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The famous faces you forgot started out in CBBC's Broom Cupboard

30 years of CBBC brought us Phillip Schofield, Zoe Ball... and a Tory MP

Published: Wednesday, 9th September 2015 at 2:40 pm

Don't leave me in the cupboard. Share me.


The original broom cupboard presenter when Children's BBC launched 30 years ago. Different hair colour, same gift for muddling through live TV. Our personal favourite? Watching him lip sync to 80s animated classic Ulysses 31...

Proof that children's telly is no bar to a "serious" career (who'd want that?), Esther McVey went from Broom Cupboard spin-off But First This to the Houses of Parliament. A Tory MP from 2010, she even had a place in David Cameron's cabinet – until she lost her seat in this year's General Election.

Nowadays he occasionally pays Schofield a visit on This Morning and pops up on Good Morning Britain, but Andi Peters was the go-to man for children's TV throughout the 90s. Here he is in the Broom Cupboard interviewing Tom Jones – and trying to stop Edd the Duck getting his head smashed in.

Now Strictly primetime, Zoe Ball has come a long way since bouncing through her Broom Cupboard links. But just because she's gone on to BBC Radio 1, Top of the Pops and Strictly Come Dancing, she's still on speed dial in case CBBC calls.

Not strictly a Broom Cupboard presenter, but Nicholas Witchell's appearance in a bare Broom Cupboard proves that even in an emergency CBBC is the place to be.

During the 'Great Storm' of October 1987, much of the south east of England was left without power, including almost all of BBC Television Centre. The continuity booth that was the Broom Cupboard was one of the few places that had a back-up generator, and so the set was hastily pulled down to make way for an emergency BBC breakfast news broadcast.


Newsreader Nicholas Witchell sat in the tiny studio and delivered news of the previous night's storm. "It was a moment when people wanted and needed information, and we were able to give at least some of it – even if it was from the Broom Cupboard!" the royal correspondent says.


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