Damien Hirst has told Blue Peter viewers that the iconic British children’s television show was the inspiration behind one of his best known and most lucrative painting techniques. The episode in which Hirst explains “I grew up with Blue Peter... I got my idea for the spin paintings from an episode in the 1970s” will be broadcast today.
Hirst will also join an elite but disperate group, including the Queen, JK Rowling and David Beckham when he is presented with a gold Blue Peter badge during the programme.
It was in Leeds in 1975 that nine-year-old Damien Hirst was transfixed by John Noakes demonstrating a motorised cardboard paint spinning device for children “who like to paint, but are one of those people who never really knows what to draw”. The contraption was made of a rubber band, two nails knocked into a wooden baton, an electric motor and a battery, and spun blobs of paint into a kaleidoscopic colour explosion.
Blue Peter editor Tim Levell told the Guardian, “Blue Peter is famous for encouraging children to get up and do something creative. It’s great to see that come full circle, and for us to present Damien with a gold Blue Peter badge for all he’s done for British art.”
Image credits: Blue Peter presenters John Noakes, Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves inspired artist Damien Hirst. Photo: BBC/Rex