THE MAGPIE HEIRARCHY

The "golden" line-up (pre-Boyd, pre-Hanley and post-the dreaded Bastable) circa 1977-78

MICK ROBERTSON ------ DOUGIE RAE ------ SUSAN STRANKS

BUT IT was always future Tory MP's sister JENNY HANLEY who pulled in the eager young male punters. Forget Zoe Ball, all signs here pointed to the "right little raver" stereotype in excelsis. Starsign: Leo! Pets: None! Cars: 1960 Porsche convertible! BMW 1600! Favourite music: Loud! Favourite food: Lots! Hobbies: Driving! Fishing! (?) Cooking! Erm, tapestry (OK, trailing off a bit here, I know) Favourite sports personality: Barry Sheene! (Oh, forget it...)

THESE ARE the ten Magpie badge "categories". Like Channel 5's hapless "Hey! Let's have, like, FIVE of everything!" gimmick, this duff idea based on the show's theme tune and that old nursery rhyme was ill-thought-out, and you can see by about eight or nine they've given up completely. If anyone owns any of these badges, mail us. (Or, indeed, all - though on close examination it seems impossible, we were assured otherwise "You could be the owner of all ten of them!")

ONE FOR SORROW NOT A good start, and a truly grotesque badge. "If you have spent one night or more in hospital, let Magpie know, and ask your nurse or doctor or parents to sign the letter." Morbid sentimentality on a grand scale.

TWO FOR JOY THE INVERSE of the above, we assume. If you'd passed an exam etc. Still, that number one...

THREE FOR A GIRL, FOUR FOR A BOY FOR GIRLS and/or boys. Who'd "written an interesting letter." Note ingrained sexual stereotyping. Oh, yes...

FIVE FOR SILVER "THIS IS a very special badge." Go on, then. "You are given it if you send in a really original idea for a Magpie programme item." Needless to say, was never awarded to anyone, least of all the regular producers.

SIX FOR GOLD AND ALREADY we're struggling - "All you have to do to qualify for this badge is to send Magpie a tall story, preferably of your own invention." I could. But WHY? Shan't.

SEVEN FOR A SECRET NEVER TO BE TOLD "If you think one of your friends has done a good deed." Aaaah! It's sodding Hearts of Gold! How'd that get in? "You cannot nominate yourself." Suspicious bastards, weren't they?

EIGHT FOR A WISH COMPETITION BADGE. Cakey significance a mystery.

NINE FOR A KISS HERE WE GO... "JENNY gives this badge to any boy or girl who has learnt to swim since 1st July 1970. MICK gives it to anyone who writes to him about a visit to an interesting place. DOUG gives this badge to anyone who takes up a sport they have never done before." Christ. But note the "characters" of the presenters, especially the thoughtful Mick/sporty Doug duality.

TEN FOR A BIRD YOU MUST NOT MISS FOR WHEN you'd actually been on the show. Huge, in the seventies mode, with a picture of a TV set in which you could stick your own photo. Wow. Meant calling yourself a 'bird' though, so worn with shame by all but the most progressive '70s child, perhaps a wicked glint in his eye as he contemplates going for all ten...

ANOTHER ONE FOR SORROW The ever-loving TOMMY BOYD squares up to some unknown Austrian bodybuilder or other in a hastily-arranged standby item. Great things were predicted for one of the pair at the time, and sure enough global media recognition came with the launch of PUZZLE TRAIL (qv).

 TIME TO SWITCH OVER FOR THE BLUE PETER SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT