John Craven shares details of first ever Newsround bulletin ‘Never imagined’

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CBBC’s Newsround recently celebrated its 50th birthday and looked back over the incredible years of journalism for young children. The past and present presenters all took their chance to thank the show for making their career and being part of the longest-running children’s news programme. During a press event, John thanked the viewers and his fellow colleagues for creating an incredible work environment and reminisced about the first news bulletin he made for the show.

Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press at the event, John began: “Hello again, I should say, it is lovely to be here with so many different faces from so many different decades of Newsround.

“I’ve had a wonderful time so far meeting people I hadn’t seen for years, bringing back so many happy memories of when we did work together.”

He spoke about the first story broadcast on Newsround: “There’s a pair of rare Ospreys, who would never have imagined what they were creating when they did the long migration to their new nesting site in Scotland.

“Because yes, they were creating more Ospreys, but they were also creating the first-ever story on the first-ever Newsround in 1972.

“50 years on, Ospreys are doing quite well, and Newsround isn’t doing too badly either,” he joked.

John touched on how technology has changed over the years and recalled an embarrassing moment he experienced live on air.

“When Newsround started, there were just three of us in the team, and we had typewriters and stencils and tiger tape and film, not video, and we had cardboard graphics, so much has changed.

“Newsround was the very first programme in television news to use video cameras and computers, everything that news was developing was tested out on us.

“I think the theories of the news bosses were if it didn’t go well, only the children would notice. I used a new thing called a light pencil once live, and I used it to show where Chris Bonington had reached when he was climbing Everest.

“This light pencil showed that he was 2000 metres above the summit, so goodbye, light pencil,” he quipped.

“Today, you have the very latest technology in Newsround and viewers who are so media savvy, but the message is still the same, make it short and simple and interesting and never talk down.

“In these days of fake news, dangerous misinformation, that message is more important than ever because your audience believes you.”

Before signing off from his speech, he thanked the presenters for a life of “happy memories” and many friends made over the years.

“I had the time of my life on Newsround, so many happy memories, so many friends made, such a great family feeling.

“The programme has always had that, and I have never known anybody who didn’t enjoy being on Newsround.

“Isn’t it satisfying to be really enjoying yourself to be doing something that you feel is totally worthwhile, keep the flag flying.”

John has always considered himself to be a country person at heart, and after leaving Newsround in 1989, he joined the Countryfile team.

In July 2014, he celebrated his 25th anniversary on the show, and over the years, he has covered many of the key issues facing the British countryside, including BSE, foot and mouth and the fox-hunting ban.

In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for his services to rural and children’s broadcasting and features in the RTS Hall of Fame.

Newsround airs everyday from 7:45 am on CBBC.

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