Biddy Baxter

Joan Maureen "Biddy" Baxter
Born (1933-05-25) 25 May 1933 (age 84)
Leicester, England
OccupationTelevision producer
Known forBlue Peter


Joan Maureen “Biddy” Baxter MBE (given birth to 25 Might 1933) is most beneficial referred to as the previous editor from the long-running BBC Television children’s magazine present Blue Peter, a posture she held from 1965 to 1988. As editor from the program, Baxter devised a lot of the format that’s still utilized today.

Early life

She was created Joan Maureen Baxter in Leicester to a instructor dad who became the movie director of the sportswear firm and a mom who was simply a pianist. She was informed at Wyggeston Young ladies' Grammar College, Leicester and St Mary's, a women's university at Durham School, which she went to from 1952 to 1955. At a gathering with the professions official at her school, she noticed information regarding doing work for the BBC. "It wasn't which i had been snotty about secretarial function or teaching, I simply didn't wish to accomplish either of these," she stated in 2013 of your options wanted to her at this juncture. "This specific teaching officer appeared to me – though probably I had been unduly delicate – to possess this blind place about women. All of the guys were heading off to accomplish these amazing stuff. I really ought to be pleased to him."After graduating using a social sciences degree, Baxter joined the BBC being a studio manager in 1955, learning to be a producer of schools' British programs in 1958, and of Listen with Mom in 1961. After shifting to a short-term post in 1962 within BBC Tv owing to an employee shortage, she obtained a long lasting post as manufacturer of Blue Peter from November 1962, and continued to be directly in charge of the programme for over 25 % of a hundred years.

Blue Peter

First broadcast in 16 Oct 1958, Blue Peter had originally been devised by John Hunter Blair, nonetheless it was Baxter and her deputy Edward Barnes, later on head of BBC children's television, who established the format right into a effective programme, initially in a budget of just £180 per edition. If they had been first presented, Barnes was informed: "You need to take care of Biddy – she doesn't understand quite definitely", to his significant irritation.Baxter devised and introduced the Blue Peter badge in 1963 to encourage kids to submit programme ideas, images, letters and tales and in addition she introduced the today famous annual appeals. She was honored a silver badge herself when she retired as editor in the program. Having been disappointed as a kid to get the same reply double to different words that she wrote to Enid Blyton, she also presented a credit card index system in order that Blue Peter audiences could receive even more personal reactions. Baxter became program editor in Apr 1965 carrying out a reorganisation, while Barnes and Rosemary Gill became makers when the program proceeded to go bi-weekly in 1964.Baxter gained a status to be dictatorial, and the very best known presenters from the programme usually do not speak warmly of her. Regarding to Peter Purves, "This girl managed our lives, and she didn't get it done very beautifully", while John Noakes, who publicly mentioned his dislike of Baxter, provides commented that she "treated me like some nation yokel from Yorkshire. I couldn't abide her." Valerie Singleton provides stated Baxter treated the presenters like kids. On another event, Purves stated: "the program been successful – and I've stated this often – due to her, not regardless of her. She unquestionably ruled it; I didn't generally trust her sights, but she was best."

Post-Blue Peter life

Her final program in the function of editor aired on 27 June 1988. The state story is normally that she still left the work because her hubby, John Hosier, who was simply a BBC Academic institutions music manufacturer and was a music educator, acquired accepted employment give in Hong Kong. This is indeed accurate, but Hosier's approval of the work was partially motivated because of internal politics pressure positioned on Baxter to keep Blue Peter. Edward Barnes have been changed as mind of children's programs by Anna House, not a organic ally of Baxter, who wished to effect sweeping adjustments in the section.After coming back from Hong Kong in 1993, Baxter continued to function for the BBC, being a consultant to directors-general Michael Checkland and John Birt. John Hosier passed away in 2000.In Sept 2008, Baxter portrayed dissatisfaction with just how Blue Peter had been run and said that she believed which the BBC was aiming to close the programme down.In the brand new Year Honours, 1981, Baxter was honoured with an MBE (Person in the Civil Division from the Order from the British Empire), in recognition of her are editor of Blue Peter; she received her MBE through the Queen at Buckingham Palace, on 10 Feb 1981. She actually is also a fellow from the Royal Tv Society, and offers received honorary D. Litts through the College or university of Newcastle in 1988 as well as the College or university of Durham in 2012.In '09 2009, Baxter posted an array of children's characters received from the Blue Peter group. Amongst them was a notice from Anthony Hollander who wished to turn into a doctor: he continued to become Teacher of Rheumatology and Cells Executive at Bristol College or university, and stated that he owes his profession to Miss Baxter: "If her notice had demonstrated any hint of ridicule or disbelief I would perhaps do not have trained to become medical scientist or been powered to attain the difficult dream, and change lives to a human being being's existence."In November 2013, Baxter was announced as the receiver of the Unique Award in the BAFTA Children's Awards in 2013.In June 2014 Baxter was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Her options had been "Deo Gracias" from A Wedding ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, the ultimate chorus through the St Matthew Enthusiasm by Johann Sebastian Bach, "Milord" by Édith Piaf, "Defeat Out Dat Tempo on the Drum" through the musical Carmen Jones, the "Andante quasi lento e cantabile" through the Carol Symphony by Victor Hely-Hutchinson, the Allegro through the String Quintet in C Main by Franz Schubert, the Allegro through the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo as well as the "Papageno Duet" through the Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Her publication choice was The Traveller's Tree by Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Further reading

Baxter, B. (ed) (2009) Dear Blue Peter: THE VERY BEST Of 50 MANY YEARS OF Characters To Britain's Preferred Children's Programme 1958-2008, Brief Books Ltd, ISBN 978-1906021498