George Orwell at the BBC | The writer of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' holds true to his ideals

Letter to Orwell from ALC Bullock

An invitation to comment on social changes in wartime Britain.

BBC ARCHIVE
WRITTEN DOCUMENT
1943


[Hand-written note: Answered 25.1.45]

THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Broadcasting House, London, W.1

TELEPHONE: WELBECK 4468 TELEGRAMS: BROADCASTS, LONDON

22nd January, 1943


George Orwell Esq.,
Broadcasting House.

Dear Mr. Orwell,

In the European Service we are organising a week's programme on changes in Britain
since the war began, to follow immediately after the 10th anniversary of the
National Socialist regime. Our plan is to broadcast a series of talks and features
in our English service to Europe, and then to have these translated and to
broadcast them in our foreign language services.

Would you consider writing and broadcasting a script for us on the social changes
in the town since the war? We should want a script of 600-800 words, and the
broadcast would be between 3.30 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4th.

I don't think you have done any work for our European Service before, and I am
very keen to get your schedule of the other speakers we are approaching. If you
are willing to accept this invitation, or would like further information about
the proposal, would you let me know?

Yours sincerely,

ALC Bullock [handwritten]
Eur. T. Editor.


[handwritten note: contents repeated in letter reply from Orwell to ALC Bullock]

Dear Mr. Bullock,

Thank you for your letter of the 22nd January. I will do the suggested talk
with pleasure, if I can be reasonably frank. I am not going to say anything
I regard as untruthful.


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Document Type | Letter

22 January 1943

Document version

Writtenin

1943

Synopsis

ALC Bullock, the Talks Editor of the European Service, writes to George Orwell asking whether he would like to take part in a series of programmes being broadcast to document social changes in Britain since the outbreak of war.

Read the reply to this letter.

Did you know?

Wartime privations could make working conditions at the BBC less than satisfactory. One colleague of Orwell's, John Morris, recounts how staff had to share rooms which were little more than cubicles with apertures, with the result that using the telephone could on occasion provoke a cry of "For God's sake shut-up" from Orwell in an adjoining cubicle.

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