Spectacular final exit as John Noakes’ ashes are sent skyward at his old Yorkshire school

John Noakes and his dog, Shep.
John Noakes and his dog, Shep.
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For a man famous to two generations of children for his outlandish, daredevil stunts, it was a fitting send-off.

John Noakes, the former Blue Peter presenter who died in May, was returned to his old school in Yorkshire as his family and friends launched his ashes into the sky.

With the pupils away for half-term, a party of 25 stepped onto the playing field at Rishworth School near Halifax for a ceremony that saw his remains tied to a rocket powered by Roman candles.

It was the star’s final wish that half his ashes were scattered on the playing field and the other half in Majorca, where he spent his later years.

His widow, Vicky, and their son, Mark, were among those looking on, said Wendy Astin, a family friend.

Mr Noakes, who was 83 and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, had excelled in cross country running and gymnastics at Rishworth.

He was Blue Peter’s longest-serving presenter, appearing for 12 years before fronting his own children’s series, Go With Noakes.

Mrs Astin said: “The ceremony was lovely - like a daytime firework display.

“Afterwards we served his favourite meal - potted meat sandwiches, sausage rolls, fruit cake and red wine.”