29/07/2013 14:04 BST | Updated 26/09/2013 10:12 BST

The New Blue Peter Presenter Spells Doom For Millennials


The press seem to think they know exactly who we are and what we want - so goes the common grumble - and how very dare they be so arrogant, etc.

We've been assigned a certain name, way of life, way of dressing and way of smelling. We are grounded in the same historical roots - Teletubies, What-D'you-Wanna-Be-When-You're-Older themed parties and Myspace, wasn't it? - are grounded in the same present and share, rather ominously, round about the same future. We are the "Millennials" (yurgh!), and how self-righteous and predictable of the old and infirm to label us as such. We don't even care that a supposed criterion of our being "Millennials" (yurgh!) is our furious denying that we are ones. You're all wrong. And possibly just jealous.

Anyhow, what is the problem of our having serious and ambitious (seriously ambitious) plans for the future? We don't want to be astronauts because our fathers told us we could be when we were little (although they did), but because we honestly believe that we can be. Because we are prepared to put in all of the hard graft, and do MAs after our BAs. Because we were absolutely fine on the G-force simulator at the science museum, and this was just after a large Panini at lunch. Because we're going to email lots of people at the weekend, and because we just got retweeted by someone from NASA on Twitter, actually.

What's that you're muttering amongst yourselves at the back there? It's true that graduate unemployment is reaching an all-time high and that popcorn and pick-'n'-mix stands across the country are now, more than ever before, bursting at the seams with the revoltingly overqualified, yes, but that's not us. We haven't graduated yet. We have time. The hapless fools of which you mumble probably didn't put enough effort into finding internships. All it takes is a letter a week. We're experts in the matter, you know.

Imagine the horror this week, then, when our Millennial bubble was burst. Well, just bubble actually; I think we've laboured our point long and hard enough that we are too diverse to be a collective and will therefore no longer tolerate being labelled as such.

Forensic investigations around the sad, exploded rubber of the once triumphant (now ex-)bubble show Lindsey Russell to be holding the metaphorical, yet nonetheless humble, sewing needle responsible for the fatal rupture.

The glowing brunette - we've all despairingly clawed at the pictures on BBC News - was recently picked from tens of thousands of hopefuls to ascend to the hallowed seat of Blue Peter Presenter Number Three. A saviour of our times, a pearly-whited messiah; Russell is tipped to breathe new life into the, until now, increasingly turgid CBBC behemoth.

But why is this bad when the woman is everything that a Millennial dreams of being? Surely she's a shining beacon to our cause? (At least she would be all these things if there were such a thing as a "Millennial" in the first place, we are quick to jump in and clarify). For a start she is 22 which, if we are to follow Jennifer Lawrence as a prime example, is the official and proper age for a Millennial to become successful. She is also a recent graduate, and therefore the perfect new ambassador for the all-you-need-is-a-degree-and-self-belief paradigm.

Following but a few short weeks of Blue Peter trials - the sort involving toilet rolls, creepy crawlies, book clubs and all carried out from behind the electric smile with charisma-dimples that we are all prone to nurture in front of the bathroom mirror - she has emerged the sweat-less, casual victor. She came and did what she had probably always said she was going to do: become really successful and well-known and a BBC entertainment headline.

The one thing un-Millennial about Lindsey - and herein lies the impending doom - is that she is singular, whereas the Millennial is all about the collective. Whilst she has already arrived at her destination, we are still all on the way to ours. Her casual vanquishing of the other nineteen thousand nine hundred and ninety nine applicants brings to light the true, dark ratios of success and the true interplay of volition and achievement. Lindsey's break spells it out: the Millennial does exist (a shudder!), and, in fact, is very much alive and well. The bad news is that the Millennial in this equation isn't Lindsey, but the thousands that didn't make it. Worse still, it's also the thousands that didn't even apply. Us, basically.

The problem is that the Millennial - the hardest part is admitting that you have a problem, the hardest part is admitting... - places his or her success in the future. A happy carrot on a stick that, whilst you are never going to taste it, keeps you happily trotting along. That you're not rich and famous today doesn't matter seeing as today was just another rung on the ladder to success and all part of the process.

Remember when, twelve long years ago, you shuddered with jealously as the S Club Juniors were unveiled. You probably shuddered a second time when they performed their debut single 'One Step Closer' on Top Of The Pops, and then talked about how much they enjoyed fancy hotels in the interview which followed. This was all fine though; you were still extremely young yourself. Your success would be when you were slightly older. And, in any case, you hadn't applied to be an S Club Junior, and if you had done things might have been different.

The new Blue Peter presenter however, unfortunately, heralds our expiry date. This is our future now. We're meant to have had the first nibble of that carrot, or at least be able to smell it.

Don't worry, we'll tell ourselves. There's always our thirties! And what are our twenties if they aren't good preparation for how successful we're going to be in our next decade? We'd better get back to sending those emails and letters. All it takes is one a week.