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During September 2020, Young Kennel Club member Taylor went to the Blue Peter studio to demonstrate agility. Blue Peter is a tv programme which is shown live on the CBBC television channel. Taylor was on the programme to demonstrate agility with her dog Elliot and also had the opportunity to try the course with the Blue Peter dog Henry. We caught up with her to find out how hers and Elliott day went, what they did and how it felt to train to Blue Peter dog Henry.
I loved going on Blue Peter with Elliott; it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was almost too good to put into words; but I’m going to give it a try.
As we were going to start filming early in the morning, my mum, Elliott and I travelled up to Manchester the night before. I think that Elliott was just as excited as I was - whilst staying over in the hotel the night before filming took place, he was quite literally bouncing off the furniture! In the hotel, we were on the fifteenth floor up and had an excellent view of Media City, the location of the studio, and across the whole of Manchester. We had a floor to ceiling window in our room, and Elliott enjoyed watching the humans below going about their daily business! And that night, we got many great pictures around Media City.
On the morning of the filming, my mum and I had a full breakfast; I had a chocolate muffin, a porridge bar, a bacon and sausage bap, and a small croissant. We then made our way to the studio, and met with Richie, one of the presenters, and all of the producers. Because of Covid-19, we all had to make sure we kept our distance from each other and had to wear masks in the studio, except when we were in front of the camera.
When we arrived, the agility equipment had already been delivered and was laid out on rubber matting. Even though the rubber provided some cushioning, it was rather slippy underfoot, and it took Elliott a while to get accustomed to it. He was soon running just like he does in competition.
To begin with, I did a bit of practice with Henry - the Blue Peter dog - trying to coax him over the jumps and through the tunnel and weaves. It took quite a few treats to get him into the tunnel and in the end we decided to throw treats inside, and encourage him through that way. Sadly, he didn’t quite pick all of the treats up, and I momentarily lost Elliott in the tunnel when it was our turn to run the course.
Henry really seemed to understand what he was doing. By the time Richie and I had done some practice runs, Henry was going round the short course really well.
For the actual episode filming, we had to do many different shots, from different angles, to make sure that they had everything they needed for the final result! In the end, two and a half hours of filming was edited down to four minutes on screen.
Elliott took to the environment very well, and performed perfectly with every try. Henry was so sweet, and was doing really well by the end of the filming session.
When I got back to school, everyone was so excited to hear about everything, and many of my friends had watched it on television.
We had a fantastic time in Manchester, especially Elliott, but I have to say that the highlight was definitely meeting Richie and Henry, the Blue Peter Dog. It was such an amazing experience, and I am so thankful to everyone who helped give me the opportunity to be part of the programme!