Blue Peter by numbers

The BBC children's programme begins a new life in Salford today - here's some fascinating figures to celebrate...

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Blue Peter by numbers
Written By
Paul Jones

4… candles. No, not a Two Ronnies’ sketch, but the number on the Blue Peter Advent Crown. For thousands of children, the lighting of the show’s trademark seasonal decoration was the start of Christmas. The grandly named Advent Crown was actually constructed from wire coat hangers, tinsel and candles, and hung from the ceiling. It would never get past health and safety these days…

6… different colours of Blue Peter badge (not counting 50th anniversary and other special one-off badges). Along with your basic (but highly coveted) blue-on-white number, there are green (environmental), orange (competition winner/runner-up), purple (team player), silver (a second award for existing badge owners) and - the highest accolade the programme can bestow - the gold Blue Peter badge...

9... versions of the Blue Peter theme tune Barnacle Bill/The Sailor’s Hornpipe. Two of them were written by Mike Oldfield, who also composed Tubular Bells, the theme from The Exorcist. If Mike had got his tapes mixed up, BP could have had a very different vibe…

18... years old. Yvette Fielding’s age when she became the show’s youngest-ever presenter. Yvette built a successful TV career on the back of BP. She recently placed third in a celebrity episode of Come Dine with Me and can often be found poking around basements in search of a cheap thrill…

22… years spent by George the tortoise on Blue Peter, making him the show’s longest-serving pet. George once caused a bit of embarrassment when he mistook presenter Sarah Greene’s shoes for a pair of female tortoises – twins, presumably…

35… presenters in the show’s history. Andy Akinwolere’s departure this week means number 36 will soon be chosen. No clues yet as to his or her identity, although it’s likely they will live in reasonable proximity to Salford…

100… pounds sterling. The amount received by Tony Hart for designing the Blue Peter ship logo – approximately £1,500 in today’s money, or about 33p per episode. The licence fee payer foots that bill, you know…

1058… lives saved by Blue Peter lifeboats (when last recorded in March 2008). The RNLI was traditionally one of Blue Peter’s favoured charities, with boats bought by the show still active in seven lifeboat stations around the country...

500,000… Blue Peter badges estimated to have been awarded. Bit of trivia for you: the Blue Peter badges worn by Doctor Who companion Ace, aka Sophie Aldred, were the actress’s own

100,000,000… pounds sterling estimated to have been raised by viewers involved in the show’s charity appeals. Good work, boys and girls - here's to the next £100 million!

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