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Biddy Baxter: I rarely watch Blue Peter now

Blue Peter's long-running editor Biddy Baxter says she barely watches the popular children's show now.

Baxter, who spent more than a quarter of a century at its helm, instigated the annual charity appeals and helped to devise the badges, of which she was the recipient of a gold version - the programme's highest honour - on leaving the show.

Appearing on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, she told host Kirsty Young: "No, I don't see it at all often Kirsty but I do keep in touch with the production team and they are all absolutely terrific and I admire them very much and I think they do an extremely good job in difficult circumstances."

Baxter, whose musical choices included a track from the musical Carmen Jones and a duet from Mozart's Magic Flute, also spoke about the scandal in 1987 when it emerged presenter Janet Ellis was unmarried and pregnant, which ended with her leaving the show.

She said: "There were absolutely no complaints from children. It was adults and a few rather snotty, elderly teenagers who were being a bit holier than thou but the programme wasn't intended for adults anyway so it didn't really matter."

Baxter, who chose dripping on toast as her luxury item, also described how she kept an archive of letters to the show so she could check what replies had been sent to young viewers after she had "a dreadful experience" as a child when author Enid Blyton sent her two identical replies to her letters.

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