"You know, this broadcasting is going to be jolly good fun."
...That adlib ended the very first BBC broadcast, given by Arthur Burrows on November 14th, 1922 - and re-enacted on this special birthday episode.
Yes we've made it! After 17 episodes building up to the big launch, the BBC is on air.
This episode lands on the Beeb's 98th birthday - and to celebrate, we've done something that we THINK is a first: a complete reconstruction of the very first BBC broadcast.
Well, not a complete reconstruction... because Arthur Burrows read the news bulletin twice, once at a normal speed, and once slow. We've spared you the slow version - because the normal speed was slow enough. Just listen back to it again straight away after, on 0.5x speed setting.
We include the precise news items in the right order - weather first, shutdown after 7 minutes - so it's as accurate as can be, thanks to Andrew Barker (who excellently researched and wrote the bulletin), Will Farmer (who gave us the tuning organ and tubular bells, plus the original podcast music) and Tim Wander (who checked for errors and has written many marvellous books
about all this).
After that re-enactment, we dissect, fill in the gaps, and generally inform, educate and entertain about day 1 of Auntie Beeb. Plus more from the mighty Emperor Rosko.
That full 10min re-enactment is also on Youtube here
, or an edited, more palatable 2min version is here
. Feel free to share, broadcast and do as you wish with them - get the story out there by all means.
Speaking of which, Tim Wander's plays, on some earlier parts of broadcasting history, can be watched online here:
- The Power Behind the Microphone:
A centenary celebration of Dame Nellie Melba's historic broadcast from Chelmsford
- Voices over Passchendaele
: Peter Eckersley's war years
- The Man Behind the Microphone
: Peter Eckersley's Writtle/BBC years
This podcast continues thanks to your support - it's bought us books that have spawned entire episodes. So thank you if you've visited ko-fi.com/paulkerensa
and tipped £3 or more, or patreon.com/paulkerensa
and helped us with £5 or more a month (with perks in return). If you've not, you know where they are.
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Clips are public domain as far as we know. They're old. We're happy to be corrected on that.
We're nothing to do with the BBC - we're just here to talk about their origins and wish them happy birthday.
Here's to the next 98!