Today in BBC History

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Historical Events

  • 1922-10-18 British Broadcasting Company (BBC) founded (later called British Broadcasting Corporation)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1922-11-14 BBC begins domestic radio service from 2LO at Marconi House

Inventor and Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi
Inventor and Nobel Laureate
Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1922-12-24 BBC broadcasts first British radio play "The Truth about Father Christmas"
  • 1923-12-31 BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID
  • 1924-02-05 The Royal Greenwich Observatory begin broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the "BBC pips".
  • 1930-10-22 1st concerto of BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Adrian Boult
  • 1932-08-22 BBC begins experimental regular TV broadcasts
  • 1936-11-02 First high-definition TV broadcast service, by BBC in London
  • 1938-08-14 BBC's 1st feature film on TV (Student of Prague)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1940-06-18 Gen Charles de Gaulle on BBC tells French to defy Nazi occupiers

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1941-07-19 BBC World Service begins playing V(ictory) ("...-" in Morse code) (opening of Beethoven's 5th symphony)

  • 1950-08-27 1st transmission of a TV programme from continental Europe shown on BBC
  • 1954-07-05 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin.

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1957-01-13 "All that Fall", first radio play by Samuel Beckett, aired on BBC Third Programme

Playwright, novelist, and poet Samuel Beckett
Playwright, novelist, and poet
Samuel Beckett
  • 1960-01-28 Goon Show's final episode on BBC
  • 1962-03-08 Beatles, with Pete Best, TV debut (perform "Dream Baby" on BBC)
  • 1963-06-24 1st demonstration of home video recorder, at BBC Studios, London
  • 1964-05-18 David Frost interviews Paul McCartney on BBC
  • 1965-03-04 David Attenbrough became the new controller of BBC2
  • 1965-11-13 Director Kenneth Tynan says the word "Fuck" on BBC
  • 1966-02-05 BBC opens a relay radio station on Ascension Island
  • 1967-05-20 BBC bans the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" because of drug references
  • 1967-07-01 1st British color TV broadcast, on BBC 2
  • 1967-07-01 BBC starts their World Radio Club
  • 1967-09-30 BBC starts its own popular music radio station (Radio 1)
  • 1967-11-22 BBC unofficially bans "I Am the Walrus" by Beatles
  • 1967-12-26 BBC broadcasts "Magical Mystery Tour"
  • 1968-03-07 The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time in color on television.
  • 1969-03-28 Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis makes a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece.
  • 1969-05-23 BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • 1969-10-05 Monty Python's Flying Circus begins airing on BBC
  • 1970-06-03 Ray Davies of Kinks travels round trip NY-London to change 1 word in "Lola," (Coca-Cola to Cherry Cola) because of BBC coml reference ban
  • 1971-02-09 5 men are killed near a BBC transmitter on Brougher Mountain, County Tyrone, in a landmine attack carried out by the Irish Republican Army
  • 1972-02-10 BBC bans "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" by Wings
  • 1972-11-30 BBC bans Wings' "Hi, Hi, Hi"
  • 1973-01-14 Dancer Roy Castle measured at 1,440 taps/min on BBC TV

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1973-01-18 John Cleese's final episode on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" on BBC TV

Actor, Comedian John Cleese
Actor, Comedian
John Cleese
  • 1974-09-23 BBC Ceefax begins 1st teletext service
  • 1974-12-05 Final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus airs on BBC TV
  • 1978-07-13 BBC bans Sex Pistols "No One is Innocent"
  • 1979-06-30 Johnny Rotten & Joan Collins appear together on BBC TV's Juke Box Jury
  • 1982-05-23 BBC warns Britain will bomb Argentina
  • 1984-10-23 NBC airs BBC footage of Ethiopian famine
  • 1990-02-25 On a BBC taped interview, rock star Stevie Nicks breaks down, saying that she will never have children & no man can stand her for long
  • 1994-11-30 Beatles' 1st album in 25 years, "Live at the BBC", is released in Britain

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1995-09-24 "Pride and Prejudice", a TV adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth debuts on BBC One

Novelist Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Actor Colin Firth
Colin Firth
  • 2001-03-04 IRA explode a bomb in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, injuring 11 people

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

2005-02-16 The UK version of "The Apprentice" with British business magnate Alan Sugar premieres on the BBC

Computer Entrepreneur Alan Sugar
Computer Entrepreneur
Alan Sugar
  • 2006-07-30 World's longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1889-04-08 Adrian Boult, Chester England, conductor/composer (BBC Sym Orch)
  • 1889-07-20 John Charles Reith, 1st Baron Reith, 1st dir-gen BBC (1927-38)
  • 1904-05-08 John Derrick Mordaunt Snagge, bBC news announcer/commentator
  • 1904-05-08 John Snagge, commentator (BBC)
  • 1907-08-18 Cecilia Grace Hunt Reeves Gillie, Executive (BBC)
  • 1908-01-18 Jacob Bronowski, Łódź, Poland, Polish-born British mathematician and science writer best known as the presenter of the BBC television series, The Ascent of Man
  • 1909-05-20 John Arkell, director of administration (BBC)
  • 1915-05-15 Maurice B Latey, commentator (BBC World Service)
  • 1916-05-07 Huw Wheldon, Welsh broadcaster (BBC), born in Prestatyn, Denbighshire (d. 1986)
  • 1923-08-29 Marmaduke Hussey, BBC Chairman (d. 2006)
  • 1926-03-12 Gudrun Ure, British actress (Lady MacBeth, BBC Sorcerer)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1926-05-08 David Attenborough, Naturalist, TV producer and host (BBC "Life" Series), born in London, England

Natural History Filmmaker and TV Personality David Attenborough
Natural History Filmmaker and TV Personality
David Attenborough
  • 1928-11-12 Robert Holness, Natal, South Africa, English radio and television presenter (BBC), (d. 2012)
  • 1930-08-23 Jack Bannister, English cricketer (Warwickshire stalwart) and commentator (BBC), born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands (d. 2016)
  • 1931-04-15 Kenneth Bloomfield, BBC governor (Ireland)
  • 1934-08-22 Margaret Douglas, chief political adviser (BBC)
  • 1938-10-08 David Willis, British journalist (BBC World Service)
  • 1941-08-30 Sue MacGregor, BBC-radio hostess
  • 1946-01-24 John Harrison, South Africa correspondent (BBC)
  • 1948-01-28 Gareth Roscoe, legal adviser (BBC)
  • 1949-03-22 Brian Hanrahan, British TV newsman (BBC)
  • 1957-11-17 Debbie Thrower, BBC News Reader
  • 1958-02-11 Michael Jackson, controller (BBC2)
  • 1974-04-26 Adil Ray, English radio presenter (BBC Asian Network)
  • 1979-11-07 Barney Harwood, CBBC presenter
  • 1981-01-20 Christine Bleakley, BBC Television Host

Famous Weddings

  • 2005-12-15 "Eastenders" actress Elaine Lordan (39) weds BBC manager Peter Manuel at Islington Town Hall in London

Famous Deaths

  • 1974-08-22 Jacob Bronowski, Polish-born British mathematician and science writer best known as the presenter of the BBC television series, The Ascent of Man, dies of a heart attack at 66
  • 1986-03-14 Huw Wheldon, Welsh broadcaster (BBC), dies at 69
  • 1993-02-09 David Willis, British journalist (BBC World Service), dies at 54
  • 1994-03-09 John Harrison, South African correspondent (BBC), dies at 48
  • 1994-09-08 Rex Alston, cricketer (distinguished BBC commentator), dies
  • 1995-01-04 Leonard Hirsch, Brit violinist/conducter (BBC Empire Orch), dies at 92
  • 1996-03-25 John Derrick Mordaunt Snagge, news commentator (BBC), dies at 91
  • 1996-04-20 Cecilia Grace Hunt Reeves Gillie, bBC Executive, dies at 88
  • 1997-07-15 Alan Chaig, paleontologist (Carl Sagan of BBC), dies at 70
  • 2002-09-23 Veteran BBC/Radio Ceylon Broadcaster, Vernon Corea died in New Malden, Surrey, UK at 75
  • 2016-01-23 Jack Bannister, English cricketer (Warwickshire stalwart) and commentator (BBC), dies at 85