THIS is a big month for television birthdays. ITV’s This Morning, a show so frothy it makes Lorraine look like The Sky at Night, is 30. CBBC's Blue Peter, the longest running children’s programme in the world, will mark its 60th on October 16 with a "Big Birthday" bash.

Hang on, didn't Blue Peter already have a Strictly special? A visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? A conga line of celebrity guest editors?

Well spotted. Frankly, the programme has not shut up about its birthday since launching a year of celebrations in October 2017. A whole year!

Elbowing his way into the limelight once more, Blue Peter editor Ewan “Look at us” Vinnicombe said: “Blue Peter is a very special club to be part of and the Big Birthday show will be a moment to remember and one to watch for all generations of Blue Peter fans.” Epic smugness or what?

Readers might be picking up a faint trace of hostility here. Too right. I detest Blue Peter. If Britain is broken, as David Cameron (whatever happened to him?) once said, it was Blue Peter wot helped break it. Sure, that cosy mix of enthusiastic presenters, pets, and charity fundraising looked innocent and informative, but the programme’s London-centric manner kept the class war in this country raging long after its flames had been extinguished elsewhere. Peter Purves, Konnie Huq and their ilk stood like sentries on the great wall between the elite haves in the South East and the have nots living North of Watford. Then the peasants revolted. That’s right, Blue Peter caused Brexit.

All right, I take it back. Secretly I loved Blue Peter. I longed to be part of the club, have a Blue Peter badge, and make highly flammable Christmas decorations from tinsel-covered coat hangers and candles.

Alas, it could never be so, for I was not from a Blue Peter background. I was a Magpie wean. Part of the ITV tribe. Definitely working class. If Blue Peter was Surrey in telly form, Magpie was Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Dundee.

Blue Peter was just one reminder among many of the class divide. A Blue Peter child, I imagined, had bookshelves of children’s classics. In years to come, shooting the breeze down the pub, they would be able to trade cultural references to Winnie the Pooh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and their ilk, and chuckle accordingly.

I had the local library, where after several months in the DIY section I was directed towards the children’s area. It was there that I found Mrs Pepperpot. I adored Mrs P, the creation of Norwegian author Alf Proysen. I read everything of his I could get my hands on, and thus began a love of many things Scandinavian. Who knows, in another time, another place, I might have grown up to be Lesley Riddoch.

There were differences, too, in books for Scottish youngsters and Blue Peter children. Their books reflected their lives, had characters who spoke like them. To a Magpie wean the Famous Five might as well have been The Clangers.

The dividing lines between Blue Peter children and the rest of us went further than books and television. They extended to holidays (how old were you when you first went abroad?), homes (did your parents own their own?), and education (were you destined for university or an apprenticeship?).

Those divides might have softened and changed, but they still exist. There is the child with the iPad, for example, and the child without. In some cases the divide is more pernicious; the child that goes to bed hungry and cold and the one who does not. Whatever the reason, a decent society should be straining every sinew to eradicate such divisions.

Courtesy of the local library, this Magpie wean grew up to be a Blue Peter adult and pass advantages on. I got to read those children’s classics eventually, and for free, via the internet. I can now stand in a pub and trade cultural references to my heart’s content, if I choose.

So I’m going to watch Blue Peter’s Big Birthday bash and feel part of the club. I'll be hoping other would-be members, much younger and less fortunate than myself, are doing the same. For all that Blue Peter seemed another planet, it welcomed all children, whatever their background. Still does. All you had to do was push on the door. Other doors in life require a hefty kick to open, but not Blue Peter’s. Or the local library’s, for that matter, assuming it is still open.

Oh, and lovely Blue Peter editor Ewan, if you have a spare badge lying around, please send it c/o The Herald. It doesn’t have to be gold; a diamond one will do nicely.