Blue Peter Presenters; Country Houses in Time of War

As Blue Peter launches a competition to find a new presenter, Jenni Murray takes a look at the people who have fronted this iconic British TV programme; 'Country houses in time of war' is a new exhibition commemorating the beginning of the First World War 100 years ago; Pakistani squash player Maria Toorpakai talks about fleeing from the Taliban to pursue her dream of becoming the World number one in her sport.

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58 minutes

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Fri 29 Mar 2013 10:00

Blue Peter presenters

This summer, Blue Peter will be searching for a new presenter with a series of programmes in which prospective candidates compete with each other in Blue Peter style tasks. Those aspiring to present one of the most iconic children’s programmes on the planet will, no doubt, be making liberal use of the sticky back plastic and double-sided sticky tape but unlike presenters of old, their selection for the job will depend on the CBBC audience because the viewers are going to be asked to vote for their favourite contestant. So what makes a good Blue Peter presenter and how has the role changed over the years? Jenni is joined by Alex Leger who has worked with practically every Blue Peter presenter as a cameraman, director and producer. He is joined by former Blue Peter presenter Diane Louise Jordan and by one of the current Blue Peter presenters, Helen Skelton.   



Details of how to apply for the new presenter’s job on Blue Peter can be obtained by contacting:

Yorkshire’s Country Houses in wartime

Yorkshire’s Country Houses in wartime

From this Easter,  nine of Yorkshire’s Country Houses come together to take part in ‘Duty Calls:  The Country House in Time of War’.  They are opening their doors to the public to mark the start of the commemorations of the First World War.  August 2014  will be the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of this war.  On Woman’s Hour we look at two of the Yorkshire houses; Kiplin Hall and Brodsworth Hall. 

Kiplin Hall’s last owner was Bridget Talbot, who provided care for wounded soldiers on the Italian-Austrian border during WWI.  She  also invented a torch for life-jackets which saved the lives of many men in the navy during WWII.    

At Brodsworth Hall, a major focus will be on community war work. Of particular interest is the knitting of a young girl, Amy Tyreman, whose prolific output of woollies for the servicemen in the trenches elicited a stack of poignant letters of thanks from her grateful recipients and medals of congratulation. 

Jenni speaks to curators Dawn Webster from  Kiplin Hall, and  Caroline Carr- Whitworth from Brodsworth Hall.


Kiplin Hall and Brodsworth Hall – Exhibitions open to the public on Good Friday, March 29th  until October 2014.


Photograph of the Amy Tyreman letters courtesy of Brodsworth Hall. 'Copyright English Heritage'


Maria Toorpakai: Pakistan’s top female squash player

Maria Toorpakai: Pakistan’s top female squash player

Pakistan’s top female squash player is 22 year old Maria Toorpakai. She once disguised herself as a boy to enter a weight-lifting competition and in fact she didn’t reveal, for some months, that she was a girl when she first took up squash. Maria comes from Waziristan – an ultra-conservative part of Pakistan and home to the Taliban. Many people in this region believe that women should not take part in any kind of sport. But Maria is now a world class squash player and is being coached in Canada by former world squash champion Jonathon Power. Maria talks about her tough journey towards the very top of her chosen sport. She’s joined in Toronto by Jonathon Power and – on the line from Peshawar – by her father Shamsil.

Rochdale Abuse follow up

A former detective, who resigned from her job in Rochdale, says that she is ashamed of the way that some of the young victims of sexual abuse in the town were let down by the police. The comments by Margaret Oliver, were featured in a File on Four programme this week. To discuss this Jenni is joined by Simon Danczuk, the Rochdale MP, and Sir Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester.

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