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"Nation shall speak peace unto nation."
Motto of the BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation, known as the BBC, is the world's largest broadcasting organisation, founded in 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company. Originally a radio broadcaster, the corporation began television broadcasts in the 1930s and now operates ten UK television channels including the oldest and most watched, BBC One. The BBC also operates 58 radio stations, including the most popular station in the UK, BBC Radio 2, and has an online presence through BBC Online. Internationally, the BBC name is used as a brand for several channels operated by commercial arm BBC Worldwide, including the BBC World Service and BBC World News. Through BBC News, the corporation is the largest broadcasting news gatherer in the world, and has developed a good reputation for news gathering and reporting through the years. The BBC Portal (ie. a BBC website, not this Wikipedia portal) is the unique worldwide website as a consolidation of thousands of BBC web sites.

Affectionate names for the BBC include auntie, the beeb and together, Auntie Beeb.

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The TARDIS

The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) is a fictional time machine and spacecraft in the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who. A product of Time Lord technology, a properly piloted and working TARDIS is capable of transporting its occupants to any point in space and time. Its interior exists in multidimensional space, leading to it being significantly larger on the inside than it appears from outside. Externally, the TARDIS resembles the shape of a 1950s British police box, and the programme has become so much a part of British popular culture that the shape of the police box is now more immediately associated with the TARDIS than its original real-world function. The word has also entered popular usage and is used to describe anything that seems bigger on the inside than on the outside.

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BBC Broadcasting House

Broadcasting House on Portland Place in London is the headquarters of the BBC. Opened in 1932, the building is also the home to Radio 3, Radio 4 and BBC 7.

Did you know...

  • ...that the BBC ran a service that was known as Scud FM on Radio 4 FM's frequencies during the first Gulf War?
  • ...that BBC Radio 5 Live replaced a station called BBC Radio 5 - a mixture of sports, news, children's programming and drama, broadcasting for about 18 hours per day, at 9am on August 27, 1990?
  • ...that BBC Weather forecasts originally consisted of maps with weather symbols drawn on with wax crayons? Forecasts now are produced using complex computer programs.
  • ...that BBC One receives an annual budget of £840m and makes an annual profit of £900m?
  • ...that the first BBC News bulletin featured a newsreader providing a commentary for moving images since producers had felt a newsreader onscreen could distract viewers from the story?
  • ...that BBC founder Lord Reith despised the concept of television and felt it would not last?
  • ...that the BBC Television Service transmission was suspended during the Second World War due to fears the signal would be used by enemy bombers to locate targets?
  • ...that prior to its launch BBC Two was promoted on the BBC Television Service channel, later to become BBC One? The animated adverts shown featured the campaign mascots "Hullabaloo" (a mother kangaroo) and "Custard" (her joey)?
  • ...that the BBC owns a share in UKTV?

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Martin Brundle is a British former racing driver and a sports commentator for the BBC.

Brundle began his Formula 1 racing career with Tyrrell Racing in 1984. He put in a number of aggressive and fast drives, finishing fifth in his first race and then second at Detroit. At the Dallas Grand Prix, Brundle broke his ankles in a crash during a practice session. Then Tyrrell were disqualified from the world championship for 1984 due to a technical infringement, wiping his achievements for that season from the record books.

Having largely retired from motor racing, Brundle became a highly regarded commentator on British television network ITV, who he joined when they began Formula One coverage in 1997, initially alongside Murray Walker, and since 2002 James Allen. Brundle has won the RTS Television Sports Award for best Sports Pundit in 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2006. In 2005 the judges described him as: "...an outstanding operator at the very peak of his game – with an extraordinary ability to simplify and entertain in an often complex sport. He also exhibited a fearless authority on some of the most sensitive issues – not least his gimlet-eyed pursuit of Formula one boss Bernie Ecclestone on the grid at Indianapolis".

Brundle first commentated on F1 during the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix on the BBC. Having retired from the race, Brundle was asked by the BBC to enter the commentary box alongside Murray Walker because regular BBC commentator James Hunt failed to show up. Brundle was also part of the 1995 BBC commentary team whenever Aguri Suzuki was driving the Ligier-Mugen Honda such as for the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix.

In September 2008 Brundle denied that he had signed a deal with the BBC to commentate for next year's coverage although announced that he would love the chance to go to the BBC and said that discussions were ongoing. However, while at the Autocar Awards in November 2008, Brundle confirmed that he would be part of the BBC's commentary team for 2009.

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Ashes to Ashes is the sequel to the popular 2006 series Life on Mars, currently being broadcast on BBC One. It is set in 1981, and stars Philip Glenister of Life on Mars as DCI Gene Hunt and Keeley Hawes as DI Alex Drake, who was shot in 2008, and found herself back in time.

Critical reception to the first episode of the series was mixed, with positive reviews from The Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman and negative reviews from The Times and The Observer. The Guardian reported that with 6.1 million viewers and a 25% audience share, the ratings for the second episode were down by almost one million on the first, though it still beat Trial & Retribution, which fell to a series low on ITV.

The BBC in the news

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, has announced he is to make a formal complaint to the BBC following his appearance on the Question Time programme on 22 October 2009.

Griffin's appearance on the programme sparked protests at BBC buildings, particularly at Television Centre where protesters entered the building.

The BNP leader said that the programme should not have been filmed in London and that he had faced a 'lynch mob'. The BNP claimed that 3,000 people had applied to join the party during the boradcast of the programme.

The BBC defended including Griffin on the programme stating that it had a duty to be impartial.

Griffin complaint over BBC 'mob'

Quotes

  • "I got the first page with about three minutes to go. Then, the red light came on and it was up to me. It was an intensely dramatic script and most of the pages were fed to me at the microphone, so I had to get it right first time. God knows I put my heart into it." — Newsreader Robert Dougall, recalling his message as the 'anonymous Englishman', calling for Germany to withdraw its forces.
  • "Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own. If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans.
And I hate to tell you, but it's true." - Sir Terry Wogan announcing he is to step down as presenter of the breakfast show on Radio 2.

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