Anorak News | Ship Shape

Ship Shape

by | 20th, June 2006

“BADGE!” barks the security services drone at the chunky red, yellow and blue gates of Berkshire’s Legoland attraction.

The youngster hands over the item. The guard scrutinises it. He hands it to a colleague. A phone call is made. Tension mounts. The guard eyes the youth. “Card!” he commands.

And the youth cannot comply. What happens to him is best left unsaid, but just let it be known that it involves much sticky backed plastic and used washing up bottles. Granny might like to leave the room for a cry.

Such is the way of the world in which we eke out a life that Blue Peter badges have been acquired by the unworthy. Keen to get free entry into London Zoo, the aforesaid Legoland and almost 200 other venues, these badges were being sold online.

So bad did things become that the scheme was stopped in March.

And this was unfair. Why should the children who had built spaceships out of lollipop sticks and hand-reared a stick insect abandoned by its mother miss out?

What to do? The question was put to the viewers of the BBC’s flagship children’s TV show. And the response was heartening.

Richard Marson, the Blue Peter editor, tells the Times: “Many of the best ideas come directly from the audience and this was no exception. After we broke the news of the suspension, 11-year-old Helen Jennings wrote to us suggesting a card and even included a prototype design.”

The Times has a picture of Helen, who came up with the idea of furnishing badge winners with identity cards. Her efforts have not gone unrewarded and she is now the proud owner of a silver Blue Peter badge. Helen will go far, perhaps all the way to the office of Home Secretary.

And what of this new device? As the Guardian reports, the new Blue Peter card features the show’s ship logo as a hologram. There is space for holders to insert a photograph. There is an expiry date – the holder’s 16th birthday.

It’s just great. And if you want one, you can go to – or customise mum’s credit card…

Posted: 20th, June 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink