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_90 Years of BBC Radio

contents BBC Radio Research into the history of the BBC. Key events of the BBC. Most influencial shows and presenters of the BBC.

An Exhibition of Proposal of Exhibition. Research into exhibitions and spaces. Information to be displayed.


Format & Processes Research into formats Research into processes Format and processes to use in project.

_90 Years of BBC Radio

John Reith (1889-1971) was the founder of the BBC. He was its first general manager when it was set up as the British Broadcasting Company in 1922; and he was its first director general when it became a public corporation in 1927. He created both the templates for public service broadcasting in Britain; and for the arms-length public corporations that were to follow, especially after World War Two. Reith fought off the politicians’ attempts to influence the BBC, while offering the British people programmes to educate, inform and entertain. But in a working life that stretched over 60 years, Reith was at the BBC only 16. This is the story of a towering figure – physically as well as metaphorically - who was never satisfied with life and who said ‘What I was capable of compared with what I’ve achieved is pitiable.’ John Charles Walsham Reith was born on July 20th 1889 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire. His family were holidaying there from Glasgow, where his father George was a minister in the

Free Church of Scotland, later to become the United Free Church of Scotland. His mother Adah was English and the daughter of a London stockbroker who met George in 1868 at the country home of one of his churchgoers. They married in 1870 and over the next ten years they had four boys and two girls. But it was nearly another ten years before a fifth son, John, was born. By then Adah was 41 and George 47. John (known as Non to the family) was brought up by nurses and rarely saw his father, who was usually too busy. The Start of the BBC In March 1922 Reith left William Beardmore & Co. for London. Although he had reorganised the factory, it had failed to win the orders he was expecting and was virtually closed down after he left. According to Reith’s daughter Marista in her book My Father, it was a sign he was more interested in changing things internally than understanding what customers wanted. Once in London, Reith dabbled in politics. He was not a Conservative, but he did work on behalf of

Unionist Tory MPs who wanted to maintain the wartime coalition under the Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George. He met the Conservative Unionists’ leader, Austen Chamberlain, and Lloyd George, who said Reith ought to be in Parliament. Reith’s application for the post of General Manger of the BBC But his place in history came when he saw an advertisement in The Morning Post for a general manager for the British Broadcasting Company. The company was being set up by a consortium of British radio manufacturers to produce programmes that could be heard on their wireless sets. Reith’s preparations for the job were amateurish. Only after he posted his application at his club did he check Who’s Who? to look up the man he was applying to. He then had to persuade one of the club staff to retrieve the envelope from the locked letterbox so he could re-write the application, and tell the Aberdonian Sir William Noble of his own Aberdonian ancestors. As for the interview, Reith did little preparation other than

prayer: ‘They didn’t ask me many questions and some they did I didn’t know the meaning of. The fact is I hadn’t the remotest idea as to what broadcasting was. I hadn’t troubled to find out. If I had tried I should probably have found difficulty in discovering anyone who knew.’ Still, his prayers were answered. The next day, he was offered the job, for £1,750 a year.

_BBC Radio


_90 Years of BBC Radio

90 Years of Radio Last year on the 14th November 2012 it was 90 years since BBC had been broadcasting. To celebrate this at 17:33 every BBC radio show across the world was stopped and a song which was composed by Damon Albarn from the Blur was played across all the stations. The song was 3 minutes long which was being played and broadcasted from the London Science Museum by Simon Mayo. This was first time since 1922 that something had been simultaneously played over all BBC stations. The song was called 2LO calling. 2LO Calling began with the chimes of Big Ben and featured the first ever broadcast from the

2LO transmitter and the number one song at the time - Three O’Clock in the Morning. The threeminute piece also featured messages from listeners around the world along with the sound of the blackbird and skylark, commentary from the Cameroon election and the ubiquitous BBC pips. Albarn also chose to include a famous quote from philosopher Bertrand Russell: “Love is wise, hatred is foolish.” It featured in Morse code, the series of clicks, tones, dots and dashes historically used to transmit information. The song was called 2LO calling because the 2LO transmitter made the first broadcast - from the British

Broadcasting Company as it was then known - on 14 November 1922. More than 55 BBC radio stations came together for Radio Reunited. It is estimated the broadcast could have reached up to 80 million listeners. The Science Museum is marking the 90th anniversary of BBC Radio with a display featuring part of the original 2LO transmitter. Tim Boon, head of research and public history at the Science Museum, said: “The first broadcast by the 2LO 90 years ago marked the moment when radio moved from the realm of the ‘amateur enthusiast’ to the first proper public broadcasting service in Britain.

House, and is close to Bush House, home of the BBC’s World Service.

Burrows, 2LO’s programme director. In 1925, 2LO’s duties were assumed by a new transmitter located at Selfridges, Oxford Street, but the original was kept in reserve until 1929 in case of breakdown.


2LO Broadcast entertainment really began in the USA in 1920. There, many hundreds of stations were soon in operation, swamping the airwaves. In Britain, the approach was more cautious. Experimental stations were tried at the Marconi site at Chelmsford, Essex, in 1920 and in 1922 at Writtle, a village nearby. The Writtle transmitter had the call sign 2MT. Another Marconi station was licensed in 1922, based at the company head office, Marconi House in the Strand, London. Its call sign was 2LO. The transmitter was located in an attic room and the aerials were strung between towers on the roof. The building is now the Marconi Wing of Citibank

_BBC Radio

The 2LO transmitter was designed by Henry Round and Charles Franklin of Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company, and brought into use in May 1922. It remained in its original configuration for only a very short time; within weeks it was rebuilt to take advantage of new regulations allowing increased transmitting power. During 1922 a consortium of leading radio manufacturers set up the British Broadcasting Company. The BBC took over the 2LO call sign and transmitter and opened with a broadcast from Marconi House on 14 November, given by Arthur

_90 Years of BBC Radio

2lo Calling 00:00 Radio 4 broadcasts the chimes of Big Ben – the ‘bongs’ – live every day at 6pm and at midnight. 00:18 In 1922 the radio transmitter 2LO broadcast for one hour a day from Marconi House in the Strand. This audio, recorded in the 1930s, recreates the BBC’s first ever transmission. 00:26 The pop hit of the day, Three O’Clock in the Morning, a waltz by American bandleader Paul Whiteman, one of the first pieces of music played on the BBC. 00:35 The songs of the blackbird and lark are from the British Library’s sound archive – a collection that includes wax cylinders and MP3s. “Hello future”. The first message in the piece was sent by a BBC Radio 6 Music listener. One of the BBC’s first digital stations it first broadcast on 11 March 2002. The clip is voiced up by Nico, the resident Kid Critic on Steve Lamacq’s 6 Music show.

00:51 Pashto is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In English the message, sent to the BBC World Service, means “Please destroy all weapons.”

Persian Service from Iran “I hope 90 years from now, no one misuses religion…” The BBC Persian service has been broadcasting since the 1940s.

00:59 “We’ll be living on Mars…” At the closest point in its orbit Mars is 35 million miles from Earth. In October 2012 Nasa’s Curiosity rover found soil on Mars to be similar to Hawaii’s after sifting and scanning its first sample on the Red Planet.

“ We can do better.” Message sent from Australia to BBC Outlook on the World Service.

01:07 “Everything is connected”. Kevin Kelly is obsessed with the meeting of technology and biology and is widely regarded as a digital visionary. 01:10 “Keep talking to one another…” Message sent to BBC Radio Cornwall. 01:18 “Proud…” The message sent by a listener to BBC Radio Lincolnshire is in response to London’s staging of 2012 Olympic Games. Message sent in to the BBC

01:27 “I hope it doesn’t get too hot...” The Great Barrier Reef is the largest collection of corals in the world. Climate change and pollution are among the threats to this fragile ecosystem. “Dressed up…” The World Service broadcast the audio of 2011’s election in Cameroon. President Paul Biya retained the position he’s held since 1982. 01:32 “We are all caught up in this rat race…” Message recorded in London. 01:38 “How time flies! Recorded in Nigeria and sent to the World Service’s Hausa

language service. 01:47 “Fresh air, woods…” Recorded by a Dane living in London. 01:48 “I think it’s gonna be a bright colour… “ Recorded by a listener in Gwent. 01:58 “I think there’ll be more people…” The global population is currently estimated at around 7 billion. In 2011 the UN predicted it may hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100. 02:10 The BBC first broadcast the Greenwich Time Signal aka ‘the Pips’ in 1924. Each pip is a 1 kHz tone.This is a rare opportunity to hear them not on the hour since as a rule the BBC only allows them to be used for time-keeping purposes. 02:15 Concluding with a piece inspired by the ‘pips’ that Damon Albarn specially composed which he plays it on piano and glockenspiel.

00:44 The shortwave radio sample is from Freesound – a database of audio that anyone can add to or download from. Bertrand Russell delivered the first Reith Lecture in 1948. The Morse code is his quote, “Love is wise, hatred is foolish”. 00:50 “If time travel does exist...” Will we ever know if time travel exists? Stephen Hawking once held a party for time travellers but no one showed up. This message was recorded by a child at Bath Community Academy.

_BBC Radio


_90 Years of BBC Radio


Tony Blackburn - First Radio 1 presenter

Marjorie Anderson - Presenter of Woman’s Hour.

Arthur Askey - Changed comedy radio through his own style.

Douglas Cameron - The voice of Independent Radio News.

Barry Alldis - Best known music presenters in Europe.

Billy Cotton - Live music shows.

Alastair Cooke - Respected on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jimmy Clitheroe - Comedy Presenter.

Eamonn Andrews - Defined sports broadcasting.

influential presenters and shows

_BBC Radio

Any Questions? (1948–present):

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (1972–present)

Test Match Special (1957–present)

The Archers (1950–present)

It’s That Man Again (1939–1949)

Today programme (1957–present)

Children’s Hour (1922–1964)

Journey Into Space (1953–1958)

Top Gear / John Peel (1967–2004)

Desert Island Discs (1942–present)

Just a Minute (1967–present)

Woman’s Hour (1946–present)

Friday Night is Music Night (1952–present)

Letter from America (1946–2004)

Workers’ Playtime (1941–1964)

Gardeners’ Question Time (1947–present)

The News Quiz (1977–present)

The Goon Show (1951–1960)

The Reith Lectures (1948–present)

Hancock’s Half Hour (1954–1960)

Round the Horne (1965–1968)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1978-1990 and 2004-2005)

Sports Report (1948–present)

_90 Years of BBC Radio

key events 1922: 2LO opened by Marconi in May.

25 December. First Empire Address by King George V.

1922: 14 Nov. BBC start daily broadcasting on 2LO. The first voice was Arthur Burrows, reading the news. The BBC was funded by radio set manufacturers.

1935: 6 April. American Half Hour began with Alistair Cooke. A broaccast about America.

1922: 15 Nov. 5IT (Birmingham) and 2ZY (Manchester) become first BBC stations outside London. Further stations in 1922 and 1923 were 5NO, Newcastle; 5WA, Cardiff, 5SC, Glasgow, and in 1924 2BE Belfast started broadcasting.

1936: 11 December. Edward VIII Abdication speech 1938: 3 January, BBC Arabic Service, first foreign language service launched.

1927: Gramophone used

1939: 3 Sept. Chamberlain announces Britain is at war with Germany.

1924: “Pips” (Greenwich Time Signal) first broadcast on 5 Feb.

1940: 18 June. De Gaulle’s first broadcast to France.

1924: 19 May. Beatrice Harrison, cello and nightingale duet - first time a live instrument was broadcasted on the radio.

15 October. Bombing of Broadcasting House

1925: 27 July. Daventry Transmitter opens providing national radio coverage.

1925: The Pips

1945: 8 May. VE Day broadcasts with Winston Churchill declaring the war was over.

1932: World Service launched


1943: George Orwell resigned

29 July .Start of the Light Programme.

1925: 20 February. First national broadcast of prices for farmers.

1946: 24 March. Letter From America spoken radio programme began.

1926: 26 September . The Epilogue radio show started.

7 October . Woman’s Hour fist broadcasted.

1950: The Archers

1929: 19 July. Toytown first transmitted on the Childrens Hour programme. 1930: 22 October. First broadcast by BBC Symphony Orchestra. 1932: 15 May. Broadcasting House opens. The main BBC building. 19 December. BBC World Service launches

1962: 28 August. Start of experimental stereo broadcasting. 1967: 30 September. Start of Radio 1 hosted by Tony Blackburn.

1973: Radio 1 Roadshow

8 November. BBC Radio Leicester opens , local radio network launched 1970: 6 October. You and Yours - Radio 4 show.

2000:The Millennium

_BBC Radio

_90 Years of BBC Radio

An exhibition of..

90 years of bbc radio


Brief History to the Exhibition Last year on the 14th November 2012 it was 90 years since BBC had been broadcasting. To celebrate this at 17:33 every BBC radio show was stopped and a song composed by Damon Albarn from the Blur was played across all the stations.

Concept of the Exhibition A visual and audio exhibition that informs the audience of the history of BBC radio and how it has changed throughout the years.The focus will be on visualising the radio and how the stations spoken words can be seen through exhibits.

The song was 3 minutes long which was being broadcasted from the London Science Museum by Simon Mayo. This was first time since 1922 that something had been simultaneously played over all BBC stations.

Plan of the exhibition The exhibition would be split into 3 sections - The history of the 90 years of broadcasting. - 2LO Calling. - The present day broadcasting.

The song was called 2LO calling because the 2LO transmitter made the first broadcast from the British Broadcasting Company as it was then known - on 14 November 1922. More than 55 BBC radio stations came together for Radio Reunited. It is estimated the broadcast could have reached up to 80 million listeners.

The Audience - Educational, informative but humorous tone of voice - 15 - 20 year old. The purpose The purpose of the exhibition is to inform the younger audience about the radio; to show them where and how it started.To show the development of the radio and equipment and how it has affected social interaction within society. Key Aspects - Highlight key events which happened throughout the 90 years of broadcasting. - Visualise the tone of voice of each radio station. - Have the 2LO calling song as a feature. - Showcase the equipment. - Have engaging interactive aspects to make the younger audience want to come and join in.

_An Exhibition of

Information to be displayed Throughout the exhibition the information that I have researched will be presented within the exhibition. As this is going to be an educational exhibition it will display information to educate the yonger youth about the radio and how it started. The main feature of the exhibition is to exhibit the last 90 years of broadcasting, this will include information on presenters, shows and key events that changed the radio. The exhibition is going to be very visual and interactive. From this section is leads onto the playing of 2LO Calling, which includes a visual interpretation of the song, a timer will move in time with the song to show the parts of artwork which represent the song. This leads onto the final section of the exhibition, which is the present day radio. This will include visualising the radio shows of today. Taking recordings from the shows, artwork will be created to show the tone of voice and how the shows would be interpretted visually. The idea of the exhibition is to engage the younger audience into something which has been apart of society for a long time, which has influenced how we live and listen today.

_90 Years of BBC Radio

Exhibitions and spaces After deciding on presenting the 90 Years of BBC broadcasting as an exhibition, I have researched into many different exhibitions, to look at the different set ups and styles that exhibitions can take on. Looking at these examples have given me lots of ideas of how I could set out this exhibition. I want to look into the space of the exhibition and how it would be designed within the given space, this comes into play with the wayfinding system of the exhibition, so this is going to be one area that I am going to focus on in doing this project. I have found that there are alot of variations with exhibitions, some are very print based, others are digital based and more interactive for the viewers. This is something that I would want to explore more into and get a better understanding of the exhibitions. The exhibition that I am going to create is going to be a mixture of both digital and print based. The exhibition information will be displayed on the walls with various images and artwork to visualise the information and make it more interesting to view. The digital element will come in use when using projection and videos, this will hopefully engage the audience into the exhibitions more and be a good way to get over the information to the audience.


I am also going to visit exhibitions to see how they are designed, aswell as looking at the wayfinding systems and printed material.

_An Exhibition of

_90 Years of BBC Radio

Exhibition Branding


The branding of an exhibition is very important, this gives the face and identity of the exhibition and is how the public see it. Branding can be a vast amount of products and isnt necessarily the exhibition front or the face of what you first see. It can be the printed material, stationery, posters, promotion and various other things. All these items are what the exhibition branding is. From looking at examples of different exhibition branding, I can see the different formats and how these can effect the look and feel of the exhibition. The design of the branding is very important too, this has to communicate to the public audience and inform them of the needed information about the exhibition. This also is to attract the public into the exhibition, it may be of something that interests them, but the branding and promotion must attract them to the exhibition in the first place, along with the design of the exhibition to keep them engaged and wanting to look around it.

_An Exhibition of

_90 Years of BBC Radio

Range of Products The range of products for the branding and promotion of an exhibition need to be across a wide range of media, it needs to be seen by the public anyway and by covering a large range of products this will be achieved. Not only does the product range have to adequate, but the design over the different media types has to be closely looked at. The same design cannot be put over all products and commuicate the same message and look aesthetically good too. Each product is different and has to have the branding applied differently for each one. At the same time as them all being designed differently according to the format, they must all work as a set and the identity of them needs to be kept the same across all formats. This will create an effective branding and promotional campaign. The images I have displayed here, show a full range of products for the branding of an exhibition, but each one is applied differently to each product due to the format of them, even though you can still tell that they are for the promotion of the same exhibition.


Branding and promotion is one of the areas that i want to concentrate on in this project. I want to look into this area more because it will allow me to explore various printing techniques and use a range of formats. I want to explore promotion not just through print but also on a large scale format and across digital formats too.

I am going to create a range of promotional material, this will be both for the identity of the exhibition and for the exhibition information and space. I aim to have a range of products for the identity of the exhibition and for the exhibition information i want to explore formats of publications to display the exhibition information.

_An Exhibition of

_90 Years of BBC Radio


Promotion Format range is something that I want to focus on, i want to create a range of different formats in which the information for various elements will be displayed on. I have focussed on the print element of the promotional material because this area will allow me to experiment with different formats more. I want to create a product range of: - Posters - Invitations - Brochures - Business Identity - Exhibition Passes - Exhibition Information Booklets - Exhibition Guides


From looking through exhibition branding and promotional material for a large range of different types of exhibitions. The format of these vary between every exhibition, which I have tried to show here. I want to use a different format for each information booklet of the sections of the exhibition. This will make it more adaptable for the information of each section. Also looking into bookbinding techniques has again developed the idea of the format of the publication, so that I can use the new binding techniques I have researched into. I want the printed material of the exhibition to show a broad range of formats, to make it more interesting for the user to look at.

_Formats & Processes

_90 Years of BBC Radio

wayfinding and information Another element of the exhibition I want to design myself is the wayfinding system. This is the most useful element of the exhibition as it will direct the public around the building and show the exhibition in the order it be shown. The wayfinding system needs to be clear and easy to understand and follow, but at the same time both be interesting and creative to look at and also work with the branding of the exhibition too. I am aiming to create a simple but aesthically attract wayfinding system.

I think the way that the information of the exhibition is exhibiting, is very important. This needs to engage the target audience to it and actually pay attention and read the information. I want to create a visual interpretation of the radio. I will do this by visualising the spoken words and tone of voice of the radio stations. I will also use videos, projections and sounds to present the information and make the exhibition more interactive. I want to focus on the branding and promotion side of the exhibition, along with the wayfinding system for this project, so I am going to propose this element of the exhibition.

_Formats & Processes


_90 Years of BBC Radio


screenprint, Letterpress, Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that allows ink to transfer onto the material. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas


Letterpress is the oldest printing process. In this method, a surface with raised letters is inked and pressed to the surface of the printing substrate to reproduce an image in reverse. Typically, metal type has been used, but other possibilities include carved wood or stone blocks. Most popularly used on wedding invitations, this process can also be used to create unique business cards as well as other custom printed products.

I am going to apply the screenprinting and letterpress techniques throughout the promotional material. I want to screenprint the posters and business identity. The letterpress will come into use on the invitations, which I will hopefully hot foil with the letterpress on these.

_Formats & Processes

_90 Years of BBC Radio

foiling, emboss and deboss To get the gold /silver stamp, a foil layer is affixed to a certain material by a heating process. It isn’t too complicated of a process and getting the files ready are quite similar to uvspot printing. See my guide on preparing files for print as a reference and talk with your printer about how to supply the files. Foil printing normally requires vector images and/or outlined fonts of what you want to have stamped.

Embossing and dembossing are similar processes that create a different result. Both processes involve making a metal plate and a counter. The plate is mounted on a press and the paper is stamped between the plate and counter. This force of pressure pushes the stock into the plate, creating the impression. Embossing produces a raised impression on your paper stock, while debossing creates a depressed impression.

The foiling technique is going to be used mainly on the invitations because this will make them more luxurious for the opening event. Embossing and debossing will be used on the business identity, along with this I am going to use it on the brochure front covers.

_Formats & Processes


90 Years of BBC Radio  

Research Booklet for proposal of exhibition

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