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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
What are your memories of John Craven's Newsround?
The BBC's Newsround programme is celebrating 30 years on the air by inviting original presenter John Craven back to co-host the programme.

It was the first-ever children's news bulletin, and in the days before 24-hour TV news, was the first to report on major stories such as the Challenger disaster and Margaret Thatcher's election as Conservative leader.

As well as John Craven, it also launched the careers of presenters Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Kate Sanderson, Julie Etchingham and the late Helen Rollason.

Today's Newsround, fronted by Becky Jago, can also be seen on digital channel CBBC and it also has its own website.

What are your memories of the programme? What has made the programme such a success? Do you still watch it now?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

I used to turn over to ITV every time it came on to watch a cartoon or something (I was only a kid - I didn't care about news, especially after a hard day at school!). But I would always flick back to BBC after it had finished to catch Grange Hill. I do have very fond memories of John Craven and his jumpers, however! A definite symbol of the childhood of my generation.
Niamh, UK

By far the best children's programme since 'Blue Peter' and the 'Telly Tubbies'
Norman, Lancaster, England

One of the best news shows ever, period!
Mike Ellison, Canada (British)

Too old to have seen it myself, I discovered that my children either abstained completely from TV or opted for something else. No comment to make.
Peter Sykes, UK

I would like to thank John Craven and "Newsround" for getting me into current affairs at a very early age in the 70's. It is such a brilliant concept in encouraging youngsters to look beyond this often inward looking island. I also used to wonder how they did that electronic theme music that sounded like something from Dr Who.
orac, uk


I felt the same way about John Craven's "Newsround" when I was 10 as I do about news programs now - irritating

Simon Moore, UK
I felt the same way about John Craven's "Newsround" when I was 10 as I do about news programs now - irritating. I watch the TV in order to relax and be entertained. I don't want a "now everyone, lets all be sensible" moment every 2 hours when we have to sit and watch news. I want news I'll turn the radio on.
Simon Moore, UK

I remember John from day one, It is true, there was a distinct respect for the kids who watched and also for the news too. I couldn't believe that John was 61! Nobody should have that much hair left! I enjoyed "Newsround", to this day I like to be informed about what is going on in the world, While In England Children are watching the news American Kids are still watching cartoons and blowing up monsters! Congratulations John and the rest of the crew there (I had a crush on the Indian lady that went off to become a doctor!).
Bern Webb, USA (British)

I last saw "Newsround" a couple of years ago, and it struck me as terribly patronising. It never used to be like that when JC presented it... that was his great strength, informing and educating without ever talking down. John Craven - the original and best!
Richard West, U.K.

My most vivid memory is of hearing of the Challenger disaster on Newsround. I had just returned home from work at Marconi Space Systems at the time, so not only was I quite a bit older than the target audience for the programme, that particular report was very closely related to the kind of work I was involved in at the time. Newsround was always the best place to hear space stories, since they seemed to cover them really well at a time when other BBC news bulletins didn't seem to be aware of the enormous public interest in space.
David Hazel, UK

What I remember most what that weird music. Someone must have been on some severe chemicals to come up with it!
Kenny, UK


I am 30-something and can't thank John Craven and his crew enough for letting me into the 'grown up' world of 'The News' when I was little

Maz, England
I am 30-something and can't thank John Craven and his crew enough for letting me into the 'grown up' world of 'The News' when I was little. Never patronising and always easy to understand, it made it a lot easier to listen in to Mom and Dad's conversations and occasionally chip in with a comment!
Maz, England

I never saw it - our family never had a TV. I still don't in fact.
Chris Cowdery, UK

I won a Newsround "Newshound" competition in 1987 and ended up going to west Africa to report on Unicef projects with another winner, Dan, and John Craven. John worked a miracle and the resulting reports weren't half bad! I just wanted to say that what you saw of John on the screen, you got in the flesh: he was uncondescending, straightforward, and affectionate with a definite streak of mischief!
Becky Branford, UK

I have very fond memories of Newsround. When I was young, it helped me to understand the news in a way that the main bulletins couldn't do. I also recall John's highly individual fashion sense, and his bad puns on Swapshop. One point though. In all the items about gathering together former presenters, why no mention of Lucy Mathen? I know she went off to America to play guitar in a band if memory serves. Is there some reason why she's been passed over?
Garry Waddell, UK

I remember when his desk telephone rang. He looked at the camera, smiled, and said that it was the first time that that had happened.
David, Birmingham, England


Always informative, never patronising

Antonia, Belgium
I vividly remember Newsround being the news programme that broke the story of the Hungerford shootings - good timing I suppose. Always informative, never patronising, I suppose it was Newsround that developed my interest in politics and current affairs. It's not the same without John Craven though.
Antonia, Belgium

I am now 31, I always watched this programme from day one. I once ignored it. My mum gave me a telling off. I am hoping that my two half sisters watch this programme. John Craven was the best through out the seventies and early eighties.
Gary Hunt, England

I have one vivid memory of Newsround from the late 80's - I wonder if anyone else will remembers this. It was the 1st of April and John Craven did a story about a Panda at London Zoo laying the first Panda Egg in captivity! Obviously an April fools prank, but very funny at the time. What an odd thing to remember.
Andy Donaldson, Australia (British)

John Craven was my hero, and I loved the programme. I had the opportunity to meet him in 1988 in Gambia West Africa: I was in a hotel bar and met him and a cameraman doing a report on wildlife. His cameraman was a great guy, I'm sorry I can't say the same for John.
James Jeffrey, USA/UK


John Craven's Newsround was essential viewing for me back in the 70's and 80's

Ian Gillman, USA (originally from England)
One of the events I remember John Craven reporting was the renaming of Rhodesia. I remember him explaining how the country would be called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia for one year. John Craven's Newsround was essential viewing for me back in the 70's and 80's.
Ian Gillman, USA (originally from England)

The Rollers fans. Has to be that. Priceless.
Brian Cameron, Canada/Scotland

I used to watch it as a kid in the late 70's and early 80's. I remember a story once where John showed a dog learning to drive a car. They showed footage of the dog at the wheel driving along the road. I believed every word John said even when my mother tried to explain it was an April fool joke. For at least a year afterwards I was convinced that our dog would soon be able to drive us to school. I have not seen the programme for years but I enjoy watching Country File simply because of the way John Craven presents. He is an excellent broadcaster and I wish him well on his co-presenting of the show. Keep it John - you are one in a million. PS - I have now accepted the fact dogs cannot drive - but I still believe that spaghetti grows on trees - but that was a scam from Nationwide if my memory serves me correctly.
Danny, UK

Glad to hear about the return of John Craven to celebrate the 30th anniversary. He is one of the finest presenters and his voice is still ringing in my ear from my experience of watching around 1980.It is of educational value for children, and it covered important news of the day.
Vijay K Vijayaratnam, United Kingdom


It's probably the best news programme around

Pete Hazell, UK
I remember the report on the Challenger explosion in 1986 quite vividly. The best thing about Newsround is its scheduling - in the early evening slot, it gets the news stories before any of the "major" bulletins, and actually presents news in a concise form. It doesn't talk down to its audience either. It's probably the best news programme around.
Pete Hazell, UK

John Craven's Newsround was informative but managed to never be patronising. I would believe absolutely anything John would have said! The only other newscaster to have ever had the same effect on me is Trevor MacDonald. Keep on truckin' John!
Tracey K, UK

I hated it. I wanted to watch Grange Hill, but wasn't allowed!
Alex, UK

I am 21 and I watched regularly as a kid. Since September 11, I have watching it as it is so concise and brings the news straight to the point. Newsround in my opinion can provide me with more information than the mainstream half hour news programmes at 6 and 10 o'clock.
Helen, UK

I watched the very first Newsround. It wasn't until years later when I watched it with my own children that I realised it had been pitched at exactly the right intellectual level to give young people a genuine and informed insight into the good, bad and ugly aspects of our world; something from which they will always benefit.
Alan Green, Germany


I am sure I learnt many things about the world and its events thanks to the programme, from what Opec stood for, to learning that a Party Whip wasn't a soft ice cream

Stuart, UK
I used to watch Newsround back in the late 70's and the 80's every day after school. I am sure I learnt many things about the world and its events thanks to the programme, from what Opec stood for, to learning that a Party Whip wasn't a soft ice cream that came from a machine! Thanks-keep it going!
Stuart, UK

Apart from its concise, unpatronising reporting, the best thing about Newsround was its theme tune. That bongo player had the fastest hands in the world!
John G, London,UK

I remember it being launched, a new kiddy-oriented programme, that filled a hole in the coverage. I can't think of a single news story on it, it was that long ago, but I remember it being clear and informative. How many of us remember that first animated logo? I have to admit that I haven't bothered with it for at least 15 years, though, but I reckon that my kids will like it soon enough, when they are ready to take in the news for the world stage.
Steve Brereton, UK

The funny thing about living away from the UK is that you forget how quickly time passes - I couldn't believe how old John Craven looked in the picture! I remember watching Newsround every day after school in the late 70's/early 80's. Glad to see the programme is still around. It achieved the delicate balance of being educational and entertaining at the same time thus encouraging young people to show an interest in the world at large. Keep up the good work!
Fiona, Canada

What do I remember about newsround? Well ne na na na na na - na na na na na na at the end of the program! I also remember John Craven trying to explain Aids without going into all the gory details!
Paul Bennett, UK


The programme seemed to buck the trend of patronising children

Paul McGuinness, UK
This was essential viewing for me, between the ages of 8 and 12 (1972 - 1976). Always adding that extra dimension of background to its items, it enabled the child viewer to understand the significance of the story. I don't know how it is now, but the programme seemed to buck the trend of patronising children. John Craven was a master of delivering some quite elementary information, without falling into this particular trap through nuance of expression etc. I hope it maintains his standard today and that - in no sense of the word - has it undergone what I perceive to be a general dumbing-down of TV content in recent years. For, in my day, it was quality public service remit fulfilling material. Thirty years old. Wow.
Paul McGuinness, UK

I never went out of my way to watch it, but when it came on the box I never switched over. I caught a few weeks ago for the first time in years and I still was compelled to watch it. However Newsround will never be the same as when the "Craven" was the anchor man.
Sven, England

The thing i remember most about Newsround is that it always placed a high priority on 'good' news. Penguins in Antartica or Man in Space. Adult news on the other hand is frequently shocking and violent.
Nikolai, Edinburgh


His famous jumpers/tank-tops/cardigans... groovy!

Reg Pither, England
"Hello again" is what I always remember - I think I used to watch just in case he said something else at the start of the programme... Oh, and his famous jumpers/tank-tops/cardigans... groovy!
Reg Pither, England

I was fascinated by John Craven's Newsround as a kid. He impressed me so much that I became a journalist (although in print rather than on TV). He's a consummate professional with a deep understanding of what will capture the mind and interest of children. I may be 38 years old now but John, you're still my hero!
Alison, UK

The thing I remember most is John Craven's jumpers!!
Kirsty, UK

It's a real privilege to have John back on the programme today. He has been an inspiration to people who currently work on the programme. Everyone here is highly committed to serving the audience - the programme has that effect on staff.
Ian Prince, Newsround UK

I used to be SO bored by watching Newsround, I always wanted to watch something else. Now however, I've come full circle and am addicted to news - BBC News 24 and BBC Radio 4 is on at our house all the time... Sorry John, guess you just weren't my type.
Kate Lovegrove, UK

 VOTE RESULTS
Who is your favourite Newsround presenter?

John Craven
 77.38% 

Juliet Morris
 7.48% 

Kate Sanderson
 6.20% 

Helen Rollason
 3.10% 

Becky Jago
 5.83% 

2967 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


A look back at 30 years of Newsround
30 years of Newsround

See also:

04 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Craven marks Newsround birthday
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