New Blue Peter presenter David Cole was at the centre of controversy today when he said would not be awarding the coveted Blue Peter badge to competition entries that weren’t up to scratch. From now on, if any cakes, drawings of the presenters or Blue Peter ‘makes’ sent in to the show were ‘a bit rubbish’ he would instead stand up and point out everything that was wrong with them on air in the hope of encouraging young viewers to send in better entries and save him from having to throw most of them in the bin.
‘I’m just not going to lie to people, and say I like their work, or it’s good, or I’m pleased they sent in a rubbish picture of me,’ said Mr Cole, ‘ I mean, just look at this one. The hair’s all over the place, the hands look like a bunch of bananas and what on earth is that supposed to be… That’s from Chloe, aged five, and there’s no way she’s getting a badge. Look, this is how to do it, here’s one I made earlier.’
The show’s producers defended Mr Cole saying they broadly agreed that although the competitions were meant to be fun and something children could put their hearts into, only the very best would win. ‘Mr Cole’s comments were simply reflecting that,’ said Debbie Morton, ‘but don’t be too hard on him. He’s never really got over making a truly awful father’s day card for his dad when he was very little, and still blames himself that the family holiday was cancelled that year.‘
The producers also supported Mr Cole’s suggestion that if anyone was having trouble getting both eyes to point the same way or anything like that then it would be good to copy a picture from the internet instead, or maybe ‘get a grown-up to help you’, saying it would all be good practise for their GCSE’s. However, they did later admit that they would have to make an apology to the show’s viewers after it emerged that the one Mr Cole ‘had made earlier’ had in fact been made by a much more talented person from the CBBC show ‘SMart’.
The Duke of the Shire of Light Upholstery
22nd July 2008