When I was a kid, Blue Peter was a top programme full of educational features.
This week I have seen Dick and Dom making pancakes on Blue Peter, plus a song by the young pop combo who are so poor they have to share the single name of Jedward.
I should point out that I only watched out of the corner of my eye and with the sound turned down, because I was in an edit suite at the time, putting together a cutting edge TV feature. However, most angry letters to the Daily Mail begin with the phrase, ‘I didn’t see it myself, but I was outraged to learn……’ (I don’t read the Mail myself, as it outrages me, but I’m led to be believe in the existence of such letters.)
What is going on in the world? Blue Peter used to be educational. If you wanted to muck about you turned over and watched Magpie. That was what commercial television was for.
Are really going to produce the leaders from tomorrow by teaching them how to make batter based snack products? It was hard to tell the ingredients with the sound turned down, but these looked a bit like French pancakes to me. They were certainly a bit crepe.
When Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, he knew he needed to carb up, like marathon runners do with a pasta meal the night before a race. That’s what pancake day is all about. Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, call it what you want, it’s all about stocking up for the long haul ahead. It’s about getting ready to make a few sacrifices in your life, like giving up chocolates for Lent or going camping in the wilderness.
It’s not about dicking about in da bungalow and seeing how much mess you can make by battering each other. It’s certainly not about putting a Jedward wig on a Blue Peter dog while the tuneless, high-haired, halfwits leap about scaring the rest of the animals.
I remember the days when Janet Ellis was sacked from Blue Peter because she set a bad example to youngsters by giving birth to a young pop star, Sophie Ellis Bextor. Presenters have always had to be whiter than white. Richard Bacon was sacked for having a diet coke, I seem to half remember.
I’ve still got my Blue Peter badge from the day I made a film for the programme. I got into the last three to become a presenter, having made it through the rigorous and notorious trampoline audition. But did I get the job? No they gave it to Anthea Turner, who after a good start spoiled everything by selling her wedding for the price of a bar of chocolate.
So that’s what this is all about. It’s not about wigs on dogs or messy cooks, it’s about not getting a job back in the early nineties, when I still had hair. Well I never realised that’s what was going on in my subconscious. This blog may well be turning out to be a bit dull for you the reader, but I tell you what, it’s saving me a fortune in trips to my analyst.
(I should point out in case my Mum reads this, that I don’t have an analyst and this is poetic licence. Even if it doesn’t rhyme.)
Jem 19th Feb 2010 On the couch