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BBC Television Centre Is 50 - uploaded to YouTube (Read 1873 times)
Simon Vaughan- APTS Archivist
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Derby, UK
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BBC Television Centre Is 50 - uploaded to YouTube
Jun 29th, 2010, 4:23pm
BBC Television Centre Is 50 has been uploaded to the APTS YouTube Channel.

BBC Television Centre at White City in West London is the headquarters of BBC Television. Officially opened in June 1960, it was one of the world's first buildings designed specifically for the making and transmission of TV programmes. It remains one of the largest.

The building features a distinctive circular central block (officially known as the main block but often affectionately referred to by staff as the "doughnut") around which are studios, offices, engineering areas and the new News Centre. In the centre of the main block is a statue designed by T.B. Huxley-Jones, of the Greek god of the sun, Helios, which is meant to symbolise the radiation of television light around the world. At the foot of this statue are two reclining figures, symbolising sound and vision, the components of television. (This structure was originally a working fountain but due to the building's unique shape it was too noisy and was deactivated.) Even though there is a foundation stone marked 'BBC 1956' in the basement of the main building, construction had begun on the site in 1951. Over time various extensions have been added to the building to maximise the site's potential.
The overall design for Television Centre, from the air, appears to be like a question mark in shape. The architect, Graham Dawbarn (Norman & Dawbarn), drew a question mark on an envelope (now held by the BBC Written Archives Centre) while thinking about the design of the building, and realised that it would be an ideal shape for the site. However, an article in The B.B.C. Quarterly, July 1946, proposed a circular design for a new television studio complex, several years before Dawbarn drew up his plans.
On 17 June 2009 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport decided to list at Grade II the Central Ring of the building and Studio 1, noting in particular the John Piper mosaic, central drum with its mosaic tiles, the Huxley-Jones gilded statue of Helios, full-height glazing of the stair and original clock in the Central Ring. The 'atomic dots' and name of Studio 1, along with the cantilevered porch on its exterior were noted as important architectural features of that building. The Department did not consider the other buildings, including all other studios, scenery block and canteen of sufficient special interest to warrant listing them, and specifically excluded them.

The footage can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4aLpzUpXVE
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Simon Vaughan
for and on behalf of
Alexandra Palace Television Society
web: www.apts.org.uk
mail: apts@apts.org.uk
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