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WE'LL SINK THE BLUE PETER PIRATES
[April 02, 2006]

WE'LL SINK THE BLUE PETER PIRATES


(Sunday Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)THE nation united to slam the Blue Peter pirates after the Sunday Mail exposed the eBay cheats last week.

We revealed how black marketeers were selling hundreds of Blue Peter badges, some feared to be fake, on the internet auction site.

And it caused the biggest storm since Captain Kidd last sailed the high seas.

The next day Blue Peter revealed they were withdrawing the treasured badges until they find a pirate-proof way of beating the cheats.

Celebrity badge-holders such as Madonna, Ewan McGregor and Gabby Logan queued up to condemn the shoddy seadogs.

And holders of the badges - handed out to children who have won competitions or raised money for charity over the last 50 years - also reacted angrily.

But until the pirates are forced to walk the plank proud Blue Peter badge holders and their families will not be able to enjoy free admission to a host of attractions. Five Scots badge winners last night revealed their fury at how the distinctive ship badges have been tarnished.



Radio DJ Heather Suttie said: "It is such a shame people have decided to sell their badges - they should be treasured."

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BADGE HOLDER PAUL WARREN

THE National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland all own Blue Peter badges after appearing live on the show.

Band director Paul Warren, 43, of Helensburgh, said: "I grew up with Blue Peter in the days of Valerie Singleton and John Noakes, so to get a badge now is great.

"Everyone has heard of the show and I now feel part of an elite club of Blue Peter badge owners.

"It is such a shame that there are those who are wanting to devalue the badge.

"For all the money it will save someone getting into an attraction it is a disgrace."

BADGE HOLDER JACK ARMSTRONG

JACK, 11, of Prestwick, Ayrshire, won his badge as a runner-up in a contest which had 43,920 entries.

He drew a picture of a monster who would fight Dr Who in the next series and his vampire design earned him the award.

Jack said: "I found out I was a runner-up on the internet and was very excited with my badge."

Mum Jacqueline, 39, a children's charity worker, said: "He also got a book that told him all the places he could get into free.

"It would have been a nice reward for all his hard work and I hope they bring it back."

BADGE HOLDER HEATHER SUTTIE

RADIO DJ Heather Suttie, 30, was awarded her badge when she was hosting BBC's Live & Kicking programme in 2001.

She said: "I got my badge when I took part in a Nationwide Blue Peter challenge which was part of their appeal in 2001.

"I was on the show when it was filmed from Glasgow and I had to cycle round a park at the Botanics."

Heather - who lives in Glasgow - is delighted to be in the same club as Madonna and Ewan McGregor, who both have badges. She said: "I used to wear it out and about as an accessory many moons ago but it hasn't seen the light of day for a while.

"I will never get rid of it - if Madonna's got one I should keep this. I keep it in a wee box with lots of other bits and pieces and I'm terrified of losing it."

BADGE HOLDER KATE BARRIE

EDUCATION officer Kate, 29, of Uddingston, near Glasgow, got her Blue Peter badge in 1988 for a design competition to draw a cover for the Radio Times.

She said: "I am proud of my badge and I can remember getting really excited when the Blue Peter letter came through

"I was so excited that I took my badge to school to show all my friends and the teacher.

"It would be awful if the badge system died out as it is a great way for young people to earn an award."

BADGE HOLDER JIM OLIVER

FORMER lighthousekeeper Jim r, 70, still wears his Blue Peter i on his cap with pride. : father of twins, who is a guide at the Scottish Lighthouse Museum in Fraserburgh, got his badge in 1998 when Blue Peter came to film a show.

The museum is one of 11 places in Scotland which has had to suspend the free admission. Jim hopes it will be brought back in.

He said: "If the badge system was to fall apart, it would be a national disaster and I'm very sad the free entry has been done away with for now."

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