Topsham producer’s 36 years of Blue Peter

09:23 12 November 2012

Former Blue Peter producer Alex Leger (right) with presenter Simon Thomas and Bishop Willy Pwaisiho while filming in the Solomon Islands in 2002.

Former Blue Peter producer Alex Leger (right) with presenter Simon Thomas and Bishop Willy Pwaisiho while filming in the Solomon Islands in 2002.


A Topsham TV producer, who spent more than 30 years working on classic children’s show Blue Peter, has published a memoir of his career.

Alex Leger, 65, is the author of Blue Peter: Behind The Badge, which covers 36 years during which Alex was often responsible for the show’s most iconic reports from around the world.

Alex, who first moved to Topsham when he was three, and returned around 25 years ago, served as an Army officer before moving into television.

Having started off working with Blue Peter legends John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd, he subsequently worked with every one of the 30 or so presenters who followed them until his retirement last year.

When asked why he decided to write the book, Alex said: “It was like falling off a cliff when I stopped [working on Blue Peter]. I didn’t want to go to [new BBC headquarters] Salford, so I thought it was a good time to leave, and I thought the only thing to do would be to write about it.

“I thought it would be quite a cathartic experience, and 132,000 words later the cathartic experience is complete.”

As a ‘film producer’, rather than a ‘studio producer’, Alex’s job saw him filming the Blue Peter presenters on their many adventures around the world, producing famous films such as John Noakes climbing Nelson’s Column, Simon Groom reporting from famine-hit Ethiopia, and Caron Keating in Cambodia.

Alex said: “It was a proper merry go round for about 36 years, sort of living the dream of if you think it, you can do it.

“All the memories are best in their own particular way. The best bits in the book are really when something didn’t go off as expected, raised my curiosity, or made me particularly fearful – there are fearful moments and happy moments.”

A personal highlight for Alex came in 2002, when he filmed a series of programmes in the Solomon Islands, where he had previously worked as a volunteer after leaving school.

Joining Alex and presenter Simon Thomas on the trip was Bishop Willy Pwaisiho, who Alex had met in the Solomons as a young man, and who had since become a rector near Macclesfield.

“That was wonderful in terms of being able to realise a dream to go back to this exotic, amazing place. I was reunited with my past and relived some fairly interesting memories with Willy, and Simon Thomas, who I always got on with extremely well.

“Being a producer always allowed me to visit places tourists didn’t go, or weren’t allowed to go, and the Solomons was typical of that.”

Alex’s book is only available online at, or there are some copies available at Topsham Bookshop.


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:30
Hillside House is set to become a care home

The owners of two Exmouth care homes are transforming an East Devon restaurant for their latest venture.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:38
AA Awards

Recognition from industry’s ‘Oscars’ helps put county on the map

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Police are continuing efforts to improve the school run traffic situation outside Brixington Primary School.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:09
Exeter's Fanzone, in Northenhay Gardens

Sports fans can still enjoy watching the rest of the Rugby World Cup at Exeter’s Fanzone, despite England’s early exit from the tournament.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36
Kate Ponting and Phil Clayton have been offering guided cycling tours of the heathland around Woodbury Common. Ref exe 0163-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Families have been given the chance to find out about the natural history of East Devon - on two wheels.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:32
Beacon School sports. Ref exe 2041-39-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Children at The Beacon Church of England Primary School took advantage of some early Autumn sunshine by competing in an afternoon of sports.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:10
Emile Ghessen - frontline film maker

A dad from Exmouth - who went to school with terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ - has travelled around Iraq by taxi, armed only with a camera, to document western fighters’ frontline battle to bring down Islamic State militants.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Police have successfully clamped down on antisocial behaviour and shoplifting in Exmouth’s town centre.

Read more
Mon, 16:30
Bassetts Farm primary were first in the Best Wildlife Garden cateogory in the Exmouth in Bloom competiton and youngsters are pictured with bloom members and Karen Turner from Birds and Bees who presented them with a hamper. Ref exe 2593-40-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Green-fingered school children have been rewarded for their efforts, after picking up prizes in Exmouth in Bloom’s local gardens competition.

Read more
Mon, 12:30
Aerial view of Exmouth Ref: 23-05-0043SH

A new ‘state-of-the-art’ patrol boat costing up to £60,000 could be taking to the waters of the River Exe to catch troublesome jet-skiers.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications