EXCLUSIVE: Iconic Blue Peter legends head to Edinburgh Fringe

Peter Purves walking the cable of the Forth Bridges.
Peter Purves walking the cable of the Forth Bridges.
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LOOK out the sticky-backed plastic, toilet rolls and coat-hangers, five of the UK’s most iconic children’s TV presenters are heading to the Fringe to star on stage together for the very first time.

Blue Peter legends Peter Purves, Janet Ellis, Peter Duncan, Mark Curry, Tim Vincent and a surprise guest will celebrate the diamond anniversary of the ground-breaking children’s TV series in Once Seen on Blue Peter: Makes, Bakes and Outtakes.

"Blue Peter" lineup circa 1972 (l/r) Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes with his beloved "Shep". Picture: PA

"Blue Peter" lineup circa 1972 (l/r) Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes with his beloved "Shep". Picture: PA

Described as ‘a blisteringly funny and poignant tribute to a much-loved TV family favourite’, Once Seen on Blue Peter has been devised by Tim Vincent, who presented the show from 1993 to 1997.

Calling it a “theatrical presentation,” he says, “Blue Peter presenters are like Swiss Army knives... they can turn their hands to most things.

“I cannot wait for everybody to see some of their favourite presenters strutting their stuff in this hilarious show.”

The show has brought back stirring memories of the Capital for Blue Peter legend Peter Purves, who helmed the show in the 60s and 70s.

Former Blue Peter presenters (L-R) Tim Vincent, Stuart Miles, Katy Hill and Diane-Louise Jordan.

Former Blue Peter presenters (L-R) Tim Vincent, Stuart Miles, Katy Hill and Diane-Louise Jordan.

Now 79 years young, he recalls, “I filmed in Edinburgh on several occasions, the most memorable being the films we made on the two iconic bridges over the Firth of Forth.

“On the railway bridge, the bridge manager took me up onto the girders and down under the tracks.

“Sadly a few weeks later, he was killed when he was hit by a train.

“But on the first Forth Road Bridge, the bridge inspector had to regularly walk over the entire bridge and the suspension system to visually check for any potential damage or problems.

Janet Ellis

Janet Ellis

“I went with him and we walked the suspension cable.

“It made a fabulous film, with a track by Harry Lauder, Keep Right On To The End of The Road, capturing the atmosphere perfectly as we two ants were seen in long shot, half way up the cable.

“And, we were not harnessed, we just had to hold on to the support hawsers.”

Scripted by award-winning writer Tim Whitnall, Once Seen on Blue Peter will be directed by Olivier-Award nominated Ian Talbot and will run at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, from 4-26 August in the Ballroom, daily at 2.50pm.

Blue Peter first sailed onto British TV screens on October 16, 1958, with Christopher Trace and Leila Williams presenting, and is now the longest-running children’s television programme in the world.

Aimed at kids from the age of 6-14, the show quickly became been an important part of growing up for generations of youngsters, each with their ‘own’ team of presenters.

This Fringe, expect a nostalgic look back to time when coat-hanger advent crowns, and sticky-backed plastic ruled the world.

Once Seen on Blue Peter: Makes, Bakes and Outtakes, Assembly Rooms: Ballroom, George Street, 4-26 August, 2.50pm, on sale tomorrow from www.edfringe.com