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Take a few yards of plastic sheeting and a roll of duct tape. Add half an empty washing-up liquid bottle, a wire coat hanger and 2 cardboard toilet rolls and you’d have a project to make Blue Peter presenters proud. Or envious. Blue Peter, a 40 year old institution in children’s television which, for most of us over the age of 25, brought us such treasured memories as:

– Goldie, the inventively named Golden Retriever. ‘Owned’ by 80s presenter Simon Groom who managed to wangle regular visits back home by subjecting viewers to coverage of life down on his parents Derbyshire farm. Goldie’s litter of pups supposedly ended up “being trained as guide dogs”, though the show had a history of lying about its studio pets — beginning with border collie pup Petra whose premature death after two shows was expertly covered up by Valerie Singleton and a Petra look-alike.

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