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The BBC, London

Broadcasting House

BBC radio went on air for the first time on 14th November 1922 from a transmitting station on the top of the Selfridges building in London's Oxford Street. The following day transmitters in Manchester and Birmingham opened up, and by October of 1923 eight transmitters were operating, allowing most people a radio service. By 1932 the BBC in London was able to move into its first purpose built building at Broadcasting House, between Oxford Street and Regents Park..



On January 23rd 1926 John Logie Baird gave the world's first public demonstration of a mechanical television set to the Royal Institution. The BBC, which ran radio services from Broadcasting House in London gave technical assistance to Baird, and from 1932 a very limited television service was being transmitted from the basement of Broadcasting House, more as a technical experiment than anything else. Very few people had the television sets that would enable them to watch the tiny, poor quality pictures. In 1934 it was decided to develop television further, and a run-down exhibition centre at Alexandra Palace on a hill overlooking Wood Green in London was selected as the site for the first headquarters. The official start of television services was arranged for November 2nd 1936, with an opening ceremony at Alexandra Palace taking place in front of cameras. Technical problems meant that all programmes in the first week had to be cancelled. A new start was made the following week, and BBC television grew from there. The televising of George VI's coronation, on 12th May 1937 was a landmark event for the BBC, and for many people marked the beginning of television as part of their lives. From 1955 independent television channels were introduced to compete with the BBC, leading eventually to the huge range of channels now available on cable and satellite networks.



BBC tours are available at many sites throughout the country. Go to the web site below for details of a tour at a site near you.






Access: Contact the particular site you wish to visit.







Address: BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA


Telephone for BBC Broadcasting House: 0370 901 1227

Overseas visitors should ring: 44 1732 42 7770

web site:







©2009 InfoBritain (updated 11/12)