Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s TV show, commemorates the 60th anniversary of its famous Blue Peter badge. Introduced by Biddy Baxter on June 17, 1963, the badge has become a symbol of achievement and recognition for young viewers.
The concept behind the badge was simple yet ingenious: children would send in their ideas to the show’s producers, suggesting what they would like to see featured. In return, these imaginative young minds were rewarded with the coveted badge.
Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of Blue Peter badges have been awarded, with a staggering 750,000 granted in the past decade alone. Today, the Blue Peter badge family has expanded to include eight distinct types: Blue, Silver, Green, Sport, Purple, Orange, Gold, and Music.
The Blue Badge, the most common one, can be earned by viewers who submit captivating letters, poems, pictures, and stories, or by making an appearance on the program. The Silver badge celebrates acts of kindness and selflessness, while the Green badge recognises environmental awareness and care for nature and the planet.
The Purple badge is bestowed upon children who actively engage with the show’s online community and provide reviews of episodes they have watched. The Orange badge is reserved for winners or runners-up of Blue Peter competitions, rewarding their exceptional achievements.
The music badge, designed by renowned artist Ed Sheeran, is given to viewers who express their passion for music to Blue Peter. The Sport badge encourages an active lifestyle and participation in physical activities. In 2021, Britain’s youngest Olympian, Sky Brown, designed the Sport badge, and fans eagerly anticipate a new Sport badge created by English football player Leah Williamson, to be unveiled soon in 2023.
The Gold badge stands as Blue Peter’s highest honour, granted exclusively to individuals who exhibit extraordinary bravery, courage, and expertise, or have represented their country in international events. The prestigious list of Gold badge recipients includes notable figures such as King Charles and Queen Camilla, The Prince and Princess of Wales, Ellie Simmonds, David Beckham, Greta Thunberg, Jamie Oliver, Malory Blackman, Mary Berry, Marcus Rashford, Tim Peake, Steven Spielberg, Sir Mo Farrah, and Sir David Attenborough.
Even celebrity guests who appear on the show receive a badge, with names like Hugh Jackman, Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Maisie Williams, Madonna, Britney Spears, Ewan McGregor, Justin Bieber, and Morph adorning the distinguished list.
In addition to the badge’s symbolic value, Blue Peter badge holders aged between 5 and 15 are entitled to free admission to various attractions throughout the country, thanks to their Badge Card.
Ellen Evans, Editor of Blue Peter, expressed her enthusiasm for the show’s long-standing tradition, stating, “Every week on Blue Peter, we encourage kids to join in, discover new things, be creative, and adventurous to earn their very own Blue Peter badge. The Blue Peter team still relishes reading letters from our fans, and we personally respond to each one we receive. Receiving a personal letter in the mail and knowing that you’ve earned your badge because you did your best is truly special. From kids to celebrities, everyone wants a Blue Peter badge!”
Artwork submitted by viewers to Blue Peter is showcased in every episode on CBBC and iPlayer, displayed proudly on the renowned ‘big badge wall.’ Furthermore, lucky badge applicants may even have the chance to appear on the show itself. Recently, magic enthusiast Ruben visited the Blue Peter studio before attending the Blackpool Magic convention with presenters Joel, Eliza, and Harrison. Additionally, Ashar, Sasha, and Celyn had the extraordinary opportunity to meet the King and Queen after being awarded their gold badges.
Exciting news regarding the badge collection includes the unveiling of a limited edition Doctor Who badge. In celebration of Doctor Who’s 60th birthday, Blue Peter launched a special competition in May, granting one fortunate fan the chance to go behind the scenes on set. The top 500 participants will receive an exclusive competition badge, making it a true collector’s item.
To catch the latest episodes of Blue Peter, tune in to CBBC and BBC iPlayer every Friday at 5pm, and continue to join the show’s vibrant community, where creativity and adventure await.