8 Celebrities Remember Their Favourite Children's TV Shows

We ask a host of well-known names to tell us about the programmes they loved as kids and which shaped their lives.

Hugh Bonneville on Blue Peter

Blue Peter Hugh Bonneville

My memories of the time spent between getting back from school and doing homework are a kaleidoscope of grazed knees, being rubbish at making Airfix and yelling, “Achtung!” as my friends and I besieged/escaped from the occupied territories of various back gardens in Blackheath, south-east London.

But my sharpest memory is sitting cross-legged on the carpet, in prep-school shorts with a downy moustache of orange squash, watching three gods of TV glowing from the screen in front of me.

You see, I was one of the anointed generation who, between 1967 and 1972, bore witness to the tripartite Blue Peter divinity of John Noakes, Peter Purves and Valerie Singleton. Blue Peter had brilliant content (“Mum, look! He’s climbed all the way up that big chimney!”), but it was the dynamics of the presenters that made it perfection—the nuttiness of Noakes and the charm of Purves, both kept in check by sensible Singleton.

Going through the attic the other day, my wife Lulu found a 1975 letter from Biddy Baxter, Blue Peter’s legendary producer, thanking her for her terrific contribution to the latest appeal and awarding her a Blue Peter badge.

“Something you never achieved,” Lulu boasted, hurtfully. I asked her if she could remember the name of the elephant who peed on the studio floor, then trod on John Noakes’ foot. She could not.

“It was Lulu,” I said. That wiped the smug grin off her face.


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