Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BBC Broadcasting House

London The Unfinished City
This is the BBC.
Wednesday March 18, 2015.

It had been a nice stroll around the Unfinished City's West End, and as I was heading back towards Baker Street station, I found myself in front of BBC Broadcasting House. With a lack of traffic and pedestrians, to spoil the view, I managed to take this shot, of the oldest part of the BBC Headquarters.

London The Unfinished City
Night falls at the BBC.

Since, at he time, the building was open to the public, I decided to go inside.

Inside and to the right of the  main entrance was a mock-up of a news studio, where you could pretend to present the news or deliver a weather forecast. 

Heading left you could stand beside a Dalek and the T.A.R.D.I.S., from Doctor Who, before heading into the canteen. 

London The Unfinished City
A Dalek from the TV series Doctor Who.

London The Unfinished City
Doctor Who's T.A.R.D.I.S.

The canteen offered views down into the bowels of the building, where journalists and support workers busied themselves. 

London The Unfinished City
Looking down in to the heart of the BBC news centre.

You could just make out the studios, from where news programmes were broadcast, and, looking across, you could see the BBC weather presenters and forecasters.

London The Unfinished City
The weather today is...

Brief History

Construction of Broadcasting House began in 1928, with a steel frame being covered in Portland Stone, in the art Deco Style. The recording studios, of which there were 22, were built into the central core and encased in brick, with no windows. This aided the soundproofing of the studios. Special sound-dampening ventilation shafts had to be installed to limit noise reduction during the recording process. 

In 2003 work began on a major refurbishment of the building. This was a result of the BBC trying to reduce its estates portfolio, by centralising many of its London services. It would take ten years for work to be completed.

With construction completed, the building now houses all of the BBC News studios, BBC World Service and BBC Weather. There is also a Media Cafe, that overlooks the BBC Newsroom, and an exterior public piazza, directly outside of the studios for The One Show.

London The Unfinished City

Tours of the building saw over 100,000 people visiting New Broadcasting House.

Unfortunately, tours are no longer available at New Broadcasting House, but tours of other BBC Buildings are still available.

  • The first radio broadcast was made from here, on March 15, 1932, while the first news bulletin was read from here on March 18. This was two months before the building was officially opened, on May 15, 1932.
  • At any one time it provides public service broadcasting to over 10 million people across the UK.
  • Broadcasts to a worldwide audience of more than 150 million people every week, are made from here.
  • On March 18, 2013, BBC News made its first broadcast from its new home in Broadcasting House.

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