If you’re good at arts and crafts and fancy having the power to dispense those hallowed Blue Peter badges, this is your big chance.
This summer the BBC launches a talent show to find the next Matt Baker/Anthea Turner-a-like, but it isn’t your average job interview. To find the one destined to frolic in the famous Blue Peter garden and take part in the equally famous Blue Peter challenges (remember when Tim Vincent broke the sound barrier in a Tornado jet? That was cool), viewers will vote how best to put hopefuls through their paces to prove they’ve got what it takes. There will also be a test involving unpredictable animals. Which sounds pretty fun.
The working title at the mo is So You Want To Be A Blue Peter Presenter? and, if this sounds like the perfect job for you (and you’re OK with physical challenges, dogs and mad creatures), then email here immediately to be in with a chance.
In the meantime, check our top ten of the thirty-eight presenters you’ll be sharing the Blue Peter Wall of Fame with. If there was a wall of fame, which we’re sure there must be. Somewhere.
Valerie Singleton: 3 September 1962- Eternity
Golden Age Member #1. Often referred to as Mrs Blue Peter (this isn’t true, but it should be), Valerie officially left in 1972 but continued to do a Special Assignment series till 1975. She famously accompanied Princess Anne to Kenya on the royal’s first trip abroad. Basically, she’s a huge Blue Peter Legend and Richard Marson states in his Blue Peter 50th Anniversary book that “Singleton never really left Blue Peter”.
John Noakes: 30 December 1965 – 26 June 1978
Golden Age Member #2. The longest serving male presenter with a Yorkshire accent when everyone sounded like the Queen. Was given Patch the dog to look after, who tragically died from a rare disease. John was then given a mad Collie called Shep who would often jump on top of things, hence the catchphrase “Get down, Shep!”
Peter Purves: 16 November 1967 – 23 March 1978
Golden Age Member #3. The second longest serving presenter was originally a companion of Doctor Who (when William Hartnell was the Doctor). Was known as “the sensible one” out of Valerie, John and Lesley Judd (below). Who were all bloody mad for it, obviously.
Lesley Judd: 5 May 1972 – 12 April 1979
Golden Age Member #4. Lesley Judd had trouble with the press when her ex husband threatened to do tell-all interviews. The fact she divorced at all was a bit problematic as, in those days, it didn’t set a great example to children (see: Richard Bacon). The scandal blew over, so she stayed, but then married and divorced a Blue Peter film editor which caused more problems.
Simon Groom: 15 May 1978 – 23 June 1986
Would say filth that would go over the heads of innocent children. His most famous was “what a lovely pair of knockers” with regards Durham Cathedral. A close second was: “As long as you have a decent length to start with, then you can manage a good lay” when referring to hedge maintenance. Made the show a lot more entertaining for adults.
Peter Duncan: 11 September 1980 – 18 June 1984
Almost as soon as he’d got the post, it was revealed that Duncan had appeared nude in a British film. He didn’t leave, though, remaining on the team until 1984, returning again for a year in 1985. Known for his madcap stunts as opposed to that time he got naked.
John Leslie: 20 April 1989 – 20 January 1994
First Scottish Blue Peter presenter, and the tallest (he is 6″4). His final challenge before leaving was to abseil down BBC Television Centre, complete a velcro and wheelbarrow obstacle course, do a spot of trampolining and conduct an orchestra in the studio. He did a pretty good job, tbh. Let’s not mention Abi Titmuss.
Anthea Turner: 14 September 1992 – 27 June 1994
Much loved by mums and grans, Anthea went from awkward flop on UP2U – where a motorcycle stunt she took part in went wrong and resulted in her suing the BBC – to Blue Peter presenter for just two years. Her smile could be seen from space but, erm, she wasn’t that interesting.
Tim Vincent: 16 December 1993 – 24 January 1997
Travelled to South Africa, broke the sound barrier in a jet and completed the New York Marathon all in the name of Blue Peter. Went on to be the go-to presenter for most cool kids TV shows (Shortchange, where kids rang up and complained about faulty crisp packets etc, was awesome. If a slightly odd concept).
Katy Hill: 23 June 1995 - 19 June 2000
Smiley bouncy Katy lived in Mongolia for a week, joined the Cirque du Soleil and made countless things from yoghurt pots. She got the job reportedly by absolutely bombarding the bosses with showreel after showreel and most guys will admit to her being their first crush.
Konnie Huq: 1 December 1997 – 23 January 2008
Wife of Charlie Brooker and pioneer of the creaky voice and crooked mouth, when it became apparent that one of the competitions was faked, Konnie was the one who apologised. And she was so genuine that most of us in the GoThinkBig office really did forgive her. She was the longest serving female presenter and one of the best.
Matt Baker: 25 June 1999 – 26 June 2006
When clocking Blue Peter were looking for presenters, Matt put together a showreel of him reading a story and riding a unicycle. Used to be a gymnast, so would often do the more physical challenges – including training as a stuntman, learning to fly hang gliders and making a tandem world record breaking flight.