Blue Peter: end of an era, start of a new one.
Today is the final broadcast of the longest-running children’s programme in the world. Not over for good, just from Shepherd’s Bush. It’s perhaps the show that is the most connected to the BBC television centre, not least because of the Blue Peter garden. But after the summer break the programme will be based in Salford, with the new garden now on a roof terrace.
It’s very sad in some ways as this iconic show has always been there. I have such fond memories from my childhood and teenage years and from my own children’s viewing. (My oldest used to come out with amazing facts and I’d say ‘how do you know that?’ and he’d say ‘Blue Peter’.) I can’t imagine it continuing in a different studio, in a different space but then things change. In a way it’s good for such a flagship programme to be less London-centric and speaking as a West Country girl I applaud this. But I still can’t help feeling nostalgic.
Blue Peter plays an important part in my forthcoming novel The Generation Game, as one of the characters is obsessed with it and makes a time capsule. So I have been thinking about the show and all those best moments. From the pooing elephant, to John Noales skydiving.
I’ve also been thinking about those presenters who became regulars in our living room. From Valerie through to my favourite Konnie. And from John and Peter to Simon Groom and his farm in Derbyshire.
Not forgetting the pets: Petra, Shep, Jason, Patch, Freda, Goldie, Jack and Jill, Bonnie, George, Meg.
I wonder what Biddy Baxter makes of this?