This new book “by” Biddy Baxter comprising pieces of correspondence from the history of Blue Peter is a charming concept, but somewhat different in reality. Because it doesn’t just contain letters to and from BP during Biddy’s reign. It runs right up to the present day and the show’s current unhappy Key Stage 2 variety show format.
As much it’s nice to eavesdrop on a few exchanges about “club blue peeter” and sartorial gaffes, on reflection it feels too soon to be reading this kind of thing. It’s nothing to do with Biddy. It’s like rifling through someone’s saved mails from the other week. A bit of distance – a bit of history – lends the older material far more sustained appeal and, yes, a dash of poignancy.
The book tries to please too many people and, perhaps, ends up satisfying none. The past and the present should’ve been kept separate.
This might have set a precedent, though, for opening up the inboxes of current BBC programmes. Why stop at Blue Peter? A collection of eccentric emails sent to The One Show, for instance, could make for a perfect stocking filler.