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  1. Radio 1 for the ‘head down’ generation

    Monday 28 July 2014, 12:05

    Ben Cooper Ben Cooper Controller

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    Since Tony Hall’s speech last autumn we’ve been thinking further about what Radio 1 on BBC iPlayer means and we now want to share that with you.

    If you are reading this on the bus or the train, look around you and see how many people are staring at a screen. Welcome to the HD generation – that’s the ‘Head Down’ generation.

    As the Controller of one of our key ‘youth’ brands, whose job it is to engage the next generation with the BBC, I have to answer a rather important question: what does Radio 1 look like on a phone, tablet or laptop?

    Radio is far from dead. Indeed, radio listening remains remarkably healthy - each week for example, over 40% of all 15-24 year olds in the UK tune into Radio 1. But they’re not listening for as long; instead spending a lot of their time on their favourite device with YouTube and social media - a challenge shared across the music and radio industries. So, my challenge is to make sure that they ‘bump’ into Radio 1 in those spaces.

    Since I became Controller of Radio 1 and 1Xtra in October 2011, our strategy has been summarised by the line ‘Listen, Watch, Share’. Our core focus will always be about making great radio programmes...

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  2. Pick of the Pops: Tony Blackburn celebrates 50 years in radio

    Friday 25 July 2014, 15:16

    Matt Munday Matt Munday Digital Content Producer, BBC Media Centre

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    Having come to radio comparatively late in life, I’m feeling slightly nervous as my interview slot with Tony Blackburn slowly ticks around. This is the man, after all, whose words, "... And, good morning everyone. Welcome to the exciting new sound of Radio 1" ushered in a new era of BBC radio 47 years ago – and whose knowledge of the medium is (I’m convinced) quickly going to leave my smattering of trivia, internet print-outs, and scribbled marginalia far behind.

    DJ Tony Blackburn on the opening of Radio 1 on Saturday 30th September 1967 (credit BBC) Tony Blackburn on the opening of Radio 1 on Saturday 30th September 1967 (credit BBC)

    “I joined on July 25th 1964 – Radio Caroline South,” Tony says after introductions and my first question about his early days in pirate radio. “I read an advert for DJs in the paper, went up to Caroline House in London, 6 Chesterfield Gardens, and just did an audition. That was on the Friday, and I was broadcasting on the Wednesday.”

    Those familiar with the history of UK pirate radio will know a thing or two about Caroline House – the address in Mayfair that became the base of operations for the foremost station of the pirate radio mythos. It was here, and subsequently the Mi Amigo – a three-masted schooner anchored...

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  3. What’s on BBC Red Button, 26 July – 1 August

    Friday 25 July 2014, 11:24

    Marc Jones Marc Jones Media Scheduler, Red Button

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    There's only one thing on our minds this week on Red Button, with full coverage of all the action from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


      Judo player Euan Burton flies the flag for Scotland Judo player Euan Burton flies the flag for Scotland



    We've got live coverage throughout the day and the evening all this week, as sporting stars from across the Commonwealth take part in events including gymnastics, boxing, rugby 7s, hockey, bowls, netball and squash. We'll also have rolling highlights through the night, as well as a review of each day's action in Tonight at the Games.


    Find out more about additional Red Button streams during the Commonwealth Games here and keep up with what’s on during the games via the BBC Sport’s schedule.

    If you need to retune your digital TV or box to receive the extra Red Button coverage, you can find basic retuning instructions on Freeview Digital Text page 9991 or visit

    You can also call 08456 50 50 50 (calls may cost 4p/min from a landline, minimum connection fee of 8p may apply. Calls from mobiles may cost more).


    Follow @BBCRedButton on Twitter for updates on all our services.


    For help and information visit

  4. TV Licensing Annual Review 2013-14

    Friday 25 July 2014, 08:50

    Pipa Doubtfire Pipa Doubtfire Head of Revenue Management

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    Pipa Doubtfire, head of revenue management at the BBC, leads the TV Licensing Management Unit – a team responsible for collection of the Licence Fee. Here she shares some surprising facts about TV Licensing on today’s publication of its Annual Review.

    The TV Licensing team at the BBC is a small group of experts with a big responsibility – the efficient collection of £3.7bn for the BBC. Whether it’s thrilling sports coverage, cutting-edge documentaries or side-splittingly funny comedy, income from the licence fee helps fund the BBC programmes we know and love.

    Our Annual Review is a chance...

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  5. Response to the Institute of Economic Affairs critique of the licence fee

    Thursday 24 July 2014, 12:57

    James Heath James Heath Director of Policy, BBC

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    Reading Ryan Bourne's article I was reminded of Procrustes, in Greek mythology, and his habit of altering travellers' limbs so they would fit perfectly into his bed. The critique of the licence fee that is put forward makes the error of forcing the world to fit a particular narrative arc, and is long on assertion but short on evidence.

    My argument was that the policy goals (of social value and universality, great programmes at an affordable price, creative sector investment and independence) are best met via the licence fee. Ryan’s starting-point seems to be that the market will deliver an...

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  6. BBC Learning's massive open online courses

    Wednesday 23 July 2014, 08:57

    Tim Plyming Tim Plyming Executive Producer

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    Dan Snow

    Digital technology is continuing to change the world of learning and nowhere is this more apparent than in the huge range of massive open online courses (MOOCS).This new breed of global online courses emerged from the United States and are proving to be hugely popular with platforms including Coursera and edX providing access to hundreds of courses to students across the world.

    In BBC Learning, we have been following the progress of this revolution in online learning very closely and today we are revealing details of an exciting pilot project looking at opportunities for the BBC to work...

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  7. Round Up Week 28, 2014

    Friday 18 July 2014, 15:58

    Sam Buckett Sam Buckett BBC Trainee

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    After he spent a week on the About the BBC website, we thought it only polite that we pass the Round Up torch to BBC Trainee Sam Buckett.

    The World Cup drew to a close on Sunday and brought to an end the most entertaining football tournament of my own recollection. As such, the come down this week has been fairly intense, but as they say “all good things must come to an end”.

    The BBC covered every moment of the football fiesta from Brazil across television, radio, mobile and online- as a football fan it was near impossible to miss any of the action without perhaps falling asleep on a train...

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  8. Here's One We Made Earlier

    Friday 18 July 2014, 12:20

    Joe Godwin Joe Godwin Director, Children's

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    On Saturday 19 July, a major new exhibition opens at The Lowry in Salford; Here’s One We Made Earlier is the biggest ever celebration of the heritage and continuing importance of BBC Children’s programmes.

    We all remember the programmes and characters that shaped our childhoods, many of those made by the BBC. Blue Peter to Muffin the Mule, Humpty and Big Ted to CBeebies Bedtime Stories. This exhibition will pull the nostalgic heartstrings of many visitors, and will be just as relevant to the children who visit as it will to their parents and grandparents.

    In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

    Trailer for CBBC which looks back...

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  9. What's on BBC Red Button, 19-25 July

    Friday 18 July 2014, 11:44

    Marc Jones Marc Jones Media Scheduler, Red Button

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    It’s a big week on BBC Red Button with build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games as Glasgow gears up to host athletes from across the globe.

      BBC hosts for Commonwealth Games 2014 BBC hosts for Commonwealth Games 2014

    Sport highlights

    Golf fans can press red to see extra coverage and highlights of The Open Championship as the action at Hoylake wraps up.

    The 2014 Commonwealth Games kick off in Glasgow this week. Red Button is showing previews ahead of the opening ceremony, followed by coverage and highlights of sports such as cycling, boxing and table tennis when the event gets into full swing.

    If Formula 1 is more your thing, we...

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  10. Writing Bad Salsa

    Thursday 17 July 2014, 21:06

    Kay Stonham Kay Stonham

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    All this week writer Kay Stonham's comedy Bad Salsa has been airing on BBC Radio 4. In addition to penning her script, Kay has written this post. We're a little sorry that circumstances beyond our control meant we couldn't post it earlier this week. 

    Ten years ago I started going to a salsa club. I was a single parent, loved to dance and wanted to get a bit of carefree fun into my life. I immediately fell in love with the world and realized it would make a great setting for a comedy drama. 

    At a salsa club you can mix with anyone; young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, they’re...

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About this Blog

This blog explains what the BBC does and how it works. We link to some other blogs and online spaces inside and outside the corporation. The blog is edited by Jon Jacob.

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BBC Sport experiences record-breaking online traffic in June (Digital Spy)
"It beats the previous record of 73.6 million, which was set during the London 2012 Olympics"

BBC helps produce First World War Moocs (Times Higher Education)
"Not only are we proud that the BBC is able to contribute content and co-create the courses…but it also brings that expertise in storytelling"

Jo Brand to front Bake-Off spin-off (Chortle)

Bruce Forsyth returning to screens in BBC variety show (Digital Spy)

Evan Davis to replace Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight (Telegraph)
"it will be an adventure and a challenge, and I hope the viewers will be happy with the result"

MediaCity leads to Salford becoming the UK's property hotspot (Guardian)
"MediaCity and incoming BBC employees have kept Salford going when the market was bad, said one agent"

BBC annual report: Tony Hall announces £374m in annual savings (Independent)

Doctor Who: series 8 looks like a scorcher (Guardian)
"Cybermen sizzle as Peter Capaldi films BBC sci-fi series at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral in the middle of a heatwave"

Sophie Raworth: I get far more work now I am over 40 (Telegraph)
"News presenter Sophie Raworth claims many of her bosses are now female and ageism is no longer an issue for women in the BBC"

Kids tv leads BBC in 'going green' (Ariel)

Naga Munchetty given permanent place on BBC Breakfast sofa following Susanna Reid’s depart (Daily Express)

BBC’s Dominic Coles joins Discovery Networks (Guardian)
"Corporation’s director of operations to be US-based pay-TV giant’s finance and operations chief across western Europe"

World Cup Final 2014: BBC Triumphs Over ITV In TV Ratings War, Over 9 Million More Viewers Tune In (Huffington Post)

BBC Chief Tony Hall Promises a ‘Competition Revolution’ (Variety)

Future Media roles to move to Salford (Ariel)

Wimbledon final watched by 10 million (Guardian)
"Novak Djokovic victory over Roger Federer takes 54% share on BBC1, but no match for Andy Murray’s win last year"

TV News celebrates its 60th birthday (Ariel)

Doctor Who: Frank Cottrell Boyce is a genius, says Steven Moffat (Digital Spy)
"BBC One has confirmed that Frank Cottrell Boyce will script an episode of Doctor Who."

Danger Mouse remake will see some male characters returning as females (Guardian)
"CBBC’s Cheryl Taylor promises show ‘truthful to the essence of Danger Mouse’ but with fresh ideas"

BBC appoints Matthew Postgate as chief technology officer (Guardian)
"Current controller of research and development was part of the management team that created iPlayer and built mobile services"

Radio 5 Live: Presenters Richard Bacon, Victoria Derbyshire and Shelagh Fogarty among names leaving BBC radio station (Mirror)

Does Mary Berry Cooks mark a breakthrough for older women on TV?Does Mary Berry Cooks mark a breakthrough for older women on TV? (Guardian)"What results is an unapologetically old-fashioned TV show with a presenter who makes no attempt to disguise when she was born"

Last updated Friday 25 July 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

McIlroy not the only winner at first digital and social Open [College of Journalism]
Connected Studio: Coding for Teenagers Build Studio [Internet]
The Grimsby Story-Blog by Fusion Youth Theatre [Performing Arts Fund]
BBC Introducing at the 2014 Manchester Jazz Festival [Radio 3]
Using radio to respond to Ebola in Sierra Leone [Media Action]

Connected Red Buta first look at the new service on Smart TVs [Internet]