Blue Peter in the 1960s
Blue Peter began on 16th November 1958 and continues to this day. The first presenters were Leila Williams (1958-62) and Chris Trace (1958-67) and they were followed during the sixties by Anita West (1962), Valerie Singleton (1962-72 + many appearances thereafter), John Noakes (1965-1978) and Peter Purves (1967-78). Editions from the fifties and early sixties were not recorded, and, even when they were, many editions have since been junked (recorded over or deliberately destroyed) or mislaid by the BBC. However, compared to other BBC shows of the period, an unparalleled amount of material from Blue Peter in the sixties does still survive. Some of the surviving material from Blue Peter in the sixties has found it's way online and I am attempting to accurately identify and date every clip I find and list them here chronologically. Further information about each clip and the edition of Blue Peter it's taken from can be found in my comments on the videos (look for MrDannyDoodah):
What better way to start than with what is claimed to be the original opening credit sequence for Blue Peter, which doesn’t survive according to the BBC archive, so this may be slightly later or not in the archive
1963 October 7th
Mike Ward shows Val and the viewers how to decorate cakes.
1964 February 3rd
Chris and Val watch as The Searchers perform Needles and Pins.
1964 March 23rd
Freddie and The Dreamers perform ‘You Were Made For Me’ as Chris, Val and Petra watch. Meanwhile the nation’s children trash their living rooms and injure their younger siblings trying to copy the dance.
1965 June ?
Not actual footage from the show, but a film of an open day at the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association Training Centre, which had benefited from 1964’s Blue Peter Appeal, which shows Chris and guide dog Honey making their own film of the open day which was shown on the show on 5th July 1965.
1965 September 30th
Brian Poole and The Tremeloes perform ‘Uncle Willie’.
1966 January 3rd
Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours perform ‘Mirror Mirror’
1966 February 3rd
The Daleks open the show and sample a Dalek tea
1966 February 3rd
Val shows us the Dalek tea she is about to make, consisting of Dalek cakes and Dalek sandwiches, they wouldn’t, however, exterminate the viewers if they followed Val’s instructions correctly
1966 February 28th
The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band perform a medley including ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ and the lead singer shocks viewers by picking his nose during the performance
1966 May 2nd
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich perform ‘Hold Tight and, along with Chris and Val, enjoy the fun of the fair.
1966 June 20th
Chris and Val are joined in the studio by a War Machine from Dr Who’s latest adventure.
1966 June 27th
Chris, Val and John tell us about the next show and say goodbye. John and Chris are, between them, wearing the outsized clothing of Daniel Lambert. The first part of this clip is of uncertain date as it doesn’t appear to match the latter part.
1966 October 3rd
A clip of Val and John demonstrating an early home video recorder, which is uploaded here from a much later repeat, shown, within a much longer piece about the history of television, on Blue Peter on 12th May 1999.
1966 December 5th
Britain’s youngest pop group, The Bobcats, perform their debut single ‘Let Me Get By’
1967 July 13th
John Noakes climbs the mast of the HMS Ganges, and gets beaten by the button. (This video is taken from a repeat of the film on 21st April 1988 and therefore features Mark Curry and Yvette Fielding, as well as an interview with a former button boy)
1967 November 27th
Val, John and Pete try out some inflatable space hoppers
1967 November 27th
Val, John and Pete launch the Dr Who Monster competition
1968 April 18th
Pete shows us a model of a sea city that could exist by 2018!
1969 May 5th
A rather wonderful film devised and shot by film director Tim Byford, and featuring John and Pete on a Waiter’s Orienteering Race, an event held entirely for the film, and played for its comedy value as much as, if not more so than, it’s narrative value as a race. Noticable for featuring a pair of Playboy bunnies as other contestants. This film, although excellent, was not made to the prescribed Blue Peter mould of the time, and Tim would part company with the show shortly after making this.
1969 July 3rd
In the last show of that series Val, John and Pete have just announced their latest expedition to Ceylon, and as a preview of what they might see they introduce to us a baby elephant called Lulu. What could possibly go wrong?
If you know of other clips of Blue Peter from the sixties please let me know.
Page Last Updated - 05/05/2020