There are some days doing this job when you really have to pinch yourself, and this was one of them. ‘All Over The Place’ had very kindly arranged for me to leave the rest of the crew in Italy for a couple of days and make my way back to the UK for CBBC’s 30th anniversary. Everything ran like clockwork as I caught a couple of flights via Amsterdam and as I walked into the Media City studios in Salford at 4pm a smile broke out on my face that remained there for the rest of the day. Just about everyone’s favourite presenters from the last 3 decades had made space in their diary to come up and pay their respects to an institution that had blessed them with one of the most fun jobs on Planet Earth. Faces from my childhood like Andy Crane and Simon Parkin were rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dick n Dom, and all the puppets were there too, like my childhood hero Edd the Duck and of course OUCHO!
2 small studios and a green room were stuffed to the rafters with over excited presenters and flustered looking crew who shepherded us around with military precision and somehow, by the time we went live at 6pm, everything came together and CBBC viewers were treated to a journey through CBBC’s glorious history, along with brilliant recorded skits, messages and interviews with people who couldn’t make it like Philip Schofield and Andi Peters. Cel, Katie, Hacker and Dodge did a fantastic job keeping it all on track as they worked their way through the eras and by the time Oucho and I were sitting on the sofa along with Iain and Chris I was literally having the time of my life. We all got a bit carried away custard pieing Chris and things escalated into a full on pie fight in the best kids’ TV tradition.
Once Lauren Layfield had been unveiled as the CBBC Office’s newest presenter (a little secret I’ve been keeping under my hat since she came out filming with us for AOTP) it was time to head downstairs for lots of back slapping and over priced drinks in the Media City lobby as we all prowled the room trying to get photos with the presenters we grew up with and were inspired by. I got selfies with Andy Crane, Edd the Duck AND Wilson the Butler and went to bed congratulating the 10 year old me on a job well done.
Happy birthday CBBC!