BFG director Steven Spielberg proud owner of Blue Peter badge
Steven Spielberg has joined a select group including the Queen, JK Rowling and Sir David Attenborough as he becomes a gold Blue Peter badge owner.
The Oscar-winning film director, producer and screenwriter said he had "always secretly privately wanted" the badge, which is the children's programme's highest accolade.
US-born Spielberg, whose films include The BFG, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park, said: "I'm going to wear it with pride.
"I've been aware of Blue Peter ever since I started making movies here in 1980. I made Raiders Of The Lost Ark here in the UK in 1980.
"This is my first Blue Peter badge. And I've always secretly privately wanted one. But now I have one. So thank you."
The 69-year-old film-maker was awarded the badge for his talent, passion and pioneering work, according to the CBBC show for children.
Each year, a handful of gold badges are awarded, in recognition for outstanding achievements, bravery, inspiration and citizenship. Children are eligible for the prize, as well as adult guests on the show.
Others to pin the ship-shaped badge to their lapels include Roald Dahl's illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, children's authors Malorie Blackman and Michael Morpurgo, footballer David Beckham and Olympic diver Tom Daley.
To celebrate the release of Dahl's The BFG and the centenary of his birth, the programme has run a Dream Big competition for viewers to create their very own dream story. The winner will work with a top animation studio to have the story made into an animated sequence.
The competition was won by Betty, a 12-year-old from Hull, who was invited to the BFG premiere and had the chance to discuss her winning entry, Toucans, with Spielberg himself.