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Premiere of Blue Peter

"Get down, Shep!"

~ Peter Noakes, Blue Peter

Blue Peter is the longest-running children's TV show in the world, first broadcast this day in 1958. Original features from the early years such as "makes" (normally involving creating something such as an advent crown, out of household junk) and cooking became regular installments and continue to this day. If you were a fan, which pet era marks your watching years? Amongst the dogs, cats, parrots and tortoises which appeared as special guests, most people remember the doggies! Which dog watching era were you? Petra, Patch, Shep, Goldie, Bonnie, Mabel, Lucy, Meg, or Barney? 🐕 💙

Blue Peter is a British children's television programme and is the longest-running children's TV show in the world, first airing on October 16th, 1958.


Blue Peter takes its name from a maritime signal, indicating that the vessel flying it is about to leave.  It was chosen as a program title to represent 'a voyage of adventure' as well as for its common friendly name and colour.


The Blue Peter tartan was designed to celebrate the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. The colours of the tartan are inspired by the colours of the various Blue Peter badges awarded to children in the UK for more than 50 years.  In this way, the Blue Peter tartan reflects the heritage of the longest continuously running children's television series in the world.


Children (and adults) who appear on the show (or achieve something notable) may be awarded the coveted Blue Peter badge.  A Blue Peter badge allows holders free entry into a number of visitor attractions across the UK. 


In addition to the Blue badge, several variations exist including:


  • Silver badges, for sending in a letter or poem to the show when you already have the blue badge

  • Green badges, for contributions with a conservation, nature or environmental theme

  • Gold badges, the most rarely awarded, for exceptional achievement

  • Orange badges, for competition winners 

  • Purple badges, for completing a review of the show on the Blue Peter website


The Blue Peter opening theme is called "Barnacle Bill" and was composed by Ashworth Hope (1880–1962), who was a successful solicitor as well as a composer. It has been used ever since the programme began in 1958, apart from a brief period in autumn 2008 when a version of the "Sailors Hornpipe" was used instead.


To hear the different versions of the Blue Peter theme song throughout the years, click the Blue Peter collage.