A rather more relaxed attitude back then

He also complained that he had not been insured for the dangerous stunts he performed over the years. Baxter denied this, saying: “They were insured. That is a myth. Also, we gave them the absolute top whack we could.” That said, in the early days of health and safety a corporate risk assessment for the BBC was understood to read simply: “John may die.”

8 thoughts on “A rather more relaxed attitude back then”

  1. Check out the film clip of him climbing the overhang on Nelson’s Column. It would have today’s health and safety men shitting bricks.

  2. Bloke in Costa Rica

    That Nelson’s Column stunt still makes me cringe 40 years later. I could hardly bear to watch it at the time. It was bloody silly even for the era.

  3. I will say that I could not have climbed up old Nelson without a harness and rope, overhang or not.

    Balls of steel.

  4. Watched that clip yesterday, seem to remember that it scared me rigid watching it as a kid.

  5. Christ! Just watched that Nelson’s column thing, never heard of it before. Balls of steel!

  6. When he first joined Blue Peter, he always seemed to be in the company of steeplejacks or paras. He had been up several chimneys before mounting Nelson’s column

  7. “The top whack we could” means WHAT? Insuring him for £10m would in theory have cost ten times as much as insuring him for £1m but in reality for rather less than ten times because the extra safety precautions demanded by the insurers would have reduced the risk. The BBC probably took out insurance to cover a payment to hush complaints from his family if they screwed up so badly that he died or was crippled *but* John Noakes willingly took risks with his life and health to entertain kids – he deserves credit and admiration, so may he and Shep rest in peace.

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