Entertainment & Arts

Blue Peter bids farewell to London's Television Centre

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Media captionDavid Sillito talks to the editor of Blue Peter, Tim Levell, about why Television Centre is so iconic

Children's programme Blue Peter has made its final broadcast from the BBC's Television Centre in London before moving to Salford.

As part of the farewell, the team broke the world record for the most people to hula-hoop simultaneously.

After its summer break, Blue Peter will be broadcast from new studios as part of the relocation of several BBC departments.

The Blue Peter garden will be sited on a studio roof at the BBC's new complex.

Former presenters Diane-Louise Jordan and Anthea Turner returned for the final London show to participate in the world record hula-hooping challenge.

A Guinness World Records official confirmed a new record had been set after 426 people managed to simultaneously dance with hula hoops for two minutes - beating the previous record of 326.

Presenter Helen Skelton explained to viewers the show was "leaving home" from its London studios, adding it meant "we have to say goodbye to some very dear friends".

"The crew here are some of the nicest and best in the business and they've made some really magical moments in TV centre," she said.

'End of an era'

As well as showing a montage of clips of shows from years gone by filmed at Television Centre, the team also said goodbye to presenter Andy Akinwolere who is leaving after five years fronting the programme.

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Media captionMemorable moments from the Blue Peter studio and garden

He was presented with a gold Blue Peter badge - the show's highest honour.

"I don't know what to say - it's been full of some amazing experiences," he said.

Earlier this month, viewers saw him set a new world record for open water swimming as he conquered his fear of the water in the Pacific Ocean.

Blue Peter is the longest-running children's programme in the world, after first being broadcast in October 1958. BBC Television Centre opened in Shepherd's Bush, west London, two years later.

"Blue Peter has had some amazing times at Television Centre and we were determined to mark the end of an era with a really special programme," said Blue Peter editor Tim Levell.

"It was amazing to gather so many people together and to add another world record to the Blue Peter portfolio."

As part of relocation plans, children's programmes are moving to the BBC's new Salford development, along with BBC Sport, TV's Breakfast programme and Radio 5 live.

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