English Heritage says the Blue Peter garden and other parts of the BBC's White City complex in London should be given protection under planning laws.

The charity is calling on the government to grant grade two listed status to BBC Television Centre, claiming the building's "iconic presence" in the TV world means it should be saved for posterity.

In addition to the Blue Peter garden, which millions of children have grown up with, the application also covers the TV studios where early Doctor Who, Top Of The Pops and Children In Need have all been filmed.

"The nation has an immense fondness for this building and what it represents for our culture," heritage protection director at English Heritage Peter Beacham said.

"As one of the first purpose-built television studios in the world, it represents the moment when Britain led Europe into the television age."

Current legislation working its way through parliament will give the building a modern kind of protection, allowing it to continue to develop flexibly.

The 1950s canteen, scenery workshops and the circular drum housing office space are covered by the application. Alexandra Palace, where the world's first TV programme came from, and 22 Frith St in Soho, where JL Baird demonstrated television transmission in 1926, already have protected status.

30/06/2008 13:27:50