Sunday, 12 October 2008

Peter comma Blue

You know you're old when policemen/doctors/weathermen (delete as applicable) start to look young...

It's a well known saying and there is more than a modicum of truth in it. However I'd like to throw another hat into the "You know you're old when..." ring.

You know you're old when you don't recognise a single Blue Peter presenter.

I caught the end of a show on BBC2 yesterday that was celebrating 50 years of the Beeb's flagship children's programme. I loved Blue Peter as a kid. Actually I rather loved it as a teenager too. And I hope that one day I'll love it as a parent of a kid that loves it!

I am the proud owner of two Blue Peter badges. Sadly not the exciting shield shaped ones that you get it you actually appear on the show. Mine are lowly competition winners' badges. I was a runner-up in a seat belt safety campaign poster competition and also a photography one. My sister still harbours a grudge. How dare I have two when she never won one? Come to think of it, I think they stopped producing the badges a while back because people were flogging them on ebay. It's a sad world.

Every British kid belongs to a particular generation of Blue Peter viewers and has memories of specific presenters. For me it begins with what must have been the very back end of Mark Curry's tenure (he left in 1989). Following on from him in chronological order we have... Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding, John Leslie, Diane-Louise Jordan, Anthea Turner, Tim Vincent, Stuart Miles, Katy Hill, Roman D'Annunzio (can't say she made much of an impression but I do remember the way she was introduced... something to do with a cafe, milkshake serving type thing), Richard Bacon, Konnie Huq and Simon Thomas. 1999 must have been when I finally stopped watching it - I was 15!

I dipped in and out of it for a few years after and but I'm convinced that the best Blue Peter presenter I've been alive to see is Matt Baker. He rocked up in the middle of 1999 and whenever I caught the show he always stood out. Gymnast; dog lover; regionally accented; engaging and unpatronising - perfect Blue Peter material.

But I digress. What scared me yesterday was the shot of the 3 current Blue Peter presenters. I didn't recognise a soul. To be fair, two of them are mere baby presenters. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, they only joined at the end of September. But the other chap has been there for 2 years. So it is with regret that I must declare myself old and past it. No matter, I shall simply wallow in memories of past glories; of Tracy Islands, pancake mishaps and retro totalisers! Good times.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Two Blue Peter badges?! Wow, that really is impressive. I don't think I ever entered a competition on the tv, which is a bit of a surprise seeing as I spent half my youth glued to the screen.

Anyway, I have some exciting old-tv presenter news to add... I got to interview Michaela Strachen last week and I was very excited! She's just as smiley and bubbly in real life as she is on tv. So there you go. My one and only claim to brushing shoulders with famous people :)