Pupils star in Blue Peter’s 60th party

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @ByrneChristy

BIRK­DALE Pri­mary School chil­dren achieved na­tional fame last week when they hit TV screens as part of Blue Peter’s 60th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

The school has en­joyed sev­eral ap­pear­ances on the BBC show in re­cent years, and was re­warded for its loyal sup­port when it re­ceived a lucky phone call two weeks be­fore the show.

Head­teacher Nick Sheeran said: “We got a call a cou­ple of weeks ago ask­ing, be­cause we’re such big Blue Peter fans, whether we’d be in­ter­ested in be­ing in the au­di­ence.

“We turned up and we had an ab­so­lutely crack­ing time.”

Star-struck pupils echoed his sen­ti­ments.

Holly Hunt, a year 6 pupil, said: “I have worked very hard to get six Blue Peter badges, I have just two more to earn. The visit was fan­tas­tic and a dream come true.”

Emilia Balda, an­other year 6 pupil, said: “I ab­so­lutely loved it when we went to Blue Peter’s 60th birth­day. I es­pe­cially loved see­ing the amaz­ing stu­dio.”

Molly Vin­cent, of year 5, said: “I es­pe­cially loved the part when all the singers and pre­sen­ters came past us to give us a high five.”

Molly’s year 5 class­mate Aaliyah Bolton, added: “One of my favourite things was when we all stood in the cor­ri­dor and I spoke to The Vamps.”

Mr Sheeran said the trip was just re­ward for the pupils’ ex­cel­lent be­hav­iour.

He said: “Part of it, I think is you’ve got to be a good source of chil­dren, and our chil­dren are the per­fect bal­ance of not be­ing quiet and re­served but equally not badly be­haved.

“We’ve got a good bal­ance of the chil­dren be­ing en­thu­si­as­tic and happy and ea­ger to take part, but not caus­ing any prob­lems so it’s a good bal­ance.

“Hope­fully we’ve got a rep­u­ta­tion for that and they’ve said that hope- fully we’ll be in­vited back but good­ness knows what that’ll be for.”

The day was es­pe­cially mean­ing­ful for the head­mas­ter, as he has been one of the show’s big­gest fans from a young age.

He said: “I re­mem­ber watch­ing Blue Peter as a child, think­ing ‘how do they get on that’, what do you have to do to get on these pro­grammes, Swap Shop or Tiswas?

“But it re­ally is just a lucky phone call.

“I’ve been watch­ing Blue Peter since I was very young, I have an older brother and sis­ter so they watched it.

“These were in the days when there were two or three chan­nels at most, we were the last peo­ple to get a colour tele­vi­sion on our street, but we watched it from very young.

“I re­mem­ber very vividly Va­lerie Sin­gle­ton, Peter Purves and Les­ley Judd and of course John Noakes – who was prob­a­bly my first hero, see­ing him do the sky­div­ing and climb­ing up Nel­son’s Col­umn do­ing the clean­ing, back when there was no such thing as risk as­sess­ments.”

And he said that one of the na­tion’s favourite TV shows still had plenty to give to the youth of the 21st cen­tury, af­ter 60 years on air.

He said: “The dis­trac­tions that peo­ple have, so­cial me­dia and gam­ing which I’m all for when used in a pos­i­tive way, but there are things you can do to get out and about and en­joy your­self, Blue Peter is the sort of thing that in­spires that.”

Mr Sheeran now hopes that the events of the week have planted a seed that will al­low Birk­dale pupils to dream big, hav­ing had their taste of fame, and hopes that they were as in­spired as he was by be­ing part of such a huge event.

“Our chil­dren this week are ab­so­lutely buzzing, they have been in­spired to do some­thing, good­ness knows what, but it’s put some­thing in their heads.

“There is a world out there that doesn’t have to be play­ing Fort­nite or what­ever else it is.”

Birk­dale Pri­mary School pupils en­joy­ing the Blue Peter 60th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions and, be­low, pre­sen­ters old and new Selfie time for Birk­dale pupils

The Vamps take the stage at the cel­e­bra­tions

Birk­dale Pri­mary School head Nick Sheeran with So­phie El­lis Bex­tor at the Blue Peter party

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