To be fair, I did tell them I'm not particularly good at memorising names.
Actually that's not being fair at all - while the names-and-presents thing was the Blue Peter team's idea, and they couldn't be talked out of it, it was me who suggested throwing in birthdays as well. The idea was that by adding something numerical to the mix, I could turn it into a challenge that not just anybody could do, while still being confident that it was still eminently doable for a half-competent memory expert like me. And in all honesty, it really shouldn't have been any problem - I attribute my spectacular failure to excitement and unpreparedness, never having done anything remotely like that before and having to take a guess at what would be the best strategy. And having the numbers come up of the few kids who I couldn't remember - I would have been fine with most of the others. And getting the first one wrong really annoyed me, because I did know him - Harold was the littlest one of the thirty and the thought of him playing for Chelsea was a funny mental image that should have stuck in my brain but somehow didn't when I was put on the spot.
But still, it wasn't about succeeding in the challenge or providing watchable entertainment for the nation's youth, it was about going on Blue Peter, meeting the presenters (Zoe and Andy are exactly the same off-camera as on, I'm pleased to report - I've always been worried that Blue Peter presenters are nasty, cynical grown-ups who swear and watch pornography when they're not on air, but in fact they're fantastic people. Although Andy had to be reminded not to say "I'm knackered" like he did in rehearsal after playing on that groovy electronic floor game thing), meeting the pets (as well as Socks sitting on my lap, Mabel decided she liked the taste of my shoes), getting the badge (still haven't lost it again) and having fun! And I certainly achieved that. Too bad nobody's going to want me on any future TV shows after that shambolic performance, but never mind. I was getting tired of celebrity status, anyway.