Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Will Mike Oldfield be celebrating too?

Blue Peter, 50 years old today. At least, I think it's today. Here's teh question: were you a Blue Peter house or a Magpie house?

We were a Blue Peter house, but only because I didn't like Magpie, and my brother had to watch whatever I wanted to watch. I preferred the presenters on BP, and of course the pets. I thought Jason the cat was such a noble creature. John Noakes irritated me, though he could be very funny, Peter Purves dressed like a geography teacher and Auntie Val, was Auntie Val. I quite liked her Special Assignments, especially the one to Edinburgh when she told the story of Greyfriar's Bobby.

Someone recently asked me my favourite presenter combo and I think it's John/Pete/Lesley Judd. I remember when she joined. But then I remember when they all joined. They used to do a little film of their life, and I remember Simon Groom's being on his dad's farm and showing his work as a DJ ("I can tell by what someone's wearing what music they like. I can say 'she's a Donna Summer fan'").

I loved the appeals (though I never sent), the summer holidays ("Ceylon"), the groups they had on (The Glitter Band singing Angel Face stands out), and most of all the advent crown lighting when the choir enter the studio singing. Still brings a tear to my eye just to think about it.

Of course, I haven't watched it in years. Well, why would I?

So we didn't like Magpie. I hated Mick Robertson, he tried too hard. It turns out Mrs F-C used to have a crush on him. I look nothing like him. I didn't care for his corkscrew hair, and I didn't like any of the other presentes either, not even Jenny Handley. She was a bit old for me.

Now, when I look back, I can see that Magpie was the groovy one, with Blue Peter the more studious cousin.

It speaks volumes doesn't it?


Ishouldbeworking said...

That lot on Magpie were rather cynical in that they always wanted cold hard cash for their annual appeal, rather than the dozen curd-smelling milk bottle tops Blue Peter were happy to have from me. Mind you, they did trump BP in the pop music stakes by getting Lene Lovich on. Biddy Baxter would never have gone for that.

Planet Mondo said...

I never watched much childrens ITV apart from Children Of The Stones and Clapperboard - the Magpie lot were like your trendy aunt and uncle and I was never comfortable with them (Magpie, not my trendy aunt and uncle).

Even though I saw more of the Pete, Leslie and John combo - the trendy pete, Starchy Val and dowdy (although slightly modish)John is my fave. I always liked it when they walked something large or grand from outside into the studio and the giant Toblerone style shelving. But found any sequence with stills from books and sound fx (battles normally) a bit spooky.

Actually Magnus Magnusson did a series on Kings/Castles and every episode was full of this technique - terrifying.

Chris Hughes said...

A few years back, myself and Graham Kibble-White off of TV Cream attended a screening at the South Bank of a few old ITV children's programmes, to mark ITV's 50th anniversary.

The last programme of the day was a late-period edition of Magpie. It opened with an item on roller discos. So far, so groovy.

Next up was a newsdesk section, with Tommy and Jenny introducing all sorts of worthy items, such as a school science class who'd rigged up a school telephone system, before Tommy turned to camera and said, "well, it's half-term this week, so, once the programme's finished, why don't you do old mum a favour and go up and tidy your bedroom?"

Then Tommy and Mick made bread and butter pudding. Not particularly groovy, although Tommy was hugely entertaining (dropping in Goons impressions and the like).

But I couldn't get over the fact that the man who goes on about how "Magpie was watched by the cool kids with a can of Coke at the youth club" had really been telling them to tidy up their rooms.

I liked CBTV, though.

Valentine Suicide said...

I was Blue Peter as well. I remember Lesley Judd joining. Wasn't there a piece about her being a dancer in the weeks leading up to it?
I also recall John Noakes crying at the death of Shep on something as well, which was oddly moving..