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Science and Media Museum

50 Years of Blue Peter

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This exhibition charted Blue Peter’s journey from the early years to the present day, investigating its values, identity and social impact.

John Noakes with his on-screen companion Shep, c.1975, courtesy of BBC
John Noakes with his on-screen companion Shep, c.1975, courtesy of BBC

Blue Peter is the world’s longest-running children’s television programme. Over the decades, millions of children have tuned in to discover the delights of Blue Peter badges, pets, expeditions, appeals and sticky-backed plastic.

The BBC gave us unprecedented access to the Blue Peter archive, allowing the exhibition to feature classic clips, photographs and objects from every decade of the show's lifetime. Fans of Blue Peter and classic TV were given the chance to experience the show, and their childhood, all over again.

The exhibition showed how elements of the classic Blue Peter formula were constructed to complement the programme’s values: badges to encourage action and interaction; appeals to empower children to make a difference; expeditions to take viewers around the world; pets, and the garden, to allow children to experience responsibilities they may not have been able to experience at home.

Objects on show included the original script from the first show in 1958; the earliest surviving footage from 1963; iconic items made by presenters, such as Tracy Island and the Advent Crown; and images of Blue Peter’s presenters, producers and pets from the museum’s Daily Herald archive.