The longest running children’s TV show in the world – Blue Peter – is celebrating its 60th anniversary today (Tuesday, October 16).
From milk bottle tops and sticky back plastic to famous Tracy Island ‘makes’, the show has had 37 presenters, 25 pets and handed out one million badges.
In a one-hour live special, CBBC’s flagship programme will remind the nation how it has come to transcend six decades and countless generations and why it still manages to inspire children to send in more than 100,000 letters and pictures each year with nearly 200,000 under 16s owning at least one Blue Peter badge.
Past presenters will be joining the celebrations, including Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves, Anthea Turner, Konnie Huq and Tim Vincent, some of who have been saving their washing up liquid bottles and toilet rolls for a live studio ‘make’ with a difference.
Ed Sheeran will be honoured with the highest Blue Peter accolade, a Gold Blue Peter badge, and there will be music from Jonas Blue feat. HRVY, The Vamps, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor all accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Plus, the Diamond Time Capsule will be sealed in The National Archives which, as a non-governmental record, is a very rare event, and there will be an announcement about the return of the show’s hugely successful Bring and Buy Sales campaign in support of BBC Children in Need this November.
During the show, current presenter Lindsey Russell will take on a solo hot air balloon flight across a frozen lake in the Arctic Circle and Radzi Chinyanganya will board Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, where he gets to grips with life at sea.
Blue Peter Editor, Ewan Vinnicombe says: “Blue Peter is a very special club to be part of and the Big Birthday show will be a moment to remember and one to watch for all generations of Blue Peter fans. We are celebrating in style so if you’ve got a Blue Peter badge wear it with pride on our big day.”
Blue Peter’s Big Birthday will broadcast on CBBC tonight(Tuesday, October 16) between 5pm and 6pm and will be repeated on BBC Two. Blue Peter then continues in its regular slot on Thursdays at 5.30pm on CBBC.