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Blue Peter (BBC 1958, John Noakes, Valerie Singleton)

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Blue Peter is a highly long running children’s magazine show (one of the longest running shows on UK tv in fact). The aim of the program is to inform, educate and just entertain the kids at home and over the years it has certainly achieved that, there have been thousands of notable guests on the show over the years too, from prime ministers to pop stars, it is broadcast live (meaning there have been plenty of slip ups too such as the infamous moment of John Noakes talking to a zoo keeper who happens to be holding onto a young elephant (called Lulu) that is making “a mess” all over the floor which John then proceeds to slip in).

The theme tune is called Barnacle Bill (once recorded in the late seventies by Mike Oldfield and used as the theme tune for ten years) and initially the show was a once weekly 15 minute show then in 1963 it went to twice weekly thirty minute episodes and then three times a week Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 5.10pm. Original presenters were Christopher Trace and Leila Williams.

Each year the team would go on a special overseas assignment during the couple of months each year the show was off air, the filmed reports of this are then shown over several weeks upon the shows return, also each year the team come up with a special charitable campaign that all the viewers can get involved with, this is usually along the lines of collecting bottle tops, aluminium cans, stamps and so on.

Also heavily involved in Blue Peter are the long line of pets (from dogs, cats and even a tortoise) that the show have looked after, the most famous one being John Noakes’ dog Shep.

Other regular ingredients include the cooking slot where the presenters showed the viewers easy to cook delights and also the “make” slot which gave rise to the infamous “here’s one I made earlier” and “sticky back plastic” sayings. The makes showed kids how to make toys and gifts from things they would have lying around, including the proverbial sticky back plastic.

Over the years there has been the odd controversial moment such as Richard Bacon being sacked after being caught in a drugs scandal, a phone in competition being rigged in 2007 (for which the BBC were fined 50,000 pounds) and the alleged fixing of a website vote to decide on the name of a new Blue Peter pet, a cat called Socks was the winner but most votes went for the name Cookie – the fall out saw two kittens arriving one called Socks and one called Cookie.

The show certainly looks like being around for a long time still though. In fact you could say it is practically an institution. However in recent years a few significant changes have been made. On 26 September 2011 the series was given a new title sequence and re-arrangement of the Barnacle Bill theme tune and for over six months the show only had two presenters (Andy Akinwolere had departed and was not replaced).

Meanwhile on 12 January the show moved to the CBBC channel and switched to just one show a week (Thursdays at 5.45pm then 5.30pm) and no summer break meaning the show is on all year round. There are still the occasional specials though.

Blue Peter

production details
UK / BBC/ 5000+x30 minute episodes / 16 October 1958 – continuing

Creator: John Hunter Blair / Biddy Baxter was the shows editor/producer between the years 1962 and 1988.

The presenters have been
CHRISTOPHER TRACE (1958-1967)
LEILA WILLIAMS (1958-1962)
ANN TAYLOR (1959 stand in for Leila Williams on some occasions)
TONY HART (1959)
ANITA WEST (1962)
VALERIE SINGLETON (1962-1972)
SANDRA MICHAELS (1964)
JOHN NOAKES (1965-1978)
PETER PURVES (1967-1978)
LESLEY JUDD (1972-1979)
SIMON GROOM (1978-1986)
CHRISTOPHER WENNER (1978-1980)
TINA HEATH (1979-1980)
SARAH GREENE (1980-1983)
PETER DUNCAN (1980-1984 and 1985-1986)
JANET ELLIS (1983-1987)
MICHAEL SUNDIN (1984-1985)
MARK CURRY (1986-1989)
CARON KEATING (1986-1990)
YVETTE FIELDING (1987-1992)
JOHN LESLIE (1989-1994)
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN (1990-1996)
ANTHEA TURNER (1992-1994)
TIM VINCENT (1993-1997)
STUART MILES (1994-1999)
KATY HILL (1995-2000)
ROMANA D’ANNUNZIO (1996-1998)
RICHARD BACON (1997-1998)
KONNIE HUQ (1997-2008)
SIMON THOMAS (1999-2005)
MATT BAKER (1999-2006)
LIZ BARKR (2000-2006)
ZOE SALMON (2004-2008)
GETHIN JONES (2005-2008)
ANDY AKINWOLERE (2006-2011)
HELEN SKELTON (2008-2013)
JOEL DEFRIES (2008-2010)
BARNEY HARWOOD (2011 – CURRENT)
LINDSEY RUSSELL (2013 – CURRENT)
RADZI CHINYANGANYA (2013 – CURRENT)

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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TV

Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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