Sunday 28 May 2017

Hula Hoop farewell for Blue Peter

Blue Peter attempts the world Hula Hoop record at Television Centre
Blue Peter attempts the world Hula Hoop record at Television Centre

Blue Peter presenters old and new were in a spin as they set a new world record - and said farewell to their home of several decades.

Former hosts including Anthea Turner, Janet Ellis and Diane Louise Jordan were among 426 people who broke the record for the biggest hula hoop dance.

The hip-swivelling effort was staged as a goodbye gesture as the show was broadcast from west London's BBC TV Centre for the last time.

It will move to the corporation's new MediaCityUK home in Salford when it returns from a summer break later this year.

Current presenters Helen Skelton, Barney Harwood and Andy Akinwolere were among those taking part in the centre's famous "doughnut" area - a ring-shaped plaza which had featured in many Blue Peter stunts since its launch in 1958.

CBBC stars such as Ed Petrie, Iain Stirling and Naomi Wilkinson were also flexing their midriffs to tackle the record for "the most people dancing with hula hoops".

However Akinwolere - who was bowing out of the show after five years - found himself among 10 people who were disqualified from the original 436 who took part for failing to keep up.

The presenter looked teary-eyed as he hosted the show for the last time.

"I don't know what to say - it's been full of some amazing experiences," he said. Earlier this month, viewers saw him set a new world record for open-water swimming as he conquered his fear of the water in the Pacific Ocean.

BBC presenter Brian Cox and Britain's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff were among those who send good luck messages to Akinwolere.

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