The horror of Bishop Rock
In 1975 Lesley visited the Bishop Rock lighthouse, but disaster nearly struck as she travelled by rope to the lighthouse from a boat. Her harness snapped, leaving Lesley with no support should she lose her grip on the rope.
In March 1974 Percy Thrower became the Blue Peter gardener, when he was asked to help convert a barren piece of land at Television Centre. Successions of Blue Peter presenters have become keen gardeners under his watchful eye, and it was a sad day when he died in 1988.
Such was the fame of John and Shep at the time that they were immortalised in wax by Madame Tussauds in 1977. They were placed next to an effigy of Percy Thrower in the Baker Street museum. We wonder if Peter and Lesley were jealous?
In 1973 a spin-off series, Blue Peter Special Assignment, hit the screens. The programme gave Val, Peter and Lesley the chance to give more in-depth reports on cities, rivers, historical figures and their homes.
On 23rd May 1974 a strike-hit Blue Peter team presented the show from the studio set for Tom Baker's first Doctor Who story, Robot, and in 1977 Shep got over familiar with another robot, Doctor's dog, K9.
The Blue Peter Appeals
1972 - treasure/scrap metal for an old people's centre
1973 The Blue Peter Stampede - stamps for supplies for Ethiopia
1974 The 3 B's Appeal - buttons, badges and buckles for guide dogs and a kennel
1975 The Clothes Horse Race - rags for horses for the disabled (the first one called Rags appropriately enough)
1976 The Lifeline-Lebanon Appeal - stamps for medical supplies for the Lebanon
1977 The Key Note Appeal - keys and toy cars for mobile classrooms for the deaf
1978 The Medi-Bike Appeal - stamps and coins for medi-bikes in Tanzania.
The Blue Peter Expeditions
1973 - The Ivory Coast
1974 - Thailand
1975 - Turkey
1976 - Brunei
1977 - Brazil
1978 - USA
Talking of Turkey, during the trip John and Pete visited a Turkish bath and rather saucy footage was screened on the show. You can see the footage here - but you might need permission from an adult.
Blue Peter records
In 1973 the RAF Falcons asked John Noakes if he would like to make a five mile free fall jump. He successfully completed the jump on 15th May 1973 and achieved three "firsts" in the process: the first civilian in Britain to make a five mile high free fall; the first outsider to join the Flying Falcons; and the first television presenter in Britain to talk to a camera while falling through space. Needless to say, the jump got John into the Guinness Book of Records.
Rumour has it that Peter never did any of the more dangerous assignments. That's just not true, as among the risky things he did were climbing the Forth Bridge, jousting, joining a motorbike display team, and stunt-driving through a furniture van.
A spotty Christmas
In December 1975 Lesley Judd came down with the measles and had to miss the joy of presenting the shows on the run up to Christmas. Rather cruelly, a camera crew was dispatched with face masks to record her opening her Christmas present, a music stand - very useful if you barely have enough energy to move.
At the suggestion of viewers, a statue of Petra was commissioned. It was unveiled on 23rd March 1978.
Stand Up Judd
A picture of Lesley from the inside back cover of the tenth Blue Peter Book (1973) was blown up and used as a slide during comedy duo Mel and Sue's 1999 stand up tour. The pair also use the word 'Judd' to describe anything that is rubbish, apparently not an insult to our Lesley, but a reference to the fact they feel she was never given the exciting assignments on the show. Mel was even president of the Lesley Judd Fan Club between 1984 and 1986.