Pupils star in Blue Peter’s 60th party
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