Children’s BBC Presentation (1985-present)
Although children’s programmes had appeared on the BBC for many years, they weren’t introduced by an in-vision presenter until September 1985, about two-and-a-half years after CITV had started to do such a thing. Now I’ve never believed people who say that when they were younger they only did or only could watch CBBC or CITV, I have many memories of watching both, so here’s a quick look back at what would become known to viewers as the Broom Cupboard.
The first person to take the chair was of course Phillip Schofield, who already had a few years of TV presenting experience from when he lived in New Zealand. He hosted from what was actually the BBC1 announcer room which had a camera placed in it. This all came across as rather low-budget but Phillip quickly endeared himself to viewers with his enjoyable presenting style and doing things like pressing the wrong buttons.
After a while lots of viewers began to send in the pictures of their favourite shows and various other things so soon the room started to look a lot more lively. Also later of course Phillip would be joined by his mate Gordon The Gopher and they would go on to form a famous double act. As well as the afternoon strand CBBC would also appear on weekday mornings, and a lot more regularly on weekends and holidays.
After a couple of years Phillip left to host the Saturday Morning show Going Live! and his career has never really looked back. He was replaced as the main presenter in 1987 by Andy Crane who had joined the team a year earlier. He would be usually joined by the great Edd The Duck and again watching them do their thing was very enjoyable. Andy left for CITV in 1990.
His replacement and the third main presenter of this era was Andi Peters. Again he used to like talking to Edd. Like Phillip before him, Andi left to host the main CBBC Saturday Morning show. Toby Anstis took over for the final year of this era. Other presenters who hosted in this era included Debbie Flint, Simon Parkin and Philippa Forrester.
This style was all abandoned in September 1994 when they finally got a big new studio. I also remember that an email address to contact the show was introduced, and it must have been one of the first TV shows to have one. Also joining Toby was another comic character Otis The Aardvark who was very witty and also hosted a few shows of his own.
After Toby left a big bunch of other presenters would host including Chris Jarvis, Josie D’Arby, Kirsten O’Brien and Zoe Ball. I didn’t watch CBBC much after the next big relaunch in 1997 so I don’t remember many of the presenters from that era, but I know that the CBBC Channel launched in 2002 which brought another wave of new presenters. Now we’re well into the multi-channel era children’s programmes left BBC1 a few years ago. Although I don’t watch CBBC much any more I hope that the latest generation of viewers still enjoy the programmes and the presenters.