BBC in History

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Related Topics: BBC Radio

Events in Film & TV

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

CommunicationHistoric Communication

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
  • 1936-11-12 1st ever TV Gardening show "In Your Garden" shown on BBC television
  • 1938-08-14 BBC's 1st feature film on TV (Student of Prague)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle

Event of interestEvent 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951-05-28 Radio programme "Crazy People" (later titled The Goon Show) premieres on the BBC, created by Spike Milligan

Comedian and author Spike Milligan
Comedian and author
Spike Milligan
  • 1954-07-05 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin.

Event of interestEvent 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 "The Goon Show"'s final episode on BBC radio
  • 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 colour TV broadcast, on BBC 2
  • 1967-07-01 BBC starts its 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.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969-05-23 BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus

Comedian and Actor Michael Palin
Comedian and Actor
Michael Palin
Actor, Comedian John Cleese
Actor, Comedian
John Cleese
  • 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 commercial 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 is measured at 1,440 taps/min on BBC TV

Event of interestEvent 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
Comedian and Actor Michael Palin
Comedian and Actor
Michael Palin
  • 1974-09-23 BBC Ceefax begins 1st teletext service
  • 1974-12-05 Final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus airs on BBC TV
  • 1975-09-19 "Fawlty Towers" starring John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs premieres on BBC2 in the UK
  • 1977-05-27 The Sex Pistols release "God Save the Queen", sparking major controversy and leading to a ban on the song by the BBC
  • 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

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

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

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

Film release premierFilm Premier

2001-07-09 "The Office" mockumentary created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman premieres on BBC Two in the UK

Comedian Ricky Gervais
Comedian
Ricky Gervais

Event of interestEvent 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
  • 2005-03-26 "Doctor Who" returns to BBC TV after 16 years with the debut of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2005-06-18 David Tennant's first appearance as the Tenth Doctor in BBC "Doctor Who" episode "The Parting of the Ways"

  • 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.
  • 2010-04-23 Matt Smith's first appearance as the 11th Doctor in BBC program "Doctor Who"
  • 2013-11-23 "The Day of the Doctor" 50th anniversary episode of "Doctor Who" screens on BBC One, 1st episode to feature 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi
  • 2017-07-16 BBC announces first ever female Doctor Who will be played by Jodie Whittaker
  • 2017-07-19 BBC publishes salaries of its top-earning journalists and presenters, two-thirds male, Chris Evans highest at over £2.2 million

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • 1870-01-04 Percy Pitt, English composer (BBC), born in London (d. 1932)
  • 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 Snagge, British newsreader and commentator for the BBC (Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race), born in London (d. 1996)
  • 1907-08-18 Cecilia Grace Hunt Reeves Gillie, Executive (BBC), born in Sheppey, Kent, England (d. 1996)
  • 1908-01-18 Jacob Bronowski, Polish-born British mathematician and science writer best known as the presenter of the BBC television series, The Ascent of Man, born in Łódź, Poland (d. 1974)
  • 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)
  • 1923-11-06 Clay [David] Jones, Welsh gardener (BBC Gardener's Question Time), born in Cardigan, Wales (d. 1996)
  • 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)
  • 1977-10-14 Freddy Kempf, British musician (BBC Young Musician of the Year), born in Croydon, England
  • 1979-11-07 Barney Harwood, CBBC presenter
  • 1981-01-20 Christine Bleakley, BBC Television Host

Weddings in Film & TV

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

Deaths in Film & TV

  • 1932-11-23 Percy Pitt, English composer (BBC), dies at 63
  • 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, British violinist and conducter (BBC Empire Orch), dies at 92
  • 1996-03-25 John Snagge, British newsreader and commentator for the BBC (Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race), dies at 91
  • 1996-04-20 Cecilia Grace Hunt Reeves Gillie, Executive (BBC), dies at 88
  • 1996-07-04 Clay [David] Jones, Welsh gardener (BBC Gardener's Question Time), dies at 72
  • 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