Tag Archives: Blue Peter

Blue Peter at 60

I quite agree, shampooing a camel isn’t the first thing anyone expects to be doing. But it’s the sort of thing that happens on Blue Peter.

And no one expected Blue Peter to last sixty years, either, I imagine. But here they are, sixty years on, still making stuff out of washing-up liquid bottles, handing out badges and generally inspiring children to do things.

I believe Offspring managed three badges between them, which was pretty good, and we did two bring and buy sales (and please, no more of those, ever!). Not having grown up with BP, I don’t have childhood presenters. To me, all the old ones are just that; old. People who seem nice and who are wheeled out when there is a reason. And I loved the pooing elephant.

My presenters are the same as Offspring’s, going from Diane-Louise Jordan to Matt Baker. I loved most of them, but some more than others. I just had to Google Meg, Matt’s dog, to see if by some miracle she’d still be alive. Alas, no.

Watching the 60th birthday show I was struck by how out of touch I’ve become. I’m sure the music would have sounded better to my old ears if I’d continued to watch. Which, I did promise myself I’d do, back when Offspring suddenly got too old. But you move on.

Glad to see they still get up to unlikely things. Loved seeing Radzi on that Royal Navy aircraft carrier. It was a bit NCIS, really. And it’s surely a sign of Blue Peter’s status that it didn’t seem at all strange.

Nor was it odd to see Lindsey learn to operate a hot air ballon and to go to Finland to fly the BP balloon on her own, in freezing weather, landing – softly – on snow. It’s what they do. And it’s what I’m very grateful I don’t have to even begin to consider doing.

Happy 60th to you!

It’s the girls they want

So, how often do people search for Chris O’Donnell? Here, not much at all. I won’t go so far as to say never, because that would probably be a lie. But I’m willing to bet that the bosses at CBS rate him higher than the ‘girls’ on NCIS: Los Angeles. I also imagine they pay him more.

CultureWitch searches

Perhaps it’s time they realised how popular the ladies are. From L A most of my visitors want Renée Felice Smith. A few are after Daniela Ruah and occasionally it’s Linda Hunt they want to read about.

Sofie Gråbøl pops up occasionally and recently I’ve had some interest in Kate O’Mara, so presumably she’s ‘up to something.’

But for the most part my searches want Pam Dawber, with and without husband Mark Harmon. (Now CBS, him you can pay. People are always wanting him. Mark can almost be an honorary female on here.) They look for Pauley Perrette and her alter ego Abby. They look for her tattoos.

OK, I don’t know how much money Pam Dawber makes these days. Once, I’m certain she made more than her groom-to-be. I suspect that for all her fan following Pauley earns less than the men on NCIS do. And isn’t it interesting how few blog visitors look for Cote de Pablo?


As I’ve mentioned once or twice, I am getting impatient with Callen. Maybe I’m not the only one? They like showing off the pretty faces of Renée and Daniela, and don’t mind letting their characters get the better of the male characters. But do they rate them?

I remember the furore when it was discovered that the male presenters on Blue Peter were better paid than the female ones. It’s very hard justifying more money for a man jumping out of a plane than a woman doing the same. The effort of transforming an empty bottle of washing-up liquid can’t vary all that much between the sexes.

There is just that automatic assumption that men need more money. Are more deserving.

But I happened to start thinking about babies the other day. It’s great with a successful show on television. We fans like them. Another season – or five – is good news. The actresses have the advantage of a ‘secure’ job and the money – even for women – can’t be bad. But what about having babies? The first thing Sasha Alexander did when Kate was killed off was to get pregnant. Maybe Ziva and Abby and Nell and Kensi don’t want to be mothers. How would you choose? Leave a good series and leave the fans screaming, or go without children?

At least pay them more! And stop and think about how they might actually be more popular than Callen.

30 seconds of fame

15 minutes is really hoping for too much. In fact, I wouldn’t want that 15 minutes of fame. My seconds were more than enough.

I was reminded of this embarrassing event when author Lucy Coats told ‘all’ about her recent interview on Blue Peter. In a way it was a relief to hear how much time was spent on what turned out to be so brief. And it’s a lesson that you don’t need to go to too much effort. Just be yourself.

And whatever you do, don’t bother cleaning the house.

For me it was walking home from school with Offspring. Just an ordinary afternoon, with Daughter in the pushchair and Son walking next to me. We saw these weird types outside the local theatre, and I realised I was about to be used for something.

The short one told me they were from the BBC and the news was that the theatre was due for demolition and what did I think of that? I told him. (I was quite fluent and sensible, on the whole.)

Then he said, would I mind repeating that on camera, and I couldn’t very well refuse. Except I was barely able to recall what I said the first time, so sounded pretty incoherent. I went home and put the video recorder on for the local news. I had dinner to make and people to feed.

It was embarrassingly bad. I had no idea I sound like that. I wondered how anyone could possibly put up with me. Two more people were interviewed. My neighbour across the road, and another school-run mother.

Afterwards the local children stared at me, and my friend’s husband told her to ask for my autograph. Luckily for her she didn’t.

Roger Whittaker

The theatre went some months after. In its place is the ‘magnificent’ entrance to the new car park for the public school which owned the building and had been waiting to get rid of it. At least the parents collecting their children by car have somewhere to park.

We no longer have the Roger Whittaker concerts or the pantos or any of the other entertainment in this former 1930s cinema.