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Turn on your TV set and reach for the consolatory home-made sweets. The BBC has given up trying to protect the sanctity of the Blue Peter badge against rotters who sell them for their privileges to the highest bidder on eBay. And it's about to be announced to the nation's children.

Kids win their badges by performing or relaying commendable acts for TV cameras on the hit TV show, Blue Peter. The highest accolade, the Gold Blue Peter badge, is awarded to children who save lives.

Until today, the badges conferred on their proud owners privileges such as free entry to museums. But they were being sold on eBay for up to £50 a time, according to the BBC.

In a statement* issued today, Blue Peter editor Richard Marson said kids would be told on the show today that all badge holders have had their privileges suspended until further notice.

"This is a sad but necessary short-term step to safeguard the future of the Blue Peter badge scheme and to protect children who have earnt (sic) their badges and who are feeling very let down by this cynical trade," he said. The badges would be taken off ice as soon as a solution was found to the eBay conundrum, he said.®

* Thanks to loyal reader, Iian, for bringing this to our attention

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