Former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton has referenced the Kenya trip she undertook for the BBC children’s programme with Princess Anne in an article published as part of the Daily Mail’s “Holiday of a Lifetime” series.
Valerie and the Blue Peter production team travelled to Kenya with Princess Anne in February 1971. It was to be the Princesses’ first solo Royal visit, her first solo film and a huge scoop for the programme.
The visit was also an historic occasion for the people of Kenya and the Royal party, which included Prince Charles. They were greeted on arrival by President Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi and while in the country, Princess Anne visited Treetops Hotel where her sister Elizabeth was staying when she learnt of the death of her father King George VI in 1952, making her Queen.
During the trip, which was broadcast on Easter Sunday 1971, Valerie and Princess Anne, who was visiting as President of the Save the Children Fund, went on a photography safari in Nairobi National Park.
The pair also travelled by horse through rural villages where they were enthusiastically greeted by local children. Being in the country also helped to highlight the plight of homeless and destitute children on the streets of Nairobi.
In the Daily Mail article, Valerie references Kenya when asked about who her perfect travel companion would be, to which she answers: “I’ve had lots of great company (the late John Noakes, and Princess Anne on a Blue Peter safari to Kenya in 1971, to name two). But I selfishly like to travel on my own. I meet far more people and have more adventures that way.”
You can read the full article on the Daily Mail website.