Gold Blue Peter badge for Forth Bridge

Forth Rail Bridge The Forth Bridge will be honoured with the badge in Blue Peter's Thursday episode

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The Forth Bridge, one of Scotland's most famous landmarks, has been awarded a gold Blue Peter badge.

It is the first time a structure has been given the programme's highest honour, usually reserved for famous faces and extraordinary youngsters.

Blue Peter said it was in recognition of the outstanding history of the 121-year-old rail bridge.

The programme has given out fewer than 1,000 prestigious gold badges in its 53-year history.

Explaining the award, Blue Peter editor Tim Levell said: "Legend says that, when the Prince of Wales opened the bridge in 1890, he placed a ceremonial golden rivet on the bridge.

"However this has never been found, so we thought it would be a fitting tribute to present the bridge with its own gold badge."

Mr Levell added: "The Forth Bridge is a truly outstanding piece of engineering and the gold badge is our way of acknowledging the thousands of workers that risked their lives to build it, the hundreds of individuals who have helped to maintain it ever since, and the fact that it has benefited millions of British people who have used it in its 121-year history."

'Great honour'

This Thursday's edition of Blue Peter is investigating the history of the one-and-a-half mile long bridge, which became known for the never-ending paint job it required to be maintained.

That task recently came to an end, after the structure was coated in a new glass flake epoxy paint, to protect it for up to 25 years.

Ian Heigh, of bridge owners Network Rail, said: "Blue Peter viewers have followed the painting and maintenance of the bridge over several decades, so we thought it would be appropriate to give them access again at the end of this unique project.

"It's a great honour to accept the gold Blue Peter badge on behalf of the thousands of men and women who have worked on the bridge over the last 130 years."

Other famous gold Blue Peter badge owners include Take That's Gary Barlow, footballer David Beckham, Scots actor David Tennant and the Queen.

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