London - (Shaggy Dog Mess): The former editor of BBC children's TV program Blue Peter has written a book that smashes the mythology of the show's canine star Petra and claims the Alsatian was the true inspiration behind the equine head scene in Oscar smash-hit movie The Godfather.
Biddy Baxter's book Dear Blue Peter relates how the original pup Petra died two days after being exposed to the show's presenters Christropher Trace and Valerie Singleton.
"Canine sudden inexplicable dropping dead syndrome, I think," Baxter said from her home in Barking today.
Her memoir narrates how the Xmas 1962 show spawned the Godfather horse scene when Beeb Kids TV chief Owen Reed "appeared on the screen with a large cardboard box covered with Christmas paper and ribbons".
He then presented it to Trace and Simpleton who "cut the ribbon and opened the box".
Fortunately the transmission was not live.
Technicians rushed to the podium as the startled presenters began screaming and puking.
Inside the cardboard box was the corpse of 'Petra' who had suffocated after being sellotaped inside the container and dumped in the Beeb props department for two whole days.
A doppelganger stand-in was quickly inserted into the show and then became the bitch Petra, although in reality he was known as Bruno, a castrated lookalike.
Biddy Baxter is 99.