Edward Barnes (television executive)
Barnes was a co-creator of Blue Peter in 1958, and the programme's assistant director. Later, he was a producer of the series. It was Barnes, with colleague Biddy Baxter, who in late 1962 toured London pet shops after the show's mongrel puppy died and a clandestine substitute (soon known as Petra) was needed so as not to needlessly upset young viewers. Barnes was the originator of the longstanding children's television news programme Newsround, in April 1972; originally, it was known as John Craven's Newsround. At the time, he was Deputy Head of Children's Television at the BBC. Newsround was created to explain stories to children that would not be comprehended equally well on the main news. It was met with resistance when he formulated it, and was a controversial idea for some of his colleagues. Newsround was the first to bring the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to British television on 28 January 1986. Barnes' wife was the writer Dorothy Smith, who was a contributor to Blue Peter. The couple, who had three children, were married from 1950 until Smith's death in 1992.
He died in September 2021, at the age of 92.
- "Edward Barnes obituary". The Times. 9 September 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021. (subscription required)
- Marson, Richard (4 October 2008). "Blue Peter: celebrating 50 years". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Stuart, Keith (29 November 2011). "Newsround: the TV institution that almost never happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Baxter, Biddy (8 August 1992). "Obituary: Dorothy Smith". The Independent. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Molina-Whyte, Lidia (8 September 2021). "Blue Peter and Newsround co-creator Edward Barnes dies, aged 92". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 September 2021.