Tuesday, 28 January 2014

4. BBC history timeline

• Where it all started - BBC Radio • Following the closure of numerous amateur stations, the BBC started its first daily radio service in London � 2LO. After much argument, news was supplied by an agency, and music drama and 'talks' filled the airwaves for only a few hours a day. It wasn't long before radio could be heard across the nation.

• September 1923The first edition of The Radio Times • The first edition of The Radio Times listed the few programmes on offer, provided advice for budding radio enthusiasts, and numerous advertisements by the fledgling radio industry, offering the latest in radio receiving technology. It was to become one of the world most popular listing magazines.

• April 1958The Radiophonic Workshop is established • Based in the legendary Room 13 of Maida Vale studios and using an often bizarre mix of objects, the Radiophonic Workshop created uniquely memorable electronic sounds, such as the Doctor Who theme music - and became one of the most significant influences on 20th century electronic music.

• June 1960Television Centre opens • Designed by Graham Dawbarn, BBC Television Centre was the world's first purpose built television production centre designed for a non-commercial broadcaster. Copied in numerous countries, the building has become an iconic image of broadcasting. Countless shows have been made there, including Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus,and Strictly Come Dancing

• July 1967 • BBC TWO - the first full colour TV service in Europe • Although occasional programmes in colour could be watched on BBC Two as early as 1966, a full colour service was not launched until Wimbledon 1967 was televised. Colour was extended to BBC ONE and ITV by 1969, and by 1976, the colour network was complete, when the Channel Islands joined the system.

 • April 1974 • The Family - the first documentary • This ground-breaking programme captured the tensions and humour of family life in the working class Wilkins family. It raised controversial issues about class, race and manners in 70s England, and was the first time cameras had simply filmed daily life without direct interviews - the earliest example of 'reality TV'.

• 1979 • Life On Earth the nation is hooked • Although natural history programmes had been seen on BBC TV before, it wasn’t until David Attenborough started this epic series that the genre really took off. Revealing life around the globe through beautiful photography and compelling and intimate commentary, the series initially consisted of 13 episodes.

• July 1981The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer • Charles and Diana's wedding had an estimated global TV audience of 750 million, making it the most popular programme ever broadcast. It was full of iconic and memorable moments, making its mark on a generation, and was one of the BBC biggest outside broadcasts of the decade.

 • 1982The BBC Microcomputer is launched • The BBC Micro inspired a generation of children and youngsters to use computers, as well as stimulating the new media and computer games industry worldwide. Government backing and its own dedicated programme on BBC Two helped to make the computer a success, rapidly taken up in homes and schools.

• November 1997 • The BBC News 24 Channel • The BBC first rolling TV news service was launched as BBC News 24, and was the second 24 hour news service in Britain, breaking Sky monopoly. Now available across a number of digital platforms the channel continues to win awards for its hard hitting stories and investigations.