Valerie Singleton  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Valerie Singleton OBE (born 9 April 1937) is an English television and radio presenter, best known as one of the presenters of the popular children's series, Blue Peter. She was educated at The Arts Educational School, London.

Early life

She wanted to be a dancer and for two years attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). She won a scholarship for her first term and began her career as an actress at the New Theatre in Bromley. In 1959, she starred in the sitcom The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull.

Blue Peter

She joined the BBC in 1961 as a continuity announcer and in 1962 joined Blue Peter where she stayed until 1972. She continued until 1975 in a part-time role as a 'roving reporter'. Along with John Noakes she continues to be more closely associated with Blue Peter than any other former presenter. (Initially, Singleton was for a long time credited for being the 3rd ever presenter, but the acknowledgment in 1998 of her predecessor Anita West as a former presenter helped her slip down a place to 4th.) During her long stint on Blue Peter, Singleton pulled off the coup of accompanying HRH Princess Anne (now The Princess Royal) on her first solo trip overseas for a Royal Safari to Kenya. The resulting documentary created a spin-off series for Blue Peter entitled Blue Peter Special Assignment. In 1998, the two met again to reminisce about the Royal safari for Blue Peter's fortieth anniversary.

Although she stopped presenting Blue Peter full time in 1972 she in fact continued to make regular appearances and was credited as a presenter through to 1975. During this time, Singleton presented her own chat show and the solo spin-off series, Blue Peter Special Assignment, which was shown at weekends and ran from 1973-76. Each edition focussed initially on European capital cities but later covered Islands and well-known historic figures. She returned for a final series in 1981 reporting on the Yukon and Niagara Rivers. Val Meets The VIPs also ran during the mid 1970's and involved interviews with a single celebrity, with the audience of children invited to put their own questions. One famous guest was then Secretary of State for Education, Margaret Thatcher, who when asked if she would like to be Prime Minister said that she did not have enough experience, nor would there be a woman Prime Minister in her lifetime.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Valerie Singleton" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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