Blue Peter on the BBC
Information on the UK’s longest-running kid’s show, Blue Peter
In October 2008, Blue Peter celebrated its 50th birthday. On this page, we look back at the show, and review a book celebrating the life of Blue Peter.
In 1958, the average house cost less than £2,500 and petrol was 24p a gallon. There were just two channels of black-and-white telly… and a new TV show appeared to entertain the nation’s kids… Blue Peter.
Named after the flag that’s lowered after a ship sets sail on a new voyage, the show has enjoyed 50 years as the flagship children’s TV programme, and just about everyone has some memory of Blue Peter in their formative years.
What do you remember about Blue Peter?
- The pets: The vanishing cats? Good old faithful Shep or Petra? Shoving a tortoise into a shoebox each year?
- Perhaps you had fun building a nuclear power station out of a cornflake box, a toilet roll and some sticky-backed plastic?
- Maybe you remember the presenters? John Noakes, Valerie Singleton, Leslie Judd, Peter Purves? Or maybe Caron Keating (sigh), Liz Barker or Gethin Jones?
- The Blue Peter Garden? Incontinent elephants? Nelson’s Column escapades?
- Or the more recent Blue Peter scandals… such as the appearance of prized Blue Peter Badges cropping up on eBay
Whatever your memory – chances are, you’ll find something of interest in this book…
Blue Peter 50th Anniversary – Reviewed
Released to commemorate the show’s launch on 16th October 1958, this book charts the history of the show. It’s written by Richard Mason, a series producer who was also responsible for editing over 500 editions of Blue Peter’s editors.
The book includes a foreword from Biddy Baxter, a name synonymous with the series over the years.
The book’s front cover
The book tells the story of the UK’s longest-running children’s programme and has a number of sections:
- A through-the-years look at the history and the high points of the show
- Presenters past and present, including signed presenter cards
- “Fur and Feathers” – the show’s pets
- “We never ask for money” about the show’s appeals (and what they did with the milk bottle tops)
- The Blue Peter badges (did you know there was a gold, orange and green badge, as well as the classic blue-on-white?)
- Blue Peter Flies the World
Pages 178 to 185 feature some of the famous faces that have appeared on the show – Goodies, Wombles, Daleks, plus the likes of Elton and Sir Cliff. Elsewhere in the book – Morph getting his Blue Peter badge, Percy Thrower in the Garden, the Blue Peter Train, plus the story of the show’s nautical theme tune “Barnacle Bill”.
In hardback and with 192 glossy colour pages, this is a surprisingly good read, with a number of insights into what went on behind the cameras, and contains hundreds of on and off screen photos of Blue Peter life.
You’re sure to have more than a few of your own Blue Peter memories, and we’re sure you’ll be able to find them in this superb celebration of the Beeb’s finest kid’s TV show.
A perfect Christmas gift?
Recommended retail price is £14.99, but we’ve found it much cheaper at:
Publisher: Hamlyn 2008 (division of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd)
Author: Richard Marson
PODCAST FEATURE: We featured Blue Peter 50th Anniversary in Show 32 of our radio show, FrequencyCast.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.
Listen to Show 32 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes