At the height of its success, each and every episode of Blue Peter was must-see viewing for the nation’s children.
Since the growth of digital TV, it has seen been sidelined from BBC One to CBBC – and its popularity has gradually dwindled as viewing options have expanded and tastes have changed.
But now the show has experienced a humiliating all-time low, as it has emerged that one episode last month drew in NO VIEWERS.
Now, to be fair to the show, this WAS a repeat airing. But it’s still a dire figure.
This particular airing of the show was a repeat, and went out on Tuesday June 13 at 2.30pm.
That original episode was first shown on June 8 7.30pm, pulling in a much better figure of 53,100 viewers.
At its peak Blue Peter would rake in almost eight million viewers and, a decade ago, when it was aired three times a week on BBC1, it was getting just under one million viewers per episode.
When it moved to CBBC things started to go downhill, with average viewing figures per episode hovering around 80,000.
CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor defended the show, saying: “I challenge any naysayers to check out last week’s enthralling episode on iPlayer if they have any doubts at all about its value and enduring appeal to the curious and clued-up CBBC audience.”
Blue Peter began in 1958 and quickly grew to national institution status, with children all over the UK dreaming of getting a Blue Peter badge – which was given to every guest who got to appear on the show, and sometimes as a recognition of achievement.
Who remembers being a little kid and wishing you could get your hands on one of those badges?
We do! At the time they were a big deal for children and apart from being a source of pride, they actually got you free access to lots of well known attractions and theme parks!
Our inner child is sad at how times are changing, but for a show to even still be going after more than 50 years is a huge achievement they should be proud of!