The very first literary prize I ever won was in 1971. It was a BBC Radio North poetry prize. I won a Blue Peter annual. When I found out what the prize was, I was very cross: what a rip-off. I’d won a fucking BBC poetry competition. And they gave me some crappy album for kids! I was eleven years old, above that sort of thing.
I never told anyone but…I loved that thing. I read it a dozen times. Yes, it was below my reading age and way below my dignity, but I’d grown up with Blue Peter. Those doofuses and their drugged up pets (take a close look at that photo; you think those cats wanted to be in the same studio with that dog?) were part of my after-school life, woven into the fabric of my childhood. So I feel a bit sad that there might be no more Blue Peter albums:
Publishers of the hardback, which has a history dating back to 1965, admit it can no longer compete with the likes of modern favourites such as The Simpsons and The Beano.
They had planned to release a 2012 volume but were forced to scrap the idea after shops failed to show enough interest.
Ah well, all good things come to an end. And, hey, we all grow up. Mostly. But, nah, this is what I’m talking about, Bleep and Booster!