04/11/1974 Blue Peter


04/11/1974

A 1974 edition of the children's magazine programme, with John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd. Items include Petra the dog's 12th birthday and Bonfire Night in Devon.


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Transcript


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ALL: Hello.

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And with her candlelit cake and all of her cards and presents here

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in the studio, Petra really is having a memorable 12th birthday.

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I think she looks in splendid condition,

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considering she's 12 years old now.

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In fact, it's hard to imagine,

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looking at her, that she is such a very old lady,

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and we'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who's sent her

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a card or a present, and you can see we've brought them all

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to the studio today. They make a splendid display here.

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Although she is rather an old lady,

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and she appears to have gone to sleep for the moment,

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she still likes a game.

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Hey, Petra, Petra! I've got a ball for you!

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-Chase it!

-Come on!

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Come on, look lively!

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Come on, Petra, chase, come on!

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-It's a handicap race!

-I've never seen her move so fast!

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Startling!

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OK, Shep!

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-Shep's gone away now.

-She's following the scent.

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Amazing. She's got it. Surprise.

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Well done, girl.

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Who's a clever girl? We'll get you a stretcher.

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Shep's going to end up sharing that ball with her, I think!

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Probably beating her to it most of the time!

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-Hang on, she's going to come all the way round here!

-Come on, then!

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Come on, then, girl!

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It's a lap of honour, cos it's her birthday! Well done.

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-Terrific.

-Something else that Shep's

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definitely going to end up sharing with Petra is

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a rather magnificent birthday cake.

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It's a special birthday cake for dogs,

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and underneath the savoury icing there,

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there's all their favourite food.

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We'll give them a slice of that in just a moment.

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But first of all, let's take a look at some of her presents,

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cos she's really been very fortunate with her presents.

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She's been sent two rather nice quilts here.

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They've been hand-stitched from bits of various kinds of material.

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Those look rather nice in her basket.

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She's got a vast assortment of biscuits.

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You're having a good rummage there. Things to chew of all kinds.

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I know what you can smell. Someone's sent her some chocolates.

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They're her favourite kind. Do you want some of those? Hey?

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Thought you would. Thought you would.

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And as well as the other chewy things that there are,

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there are quite a lot of bones,

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some just to chew and some that squeak like that,

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which don't seem to interest her all that very much!

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She's been very lucky with all those presents.

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She's also been lucky with her cards.

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She's got hundreds of them. This is a nice and unusual one.

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It says "Snap" on the front of it, and the reason why,

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you'll see when I turn it round.

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It says, "Dear Petra.

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"As we both have our birthday on the same day

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"and we're both going to be 12 on November 4th,

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"I'd like to congratulate us

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"and wish us both a very happy birthday. From Georgette Frank."

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-It's a plural birthday card.

-That's right.

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Actually, I've got a beautiful birthday card here.

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It's in the shape of a cake.

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There's 12 candles burning away on the top there,

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and there's the numbers 12 there,

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some rather pretty daisies along the bottom there, and I open it up,

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you'll see, there they are, Petra's name in very bright pink

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and three bright pink hearts along the bottom.

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And there's another rather nice one.

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This is a bit of a fun one, actually,

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Petra around the birthday table there, it says,

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"I'm 12, as you can see, and this cake here's for Shep and me."

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Underneath is Jason saying, "After all the things I've done for her!"

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It's a nice joke, because inside it says,

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"Happy birthday, Petra, you're not that mean."

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She really isn't, she's lovely.

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Here she is in the centre of another unusual card

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with drawings of her eight puppies all the way round there.

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Down at the bottom here, a drawing of poor old Patch,

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who you may remember was with us on the programme

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until he died rather sadly three and a half years ago.

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At the bottom here, it says, "Happy birthday to a grandmother."

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That's not a mistake, because inside the card, there's a picture

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of three of her grandpuppies, Mandy, Brandy and Dandy.

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And here we have Petra in cinemascope.

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Rather a long Petra, this.

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Having a bit of a dream there.

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She's dreaming about, "My birthday, what fun."

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Juicy bones, a new dog bowl, extra food for tea,

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or even birthday cake, which she's got,

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and presents, a nice, cosy basket to sleep in,

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with a new thick, woolly blanket,

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and there will be thousands of cards,

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and right at the end of the dream,

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"With that, I'll have a smashing birthday,

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"and I'll be on television as well."

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Actually, her dreams have come true - she is on the telly and she's received most of those things!

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-Yes.

-They really are smashing cards.

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We'll cut the cake in just a moment

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and give both Petra and Shep a nice taste of it.

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But as I said, thank you again for her cards and presents,

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and I think it just goes to show what an extremely popular dog she is.

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Now, I don't know if there's anyone watching now who can remember Petra

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being on Blue Peter for the very first time.

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If there is, they must be at least 15 years old.

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It was on our Christmas programme in 1962.

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Amongst the presents round the tree was a large box

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covered in Christmas paper with a special Blue Peter label.

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Petra soon grew from a ball of wool

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to a floppy, long-legged, gangly puppy.

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We bought a large kennel with a perfectly good front door.

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But Petra soon found the more spectacular way out.

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Petra's always had the knack of making the most unusual friends.

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She and Tom the donkey would play like this for hours.

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But we never let her off the lead in a field of animals she didn't know.

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She was trained never to chase sheep, lambs or cows.

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September 9th, 1965 was a red-letter day in the Blue Peter calendar.

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It was the day Petra presented us with her eight puppies,

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and she herself was nearly three years old.

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And this, believe it or not,

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was poor Patch's first appearance on Blue Peter.

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Petra was a marvellous mother.

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She kept a close eye on all her pups and washed and cleaned them

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every minute of each day.

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It wasn't long before the blind, helpless puppies became

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eight of the fiercest young dogs you've ever seen.

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Besides Patch, there was Rex, Rover, Candy, Prince, Kim, Bruce and Peter.

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One of their favourite games

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was a tug of war with one of Val's old scarves.

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It was Bruce who started the cardboard picnic cup game,

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and in no time, they were all doing it.

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Whenever she can, Petra takes part in all the things we do.

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Like the time when John and I visited Daniel, our Blue Peter baby,

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to build a shed for his donkey.

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Thank you.

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Oh, yeah. Well, we've got a slight hole there,

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and we've also got a slight problem.

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We've got to get... Petra.

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Here we are. Hit the nail.

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Hit it.

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Woh!

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You hit the wrong nail there, mate.

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Yes.

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'Peter seemed to be getting on much faster than the two of us.'

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Very good.

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Hey, look - it's standing up all by itself.

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Are you finished work?

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Suppose you want your wages?

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Here are your wages.

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You haven't done any overtime yet, mate.

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Your nail's come out again.

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'As soon as I got out the jelly babies, Petra appeared from nowhere.

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'But she was unlucky. Daniel wasn't giving this one away.'

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One of the proudest moments in Petra's life

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was when she was eight years old,

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and was asked to sit for a famous sculptor.

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Tim, who draws the Bengo and Bleep & Booster pictures,

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wanted to make a bronze statue of her.

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Petra's head was the first part Tim was going to model.

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'He set about it using strips of plasticine,

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'which he'd warmed up, so it was nice and soft, and easy to shape.'

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Let's establish the exact length. She's got a rather long...

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She has a long snout, and it's fairly thin, too.

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Foxy. Yes. Establish the ear.

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That's about the height of the ear.

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Can I just have a look? yes.

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I think she'll probably sit here now, Tim.

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Get your ears up, and your head up.

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Now, stay! Good girl.

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'I thought I might be in the way,

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'so I got Petra to sit and stay, and hoped she wouldn't get bored.

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'It was going to be a long job,

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'so I settled down to watch Tim at work.'

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The finished statue was a splendid likeness,

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and today, on her 12th birthday,

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Petra still looks as bright and alert as she did four years ago,

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when the statue was made.

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Petra, come on and be bright and alert, whilst I give you your cake.

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Look. There you are.

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Are you going to be alert?

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She's very sleepy this afternoon.

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Before anyone complains we're over-feeding our dogs

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and making rather fancy food for them,

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this is all made from lunchtime scraps.

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It is food that they like.

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There's a few little bits of chicken off the bone there.

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Nice.

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Happy dogs.

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One of the things we'll definitely do tomorrow

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is make sure that Petra, Shep and Jason

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are well out of the way,

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safe inside - indoors - for Guy Fawkes Day.

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Like many animals, one thing they aren't too fond of

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are loud bangs and explosions.

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Yes, and if you want to enjoy November 5th,

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one of the best ways is to go along to a big, organised display,

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where there's no danger of getting hurt.

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There'll be firework displays and bonfires all over Britain tomorrow.

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Thanks, Shep(!)

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But the village of Great Torrington in Devon

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had its bonfire last Saturday.

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A most unusual one it was, and I went along

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to lend a hand out with the preparations.

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'Torrington's bonfire is always special.

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'This year, the bonfire committee decided

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'to build a huge Viking ship.'

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It reminded me of the Shetlands' Up Helly Aa festival.

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Only this boat was about four times bigger.

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Just about everyone in Torrington brings something

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to make sure there's a good blaze.

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'The man in charge of it was Larry Alexander.'

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I should think everybody gets rid of their rubbish

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on this, don't they?

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Everything bar the kitchen sink, I think.

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In fact, I think we've had two sinks.

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Is this a record this year?

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For length, I should imagine so. It's 150 foot long.

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Is it really?

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Let's go round and have a look at the back, shall we?

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'The ship was one-sided.'

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Round the back, it was a mess.

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A huge timber framework, packed solid with rubbish.

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Ladders led up to a sort of deck,

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where more helpers were working on the mast that towered 85 feet

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up in the air.

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There was a traditional dragon figurehead,

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and, like all Viking ships,

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rows of shields lined the sides.

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The ship wasn't going anywhere, except up in smoke,

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'but even so,

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'it had an enormous sail.'

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The wind's getting up, Larry.

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It's about force five now.

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Hold it!

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Hold it.

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Hey!

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There she goes!

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Hang on, the sail's not down properly, that side.

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The bonfire was due to be lit at eight o'clock,

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and, with nine hours to go,

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cooking had already started on an ox,

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'to feed the hundreds of spectators.'

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I reckon that was a morning's work, was that.

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But there's something I can't put my finger on. I've just realised

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everybody in the village seems to have beards. Why is this, Dave?

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That's for a very unusual event we will put on this afternoon.

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1,100 years ago,

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the Vikings invaded at this very spot, led by their king, Hubba.

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Today, the battle was to be fought again,

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and this time, the Vikings were going to be led by me.

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Time to get a bit of blood around them this afternoon.

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There's no two ways about it.

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It's not real blood, is it?

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Yeah, it will be.

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I can take tomato ketchup, but not blood.

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I feel like Ena Sharples.

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Right, my bonnet.

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WOLF WHISTLE

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Thank you.

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How's that - do I look fierce?

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Right, then. Off to battle!

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Right, lads. Kill them!

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'As one man, the Vikings of Torrington

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'brandished their wooden swords and rubber axes,

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'and set about the Saxons from nearby Appledore.

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I'd just started to enjoy the fight,

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but unfortunately, as the real King Hubba died in battle,

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I had to fall at the right moment,

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and stay down.

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Legend has it that the dead King Hubba was taken by boat up-river,

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to be given a magnificent Viking funeral,

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so my acting part was far from over.

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CHEERING

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After the boat, I was to be put on a cart

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and bumped through the streets

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and back to the Torrington funeral ship.

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Acting dead was getting a bit boring,

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so I was pleased when a kind Saxon lady slipped me a sweet.

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Back in the olden days, dead Viking kings were put on their ships,

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which were then set on fire, and pushed out to sea.

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'Everything had been very realistic so far,

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'and it was quite a relief when I was allowed to get off the cart.'

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-We have to get this effigy up as quick as we can, John.

-Right.

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If you come over here a minute..

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'In my place, a stuffed dummy was hauled on board the funeral ship.'

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'It wasn't a good likeness,

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'but rather him than me.'

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CHEERING

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Can you take my wig off?

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Pull my whiskers.

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Just pull.

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I look very scruffy, as usual, but not to worry.

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There's the fireworks.

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OK? Are we ready to light the fire?

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-Time to light the fire.

-Stand by!

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-I think we're going to have to move back.

-Yes.

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Back!

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It was a great day for everyone.

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The battle and the blaze, between them, had raised over £400

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for Christmas parcels.

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So, thanks to King Hubba, Larry, and all his helpers,

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the old people of Torrington will have a very happy Christmas.

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A profitable and enjoyable day for all concerned, I would say.

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I reckon that fire will burn for a few more days yet.

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I'm sure it will. There's will be a lot of fires tomorrow night.

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If there's no big bonfire or firework display

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near where you live,

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and you're going to have a smaller one on your own,

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be very careful with your fireworks.

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Simple things to remember - keep them in a box with a lid,

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and keep the box well away from the fire.

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Don't light more than one firework at once.

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Please don't carry them around in your pockets,

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and don't throw them around.

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Last year, there were 1,200 accidents on Bonfire Night,

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so it's worth taking extra care

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to make sure nothing happens to you.

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Or to your pets, so make sure you look after them.

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Now, over to Lesley.

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We said on Thursday that today we'd be showing you

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exactly what goes on behind the scenes

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here at the BBC Television Centre.

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To do that, we thought we'd show you the BBC's biggest studio.

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It's Studio One.

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It's so enormous that I feel pretty small standing here.

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Of course, I'm not alone.

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Apart from John, Peter and myself,

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there are an awful lot of other people who work here, too.

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If I added up all the electricians, cameramen, engineers,

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floor assistants, and make up girls,

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there would be well over 50 people, all working,

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helping to get Blue Peter on the air.

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The measurements of Studio One

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sound like something out of Roy Castle's Record Breakers.

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For a start, there's 990 metres of working floor space.

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Two of the walls measure 33 metres long.

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The other two measure 30 metres long.

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If they're putting a play on here in the studio,

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and they have to get scenery in and out,

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then there's a huge pair of doors.

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When they're open they provide a space which is 5.5 metres high,

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and four and a quarter metres wide.

0:19:110:19:14

Big enough, in fact, to drive a double-decker bus through.

0:19:140:19:17

When the scenery gets in here,

0:19:170:19:19

it's then slung by wires up to the roof.

0:19:190:19:21

Well, not really onto the roof,

0:19:210:19:22

but electric motors, called hoists.

0:19:220:19:24

All the lamps are on hoists, too.

0:19:240:19:26

Over 500 of them can be raised or lowered at the press of a button.

0:19:260:19:30

But the lamps aren't controlled down here.

0:19:300:19:32

They're operated from upstairs, in a control room.

0:19:320:19:35

Pete's there now, on the other side of that glass panel.

0:19:350:19:38

This is the lighting control room.

0:19:380:19:41

From here, Lance, who's the lighting supervisor,

0:19:410:19:43

is able to control all the lamps you've seen out there in the studio.

0:19:430:19:46

For instance, if I want to fade down the lights on the background

0:19:460:19:49

of the Blue Peter set,

0:19:490:19:52

all I have to do is press one of the buttons on this panel, here.

0:19:520:19:55

This is a mini computer,

0:19:550:19:56

and it's able to remember a whole selection, or group,

0:19:560:19:59

of lamp settings

0:19:590:20:01

So, if I want to fade them down, I'll press this button.

0:20:010:20:05

Out there in the studio, the lights fade right the way down.

0:20:050:20:08

And then, to bring them back again,

0:20:080:20:10

all I have to do is press this one, and they come straight up again.

0:20:100:20:13

I was able to see what was happening there

0:20:130:20:15

by looking out through a window here, out into the studio,

0:20:150:20:18

from which Lance can see everything that happens in the studio

0:20:180:20:21

at any time during a programme.

0:20:210:20:23

In Studio One, we can use five cameras.

0:20:230:20:26

Some are on pedestals, and are pushed around by the cameramen,

0:20:260:20:29

like camera four, for instance.

0:20:290:20:31

Actually, it's quite a skill to push the camera around

0:20:310:20:33

and get a good picture at the same time.

0:20:330:20:35

Some of them are on a camera crane like this one.

0:20:350:20:37

And this is one of the largest camera cranes used by the BBC.

0:20:370:20:42

It's called a Sam Master

0:20:420:20:43

and it's used not just for indoor camerawork,

0:20:430:20:45

with television cameras on the front like this,

0:20:450:20:48

but for outdoor filming as well.

0:20:480:20:49

It's got this huge great lorry,

0:20:490:20:52

which you'd think might be rather noisy to work inside the studio,

0:20:520:20:55

but in fact, when it's in the studio

0:20:550:20:57

it can be worked off electric motors.

0:20:570:20:59

Now, on the business end of this long boom is myself,

0:20:590:21:02

who's being the cameraman, this camera,

0:21:020:21:04

and I've got my assistant Dave, who's also a cameraman.

0:21:040:21:07

But Dave's job is to turn the little wheel round there,

0:21:070:21:10

so Dave, if you can turn it.

0:21:100:21:11

You'll see now that the whole camera and myself swing round

0:21:110:21:15

so I can find any shot that I want.

0:21:150:21:18

OK, Dave, if we go all the way back.

0:21:180:21:21

Well, it needs four people to raise this boom

0:21:210:21:24

to a fantastic height of over seven metres, so, OK, fellas!

0:21:240:21:28

Two sort of push up

0:21:280:21:29

and then the back two get hold of it at the back and pull down...a-ah!

0:21:290:21:34

I went quite high.

0:21:340:21:36

Now if I spin the camera around, or Dave turns us round,

0:21:360:21:40

I then zoom out.

0:21:400:21:41

You will now see what a fantastic shot I get.

0:21:410:21:45

OK, fellas! Can you let us down again?

0:21:450:21:48

And, there again, it takes really two to get us down.

0:21:480:21:52

OK, Dave, if we could swing round.

0:21:520:21:54

You'll notice too that we're wearing crash hats,

0:21:540:21:56

and this is just in case any of those lights up there

0:21:560:22:00

are a little too low and we go a bit too high

0:22:000:22:02

and there's a rather sudden contact between our heads.

0:22:020:22:06

We're also strapped in, so if anything does go wrong,

0:22:060:22:08

we can't actually fall out of the seat.

0:22:080:22:10

Let's go up again, can we, fellas?

0:22:100:22:12

Sorry for all the hard work.

0:22:120:22:14

But each camera in the studio,

0:22:140:22:18

its picture is shown on a little television screen

0:22:180:22:22

in the control room, which is inside there.

0:22:220:22:27

Well, here in the main control room,

0:22:270:22:29

you've got a whole bank of television sets across the bottom.

0:22:290:22:32

Now these are showing the pictures that are being given out

0:22:320:22:35

by each of the five cameras here in the studio.

0:22:350:22:38

Above them, you'll see there are three more sets,

0:22:380:22:41

and this one here in the centre

0:22:410:22:42

is what we call the transmission monitor, that's the one

0:22:420:22:45

that's showing the picture that you're seeing at home.

0:22:450:22:47

Whatever we see on there, that's what you're seeing at home.

0:22:470:22:50

If you're lucky enough to be watching Blue Peter today in colour,

0:22:500:22:54

then you'll have noticed that only this one

0:22:540:22:56

and this one are actually colour sets.

0:22:560:22:59

The others are giving out pictures in black and white,

0:22:590:23:01

and that's because these two monitors here are really

0:23:010:23:04

precision-made instruments to give a perfect colour picture.

0:23:040:23:08

They're very expensive,

0:23:080:23:09

far more expensive than ordinary domestic colour television sets,

0:23:090:23:12

so the BBC make do with just two here in the gallery.

0:23:120:23:15

But because all the cameras are giving out

0:23:150:23:17

different pictures at the same time,

0:23:170:23:19

there has to be someone here in the gallery

0:23:190:23:21

who decides which picture you're going to see

0:23:210:23:23

and when to change from one picture to the other.

0:23:230:23:25

The person who does that is the studio director, Ian,

0:23:250:23:28

and he's sitting here.

0:23:280:23:30

Now he's talking all the time to the cameras as the show is in progress.

0:23:300:23:33

He talks to them through this microphone here,

0:23:330:23:35

and the cameramen hear him through their earphones.

0:23:350:23:38

Sitting next to him is the vision mixer, Shirley,

0:23:380:23:41

and she actually controls, with this panel,

0:23:410:23:44

the pictures that you see at home.

0:23:440:23:46

And she just, in fact, cut to camera two,

0:23:460:23:48

which is that one that I'm speaking at now.

0:23:480:23:50

If you look behind me on the bank of monitors there, you can see,

0:23:500:23:53

on camera five, there's a picture of Lesley with Petra, Jason and Shep.

0:23:530:23:58

She's waiting for me to finish up here.

0:23:580:24:00

Well, I'm not going to yet, but what I am going to do

0:24:000:24:02

is press camera five's button, and there at home you've got

0:24:020:24:04

a picture of Lesley in the studio.

0:24:040:24:06

It's quite simple. Then by pressing button number two,

0:24:060:24:08

I can get the picture of the panel back here again.

0:24:080:24:12

Now in front of those buttons,

0:24:120:24:13

you'll see there are some sliding devices here.

0:24:130:24:16

These are called faders, and it's self-explanatory, really,

0:24:160:24:19

what they do, because by moving them like this,

0:24:190:24:21

you'll see that Lesley's picture fades up

0:24:210:24:23

and the picture of the faders disappears,

0:24:230:24:25

and although you'd much rather carry on looking at Lesley, I'm sure,

0:24:250:24:29

I'm going to bring the faders back like that.

0:24:290:24:32

And that, again, is on camera two.

0:24:320:24:33

But in fact, I don't wish to look at camera two anymore.

0:24:330:24:36

I'd rather talk to camera three, which is over here,

0:24:360:24:38

so press the right button, and up comes camera three's shot.

0:24:380:24:42

Now over here, on this wall of the control gallery,

0:24:420:24:45

there is yet another control room through that glass panel.

0:24:450:24:48

That is the sound control room, and Dave, the sound mixer

0:24:480:24:51

is sitting there in front of a whole other bank of faders,

0:24:510:24:54

but these faders are nothing to do with the picture.

0:24:540:24:56

These are to do with the sound that comes up

0:24:560:24:58

-from the microphones in the studio.

-Cue Lesley.

0:24:580:25:01

And the sound is picked up by these microphone booms.

0:25:010:25:05

These follow John, Pete and I around in the studio,

0:25:050:25:08

wherever we happen to go.

0:25:080:25:10

Well, normally, they're set a lot higher above our heads than this

0:25:100:25:13

so they don't creep into your picture that you're getting at home,

0:25:130:25:17

and because of that, John, Pete and I have to speak in quite loud voices.

0:25:170:25:20

Well, so that we know exactly when we're on the air,

0:25:200:25:22

in other words, when you can see us on your television sets at home,

0:25:220:25:25

we've got Claire, our floor manager, who gives us various signals

0:25:250:25:29

by waving her arms around to tell us when to stop, when to start.

0:25:290:25:32

And she gets those signals from the studio director,

0:25:320:25:35

and she can hear what he's saying in that earphone there.

0:25:350:25:38

And you see her waving her arms around,

0:25:380:25:40

that means we're out of time now.

0:25:400:25:42

25 minutes is just about up and it's time to round up the programme.

0:25:420:25:45

Well, we'll be back on Thursday, and I shall be showing you

0:25:450:25:48

how to make the furniture to go in the doll's bedroom.

0:25:480:25:51

And one of Britain's top footballers will be here in the studio

0:25:510:25:54

with some special tips.

0:25:540:25:56

But before then, tomorrow, Bonfire Night,

0:25:560:25:58

do be careful with your fireworks.

0:25:580:26:00

If you've got any pets, keep them well indoors out of harm's way.

0:26:000:26:03

-So we'll see you on Thursday.

-Goodbye.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:26:030:26:06

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:26:090:26:12

A 1974 edition of the children's magazine programme, presented by John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd. Items include Petra the dog's 12th birthday and Bonfire Night in Torrington, Devon.


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