United Kingdom

“The Home of Radio, the story of 90-year-old BBC Broadcasting House

The first live radio programmes from BBC Broadcasting House in London were in 1932.
Broadcasting House was the BBC’s first purpose-built home for radio broadcasting, and now in it’s 90th year, BBC Radio 4 Extra is to air a special programme about the iconic building, which was first broadcast by Radio 4 in 2006.

Designed by G Val Myer and Raymond McGrath, the building has 9 floors above ground and 3 below. It was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Mary in 1932 and the first programme broadcast from it was Henry Hall and his Dance Band.

His Majesty King George V gave the first royal Christmas message from Broadcasting House the same year, and Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘fight them on the beaches’ speech was broadcast from it in 1940. Many programmes have been made from within its walls, which even withstood bombing in World War 2.

Women’s Hour, Today and Radio’s 1, 2, 3 and 4 were all launched from Broadcasting House.

The current form of the greater W1 Broadcasting House development began in 2003, and now houses the BBC News department and the TV studio where The One Show is made.

In 2006, David Hatch, whose career spanned from Light Entertainment Producer to Managing Director of Radio, took a guided tour of Broadcasting House, resulting in a programme which reveals its extraordinary history and significance. He spends an hour reflecting on the talent that worked there, from George Orwell to Spike Milligan.

The Home of Radio can be heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday 18 October, 11am – 12pm BST.

Mike Terry, bdxc-news via WOR iog (2022-10-12)