I grew up as part of the Blue Peter generation. My family still make jokes about ‘sticky backed plastic’ and ‘get down Shep’.
We tuned in without fail to watch various presenters and pets, Christopher Trace, Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves and John Noakes, with pets Petra, Patch, Shep and Jason. Mum’s ‘surprise’ Mother’s Day gifts were never really a surprise, as we collected yoghurt pots, glue, bits of fabric and sticky backed plastic and my bedroom became a hive of creativity as we made whatever had been demonstrated earlier on Blue Peter. I’m not sure that any of our efforts remotely resembled the gifts demonstrated, but one Christmas decoration I made still comes out nearly 45 years later and takes pride of place on the Christmas tree.
Blue Peter was watched by all the family
It was a programme I watched with my mother and grandmother, and know that my grandmother would often watch even if we weren’t visiting. So I was sad to hear that Blue Peter is being moved from its traditional slot on BBC One to move to a digital channel dedicated to children’s programmes.
Is it a symbolic move? I was always thought of BBC One as being a channel offering a variety of programmes for all generations. If children’s programmes are all moved across to a dedicated channel, which programmes will be moved next?
Will a decision be made to move all programmes appealing to adults of a certain age to a different channel, or programmes highlighting a specific religion? Will those children no longer watching BBC One as a result of the programme moving be encouraged to come back?
Apparently 7 % of children still only watch BBC One and do not watch digital channels at all. Whether the move is right or wrong, the announcement of the Blue Peter move certainly made me look back fondly at my own Blue Peter memories. Will any other children’s programme sustain such longevity – it first aired in 1958.
It seems another chapter of my childhood is now firmly closed - is it just a touch of nostalgia, or is there a case for broadcasting some programmes for all members of the family on the BBC flagship channels?