Intended as the ITV answer to Blue Peter, Magpie was a kids magazine show. It ran for 1000 episodes between 1968 and 1980.
Produced by Thames Television, Magpie was broadcast weekly. Initially once a week to those in the Thames Television area before being networked across all ITV regions in 1969. The show then was broadcast twice a week until it ended in 1980.
It was a magazine format show, but it attempted to be more “hip” than the BC’s Blue Peter by focusing more on popular culture.
Unlike Blue Peter the show was unscripted leaving the presenters to shape the format of the show.
The catchy theme tune was performed by The Spencer Davis Group under the alias “The Murgatroyd Band,” Murgatroyd being the name of the show’s mascot magpie.
A magazine style show focussing on popular culture that appealed to it’s audience.
Like Blue Peter Magpie featured appeals for various causes and charities. Notably, however, it asked for cash donations rather than stamps or secondhand goods, familiar on Blue Peter. The cash totaliser was a long strip of paper which ran out of the studio and along the adjacent corridor walls.
Pete Brady (1968 -1971)
Tony Bastable (1968 – 1972)
Susan Stranks (1968 – 1974)
Douglas Rae (1971 – 1977)
Mick Robertson (1972 – 1980)
Tommy Boyd (1977 – 1980)
Jenny Hanley (1974 – 1980)
Created By: Lewis Rudd and Sue Turner
Original Transmission Dates: 30th July 1968 – 6th June 1980