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Friday, 23 March 2012
MURGATROYD THE MAGPIE...
"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 STRANKS, PETE 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.