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  John Craven and Becky Jago
Updated 04 April 2002, 18.24

For Newsround's 30th birthday, current presenter Becky Jago and the very first presenter John Craven came into the studio for a hotseat.

Click on the video icon to watch the full interview, or scroll down for the text version.

Watch webchatWatch video webchat


Click on each question to read John and Becky's answers:


Rian and Owen, 14 and 10, Tregaron
Did John Craven ever think that 30 years ago teenagers watching then would be watching now with their children? Rian and Owen say their mum still watches Newsround with them?

John:We had no idea that it was going to be the long running success that it is. It was just a brief experiment really to start with. It was fantastic when we started to get our first responses back from children saying they were really reacting to the stories that we were featuring in the bulletins. But we'd no idea that those children would now be watching with their children.


Paula, 12, Greenock
What's the favourite thing you've done for Newsround?

John:I was filming for Newsround in India and we went to Calcutta hoping to meet Mother Teresa. We went to her house in the really poor area of the city and she'd just got back from America and she was feeling very ill and she was very frail. I asked her assistant if we could do an interview for Newsround and she said she wasn't doing any interviews at all. I told her Newsround is a programme for children in Britain, so she went to ask Mother who said because it's for children she'd do it, but only at 5.30am before she says early Mass. I asked the crew if they minded getting up that early, and they said of course not and so we actually filmed her in the Mother house. We were the first people she had allowed to go inside and film. It was very moving.


Virgo, 12, Wiltshire
Do you ever wonder if kids really take in Newsround?

Becky:We always watch the programme back and we decide how you can make things better, what was really good and we ask kids as well. I think they generally do take in what we say, most of the time anyway.

John:It makes you wonder how much the average adult takes in of the adult news as well.


Marie, 12, King's Lynn
Do you ever get nervous before a programme?

Becky:The first programme I ever did I was petrified. I was shaking, drinking water, couldn't hold it properly. It does get better but sometimes especially when it's a very busy programme and maybe things are changing at the last minute and you don't feel quite prepared - that's when I get really nervous, but it's getting better.

John: I think it's probably more apprehensive than nervous I think isn't it? You're just not quite sure how things are gonna work out and whether it's all gonna fall together but it always does.


Victor, 11, London
What do you have to do to become a Newsround presenter?

Star's name:I really don't think there is one way that you can get into being a presenter on Newsround. Have an interest in the news, become a press packer would be a good way to start.

John: We've had such a varied group of people presenting the programme. Lizo trained to be a doctor, Matthew started in radio, and Lucy who was one of the first presenters with me went on to be a surgeon and she's now operating on children in India.
Start writing start writing early. And what these days if you really want to get into this business get a degree first.


Luke, 9, Derby
Were you nervous the first time you presented Newsround?

John:It had never been done before and we were working so hard all the day right up until the very last moment that there was no time to be nervous. I think I just had time for the make-up girl to dab my nose with a bit of powder and then went on and did it. So no I was nervous afterwards!

Becky:First time I did Newsround it went okay, I was fine, but part of the set fell down. It was just out of vision so you didn't see it happen but I heard it and I also heard in my earpiece that part of the set's fallen down so all these people were rushing round. Anyway they couldn't get the set back up in time so what two people did was hold up a piece of cloth in the gap where this part of the set was and these two men were standing holding this piece of cloth up for the rest of the programme.


Tommy, Birmingham
Should Newsround be longer, maybe 15 or 20 minutes?

John: I've always thought that the great success of Newsround is that it doesn't go on for very long. If you're not all that interested in the news you don't have long to wait for another programme to come on.

Becky: I think that still stands today although we do have Newsround Extra which is about 12 minutes long.


Andrew, Wantage
What's the most challenging story you've ever had to report on?

John: For me it was Aids back in the mid 80's. We'd never dealt with a subject such as Aids on the programme before, but it was National Aids Week. Lots of children were getting very concerned because they thought they might get Aids from toilet seats or from kissing their dad and all these stupid things, so we decided it was time to put the record straight. So we devoted most of the programme that day to explaining the facts about Aids, and that children are not gonna get Aids from doing things like kissing their dad.

Becky:The Newsround Extra coming out on Monday 22 April about child asylum seekers. Myself and a couple of other people travelled to Morocco and we also went over to the Channel Tunnel and talked to a couple of children who are in this country being smuggled from Afghanistan and the Congo. It was difficult listening to their stories.


Lucy, 12
What do you think of Newsround's website?

John:I've only just logged onto it and I was very, very impressed with it especially all those photographs of me on it. (LAUGHS) No I mean it's a very, very good website 'cos I've I found many websites very difficult to find your way round them but this is brilliant.

Becky: It's great, it's colourful and it's friendly. It's informative, and it's not patronising.


Paul, 14, Leicester
Why do you think Newsround has lasted this long and how much longer do you think the show will last?

John: I think there'd be a huge national outcry if anybody ever tried to stop it. And previous generations of children who've grown up with it would lead the campaign to save it, so I don't think anybody's thinking of taking it off the air anyway.

Becky:Children want to know about news, they want to know what's going on. If Newsround wasn't around what would there be for them?




More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutGuide: 30 years of Newsround
VoteYour fave Newsround theme tune!

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