It isn’t what it was,
Blue Peter. It’s gone all funky now, with the
off-their-face presenters larging it during a techno
interpretation of the main titles. It may be the
world’s longest-running childrens’ programme, but
the innocence of the show is gone. Even before Richard
Bacon was fired for shovelling "showbiz
sherbert" up his snout, you could picture the
presenters quaffing snakebite the minute the camera was
off them. The likes of long-gone presenters like John
Noakes and Peter Purves simply came across as slightly
wacky uncles, while Peter Duncan and the wink-wink
innuendo of Simon Groom made them more like cheeky elder
brothers. The current crop of Blue Peter presenters have
none of this charm - and it’s not just because we’re
not as young as we once were. For starters, presenter
Konnie Huq has the sort of name you’d expect to find
adorned to a 1970s porn star, while both Stuart Miles
and breezeblock-jawed Katy Hill look to be at different
stages of sex-change operations. At least The New Boy,
whatever his name is, appears ordinary, but you sense
he’s trying a little too hard to be A Bit Of A
Geeeeezer (perhaps rebelling against his religious
background - his father is a vicar).
There are some things
which remain constant on Blue Peter: the make-it
sections are as bargain basement as ever. Barbie
bedrooms, constructed from pink paint, a cardboard box,
and some felt, still resemble something you’d find in
a skip, while you could achieve similar results with the
infamous Advent Crow, by handing a some coathangers, a
pot of glitter and a tube of glue to a gorilla. The show
retains the same tedious historical strands on the
history of penecillin, and still insists on plugging
Doctor Who ten years after the show was axed.
Of course, Richard
Bacon’s dismissal was but the latest outrage to hit
the show, boldly upholding a tradition of scandal, most
of which was kept well away from 1998’s sixtieth
anniversary (or however long it was) celebration’s.
Fistly, the erotically nasal Janet Ellis (who, we
suspect, neither spits nor swallows, but
"snorts") left for committing the sin of
getting pregnant outside of wedlock, then it emerged
that "action man" Peter Duncan once appeared
in a soft porn film wiggling his backside. Finally, the
always useless (and now dead) Michael Sundin was filmed
frolicking naked on stage in a gay strip club.
All of which are far
funnier than John Noakes slipping over on elephant shit.
Well, OK - maybe not...
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