Tag Archives: BBC

BBC History launches archive to mark 80 years of Television

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To coincide with the 80th anniversary of the launch of the first British television service by the BBC on 2 November 1936, BBC History has today launched a new microsite that provides the public with access to archive material from the early days of television.

The archive, which can be viewed at here contains a wealth of video and audio footage which tells the story of television – including, the invention of television, the opening night at Alexandra Palace in 1936, TV closure during the war and its resurrection in 1946, TV’s milestone moments such the Olympics and the Coronations of 1937 and 1953.

 

Some highlights of the history archive include:

Technology battle: Early TV was a battle between two companies, the Marconi-EMI partnership and the Baird Company, each developing different technologies. Idiosyncratically, the press favoured the Baird Company technology, mainly because there was a 60-second delay in the image appearing on screen. At a special demo for the press this enabled journalists to run round and see themselves on the screen. In 1934 the Government asked the BBC to formally launch a regular service testing both systems.

Two Coronations: The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937 gave the BBC Television Service its first major outside broadcasting challenge, which was a huge technological leap forward. Despite the equipment failing just as the procession approached, the BBC’s Tony Bridgwater recalls EMI engineer Bernard Greenhead giving the equipment “an almighty biff with his fist” – which managed to restart the unit just in time.


The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was a far more complex operation using more than 20 cameras in multiple locations. It was a seminal moment not just in British history, but in the development and popularity of television as a medium. BBC Director-General, Ian Jacob, said the Coronation “was the thing that made the Television Service take off… everybody from that moment on wanted to have television”.

Speaking about the archive, Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, says: “We are delighted to mark this momentous occasion by sharing much never-before-seen material from the BBC archives. The anecdotes, images and recordings offer today’s audiences a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the early days of television.

“It is also great to be doing this in partnership with media history experts from the University of Sussex and other UK research centres, who set our BBC story in the wider context of what was happening in communications and society.”

Professor David Hendy, Professor of Media and Cultural History at the University of Sussex, says: “These fascinating accounts, from the BBC’s own collection of oral history interviews, take us straight back to a time when the future of TV wasn’t yet known, when everything was new and uncertain. They offer us as never before the real inside story of those who set television going on its now 80 year-long journey. And a very human story it is: a tale of risk-taking, pioneering spirit, rivalry, hope, anxiety – and, of course, the slow working out of how to make popular art out of an obscure bit of rather cumbersome technology.”

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Danny Baker’s – 3 Year Anniversary rant

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It’s almost 3 years to the day – since Danny Baker, launched into a two hour tirade against BBC bosses calling them “phonies”, “pinheaded” and “weasels”after learning his popular daytime radio show was going to be cut from the station schedules in the new year.

During his final show he accused the BBC of penny pinching and hoped those who had taken the decision “choked” on their abacus beads.  His last two hours on air was electrifying listening and the shock and anger that came through from Danny’s final broadcast – was only acceptable and excusable because it reflected how a lot of his audience felt and matched the mood of those who regularly tuned into his Treehouse show.  That also included me.  The first time I ever felt compelled to complain to the BBC – was the day I heard they’d chopped him from the day time schedules.

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Speaking the following day to BBC Radio London’s Vanessa Feltz,  Editor and slayer in chief David Robey said that he hadn’t spoken to Danny personally about the ending of the show – because that was the job of his agent – but that he had been made aware of a conversation having recently taken place and he knew “Danny wasn’t happy”.  Mr Robey also said that part of the reasoning was that Danny had taken 3 months off at short notice and may possibly had wanted to take off more time.  What Mr Robey failed to say – was that this 3 month break was so that Danny could recover from mouth and throat cancer which could have killed him.

There then followed a phone-in where every single caller (execpt one who seemed more interested in who would take Danny’s place) spoke of their disbelief that Danny was gone with one caller suggesting that David Robey would be better off as a “supermarket manager”.  You can almost hear Mr Robey’s temperature rise as he takes a deep breath in and tries to rise above the slating.

The show is now online for prosperity and you can relive the afternoon of 1st November 2012 by listening below.

Last BBC London radio show:

 

John Lennon Special

John Lennon famously ordered a white grand piano from Steinway for Yoko's 38th birthday
John Lennon famously ordered a white grand piano from Steinway for Yoko’s 38th birthday

In the final hour of Monday Matters Jason had the John Lennon hour – which included music as well as an edited 20 minutes of the final interview John ever did with the BBC’s Andy Peebles on 6th December 1980 – two days later he was shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City.

Chapman had been stalking Lennon for days and asked for an autograph as Lennon walked through the courtyard. After he signed a piece of paper Chapman fired. Lennon was pronounced dead from a massive loss of blood at 11.30pm.

http://andypeebles.co.uk/

For more information about Monday Matters: www.sfmradio.com

“Cut BBC Local Radio” says Noel Edmonds

Noel Edmonds
Noel be nimble, Noel be quick; watch him swim & then the oil slick!

I’m not sure what is going on in the private life of Noel Edmonds at the moment.  At the age of 65 – he’s gone past the ‘mid-life crisis’ point – or at least, let’s hope so! Maybe his contract is up soon at Channel 4 and he is just trying to prove to the boffins at C4 – he is still bankable and can create waves?

First he demands to be able to buy the BBC as a commercial enterprise and before he’d managed to take another breath he’d went on to say that if he did get his fake tanned hands on auntie – he’d cull BBC local radio.

I wonder if he was all alone one evening in bed – struggling to get to sleep and weighing up what the world would look like if he was in charge?  If he had his nibble finger on the button of control! Suddenly…an idea….

ideaguy

IF I RAN THE BBC….(dot dot dot)

I can’t claim to be an expert on BBC local radio as I very rarely listen – but then, I don’t suppose Noel does either.  What I do know is that BBC local radio is cheap and provides a service that commercial radio doesn’t want to compete in.

The nearest thing to this would be Community Radio – that is unshackled from the need for speeding through 15 songs an hour – with a DJ occasionally telling the listener about their ‘crazy night’!

As independent commercial radio seems to be homogenising  into one or two branded blobs – culling a service that is geared to get the community on the air – is not the way to go. In fact, more BBC resources should be put into local output – and not more managers – more presenters – getting out in the community.

So, I say No to Noel.  It seems like there is more than one Banker on Deal or No Deal!

BBC technical mistake

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The BBC said that a ‘technical’ human error was to blame for some unfortunate sound effects being broadcast over their news item about the  Oscar Pistorius trial on the local station for Coventry and Warwickshire.

Radio Today spoke to the BBC who sheepishly stated  “There was a technical mistake where sound effects being prepared in another studio for an unrelated item were accidentally broadcast over the news bulletin”.

Personally given the nature of the sound effects and their timing…I can’t help but wonder if someone was attempting to put the news reader off his stride…classic school boy prank…but I guess we’ll never know.

BBC R6 Launches new music programme

BBC 6 Music

The BBC have announced that it’s digital radio station 6 music will launch a new late night show called “6 Music Recommends” in the wee small hours between midnight and 1am.

6 music which has a weekly reach of 1.96 million listeners, said the idea of the show is to give their audience the chance to hear new songs that have been specially found by it’s presenters.   The presenters are Lauren Laverne (Tuesdays) – Tom Ravenscroft (Wednesdays) – Mary Anne Hobbs (Thursdays) and Steve Lamacq (Fridays).

Jeff Smith Head of Music for 6 “alongside our well-established and influential weekly new release playlist, highlights BBC Radio 6 Music’s different and innovative approach to new music and music programming.”

Some of their listeners might be surprised that such presenters didn’t already have oodles of input in to the music that they play on their show, but alas the modern day radio station is often run top down – rather than bottom up.

Mary Ann-Hobbs
Mary Anne Hobbs

Mary Anne Hobbs said “I have 60 minutes every week to change people’s lives with sound, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming to do.”  

I just hope all those nocturnal spliff smoking ‘get up and go’ students are prepared for Mary’s onslaught! 

Poised for that life changing moment
Poised for that life changing music moment

Bill Gyles IS the weatherman!

Former Weatherman Bill Gyles’s (OBE) broadcasting career began in 1972 when he transferred to the London Weather Centre to become part of the team forecasting for BBC Radio moving to television forecasting in 1975. Here he talks to Jason McCrossan about the recent spate of bad weather that has hit Britain.

LBC goes national

Image(there is a graffic with ladies on it too but couldn’t find it at the point of posting)

Today, LBC went from being merely 97.3 (London frequency) to being on our national dial – for those who tune in to digital anyway.  By the looks of things, LBC owner Global radio, whom don’t shy away from ambition (as can be seen by the name they give themselves) – have spent a fair amount of money on this launch – getting new presenters lined up…even having a big photo shoot to make their website and publications that little bit more glossy.

LBC's presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer
LBC’s presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer

Getting on a national dial isn’t the same as getting into the national consciousness,  but unlike so many other music based commercial radio stations – LBC really does seem to care about the content they broadcast and also don’t mind forking out a pretty penny for presenters/journalists as well (I don’t see any former children’s TV presenters or singers whose hits now mainly involve the ground – stumbling out a taxi after attending another envelope opening) [think the Birds of a Feather lot].

It’s good that we have another station that deals with speech based current affairs, as when Talk Radio – turned into Talksport, like the fans of West Ham, I felt deflated and beaten.  So, I really do hope that LBC are not only able to hold their own against the big boys – both BBC radio 4 and mostly BBC radio 5, but also hold a national conversation – NOT on their own.

Jason

My chat with Giles Brandreth

Gyles's show is called "In Search Of Happiness
Gyles’s show is called “In Search Of Happiness”

I’ve always been a fan of Mr Brandreth.  Well, ok, in the 1990s I thought of him as a bit of a buffoon – but then, didn’t everyone? However, he has redeem himself in spades through his brilliant novels and wonderful contributions to Just A Minute.

So, I was very happy when he agreed to chat with me – even it it was for 15 minutes.  If you like Gyles, just know that he is performing up and down the country on his one man show “In Search for Happiness” – and I can only imagine it is nothing short of fabulous…just like Gyles.

On Saturday Breakfast on 15th February I will be giving away a pair of tickets to his show taking place the same evening.  Listen to http://www.sfmradio.com to win.