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).

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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.

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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.

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All of which are far funnier than John Noakes slipping over on elephant shit. Well, OK - maybe not...

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1. What is the Blue Peter theme music called?

2. Which hippy musician guy reworked the
Blue Peter theme in 1979?

3. Which of these shows was not a spin-off of
Blue Peter?

4. Who were the original presenters of
Blue Peter?

5. Where does Blue Peter god Simon Groom work today?


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