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  1. Tony Jordan: A BBC boy

    Thursday 30 October 2014, 15:31

    Hannah Khalil Hannah Khalil Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog

    Writer Tony Jordan on the set of The Passing Bells

    The Passing Bells, a new five-part drama for BBC One, runs from Monday 3 – Friday 7 November, as part of the BBC’s programming to mark the Centenary of World War I. About the BBC caught up with series writer and BBC veteran Tony Jordan to find out more about the programme and his writing.

    I first heard Tony Jordan speak earlier this year at the BBC Writersroom TV Writers Festival. He was the chairperson and introduced proceedings with panache and a breathtaking candour. When I spoke to him recently from his shed (yes that’s where he writes– he used to write in his garage, but he’s upgraded) the same honesty struck me again, along with a bewildering modesty and a joyous ability to laugh at himself.

    Maybe that’s because Tony’s clearly a ‘real’ person (not starry or pretentious at all). He started out as a market trader, and sort of fell into writing for television, under “false pretences”:

    “I was born in Southport near Liverpool, and I was travelling all over the country doing markets. I ended up living next door to a guy called Doug Briggs who was trying to write for television and we used to talk about it a lot. At some point he said, ‘Maybe you should...

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  2. Country Nights season celebrates history of Nashville

    Thursday 30 October 2014, 12:56

    Al Booth Al Booth

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    Al Booth is Editor, Specialist Music at Radio 2, a role which covers a range of output from the Folk Awards to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and a range of musical genres in between. The first week in November marks one of the highlights of her musical year.

    This week I’m heading to Nashville for the 26th time – that amounts to a few hundred hours spent backstage at the Country Music Association Awards, a few dozen live programmes broadcast to the UK, countless sessions recorded for Bob Harris’s radio shows and several country music documentaries made for Radio 2 – not to mention the twenty five cowboy shirts and ten pairs of cowboy boots purchased on late night shopping sprees on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.

    It’s a wonderful and unique city which I love, and country music, in all its guises, is its lifeblood. The fortunes of the city are mirrored by the fortunes of the country music industry – and now, more than any other time since my first visit in 1999 Nashville is flourishing. Country music’s popularity is growing, the Nashville TV series is one big advert for the city and Nashville’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the US. Right now Nashville is cool in...

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  3. Broadcasting House: a sustainable success story

    Wednesday 29 October 2014, 16:34

    Andy Baker Andy Baker W1 Manager

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    Broadcasting House is one of the world’s largest broadcast complexes situated in the heart of the capital.  It houses nearly 6,000 staff, and provides public service broadcasting via three 24-hour television news channels, nine radio networks and 27 international language radio services to a worldwide audience of 265 million people every week.  Key to the design was that the building should deliver the best environmental performance possible.  No small challenge then for a building broadcasting 24/7.

    But we have risen to the challenge and, last month our efforts were rewarded when the building achieved an Excellent rating from BREEAM, the industry code for assessing a building’s sustainable environment.

    So how have we achieved this? From the outset, the building was designed to a BREEAM 'Excellent' standard, with several examples of good practice supporting that.

    • The recycling facilities in office hubs were designed to encourage more sustainable behaviours, being easy to use with clear simple signage for the two waste streams of mixed recycling and general waste and located in areas convenient for staff. This is supported by two compactor units in the loading bay which efficiently...

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  4. Stone me - is it really 60 years since the first Hancock's Half-Hour?

    Wednesday 29 October 2014, 13:37

    Steve Punt Steve Punt Comedian

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    Neil Pearson and the cast of The Missing Hancocks Neil Pearson and the cast of The Missing Hancocks

    Earlier this year five missing episodes of classic BBC comedy Hancock’s Half Hour were discovered. Now, BBC Radio 4 has brought together contemporary comedy talent to create a moment in broadcasting history, recording these episodes. The Missing Hancocks will be on BBC Radio 4, this Friday 31 October at 11.30am. Here, comedian Steve Punt considers Tony Hancock’s legacy.

    Stone me - is it really 60 years since the first Hancock's Half-Hour? What's more, he's been dead for 46 of those years. I don't remember him, actually. I was just a nipper...

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  5. BBC Writersroom: BBC TV Drama - Supporting New Writing

    Monday 27 October 2014, 16:53

    Hannah Khalil Hannah Khalil Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog

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    BBC Drama Production Writers’ Scheme

    BBC Writersroom has published a blog with information on three ways that BBC in-house Drama is supporting new writing and writers. What follows is an extract from that blog:

    Kate Rowland, BBC Creative Director, New writing is quoted as saying, "We are delighted to be able to share some news about three initiatives being run by BBC in-house Drama to develop new writing talent. Vital to our work at the BBC Writersroom is the partnerships we have with internal departments, where we champion and promote talent.

    "We have worked closely with BBC Drama to support these exciting developments and acted...

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  6. BBC wins at BAFTA Cymru Awards

    Monday 27 October 2014, 12:54

    Hannah Khalil Hannah Khalil Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog

    Richard Harrington as Mathias. Image copyright: Fiction Factory/S4C/All3Media/Tinopolis

    Last night (Sunday 26 October) the BAFTA Cymru 2014 Awards took place in a starry ceremony at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. BBC programmes took home a host of trophies, in 13 of the 28 categories, with veteran BBC Journalist Jeremy Bowen, who hails from Cardiff, presented the Sian Phillips Award.

    Sherlock and Hinterland each took home three gongs with Sherlock being awarded Best Television Drama. Sherlock also claimed Best Production Design (Arwel Wyn Jones) and Best Make Up and Hair (Claire Pritchard-Jones). Welsh noir series Hinterland was awarded in the Best Photography and Lighting...

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  7. BAME expert voices on BBC Radio 4's Feedback

    Monday 27 October 2014, 12:10

    Jon Jacob Jon Jacob Editor, About the BBC Blog

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    The BAME Expert Voices day followed the recent successes of the BBC Academy's Expert Women project which saw 73 experts securing 374 different on-air appearances from a potential pool of 164 specialists.

    During this week's Feedback on Radio 4, Roger Bolton spoke to two delegates on the recent BAME Expert Voices day. We've clipped up the discussion and embedded it below. 

    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

    Roger Bolton talks to attendees at the recent BAME Expert Voices event at the BBC.

    Jon Jacob is Editor, About the BBC website and blog

  8. BBC Cymru Wales' multimedia ebook celebrates life of Dylan Thomas

    Sunday 26 October 2014, 11:45

    Robin Moore Robin Moore Senior Executive Producer, Products and Innovation, BBC Cymru Wales

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    Ahead of Monday's launch of 'Dylan Thomas: The Road to Milk Wood', the ebook's Executive Producer, Robin Moore, explains why BBC Cymru Wales decided to celebrate the poet's life in a free multi-media ebook.

    Monday 27 October marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, one of the twentieth century's most important poets. During this centenary year the BBC has broadcast a huge range of programmes about the poet and his work, including the unfamiliar, such as his previously unheard The Beach of Falesa, and the familiar, with a fabulous new adaptation of his most famous...

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  9. From driving the desk to Drivetime - 40 varied years at BBC Tees

    Friday 24 October 2014, 21:09

    Colin Bunyan Colin Bunyan Presenter, BBC Tees


    This month sees a landmark in the radio career of presenter Colin Bunyan as he celebrates 40 years on air with BBC Tees’ (or BBC Radio Cleveland as it was known until 2007). Bunyan started out on board Radio 270 in 1966 and has been broadcasting ever since, joining the BBC in 1974.

    Having also turned 70 this year, he is still as impassioned about radio as ever, and currently presents ‘Vintage Vinyl’ on the station on Sunday afternoons. Here he explains how important the show is to him and his listeners and looks back over his varied career with BBC Tees.

    “I was 70 in July but, I...

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  10. Reviews for Life Story

    Friday 24 October 2014, 14:08

    Jen Macro Jen Macro Digital Content Producer, About the BBC

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    Barnacle goose freefall

    A selection of reviews for last night's episode of Life Story, the first in a new six part documentary from the Natural History Unit, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

    The Telegraph: "Life Story (BBC One) is aptly titled, because stories are what it’s full of; it teems, rushes, bubbles with narrative. It doesn’t merely show us animals pottering cutely about their respective habitats; instead it shows them as the heroes, and sometimes villains, of tiny adventures, micro-sagas, mini-epics."

    The Mirror: "In every David Attenborough show we are taken on a roller-coaster of emotion, screaming...

    Read more about Reviews for Life Story

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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Panorama doc inspires lifesaver kit (Ariel)
"A Panorama programme has inspired the design of a piece of medical kit with the potential to save thousands of lives."

BBC plan special week of programmes dedicated to Gerry Anderson (Mirror)
"Radio legend to be celebrated with tribute shows and a live two-hour concert"

Strictly extends lead over X Factor (Guardian)
"BBC1 show widens gap over ITV talent competition to 2 million, despite return of Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini"

BBC Radio 6 Music hits biggest-ever weekly audience with nearly 2 million (Guardian)

BBC Music Awards 2014: One Direction, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay announced as performers (Independent)

Miranda to come to an end after Christmas specials as Miranda Hart admits: ‘I want it to end on a high’ (Metro)
"As she gets older I don’t want her to keep falling over and making a fool of herself, I want her to be happy,"

Doctor Who series 8: BBC to mark end of series with special fan event (Den of Geek)

S Club 7 reunion FINALLY confirmed: They’re bringing it all back for Children In Need (Metro)

Kate Moss to appear in BBC’s David Walliams adaptation (Guardian)
"Supermodel to have cameo role as herself in hour-long family drama The Boy in the Dress, which will air at Christmas"

Doctor Who's new web game aims to teach children programming skills (Guardian)
"Latest attempt to make coding fun for kids involves rescuing a Dalek and exploring the unscreened world of Sontar"

BBC boss Danny Cohen hits back at Children in Need 'hidden millions' claims: 'Vulnerable children could suffer' (Mirror)

Strictly Come Dancing triumphs over The X Factor again in ratings battle (Independent)

The Vamps win big at Radio 1 Teen Awards (MTV)

BBC adds chat app to Ebola effort (Ariel)
"World Service has turned to instant messenger to get the latest word on Ebola out to audiences in West Africa."

Broadcasters Reveal Leaders' Debate Plan (KL.FM)
"Sky News, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have announced joint plans for a series of party leader debates across TV and the internet in the run-up to the 2015 General Election."

BBC3 orders six docs from new directors for Fresh strand (Televisual)
"BBC3 has commissioned six new one-off documentaries for its Fresh strand – the channel’s scheme for new directors looking for a break into prime-time film-making."

Brainy BAMEs upskill (Ariel)

Pharrell, One Direction, Sam Smith And Pretty Much Everyone You’ve Ever Heard Of Beautifully Cover "God Only Knows" (Buzzfeed)
"Don’t blink, you might miss Elton John covered in butterflies or Lorde wearing angel wings"

Alan Sugar's not looking for 'donkeys' (Ariel)

BBC iPlayer catch-up window extended to 30 days

Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace is first celebrity to leave the show (Radio Times)
"The MasterChef presenter fails to cook up enough votes to ensure his survival as Mrs Browns Boys star Jennifer Gibney beats him in the dance-off"

Martin Freeman to Star in BBC Drama About Trial of Adolf Eichmann (Hollywood Reporter)

BBC's casting coup: Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen unite (Telegraph)

Sheila Tracy, the first woman to read the news on Radio 4, dies (Telegraph)

Last updated Tuesday 28 October 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

Feedback - Black and Minority Ethnic representation [Radio 4]
Designing the CBeebies Storytime app [Internet]
BBC TV Drama - Supporting new writing [Writersroom]
The Missing: Building intregue by shooting each character differently [TV]
How to make a video succeed on YouTube [Academy]

MatOf ThDay At 50: onic theme even has a banjo [TV]