Blue Peter visits the seals at Blakeney Point - while 34-year-old Norwich fan receives gold badge

From left to right Ajay Tegala with the Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and George Baldock o

From left to right Ajay Tegala with the Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and George Baldock on Blakeney Point. - Credit: submitted

With Blue Peter filming at Blakeney Point this week, TRACEY GRAY looks back on some of the previous occasions on which the children's show has visited the region. Meanwhile, REBECCA MURPHY reports on one fan of the series who has received one of its coveted badges – at the age of 34

Proud Gold Blue Peter badge winner Mark Boardman

Proud Gold Blue Peter badge winner Mark Boardman - Credit: Archant

Children's show Blue Peter has visited Blakeney Point nature reserve to film at what is now the largest seal colony in England.

Thousands of seal pups have been born this year at the National Trust-owned site and the programme was keen to capture the work done there.

Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya toured the reserve with rangers Ajay Tegala and George Baldock, to see the last of the seals before they leave when the pupping season ends next month.

This season – which began in November – saw more than 2,126 grey seals make their way into the world.


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After touring the reserve, the team then went on to the RSPCA's Norfolk Wildlife Hospital, in East Winch, which cares for orphaned, sick or injured seal pups as well as other species of British wildlife.

Mr Baldock said: 'They came up to film for a few hours, there are only a few seals now as they are disappearing as the breeding season ends, but I know they managed to get some good pictures and they interviewed myself and another ranger.'

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It is not the first time the show and its presenters have paid a visit to the region.

Simon Thomas, who was a presenter for six years – joining the programme in 1999 – grew up in North Norfolk and paid a visit to Trowse Primary School when they opened their new buildings in 2001.

The same year, Blue Peter transmitted a live broadcast from outside the CITB's National Construction College in Bircham Newton as part of National Construction Week.

In 2003 Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq tried out the new cookery demo area at the Aldiss superstore in Fakenham, and in 2012 Blue Peter's gardener Chris Collins visited four schools in Norwich to help launch a Norfolk gardening project, Going Green for Gold.

The show filmed at Blakeney Point will be shown on the CBBC channel next Thursday at 5.30pm.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE POPULAR THE SHOW

• Blue Peter first aired in 1958 and is the longest-running children's television show in the world.

• The show has viewer and presenter challenges, filmed reports and the famous arts and crafts things to make.

• The show has produced many moments that are etched in the minds of generations, from Lulu the elephant messing on the studio floor and pulling over her keeper, to the outcry when the show's outside garden was vandalised in the 1980s.

• Children (and adults) who appear on the show or achieve something notable may be awarded the coveted Blue Peter badge which allows holders free entry into a number of visitor attractions across the UK.

• Famous presenters in the past include - Valerie Singleton, John Noakes, Peter Purves, Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding, Anthea Turner, Konnie Huq and Matt Baker. The current presenters are Barney Harwood, Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya.

MARK BOARDMAN RECEIVES GOLD BADGE

The Blue Peter badge is one of the most sought-after childhood items – but a man from Norwich has been awarded one, at the age of 34.

Entertainment journalist Mark Boardman has received his gold badge – the rarest badge awarded for exceptional achievement – for his help in promoting young rising musicians.

The former Wymondham College student, who is the CEO of MarkMeets.com – a UK entertainment site – first got into the media in the early 2000s through writing about film premieres and interviewing celebrities.

The father-of-two was nominated to receive the badge by various people within the media for his involvement in boosting young and unknown talent.

Mr Boardman said: 'I help put together showcases to show off new talent – I've always tried to help people. I post articles on young and talented musicians with links to their Youtube. I put on showcases where key figures in the industry attend and I have helped people such as Jessie J and Sam Smith.'

The showbiz reporter states that being awarded the golden badge, and being among the elite to have one, is up there with the rest of his awards.

He said: 'It is quite an amazing accolade... It's nice to be recognised for doing something I love.

'It has taken pride of place with my other media achievements.'

• In 2013 only 764 gold ones had been awarded since their inception.

• Famous recipients of the gold badge include; Jenson Button, Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Gary Barlow, Lenny Henry, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, JK Rowling and Torvill and Dean.

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