40 Facts About Blue Peter


Blue Peter is a British children's television entertainment programme created by John Hunter Blair.

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Many items from Blue Peter history have become embedded in British popular culture, especially moments when things have gone wrong, such as the much-repeated clip of Lulu the baby elephant who urinated and defecated on the studio floor, appeared to tread on the foot of presenter John Noakes and then proceeded to attempt an exit, dragging her keeper along behind her.

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The "Blue Peter" is used as a maritime signal, indicating that the vessel flying it is about to leave, and Reed chose the name to represent 'a voyage of adventure' on which the programme would set out.

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Hunter Blair pointed out that blue was a popular colour with children, and Peter was a common name of a typical child's friend.

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Blue Peter featured in just 16 editions, making her the shortest-serving presenter, and was replaced by Valerie Singleton, who presented regularly until 1972, and on special assignments until 1981.

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The Blue Peter badge was introduced in 1963, along with the programme's new logo designed by Tony Hart.

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The trio of Valerie Singleton, John Noakes and Blue Peter Purves lasted five years, and according to Richard Marson were 'the most famous presenting team in the show's history'.

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Blue Peter offered breaking news on occasion, such as the 1971 eruption of Mount Etna, as well as unique items such as the first appearance of Uri Geller on British television.

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In 1974, the Blue Peter Garden was officially opened in a green space outside the Television Centre restaurant block.

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Blue Peter was praised for this by the National Childbirth Trust who told the BBC that in 'five minutes, Blue Peter had done more to educate children about birth than they'd achieved in ten years of sending out leaflets'.

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The 1980s saw the Blue Peter studio become more colourful and bright, with the presenters gradually wearing more fashionable outfits, in contrast to the more formal appearance of previous decades.

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Several videos of Blue Peter were made available from 1982, the first being Blue Peter Makes, and an omnibus comprising the two weekly editions appeared in 1986 on Sunday mornings.

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Ahead of the show's 25th anniversary in October 1983, BBC1 ran a series Blue Peter Goes Silver, revisiting previous summer expeditions.

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Around this time, Blue Peter became distinctively environmentally aware, and introduced a green badge in November 1988 for achievements related to the environment.

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Blue Peter had been talent spotted by the Blue Peter team when they filmed an item on the set of Return to Oz; Sundin was playing the part of Tik-Tok.

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Blue Peter was one of the first television series to launch a website.

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Blue Peter introduced a further re-arrangement of the theme tune and a new graphics package in September 1999.

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On 16 October 2008, Blue Peter celebrated the 50th Anniversary with a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and featuring several former presenters.

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Deverell hopes that by adding "danger and excitement", Blue Peter will achieve the same "playground buzz" among children as Top Gear.

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Unusually, Harwood was no stranger to Blue Peter viewers, having appeared as a presenter on CBBC for many years, on shows including Prank Patrol and Bear Behaving Badly.

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On 29 March 2011, Blue Peter became the first programme in the UK to broadcast an entire show in 360 degrees on the web.

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The new Blue Peter Garden, located outside the studios, was officially opened by Princess Anne in February 2012.

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From 12 January 2012, Blue Peter has been broadcast all year round once a week, its original premiere being on CBBC on Thursdays at 5.

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The reformatted Blue Peter occasionally included specials and spin-offs such as "Helen's Polar Adventure" or the Stargazing Live special on other days of the week.

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The Blue Peter Garden is currently maintained by child gardener George who appears throughout the year.

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Ahead of their Jubilee celebrations, Blue Peter introduced its first ever Guest Editor to the show on 19 October 2017 which was children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

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Blue Peter was followed from 1988 until 1991 by Chris Crowder and from 1991 until 2000 by Clare Bradley.

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Blue Peter pets are the animals who regularly appear on the programme.

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The Blue Peter badge allows holders free entry into a number of visitor attractions across the UK.

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In 1979, one of the most popular forms of raising appeal money was introduced, encouraging viewers to hold "Blue Peter Bring And Buy Sales" at which buyers are encouraged to bring their own bric-a-brac or produce to sell.

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Blue Peter promotes the Blue Peter Book Awards, a series of literary prizes for children's literature awarded annually, and inaugurated in 2000.

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Blue Peter was glad he made this decision when it became clear during the recording that the capsule had at some point been opened - probably at the time it was moved and reburied - and that the contents had been wrapped entirely differently from the original burial.

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In 1964, the first Blue Peter book was published by Lutterworth Press, by arrangement with the BBC.

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Blue Peter first aired once a week on Mondays on the BBC Television Service, now BBC One, for a duration of 15 minutes.

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Blue Peter was first repeated in full on satellite and cable channel UK Gold in the 1990s, one of the first archive channels in the UK.

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Blue Peter went on to say that the programme would not feature premium rate telephone competitions in the future.

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Blue Peter was given a Blue Peter badge and wore it proudly to his council meetings.

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The letter stated that Blue Peter had been approached by the office of Neil Kinnock who were alarmed that a councillor with hard-left views had been given a Blue Peter badge.

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In 1992, Blue Peter won the BAFTA for Best Children's Programme : Lewis Bronze.

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In 2008, Blue Peter was nominated for the BAFTA Children's Kids Vote Award.

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