Entertainment & Arts

Former Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter honoured by Bafta

Biddy Baxter
Image caption Baxter, who edited Blue Peter for 26 years, called the honour "unexpected"

Former Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter will receive Bafta's Special Award at its Children's Awards later this month.

Baxter, who will be honoured for her outstanding contribution to the industry, has been called a "veritable national institution" by Bafta.

She helped devise the famous Blue Peter badge during her 26 years at the helm of the hit children's show.

She also instigated the annual Blue Peter Appeals, which have since raised millions of pounds for charity.

Baxter's long-term friend Sir David Attenborough will present her with the honour at the British Academy Children's Awards ceremony in London on 24 November.

"Biddy's impact on children's media and entertainment is undeniable," said Harvey Elliott, chairman of Bafta's Children's Committee.

"She is a veritable national institution and we are delighted to honour her contribution."

Biddy first joined the BBC in 1955 as a radio studio manager. She later became the producer of Listen with Mother before moving into television.

During her time at the helm of Blue Peter, Baxter won two Bafta awards and recieved 12 Bafta nominations.

"I've been incredibly lucky to have had such a long and rewarding broadcasting career, and to have worked with such talented and creative colleagues and so many outstanding presenters," said Baxter.

"Thank you Bafta so very much for this unexpected and greatly prized award."

Image caption The Blue Peter Badge was given to guests on the show or to recognise viewers' special achievements

Born Joan Maureen Baxter in 1933, Baxter came up with the idea for the coveted Blue Peter badge with Edward Barnes and Rosemary Gill.

She was awarded the programme's highest honour - a gold Blue Peter badge - when she left the show on 27 June 1988.

Baxter, who was made an MBE in 1981, founded the John Hosier Music Trust in 2003 in memory of her late husband.

With Sir Simon Rattle as patron, the trust provides scholarships to talented music students to enable them to take postgraduate studies.

Her 2008 book, Dear Blue Peter..., contained 50 years of letters and emails from viewers and raised £20,000 for the Trust.

The British Academy Children's Awards will be hosted by Jake Humphrey at the London Hilton.

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