WHY BLUE PE­TER IS STILL LOVED AF­TER 60 YEARS

To mark Blue Pe­ter turn­ing 60 this month, GE­OR­GIA HUMPHREYS chats to cur­rent hosts Radzi Chinyan­ganya and Lind­sey Rus­sell

Nottingham Post - - SCREEN SHOTS -

WHEN Blue Pe­ter first aired for 15 min­utes in 1958, no one could have pre­dicted it would still be go­ing 60 years later.

But it is, mak­ing it the world’s long­est run­ning chil­dren’s show.

To cel­e­brate, there will be a one-hour spe­cial on CBBC on Oc­to­ber 16.

Star­ring some of our favourite Blue Pe­ter pre­sen­ters, it will also fea­ture mu­sic from the likes of The Vamps and So­phie El­lis­bex­tor – all ac­com­pa­nied by the BBC Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra – while the Diamond Time Cap­sule will be sealed in the Na­tional Ar­chives.

Here’s a look at how Blue Pe­ter has tran­scended the decades, with the help of cur­rent pre­sent­ing duo Radzi Chinyan­ganya and Lind­sey Rus­sell.

THE FA­MOUS FACES

THERE have been 37 Blue Pe­ter pre­sen­ters over the years, with the late John Noakes, who pre­sented the series for 12 and a half years, the long­est serv­ing. In the an­niver­sary spe­cial, Va­lerie Sin­gle­ton, Pe­ter Purves, Anthea Turner, Tim Vin­cent and long­est-serv­ing fe­male pre­sen­ter Kon­nie Huq will re­turn. “To have all these peo­ple in a room is not some­thing that’s ever hap­pened be­fore or might never hap­pen again,” says Bel­gium-born Lind­sey, 27, who was raised in Ox­ford and joined the show af­ter win­ning a com­pe­ti­tion in 2013. “It re­ally is truly spe­cial, and also it’s re­ally great to all be to­gether and to re­mem­ber John, who we sadly lost last year.”

THE SOUGHT-AF­TER BADGES

badge – blue, sil­ver, green, sport, pur­ple, or­ange, gold and diamond.

In case you’re not in the know, view­ers earn a blue badge by send­ing in an in­ter­est­ing let­ter, poem, pic­ture or story – Blue Pe­ter reads and re­sponds to ev­ery let­ter it re­ceives or they have to ap­pear on the pro­gramme.

It’s es­ti­mated the show has awarded more than one mil­lion badges in 55 years.

“Or au­di­ence to­day is the best au­di­ence Blue Pe­ter has ever had,” Lind­sey says. “They’re so proac­tive, they’re all earn­ing their diamond badges, which are around just for the 60th.”

IT’S IN­SPIR­ING FOR KIDS

THE Blue Pe­ter Ap­peal started in 1962, when view­ers were asked to col­lect postage stamps to raise money for homes for home­less peo­ple.

It’s es­ti­mated that, across the 49 ap­peals since, chil­dren have raised the equiv­a­lent of more than £100m in to­day’s money.

It just shows they love to feel part of some­thing.

When Wolver­hamp­ton­born Radzi, who also be­gan pre­sent­ing the show in 2013, is ap­proached by fans, he re­alises the im­pact he is hav­ing with his job.

Asked about be­ing a role model, the 31-year-old says: “There’s an obli­ga­tion I feel I have to any child that meets me or sees me on the TV screen to con­duct my­self in a cer­tain way and hope­fully the way that I’d do that would be some­thing that bears fruit.”

IT’S AL­WAYS FILMED LIVE

FILM­ING Blue Pe­ter is no mean feat, es­pe­cially since there’s no an au­tocue.

“I re­mem­ber the boss said to me, the idea for that is so ev­ery­thing you’re say­ing sounds gen­uine and noth­ing sounds too planned or too forced. It’s meant to sound like we are talk­ing to the kids in their liv­ing room,” Lind­sey says.

The pair do have nerves ahead of the live birth­day though. “The pres­sure is def­i­nitely on,” ad­mits Lind­sey. “From a pre­sent­ing point of view – and num­ber 36 point of view – there’s all the pre­sen­ters be­fore me watch­ing.”

THERE are eight types of

All pre­sen­ters and cor­rect, L-R: Radzi Chinyan­ganya, He­len Skel­ton, Kon­nie Huq, Pe­ter Dun­can, Leila Wil­liams, Va­lerie Sin­gle­ton, Pe­ter Purves, Janet El­lis, Lind­sey Rus­sell and Anthea Turner

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.