THE MEMORY APPEAL

 



Whether it's skidding on elephant shit, breaking a pelvis in a freak skydiving accident or dying of an AIDS-related illness, a Blue Peter presenter will often be the subject of an hilarious mishap. It is our aim to provide a definitive list of these memories, with photos, to be preserved for posterity. To achieve this, TV Cream proudly presents The Blue Peter Memory Appeal. The totaliser on the left will chart exactly how many memories are sent in - we hope to reach the target before Christmas! So trawl through the definitive BP moments below, and add your own by email.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TV CREAM BLUE PETER APPEAL WILL NOT ACCEPT OLD KEYS, SIXPENCES, TIN CANS, BOTTLE TOPS OR ANY OTHER RECYCLABLE COMMODITY. PLEASE ENSURE ALL COMMUNICATION IS ELECTRONIC, AND THAT ATTACHMENTS ARE LESS THAN 300KB IN SIZE. SORRY, NO BADGES WILL BE AWARDED.

GREENE'S GARMENT GAWPATHON So, whichever producer it was who greenlit a feature involving a load of attractive female TV presenters cavorting in underwear, step forward now and claim responsibility for awakening the slumbering beast of sexuality in millions of 10 year-olds. For the record, Maggie Philbin, Tina Heath, Isla St Clair (?) and Greenes senior and junior were required to parade around in their scanties to illustrate the story of ladies' lingerie down the years. That it was transmitted in the days before widespread ownership of VCRs is a crime. That it hasn't been made into a Partridge-esque 12-part series is beyond forgiveness.

DUNCAN'S DAFT DELUGE It's doubtful whether home furnishings would warrant their own slot on the programme as we know it today, but back when Jacuzzi invented the first "whirlpool bath" it was as much as Biddy Baxter could do to prevent the team from whipping off their kit and jumping in right there and then at teatime. 'Twas, of course, red-panted Duncan who got over-excited and very nearly slipped and fell in. But then, who wouldn't relish the chance to sit in a warm bath with Simon Groom and Janet Ellis? Can open, worms everywhere.

GROOM'S GAUCHE GYRATIONS Simon Groom returned back from his triumphant spell at karaoke during the summer tour of Japan (in the days when it wasn't found every Sunday evening at the Kings Arms) to perform a rendering of an Elvis 'classic' rather predictably dressed in the full rhinestone and flares get up. [Groom, it turned out, had bought a tape of Elvis hits in the far east, and the box insert had transcribed the lyrics of "Heartbreak Hotel" as "for broken hearted lovers to cry there in the groom". Groom/Gloom, geddit? That's the link, right there. Simon took this event as some kind of divine revelation, sang the lyrics as originally misprinted, and the rest is history. It may also have led indirectly to his much later release of a "dance" version of "Can't Help Falling in Love".] Decidedly cringworthy and nightmare-inducing for young kiddies everywhere.

FIELDING FRY-UP FARRAGO The definitive Yvette Fielding moment, here, and a trial that no doubt now features in the audition tape of every wannabe 'Peter presenter: the cook-up. This live piece to camera required the preparation of a pancake to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. Yet with only the props of frying pan and one-bedroom-flat-style Baby Belling tabletop hob to hand, Fielding turned in a routine of sublime comedy, creating a dish resembling nothing more than brown pan-blob phlegm. 'Twas Fielding's performances that finally convinced the production teams to bring in Autocue. Fact: this moment brought Television Centre to an incredulous, giggle-stifling standstill.

PET PUPS POP-OUT Always featured as surrogate animals for povvie kids in housing estates, über-hound Goldie monopolised the gene-pool of the BP pets for some generations, presumably due to quasi-religious nature of the immaculate canine conceptions (the fathers were never mentioned). Goldie (notionally belonging to Simon Groom) littered two sets of pups, most of whom ended up "being trained as Guide Dogs" (we assume in the same way that troublesome neighbourhood Rottweilers end up "going on holiday for a long time"). Peter Duncan handled Prince, the eldest of the first litter, with lead and blindfold, whilst the recently-deceased Bonnie enjoyed an altogether more sedentary lifestyle and shuffled off this mortal coil with little fanfare.

BRING AND BUY BONANZA Although clearly motivated by a good heart and the desire to spread understanding of those who suffer from crippling illness, Biddy Baxter's decision to feature Joey Deacon as the central figure of the 1980 Blue Peter Bring And Buy Sale for the disabled merely led to the widespread (oh, kids can be so cruel) craze of "doing a Joey". Deacon had Cerebral Palsy which had led to advanced motorneurone disfunction at an early age (the story of his life was reconstructed in vignettes on BP). There's more on Joey at disappointment.com, but the bring 'n' buys themselves go largely undocumented. They were, in fact, really rubbish jumble sales.

CAR-CRASH CURRY CALAMITY Universally acknowledged as the most accident-prone of BP presenters, it's difficult to single out any one of Mark Curry's disastrous cock-ups as definitive, but we've chosen to go with this one. In the days before TV TravelShop and Catchphrase, Curry was least adept at demonstrating giant Lego figurines (as featured at International Garden Festivals the world over). Indeed the lightest of his caresses was enough to render undone hours of work by some poor Lego engineer. This, added to the infamous "miniature steam train that won't stop" incident has led scientists to purport an addendum to Newton's third law of motion, thus: the relationship between an object's mass (m), its acceleration (a), and the applied force (F) is (F = ma), unless some speccy twat sticks his oar in on live telly.

GIRL GUIDE GAUNTLET Oft-repeated on Alright-On-The-Night-style compilations, this is your textbook mass-assembly of Scouts/Guides/Brownies around a pyrotechnic campfire in the studio miscalculation. Judging from the amount of smoke produced, presumably genuinely flammable petro-chemical compounds were used to create the ersatz logs. Always popular in confined spaces. Many questions remain unanswered, however. Why was the only person on set allowed to carry a fire extinguisher wearing what looked like Johnny Morris' zookeeper outfit? Why did nary a single Brownie take flight? Why did nothing else ever spontaneously combust on air (John Leslie, say)?

FASHION FAUX-PAS FROCK-UPS We refer to those memorable "let's try and make a virtue out of a sow's ear" fashion designing competitions, one of which led to Peter Duncan owning an over-sized green-and-white checked suit, looking like the unholy offspring of David Byrne and a Pacer mint. He did at least continue to dig it out for special BP occasions, including the cover shoot for his single "Cold As Ice" (oh dear). Meanwhile Caron K ended up with a giant flower-fairy outfit, which (we presume) she never wore again.

RUSSIAN REAR-END REVELATIONS On their post-Glasnost summer expedition to Russia, Curry and Fielding turfed up at a large and forbidding health farm. There they proceed to engage in various "specialist treatments", including Mark being covered in mud and then, erm, washing it off again (in-shower view of the Curry tush shocks the nation). And, more disturbing in retrospect, Yvette being pleasured by an underwater vaccuum cleaner.

YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENTS Got one? Add your own!

  • Trying to be Terry Wogan, Simon Groom made a wisecrack about the BBC canteen being rubbish. Some kid wrote into complain that her dad worked there and was a fully trained Chef and had won something . So they got her on with her dad in full chef's gear and the Groom had to apologise to the chef live on air - Iain Griffiths, runner-up, 13-16 age group

  • The vandalism of the Blue Peter garden has to rank highly. Breaking the news was one thing, but this was then followed by a doom laden procession around the garden, with Simon Groom bringing up the rear in a pair of flared trousers and a seething Percy Thrower muttering that the perpetrators "must be mentally ill", with La Ellis quietly agreeing. Whilst this was happening, of course, children up and down the country were weeping with the laughter... Dennis Wise, runner-up, 13-16 age group

  • The way that BP would get full-scale behind the BBC's latest "big" kid's drama and reference it all the fucking time: "Ooohh, don't worry it's not a creature from The Box Of Delights/The Tripods/The Chronicles Of Narnia ... it's just a worm's eye view of Goldie - Graham Kibble-White, runner-up, 9-12 age group

  • Pop groups performing on BP. I think Biddy Baxter was distinctly snooty about the whole idea, and it wasn't until her grip on the programme began to loosen in the mid to late '80s that they started to feature, hence the Bangles appearing with 'Walk Like An Egyptian' in 1986 - Adrian Partington, runner-up, 9-12 age group

  • Let's have Michael Sundin's collision with the camera when he came hurtling down that dry-ski slope. It was a beautiful moment, his face smacking off the lens stopped him short and caused him to topple backwards. After he became a "disgraced" presenter, this was the only clip they'd show of him for years - Margaret Parnell, runner-up, 6-9 age group

  • Some silly bugger wrote a song about Jack (of Jack and Jill) and got to perform it on the show. Boy they must have been struggling to fill air time... and in a wonderful moment of synchronicity said cat ascended to kitty heaven within mere days of this song being performed - James Masterton, runner-up, 6-9 age group

    Those presenters in full | Reload TVC
    Thank you for your entries: Jill Phythian, Dan De Souza, Scary, David J Bodycombe
    Additions, corrections to: the usual address