My Blue Peter
Updated: Oct 18, 2018
Panpipes would herald the arrival of both my tea and Blue Peter.
Of course we all think the era in which we grew were the best years, and there were many years, because yesterday the show celebrated its 60th birthday, making it the world's longest running children's television show.
There's been much written about it's 5,000 plus episodes, but I thought I'd give you my personal top ten moments and memories.
1. The Blue Peter Sledge
I've yet to meet anyone else that can remember this, more unbelievable because generally things were made out of a washing up bottle and sticky back plastic, however, at some point they made a sledge out of wood. I haven't dreamt this. My brother, a joiner, sent for the instructions (remember sending stamped addressed envelopes??) soon our Blue Peter Sledge was born. It was a heavy piece of equipment, as you would imagine. We test drove it on Bulwell golf course one snowy day. That was the first and last time and I performed a ski jump. For whatever the reason, the sledge never went in a straight line. It was quite a drop I went over. Thankfully both me and the sledge survived. It lived in the garage until the following year. As you can imagine wooden sledges don't weather well and on its next outing, it split in two whilst being ridden on by a friend. I cried. I'm not sure why as I never intended to go on it ever again after being propelled through the air, but I was a kid, that's what kids do.
2. The Advent Crown
Every year, every single year I'd watch them make that advent crown. Coat Hangers, tinsel and a naked flame. What could go wrong?
3. Simon Groom, Goldie and his parents farm
It probably wasn't, but it felt like every week a subject would be explained on Simon Groome's parents farm, in the style of a school teacher on a field trip.
4. John Noakes and that elephant
I'm not actually sure I ever saw this first hand but I've seen it that many times on various things I don't even know anymore. Unruly Lulu the elephant emptying it's bowels on the studio floor. The keeper slipping in it - comedy gold.
Noakes along with Peter Purves and Lesley Judd were the first line up I remember. Noakes was a character and he was comedy. Mark Curry later was kind of from the same mould with his failings in the cookery department, making stuff and 'comedy glasses.
5. Janet Ellis being pregnant
Bloody hell! A pregnant woman....on telly....on a kids show. It was a shocker in those days.
6. Peters Porno
OK, not strictly on the show of course, but another shocker in those days when it was revealed Peter Duncan had appeared in a porno. Apparently it was just a bit of fumbling. Blue Peter indeed.
7. The Vandalised Blue Peter Garden.
Yep, we all remember the garden for the wrong reasons. A broken urn, trampled veg and fuel in the fish pond. No, it's not funny - what is were the rumours some years ago that it was done by footballers Les Ferdinand and Dennis Wise
8. A hibernating tortoise
I don't remember much other than them getting him out and putting him away. Me and my brother often discussed whether they opened the box beforehand to check he wasn't dead. We're cheerful like that.
9. The sacking of Richard Bacon
We all loved wholesome, clean cut, cheeky Richard, so it was another shocker when his whiter than white image was ruined by being caught snorting the white stuff and was subsequently sacked.
10. The Blue Peter Badge
Never had one, and to be fair, I never tried (same can't be said for Jim'll Fix It, but lets not talk about that). I never thought I was smart enough to create anything worthy of a badge. Fact - Tony Hart created the ship logo for a hundred quid
Fact (Possibly) - John Leslie used to keep a stash in his car to give to policemen if he were stopped for speeding
So, those are my top memories, what are yours?