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Timeline of the BBC

From Academic Kids

This is a timeline of the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Contents

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

  • 1950
    • 21 May - Lime Grove television studios open.
    • 27 August - First live television from the European continent, using BBC outside broadcast equipment.
  • 1953
  • 1955
    • 2 May - The BBC begins broadcasting its radio service on VHF (FM), using the Wrotham transmitter.
    • 10 October - Alexandra Palace begins test transmissions of a 405-line colour television service.
  • 1957
    • 25 December - First TV broadcast of the Queen's Christmas Day message.
  • 1958
    • 5 May - First experimental transmissions of a 625-line television service.
    • 16 October - First broadcast of Britain's longest running children's television show Blue Peter.

1960s

1970s

  • 1971
  • 1972
  • 1973
    • March - Experimental CEEFAX teletext transmissions begin.
    • BBC adds stereo capability to Radios 2 & 4, with new technology called Pulse Code Modulation.
  • 1974
    • 5 July - A quadrasonic (4-channel) radio programme goes out at midnight, using Radio 4 to carry the two front channels and Radio 3 to carry the two rear channels.
    • 23 September - Regular CEEFAX teletext service begins.
  • 1978
    • 3 April - Regular radio broadcasts from Parliament begin.
    • 23 November - The BBC's radio stations switch medium wave frequencies: Radio 1 moves from 247m (1214 kHz) to 275 and 285m (1089 and 1053 kHz), Radio 2 moves from 1500m (200 kHz long wave) to 330 and 433m (909 and 693 kHz), Radio 3 moves from 464m (647 kHz) to Radio 1's old frequency, and Radio 4 moves to Radio 2's old frequency. [1] (http://www.vintagebroadcasting.org.uk/bbcchanges.htm)
  • 1979
    • 27 January - Radio 2 is the first BBC radio station to broadcast 24 hours a day. Its final nighttime closedown is at 2.00 on this date; from the next day onwards, "You, the night and the music" fills the "small hours" between 2.00 and 5.00. [2] (http://www.vintagebroadcasting.org.uk/r2goes24.htm)
    • 2 September - Subtitling of television programmes on CEEFAX begins.

1980s

  • 1983
  • 1985
  • 1986
    • 1 April - All commercial activities of the BBC are now handled by BBC Enterprises Ltd.
    • 27 October - BBC1 starts a full daytime television service. Before today, excluding special events coverage, BBC1 showed pages from CEEFAX or closed down at times during weekday mornings and afternoons.
  • 1988
    • 1 September - BBC External Services is renamed the World Service, and Radio 1 starts regular broadcasts on VHF in Scotland (http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/sounds/New_Tmitter_88_LQ.wma), northern England (http://www.vintagebroadcasting.org.uk/audio/35.mp3), the Midlands, and south Wales, Avon and Somerset, between 97-99 MHz. [3] (http://www.vintagebroadcasting.org.uk/r1vhf.htm) (Crystal Palace has been broadcasting R1 on 104.8 MHz since October 1987, and would later switch to 98.8 MHz at 11.00 on 19 December 1989. [4] (http://www.transdiffusion.org/rmc/features/width.asp))
    • 20 September - The Radio Data System (RDS) launches, allowing car radios to automatically retune, display station identifiers and switch to local travel news.
  • 1989

1990s

  • 1990
  • 1991
    • 15 April - The World Service Television News service is launched. Unlike its World Service radio counterpart, WSTV is commercially funded and carries advertising, which means that it cannot be broadcast in the UK.
    • 31 July - The BBC's Lime Grove Studios close.
    • 31 August - BBC television starts officially broadcasting in stereo using the NICAM system. (Some transmtters had been broadcasting in stereo since 1988, but these were classified as tests.)
    • 14 October - World Service TV launches its Asian service.
  • 1992
  • 1994
    • 28 March - Radio 5 is renamed Radio 5 Live and becomes a dedicated news and sport network.
    • 1 July - Radio 1 ceases broadcasting on medium wave (AM) at 9.00.
  • 1995
  • 1996
    • 7 June - The BBC is restructured by the Director-General, John Birt. In the new structure BBC Broadcast will commission programmes, and BBC Production will make them.
    • 25 December - The Christmas Day episode of Only Fools and Horses is watched by 24 million viewers, the largest TV audience in two decades.
  • 1997
    • The BBC broadcasts the much praised "Perfect Day" corporate advertisement, featuring 27 artists singing lines of Lou Reed's original. The song later becomes a fund-raising single for Children in Need.
    • 28 February - The BBC sells its transmitters and transmission services to Castle Transmission Services for 244 million, to help fund its plans for the digital age.
    • 4 October - Current corporate identity adopted. At a repored cost of 5m the new logo was introduced due to the increase in digital services, as it is designed to be more visible at small size it is better suited for use in websites and on screen "DOGs."
    • 8 November - The last ever closedown on BBC1. From the following day, BBC1 broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with BBC News 24 filling the early hours.
    • 9 November - BBC News 24, the Corporation's UK television news service, is launched at 17.30.
    • BBC News Online, a web-based news service, begins to expand and become more popular.
  • 1998
    • August - The BBC's domestic TV channels become available on Sky Digital's satellite service. An unintended consequence of this is that people in the rest of Europe can now watch BBC1 and 2, using viewing cards from the UK, as the signal is encrypted for rights reasons. This applies even within the UK: people in England can now watch BBC channels from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and vice versa.
    • 23 September - The BBC launches BBC Choice, its first new TV channel since 1964, available only on digital TV services. The BBC Parliament TV channel also starts broadcasting on digital services.
    • 15 November - Public launch of digital terrestrial TV in the UK.
  • 1999
    • 10 May - BBC network news relaunched with new music, titles and a red and ivory set. This design was used for the October 25 relaunch of News 24 - enhancing cross-channel promotion of the service.
    • 20 May - The BBC's digital teletext service starts.
    • 1 June - BBC Knowledge starts broadcasting on digital services.

2000s

  • 2000
    • 15 September - Final edition of Breakfast News on BBC1, the last conventional news broadcast in the morning.
    • 2 October - The first edition of Breakfast is broadcast, the new morning show on BBC One and News 24 from 6.00-9.30. (9.00 on BBC News 24), from Sunday to Friday.
    • 13 October Final edition of the Nine O Clock News on BBC1.
  • 2001
    • 3 March - Bomb explodes outside Television Centre. The blast was later attributed to dissident Irish Republican terrorists and it is suggested the BBC Panorama programme which named individuals as participants in the Omagh bomb was the motive.
    • 1 October - BBC LDN is launched, and Kent and Sussex get their own news programme, South East Today. Oxfordshire, once part of the South East, becomes part of South Today.
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
    • 20 March - Mark Thompson announces staff of 27,000 to be cut by 3,780.
    • 23 May - Over one third of staff join strike in response to job cuts [5] (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/BBC_drops_programmes_as_third_of_staff_join_strike).
  • 2006
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