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Thursday, December 1, 2022

BBC 100 on TV, iPlayer, Radio and Sounds: Your ultimate guide to centenary programming across the BBC – BBC


Audiences can look forward to a mix of exciting new commissions alongside some of our best-loved shows, as they mark a century of broadcasting in their own unique way
The BBC has been at the heart of British national life for 100 years. Throughout 2022 we’ve delivered a huge amount for audiences. In January, we launched a new BBC History website, with dedicated BBC 100 collections around 100 Objects, 100 Voices and 100 Faces and we’ve given the public a chance to look into our archive with the BBC Rewind website. We’re visiting 400,000 school children as part of our Share Your Story education initiative and we opened up our digitised archive to students.
In October there will be a special week of programming for audiences to enjoy.
James Stirling, BBC 100 Executive Editor, says: “For 100 years the BBC has been informing, educating and entertaining the nation and our centenary year has been no different. From an incredible summer of sport, to the epic return of Glastonbury, we’ve seen audiences come to the BBC in record numbers. 
“Alongside this brilliant programming, we’ve been visiting hundreds of schools up and down the UK with our ambitious education initiative, BBC 100 Share Your Story, and audiences are continuing to uncover the story of the nation through our most extensive digital archive collection ever, BBC Rewind.
“Our centenary celebrations are at the forefront of our October schedule. During our special week of BBC 100 content, audiences can look forward to a mix of exciting new commissions alongside some of our best-loved shows, as they mark a century of broadcasting in their own unique way. There really is something for everyone and we’re looking forward to sharing this moment with audiences across the UK and beyond.”
BBC Press Office
1922 BBC starts
1924 Pips begin, transforming national time-keeping
1932 George V address Empire/launches Empire Service (later World Service)
1936 1st TV service in world
1938 1st foreign language service, Arabic/48 lang services by end of WW2
1940 Churchill on air in WW2, 1st broadcast war
1942 Desert Island Discs launches, recently voted top radio show
1946 Woman’s Hour, giving women voice
1948 1st TV News
1948 1st Olympic Games on TV, transforming its global impact
1949 1st TV weather
1950 The Archers, longest running soap in the world
1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II, transforming TV take up, 1st capture of crowning moment
1958 Radiophonic Workshop, cult innovation
1958 Blue Peter, longest running children’s show in world
1963 Doctor Who, longest running sci-fi tv show in world
1967 Our World, 1st live international TV link up: Beatles sing all you need is love
1967 BBC Two in colour, 1st in Europe
1967 Radio 1 launches, 1st BBC service for teenagers
1969 Moon landing, global watch
1977 Morecambe & Wise, 28 million watch their Christmas show
1977 Top Gear, now top global brand for BBC
1979 Life on Earth, 1st Attenborough blockbuster
1981 Charles and  Diana wedding, 750 million watch
1983 Breakfast Time, changing routines forever
1985 EastEnders, top UK soap
1985 Live Aid, the global power of music, 1.9 billion
1995 Pride & Prejudice, transforming costume drama
1997 News 24
1997 bbc.co.uk launches, on air becomes online
2004 Strictly becomes global hit
2007 iPlayer, timeshifting content
2012 London Olympics, 3.6 billion viewers globally
2018 BBC Sounds, redefining audio
2022 BBC is the 1st major public service broadcaster to mark 100 years of continuous broadcasting
Our online BBC timeline brings together a selection of the BBC’s best-known programmes and an overview of some of the many milestones that have shaped the Corporation over the years.
The technology that changed our lives, the moments that brought us together, and diverse and iconic British programmes all feature.
BBC 100  programming will provisionally broadcast between the 22 and 29 October, starting with a BBC 100 Strictly Come Dancing BBC 100 special on Saturday 22 October.
Other specials include Doctor Who, where the Thirteenth Doctor must fight her deadliest enemies; Top Gear where Freddy, Chris and Paddy motor back to the 1920s; and Antiques Roadshow featuring a range of amazing TV memorabilia and the star of the BBC’s testcard.
The One Show, renamed The One Hundred Show, and Morning Live will include special centenary content every day between 24 and 28 October.
Later in the year, Pointless Celebrities will celebrate the centenary with special guests including Scott Mills, Tony Blackburn and Peter Purves.
In commissions for TV and iPlayer, comedy The Love Box In Your Living Room with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse will take a look at the BBC’s last 100 years mixing contemporary footage with “genuinely authentic made-up stuff”. While on CBBC, children will be entertained by Horrible Histories: BBC’s Big Birthday Bonanza! in a special of the multi-award winning comedy series, packed with fascinating facts and jokes about the Corporation.
Kid’s TV: The Surprising Story (with former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq) will explore and celebrate the very best of British Children’s Programming from the past 100 years. The programme will track content from the very first radio broadcast of Children’s Hour in 1922, via the iconic Magic Roundabout, right through to Saturday morning megahits such as Going Live.
How The BBC Began will look at the challenges and triumphs of today’s BBC, which have their roots in the Corporation’s first half century. The two part feature-length documentary will look at John Reith’s launch of BBC Radio in 1922; the rapid pace of technological change which has driven editorial priorities and opened up fresh opportunities; and the changing shape of British society which has fuelled the debate over whether the national broadcaster should lead or follow new social attitudes. 
On Wednesday evenings, BBC Four will continue to reflect the BBC 100 / BFI Gamechangers collection, with special introductions from famous faces including David Harewood for A Man from the Sun and Alison Steadman for The Singing Detective.
On BBC World News and BBC iPlayer, Talking Movies celebrates 100 years of the BBC by talking to some of the biggest names in the British film industry. Award-winning directors from the world of cinema including Ken Loach, Steve McQueen, Mike Leigh, Mary Harron, Sally El Hosaini and James Marsh participate in a special Talking Movies season looking at the role the BBC has played in nurturing their career.
Saturday 22 October
18:40 Strictly Come Dancing: Celebrating BBC 100
Sunday 23 October
17:45 Antiques Roadshow: 100 Years of The BBC
19:30 Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor                 
Wednesday 26 October
20:00 The Repair Shop: Centenary Special
21:00 Kids’ TV: The Surprising Story
Saturday 29 October
10:00 Saturday Kitchen Live
Saturday 22 October
19:00 How The BBC Began: Part 1
Sunday 23 October
21:00 Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice
Thursday 27 October
21:00 The Love Box in Your Living Room with Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse
Saturday 29 October
19:00 How The BBC Began Part 2
Kids’ TV gives us some of our earliest and most magical memories. From Andy Pandy to Grange Hill, from Blue Peter to Hey Duggee, successive generations have been entranced and enchanted.
As part of the BBC’s 100th anniversary programming, Konnie Huq celebrates the very best of British children’s television, with a dazzling array of clips from some of the most treasured programmes ever made, and revealing chats with some of TV’s most beloved stars; but Konnie also tells a perhaps more surprising story, of how kids’ TV has frequently been at the forefront of social change, in terms of the stories it tells, and the people who get to tell them.
So alongside the glorious nostalgia for viewers of all ages, there is always a fascinating parallel tale. Konnie argues that British children’s television has, from its very earliest days, been quietly trailblazing – ahead of the curve when it comes to the inclusion and representation of minority groups, and tackling emerging social themes long before ‘grown up’ programmes began to address them.
Leading us on a journey from toddler to teenager, Konnie shows how TV educates and entertains children through the most formative years of their lives. Along the way she meets a galaxy of television legends, including her own first TV heroine, Baroness Floella Benjamin; Johnny Ball; Phillip Schofield; Tracy Beaker actress Dani Harmer; Grange Hill creator Sir Phil Redmond; and her fellow former Blue Peter presenters Valerie Singleton and Janet Ellis.
Among the cavalcade of joyous clips there are also some profoundly moving moments, such as when the Growing Pains feature on “Going Live inspired an abused child to seek sanctuary; and when the 1987 drama “Two of Us” helped some gay teenagers feel comfortable with their sexuality for the first time in their lives.
Kids’ TV is a crucial part of our shared national heritage. In a rapidly changing world, it is one of the few universal reference points for any given generation. This show celebrates that fact, with lavish helpings of glorious footage evoking wonderful childhood memories; while also suggesting that in a wider context, kids’ TV has been even more influential than we had previously thought.
Kid’s TV: The Surprising Story (1 x 60’) is a Mighty Scotland Production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, commissioned by Kate Phillips in her previous role as Director of Entertainment Commissioning. The Executive Producers for Mighty Scotland are Lynn Sutcliffe and Kirsten Highet. The Producer and Director is Linda Sands. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Rachel Ashdown.
As part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations, How The BBC Began tells the stories behind some of the seminal moments of the first fifty years of the BBC across television and radio. Eyewitnesses and participants in the BBC’s early history recount some of the triumphs and disasters as new frontiers of broadcasting were mapped out – often by accident rather than design.
Participants chart the BBC’s first, stuttering, attempt at rolling news on the night of President Kennedy’s assassination and the presenter James Burke tells how the Queen Mother helped to shape the BBC’s coverage of an Apollo space mission. 
The programme gathers the testimony of people such as Lord Reith’s secretary, Dorothy Singer; producers such as David Attenborough and Peter Dimmock, who brought about the television coverage of the Coronation; programme editors Paul Fox, Monica Sims and John Grist; newsreaders Richard Baker and Nan Winton; presenters including Sylvia Peters, David Dimbleby, Tony Blackburn, Denis Tuohy, John Tusa and Joan Bakewell, as well as the engineers and technicians working behind the scenes. There are also interviews from the BBC’s own Oral History project, most of which have never been broadcast before.
How The BBC Began is a Crux Productions and The Garden Productions film for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. The producer is John Bridcut and the executive producer is Magnus Temple. The commissioning editor for the BBC Arts is Mark Bell. 
In 2014, inspired by Simon Schama’s Story of the Jews, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse celebrated 50 years of BBC2 with their Story of the 2s. This time they take inspiration from documentary maker Adam Curtis to celebrate the BBC’s 100 years with The Love Box in Your Living Room.
Harry and Paul tell the true story of Britain’s political and social evolution over the last century through the life of the BBC. By turning complete fictions into a staggering array of hard facts, they reveal details about the BBC that have been buried for decades, including…
That the German language version of The Archers was directly responsible for the death of Adolf Hitler.
That Muffin was a Drug Mule.
Are the BBC’s enemies Right? Is the BBC Left? What’s Left of the BBC? Should we all just be thankful for Attenborough, Dad’s Army and Abigail’s Party? If John Reith could see our BBC, would he RuPaul the day he first dreamt of placing a Love Box in your Living Rooms. 
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse are joined by Catherine Shepherd, Rosie Cavaliero and Simon Greenall, as well as Kevin Bishop, Seann Walsh, Joe Dempsie, Amber Hall, Shannon Antonia and Kiell Smith-Bynoe.
The Love Box In Your Living Room (1×60) is a Balloon Entertainment production for BBC Two. It is produced by Bradley Adams, executive produced by Harry Enfield and Balloon’s Bryan Elsley and directed by Daniel Kleinman. Ben Caudell is the Commissioning Editor for BBC Comedy
This is the extraordinary story of Una Marson – trailblazing poet, playwright and campaigner, and the first black producer and broadcaster at the BBC.
A Caribbean woman born in the early 1900s, Una Marson defied the limits society placed on her.
Joining the BBC’s Empire Service during World War II, she was the first broadcaster to give voice to Caribbean writers and intellectuals, bringing their stories and culture to a global audience accustomed to hearing only English accents.
During her time in London Una wrote and produced a play for London’s West End, the first black writer to do so. She was also an activist, championing women’s rights, the rights of black people, literacy programmes, the education of children, and working with the deposed Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie.
For this drama-documentary Una is brought to life by Seroca Davis. Using Una’s writing, letters and her BBC personnel file, we gain a unique insight into her extraordinary life and work. We also hear from leading academics and her friends, who consider Una’s life as a black woman in a professional role in Britain at a time when that was highly unusual – and the personal costs attached. 
Many of the works and writings of Una Marson have been lost and, following her untimely death, she has largely been forgotten. This celebration of her incredible life and work brings her out of the shadows and back into the light.
Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice is a Douglas Road Production for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. The directors are Avril E. Russell and Topher Campbell, the producer is Carol Harding. The executive producers are Angela Ferreira and Mike Connolly. The commissioning editor for BBC Arts is Mark Bell.
The three-part series, Days That Shook The BBC with David Dimbleby, is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and further programme information can be found on the BBC Media Centre:
Why did you want to make this documentary for the BBC, and why now?
I first put the idea to the BBC around two and a half years ago. I thought that the centenary would be an occasion on which the BBC would heap praise upon itself. I’m a profound believer in the existence and importance of the BBC, but I thought that, instead of just joining in with the eulogies of praise, I would look at the occasions on which things have gone wrong, and how the BBC has handled them, to discover what can be done in the future to improve. I also wanted to examine whether the BBC has been fairly or unfairly treated in the past, by politicians and by other pressure groups. Finally, I wanted to examine the BBC’s relationship with people across the country, given that it is paid for by everybody. I wanted to ask whether the BBC has got the relationship with its audience right.
You mention the BBC’s forthcoming centenary – what does that milestone mean to you?
Milestones are obviously a cause for celebration but actually, when you hit 100 years, what you should be looking at is the next 100 years. The past is very interesting but it is gone. It’s what it teaches us for the future that matters.
What makes this documentary different from others you have made in the past?
I devised this series having already made podcasts about Rupert Murdoch and the Iraq War, two themes which I cover again in this series. I wanted make this documentary in the same style. The conventional way to present a documentary is for the presenter to do pieces to camera, then to lay down commentary and then to host interviews. I’ve tried to get away from all that and to make it much more informal, to make it a conversation between me and the viewer. That’s what’s behind these films – the style. Whether I have succeeded…we’ll see when people watch it.
In the final episode of the series, you conclude that the idea that the BBC should not exist is alarming…
The BBC is the one organisation that can be relied on not to have a political agenda. The BBC’s only agenda is to try to get to the truth of things. It doesn’t have a political slant, it doesn’t have particular views it wants to get across. It is as near as we can get to an objective truth teller. And I think, in a world where there is a cacophony of voices and a cacophony of different prejudices and opinions and distortions prevailing, it’s absolutely vital to have something where, whatever its faults, its intention is to strive to tell the objective truth.
Strictly Come Dancing celebrates 100 years of the BBC and the show will open with an epic group number that sees the Strictly professionals and judges gate crash some of the biggest BBC flagship shows. For the first time ever, our couples will perform to either an iconic BBC theme tune or dance in tribute to one of the BBC’s most loved services. It promises to be an unforgettable night of celebration and dance.
BBC 100 celebrations continue on Sunday’s results show as our professional dancers dance a group number in tribute to the BBC’s natural history programming.
Action-adventure in space and time for all the family, starring Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop, Sophie Aldred, Janet Fielding and Sacha Dhawan.
In this feature-length special to mark her last adventure, Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor must fight for her very existence, against her deadliest enemies: the Daleks, the Cybermen and her arch-nemesis, the Master.
Who is attacking a speeding bullet train on the edges of a distant galaxy? Why are seismologists going missing from 21st century Earth? Who is defacing some of history’s most iconic paintings? Why is a Dalek trying to make contact with the Doctor? And just what hold does the mesmeric Rasputin have over Tsar Nicholas in 1916 Russia?
The Doctor faces multiple threats… and a battle to the death.
Freddie, Chris and Paddy celebrate 100 years of the BBC by tackling motorsport 1920s-style. Paddy also delves into the history of BMW’s legendary M-cars, Chris gets to grips with Ford’s new WRC racer, and the team investigate the future of fuel.
BBC’s Big Birthday Bonanza! On Auntie’s Big Birthday, Horrible Histories celebrates the corporation’s past century. The first Director General, Lord Reith, reveals why he needed a postman’s help with his job application. We find out why the Queen’s Coronation made you the most popular house on the street, if you had a telly, and how the launch night of BBC2 went awry, with not only a power cut, but also an escaped kangaroo. Radio Announcer Wilfred Pickles confounds the Nazis with his Yorkshire accent, and how the creators of Doctor Who thought they were making a history programme. And from Bill and Ben, to Tracy Beaker, Swap Shop to Blue Peter, how the BBC’s children’s department has inspired the imagination of generations of kids.
Horrible Histories is made for CBBC by Lion Television., Executive produced for Lion TV by Richard Bradley and Simon Welton, and for CBBC by Melissa Hardinge.
Antiques Roadshow is at Alexandra Palace, the birthplace of television, for this special edition programme to celebrate 100 years of broadcasting.
Ronnie Archer-Morgan is delighted to meet Playschool favourite, Baroness Floella Benjamin together with Humpty and Jemima, while Fiona Bruce chats to actor Neil Pearson who brings along an original script from the legendary comedy series, Hancock’s Half Hour.
One avid collector of TV memorabilia arrives at the Roadshow in Del Boy’s Ford Capri from the hit sitcom Only Fools and Horses, while expert Will Farmer gets the chance to play quizmaster when he comes face-to-face with the original Mastermind chair brought in by Sally Magnusson.
Anita Dobson who played Angie Watts in EastEnders brings along some of Angie’s outfits and regales Fiona with tales from early EastEnders episodes, while former BBC News Correspondent Kate Adie reflects on her time reporting from the world’s hotspots.
Hilary Kay is thrilled to see original artwork for children’s TV favourite ‘Mr Benn’ while Ronnie Archer Morgan meets the star of the BBC’s testcard and the toy clown ‘Bubbles’ who featured alongside her.
The episode also looks at the role played by other television networks in the history of broadcasting, with Wayne Colquhoun appraising a rare script for the very first episode of Coronation Street (originally called Florizel Street) and Mark Hill admiring a giant fiberglass egg that was knocked off the roof of the TV-AM building in the 1980s.
In a special show to celebrate the BBC’s 100th birthday, two teams of famous faces go head to head at an antiques fair in Newark. On the red team are broadcasting legends Tony Blackburn and Gyles Brandreth. Their opposition in blue are presenter and writer Josie d’Arby and broadcaster and drummer extraordinaire Owain Wyn Evans. Natasha Raskin sharp presents today’s celebrity showdown, and experts Thomas Forrester and Chuko Ojiri will be on hand to help the Reds and the Blues choose three items to take to auction. Which top TV team will bring home the victory? Natasha also dips into the BBC archive as she takes a journey through 100 years of memorable moments, starting from its radio launch way back in 1922.
As part of BBC 100 celebrations to mark the BBC’s centenary, this special episode of The Repair Shop sees Jay Blades and the expert team of Repair Shop craftspeople visit Dumfries House in Scotland.
Recorded between autumn 2021 and spring 2022, the episode follows the team as they are invited to meet Charles, Prince of Wales, before his accession to the throne, and some of the students on The Prince’s Foundation’s building craft programme – a training initiative that teaches traditional skills such as blacksmithing, stonemasonry and wood carving. Once the students graduate from the course, they go on to forge careers in their chosen craft, using their much-needed talents out in the real world.
The One Show will be rebranded The One Hundred Show between 24 – 28 October and will run a daily BBC 100 show highlighting the BBC’s dedication to unearthing and nurturing talent, with plenty of special guests.
Morning Live returns to our screens on the 24th October ready to celebrate 100 years of the BBC. As well as delving into the archive, we’ll be showing what the BBC offers us all today with our team of experts. From health to money, pets to gardening, we’ll have something for everyone, just like the BBC!
Saturday Kitchen Live will broadcast a special episode on 29th October to honour the BBC’s centenary year, celebrating the Corporation’s achievements in food broadcasting. Since the first TV chef, Marcel Boulestin, appeared on our screens in 1937, the BBC has created an abundance of iconic culinary stars, from Marguerite Patten to Ken Hom, Delia Smith to Madhur Jaffrey – enlightening, entertaining and educating the public to the widest range of global cuisines. This special episode will feature guests and chefs who have shaped food television over the years with a collage of vintage archive from some of the greats.
(5 x TV shorts for TX globally across October as 4’ x Talking Movies modules and 1 x 23’ longform for TX on BBC News Channel and BBC World News on October 22 2020 with 5 x Box Set longer cuts for BBC iPlayer & for BBC Reel ex UK) 
Talking Movies celebrates 100 years of the BBC by talking to some of the biggest names in the British film industry. Award-winning directors from the world of cinema including Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Mary Harron, Sally El Hosaini and James Marsh participate in a special Talking Movies season looking at the role the BBC has played in nurturing their careers. They sit down with Talking Movies host Tom Brook to explain how their early years working as BBC staff and working on BBC projects gave them invaluable storytelling skills and experience for their later very successful film and documentary filmmaking careers.
Ken Loach
Two-time Palme d’Or winner and legend of British cinema, Ken Loach sits down with Talking Movies presenter Tom Brook to look back on a career that spans over half-a-century and the impact the BBC played in his life and work. From his time directing BBC classics like Cathy Come Home and  Up The Junction to more contemporary fare like I, Daniel Blake – Loach has a deep association with the Corporation and has helped to define and re-define the British television and cinema landscape. He talks to Tom about his early days at the BBC, taking cameras out of the studio and helping to show the realities of working class life on British television.
Mike Leigh
BAFTA winner and multiple Oscar nominee Mike Leigh sits down with Talking Movies presenter Tom Brook to look back on his career and celebrate the impact that the BBC has played in his work. Known for his unique style of working, Leigh discusses his early years at the BBC and how he found fame directing the BBC Play for Today series in the 1970s and has since gone on to direct some of the best-known and critically British films of the past forty years – including Vera Drake, Secrets and Lies and Happy-Go-Lucky.
James Marsh
Oscar winning film-maker James Marsh sits down with Talking Movies presenter Tom Brook to look back at his career and celebrate the impact that the BBC has played in his career. A producer and director of many award-winning BBC documentaries, Marsh will discuss his early career at the BBC and how he went on to Oscar glory with the documentary Man on Wire before making the leap to major feature films such as Shadow Dancer and The Theory of Everything.
Mary Harron
Critically acclaimed film-maker Mary Harron sits down with Talking Movies presenter Tom Brook to look back at her career and celebrate the impact that the BBC has played in her work. Known as a journalist, critic and presenter of the BBC’s The Late Show, Harron, who had no formal training as a director, regards the BBC fondly as her “film school” giving her many of the skills she went on to use in her acclaimed feature films, such as American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page. She discusses with Tom, with whom sh once shared a BBC office, the transition from in-front-of-the-screen to behind-the-camera as meet up in New York City.
Sally El Hosaini
Acclaimed film-maker Sally El Hosaini sits down with Talking Movies presenter Tom Brook to discuss her career and celebrate the impact the BBC has had on her work. El Hosaini, who says she grew up to the sound track of BBC World Service Radio, served as a script editor and production coordinator on independent documentaries before making the leap to directing her own feature films. Her latest film The Swimmers, tells the story of two sisters who fled from war-torn Syria before competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics and it was awarded  the prestigious opening night slot at the 2022 Toronto International Film festival.
Radio 1 will invite 100 listeners to record a Minute of Me.
In Radio 2 All Stars, Dermot O’Leary meets three DJs from across the generations to talk about a range of topics.
On Radio 3, a new play follows Reith and Churchill: two titans of 20th century Britain slug it out with the future of broadcasting, and the country, at stake.
Radio 4’s award-winning The Skewer presents a BBC 100 special, Raiders of the Lost Archive tells the story of the amateur collectors of past-BBC programmes which were once believed to be lost. This is accompanied by a TX of a Hancock Half Hour – once missing – and now remastered and broadcast for the first time since 1955.
Radio 1 sees the return of its social action ‘Minute Of Me’ series, where listeners take over to talk about something they are passionate about, for one-minute. This year they plan to hear from 100 voices.
Radio 2 All Stars is a special with Dermot O’Leary bringing together some of his Radio 2 colleagues to talk about their incredible broadcasting careers. Spanning the generations are Tony Blackburn, Zoe Ball and Rylan Clark chatting about their life on air, including memorable outside broadcasts, earliest BBC memories, their first songs played on air and lots more (Saturday 15th October). An Ora et Labora production.
Barry Humphries returns to Radio 2 this autumn, with a new three-part run – and the sixth series since 2016 – of Barry’s Forgotten Musical Masterpieces. In this culturally thrilling vintage music show, the programmes celebrate the centenary of the BBC with Barry’s very own selection of thought-provoking and witty songs by artists who made their name during the earliest days of British broadcasting. Going back to the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the music choices include titles such as Twiddling with the Knobs on the Radio by Dorrie Dene and We Can’t Let You Broadcast That! by Norman Long (starts Sunday 2nd October, and all three episodes will be available as a boxset on BBC Sounds). A Strauss House production.
Barry Humphries says: “In this three-part series, I’m celebrating the centenary of the BBC, an institution that’s older even than me! When I sit in front of a BBC microphone, I’m instantly transported back, to my childhood, when I first heard the wonderful music and funny voices, coming out of my parents’ radio. That’s how I discovered that some people actually had jobs as entertainers.”
As the BBC celebrates 100 years since its first broadcast, Radio 2 celebrates other cultural firsts. The network will be marking the music debuts of artists as they released their first album. In a special chart for National Album Day, produced by the Official Charts Company, the station will reveal the biggest all-time debut albums to be released in the UK (Saturday 15th October). A 7digital production. Plus Radio 2 also marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Madonna’s first single, Everybody, in Sounds of the 80s presented by Gary Davies (Saturday 1st October). A Listen production.
In recognition of the BBC’s centenary year and 100 years of delivering unmissable live music to audiences, this season BBC Radio 3 brings a host of extraordinary music from across the UK as well as around the world.
Raiders of the Lost Archive: The story of the amateur collectors of past-BBC programmes which were once believed to be lost. This is accompanied by the broadcast of a rare find: a Hancock Half Hour – once missing – and now remastered and broadcast for the first time since 1955.
Our Archive Century: In three special editions of Radio 4’s Archive on 4, we give the keys to the archive to leading figures, to explore the role of the BBC in a changing cultural environment, across news, science and the arts.
The Skewer BBC 100 special: Jon Holmes’s multi award-winning The Skewer twists itself into the past, as it sets about deconstructing 100 Years of the BBC.
Battle of the Brows: Philip Hensher explores how the early ‘culture wars’ and public debates about British cultural life were played out at the BBC and beyond from the 1920s onwards. Central was the concern in the BBC’s early days about what should be commissioned for the license-fee paying audience, and whether ‘high’ or ‘low’ culture should be the focus.
Property of the BBC: In a week of programmes for the BBC Centenary, Robert Seatter plucks three objects from BBC history and tells the stories behind their creation – what they tell us about the changing history of the organisation, about expansion of the media and the nation at large.
Almost 100 rediscovered Desert Islands Discs are returned to the archive. Castaways include Noel Coward, Ravi Shankar, Margot Fonteyn, Sir Alec Guinness, Joan Bakewell, David Hockney, Bing Crosby, Dudley Moore and many more of the most celebrated eminent figures in their field. These rediscovered lost gems will broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and will be available on BBC Sounds, where they will add to the considerable archive already available.
A range of lost comedy programmes discovered and remastered – full list includes Hancock’s Half Hour, The Goon Show, Oh No It Isn’t, Down With… Work, The Spike Milligan Show, Three Plus One, Cut Off at the Fringe, Three Lumps of Cleese, Wrinkles.

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