Friday, 23 March 2012


"One for sorrow, two for joy..." - I'm sure you can finish the rest off by yourselves.  Remember The SWOTS & The BLOTS from SMASH! comic?  Well, describing MAGPIE as the Blots' equivalent to the Swots' BLUE PETER is perhaps the easiest way to state the difference between the two programmes.  The easiest maybe, but far from the most accurate - I never really bought into the myth that Blue Peter was designed with middle-class kids in mind.

There was certainly not much difference (if any) between the Magpie and Blue Peter offerings - the contents were pretty much interchangable, and it was obvious that THAMES TELEVISION were merely following the format of the BBC's yearly publication.  Only the pics of the presenters distinguished the two books, with Magpie featuring (initially) SUSAN STRANKSPETE BRADY and TONY BASTABLE.

Magpie was first broadcast in 1968 and was intended to compete with its BBC counterpart, though it tried to be more "down with the kids, innit".  What can I say? Well, the latter is still with us - the former disappeared, never to be seen again, in 1980.  Here are some piccies from the second book, just to give you a taste of it.


baab said...

my dad would turn off blue peter because "it was for toffs and folk who think they are toffs!"
So it was stv for us.
I did see it sometimes, but it did not have an edge for me,
I did watch magpie,loved the theme tune.
I did not see the above cast though,maybe I just saw Susan Stranks in Itsy and Bitsy on tv and recognised her.some blurring of reality going on there..

Lots of reminiscing the last few months, Kid.
lots of blurred areas and no definite timeline before,but reading your blog and others I have been frequenting,I have been forming a true timeline wherein lie lots of forgotten stuff.

Its cool that you take the time to share .

I also treated myself to a conan and a captain america bicentennial battles treasury edition,Barry Smith and Jack Kirby inked by Barry Smith...
You may have had a little to do with that.

Kid said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog, baab. Used to have the Conan Treasury Edition, still got the Captain America one - and a few others. Probably the Magpie presenters you remember (as I do too) are: Dougie Rae, Mick Robertson, Jenny Hanley and Tommy Boyd, who replaced Rae in '77. One of my friends got a How! annual the other day - remember that programme?

baab said...

bah bah ba ba bah ba ba ba bah

definitely watched this,probably because my dad was enamoured by Jack hargreaves(?)
the old man whos field was past agricultural stuff.


Kid said...

Ol' Jack had his own country or fishing programme too, as I recall.

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