19 Oct:
Here’s One I Snorted Earlier

Richard Bacon was sacked from Blue Peter after The News of the World revealed he had taken cocaine; an event which was explained to the show’s young viewers by Lorraine Heggessy, then head of Children’s BBC, on 19th October, 1998.

The escapade came to light after Bacon’s best friend sold the story via Max Clifford; the tabloid had then waited to publish the news to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the iconic, squeaky-clean TV programme.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly revisit the moment Bacon had to ‘hand back his badge’; re-read Miriam Stoppard’s 1998 advice for talking to children about drugs; and consider whether the outcome would be any different if the story had happened in the world of social media… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Blue Peter Goody-Goody is a Cocaine-Snorting Sneak’ (The News of the World, 1998): https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/NINTCHDBPICT000001469236.jpg

‘A Series of Unrelated Events by Richard Bacon’ (Penguin Random House, 2013): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/A_Series_of_Unrelated_Events/N3yAK6H-X4MC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=richard+bacon+blue+peter&printsec=frontcover

‘Head of Children’s BBC Lorraine Heggessey Apologies To Viewers of Blue Peter’ (BBC1, 1998):