Sunderland University buys Blue Peter set to train TV stars of the future

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The old Blue Peter set, as seen by millions of viewers, is on its way to Wearside to help train the next generation of programme makers and presenters.

Sunderland University entered the bidding war for the scenery after its media department’s project leader, Richard Berry, spotted a tweet announcing it was up for auction, and submitted the winning offer of £2,400.

Graeme Thompson

Graeme Thompson

The set will be moved from Media City in Salford and rebuilt in one of the university’s storage areas in a much grander version of the show’s creative demos – without a roll of sticky-back plastic in sight.

The set, also previously used in the BBC Television Centre in London, will give undergraduates the chance to experience first-hand what it is like to work in a studio.

Jason Legget was involved in the programme’s move to the North West, including relocating its famous garden, before he became head of media production at Sunderland University.

He will oversee the project to get the set up and running once again by next month.

“The young people who are coming to university in the next few years have grown up watching Blue Peter with that actual set,” said Jason.

“It was a really interesting opportunity.

“It’s a crucial asset, but there is also a great deal of heritage and will become an inspiring place our young people will now work in.

“It’s a location I’ve experienced working in and over the years it’s grown and developed.”

Graeme Thompson, dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, gave his team the nod to bid for the set after they found it was going up for sale via a television industry auctioneer.

“I am delighted we’re able to house such a distinctive and flexible set,” he said. “It will create a unique and attractive production space for our students.

“We already get a lot of visitors to our media centre because of our investment in media and our strong links with producers and broadcasters.

“I predict the arrival of the Blue Peter set will attract even more visits.”