What do Pier’s Simon Ward, Ed Sheeran, David Beckham have in common?

This week, Blue Peter celebrated its 60th birthday.  A nation’s favourite, and the world’s longest-running children’s show, Blue Peter celebrated by presenting some of the most influential people in popular culture with a coveted gold Blue Peter badge.

Since the badges were launched in 1963, over one million have been given out, with the gold versions being presented to such high profile names as David Beckham, JK Rowling, Torvil & Dean and HM The Queen.

This week, Suffolk’s hero Ed Sheeran received a gold badge, 18 years after Pier’s very own Account Manager Simon Ward received a badge for his artwork when he was just six years old. Simon drew a picture of the millennium fireworks taking place in London as it was broadcast live on BBC during Jools Holland’s Hootenanny.

Simon says, “My parents sent the drawing in and Blue Peter replied with a badge, two Blue Peter stickers and a letter saying how great my picture was… thankfully they were not harsh art critics.

“Since then, courtesy of the VIP status Blue Peter badge possession brings, I have enjoyed free and discounted entry to attractions such as museums, Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London.”

This got us talking in the office about who we would give a gold Blue Peter badge to.

You might be surprised at some of the Pier nominees!

Account director Steph Smith said: “I nominate Princess Eugenie because:

  1. She got married at the weekend
  2. She deliberately wore a low back dress to show the scar she has following an operation she had as a child for scoliosis – she wanted to show solidarity with other sufferers which I thought was pretty brave
  3. Prince Harry and Meghan told the family that they were having a baby at her wedding – must have been slightly annoying but she’s kept a dignified silence nevertheless 😉

Account manager Chrystal Flavin nominated endurance athlete and inspirational speaker Sophie Radcliffe, who has set up charity Trailblazers, which gives students in socially deprived areas access to a programme to help them develop the skills and confidence to navigate the modern world. If she nominated someone from the office it would be Lany (Elaine Anderson-Browne) for her “AMAZING” craft skills, and for completing her first ever Art on the Prom this year.

Account director Helen Porter gave her nomination after attending a charity event last week, “Kate Bowden Smith and I went to a charity fundraiser for Fresh Start New Beginnings last week.  The work carried out by the charity in Norfolk and Suffolk is vital for children who are the victims of sexual abuse.  Kieron Dyer is an ambassador for the charity and spoke so honestly about the awful experiences he endured as a child that fundamentally went on to affect the person he is today.  It was obvious how much courage it took for him to speak about something so personal in front of a room full of people – the very least he deserves is a gold Blue Peter badge.”

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