‘Blue Peter’ voted best children’s TV programme of all time
‘Radio Times’ poll of experts sees 1980s emerge as top decade for children’s television
Blue Peter has been chosen by a Radio Times panel of experts as the best children’s television programme of all time.
The show, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, beat Grange Hill to the top spot, with Newsround in third, Tiswas fourth and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop fifth.
Mark Frith, the editor of the Radio Times, said: “British TV produces the best programmes for children in the world. Reading our list produces the most wonderful, warm memories.”
The magazine asked 30 experts to each name their five favourite children’s programmes, and then tallied their votes to create a top 50.
Blue Peter celebrates its 60th anniversary on October 16th. At its peak, it drew 8 million viewers an episode and received 1,000 letters a day. Most of the correspondents were after the cherished prize of a Blue Peter badge, awarded for appearing on the show or in recognition of an achievement. The badge gives free entry to more than 200 attractions around the country, including theme parks, zoos and castles.
The results of the Radio Times poll, which are likely to reflect the age of the experts – not to mention the shows some of them were involved with – suggest the 1980s were the best decade for children’s television, with 16 of the top 20 shows broadcast during that period.
Grange Hill, which ran for 30 years until 2008, was acclaimed for its gritty portrayal of life in a north London comprehensive school. Its most famous storyline was when Zammo Maguire began taking drugs, which led to the much-derided Just Say No campaign and a top 10 single.
Newsround, formerly known as John Craven’s Newsround, has remained on TV schedules continuously since 1972. Tiswas, which was shown on ITV and was the anarchic counterpart to Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, was the only programme in the top five that was not aired on the BBC. –Guardian