making a joke about it.’
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