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  1. It's not a real horse

    Thursday 24 April 2014, 14:36

    Jon Jacob Jon Jacob Editor, About the BBC Blog

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    Green Carpet Jon put on his smart shoes to attend the Proms photo shoot. He didn't feature in it.

    Jon Jacob attended the photo shoot for the 2014 BBC Proms season and spoke to Radio 3 Controller and Proms Director Roger Wright about his time as Director and how he felt about leaving the organisation. He also saw a horse, kind of.

    When the BBC Proms gets underway on Friday 18 July, seasoned prommers will greet one another with a “Happy New Year!” before exchanging a knowing smile. Like the “Heave! Ho!” exchanged between arena and gallery prommers when a piano lid is lifted by a stagehand, or the ripple of excited applause when the orchestra leader plays an 'A' on the instrument to tune the band, welcoming one another to the new season is one of many idiosyncratic Proms traditions which ensure a sense of continuity from year to year. Long may such things continue.

    There is another. On Proms launch day (this year, Thursday 24 April) the official Proms Guide is made available to the public. This along with the press launch is, to many of us, a welcome springtime milestone (and to others a reminder that time before the season gets underway is fast running out), so the Proms...

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  2. What's on BBC Red Button, 19-25 April

    Thursday 17 April 2014, 17:19

    Kalpesh Vasta Kalpesh Vasta Assistant Content Producer, Red Button

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    Enjoy the 2014 Snooker World Championship, with live action and highlights on Red Button. We also have Formula 1 highlights, Final Score, Rugby League and Women's Football. Plus, you can also join music legend Goldie as he takes a tour of the Tate Modern.


    Sport Highlights

      ronnie-o-sullivan_170414_el-21884598.jpg Ronnie O'Sullivan

    'Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan is aiming for a third consecutive World Championship title at the Crucible in Sheffield.  The Formula 1 season continues with the Chinese Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton is seeking to gain advantage over Nico Rosberg. Follow both Ronnie and Lewis on Red Button.

     For details of sports coverage on Red Button visit the BBC Sports website ( Remember that live sports times are subject to change.



    Music star, actor and artist Goldie gets a sneak preview and takes us on a personal tour of the new blockbuster exhibition at Tate Modern featuring one of the giants of Modern Art, Henri Matisse. The Tate Modern’s exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Matisse’s most famous and recognisable works - the colour cut-outs from late in his career - together in one place.

    Saturday 19th April, 6am-10am
    Thursday 26th April, 7am...

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  3. BBC Two at 50

    Thursday 17 April 2014, 15:09

    Adam Barker Adam Barker

    Ahead of the 50th anniversary of it's launch, Acting Controller of BBC Two Adam Barker takes a look back at half a century of the channel.

    50 years ago BBC Two was established as a result of the Pilkington Report into broadcasting and was designed to offer a serious, adult alternative to BBC One and ITV. In many ways, BBC Two was the foundation stone for public service television in this country.

    But not everything went to plan on the opening night in April 1964 - a massive power failure caused the station to fall off air. From relatively inauspicious beginnings though, a great British cultural institution was born.

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    A selection of highlights form 50 years of BBC

    Over 50 years, BBC Two has made its name with a kind of landmark factual television the nation had never really seen before – from Kenneth Clarke’s Civilisation (the first series of its kind to be made in colour) and Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man.

    We’ve had equally ambitious drama series including John Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, Moll Flanders, and Derek Jacobi’s I Claudius.

    Perhaps less to the taste of the Pilkington committee might have been the channel’s subsequent pioneering ventures...

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  4. 13 Controllers of BBC Two

    Tuesday 15 April 2014, 19:32

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

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    Seeing as BBC Two celebrates its 50th birthday this month, we thought a whistle-stop tour of all the people who have graced the Controller’s hot-seat was in order. Where possible we've used the scans of the original promotional photograph taken of each incumbent when they were controller. We've also included quotes of what some have written about each incumbent. 

    Launching BBC Two (20 April 1964)

    "The channel was launched with the remit of offering an alternative and more experimental style of television broadcasting ... with the rather quirky symbol of Hullaboo and Custard - a kangaroo and its...

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  5. Charlotte Higgins writes about the origins of the BBC

    Tuesday 15 April 2014, 08:59

    Jon Jacob Jon Jacob Editor, About the BBC Blog

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    In the first of an eight-part series published in the Guardian today, Charlotte Higgins writes about the origins of the BBC and asks whether ninety years after the organisation was started whether founding director-general John Reith's original aims can still apply today. 

    Of today's BBC, she writes: 

    "... with its workforce of 21,000 and its income of £5bn, is such an ineluctable part of British national life that it is hard to imagine its birth pangs, comparatively recent as they are.

    In only its 10th decade, the BBC looms larger in most of our daily lives than properly long-lived British...

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  6. 6 Music celebrates Irish music with Dave Fanning

    Tuesday 15 April 2014, 08:19

    Dave Fanning Dave Fanning Journalist and Broadcaster

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    How to tell the story of Irish Rock on radio? An hour a week for half-a-year might do it. 26 hours all-in. That would be ideal. For my new series on BBC Radio 6 Music which started on Sunday 13th April however, we’ve only got four hours. So, what we’ll have is less a history of, than a journey through, what I’ll loosely term, Irish Rock.

    It’s 50 years this July since Them recorded their first studio session in Belfast. Them - the band fronted by Van Morrison - had mid-60s hits with bona-fide classics such as Here Comes the Night and Gloria. After Van from Belfast, it’s all the way...

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  7. 100 Days to the Commonwealth Games

    Monday 14 April 2014, 14:44

    Bruce Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Chief Operating Officer, BBC Scotland and BBC’s Head of Commonwealth Games

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    Today is a significant day as it marks the start of the countdown to the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. In 100 days, on 23 July, Glasgow will take centre stage in a packed BBC schedule, as the twentieth Commonwealth Games kicks off at Celtic Park. We’re really excited about the summer ahead and very proud of all of the amazing creativity and collaboration that’s going on across many parts of the BBC – which will deliver so much to our audiences between now and the opening ceremony and beyond.

    Over the twelve days of the Games, Glasgow will welcome people from 71 nations to compete...

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  8. What's on BBC Red Button, 12-18 April

    Friday 11 April 2014, 16:19

    Victoria Sorzano Victoria Sorzano Duty Editor

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    Keep up with the Golf Masters this weekend, with highlights and extra coverage on Red Button, and don’t miss live action from the London Marathon. You can also join music legend Goldie as he takes a tour of the Tate Modern, while our Britpop highlights carry on throughout the week.


    Sport Highlights

    Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a sand trap Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a sand trap

    Who’ll be wearing the famous green jacket at the end of this year’s Masters? Keep up with the drama from Augusta as we bring you highlights and extra coverage of the 2014 Golf Masters. We’ve also got live action from the London Marathon starting...

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  9. Round Up Week 15, 2014

    Friday 11 April 2014, 15:22

    Jen Macro Jen Macro Digital Content Producer, About the BBC

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    The Blur vs Oasis infamous chart battle - 1995

    It was twenty years ago today” - the rasp of Paul McCartney’s opening line of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band has become my earworm this week, as not one but two, twentieth anniversaries are being celebrated here at BBC towers.

    Tomorrow sees twenty years since the BBC embarked on publicly facing internet usage. We received two really interesting blogs by Professor Hooberman from Warwick University this week charting the history of the BBC’s relationship with the worldwide web. The first blog ’20 years and stronger than ever, how the internet changed the BBC’ includes a great...

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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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External links about the BBC

Top Gear 'regrets' offensive remark (Guardian)
"Executive producer expresses regret for offence caused after remark made by presenter Jeremy Clarkson" 

BBC ‘adjusting the dialogue levels’ for Jamaica Inn episodes 2 and 3 (Mirror)

Red Bee creates on-screen 50th birthday party for BBC2 (Design Week)

BBC3 controller Zai Bennett to head Sky Atlantic (Guardian) 

JK Rowling to become Woman's Hour first guest editor for 60 years (Guardian)

Kim Shillinglaw: what you need to know (Broadcast)
"a near-BBC lifer, is known to be a straight-talking, confident operator with a penchant for the odd expletive, which one source described as “quite refreshing

How to tame the BBC behemoth (Daily Telegraph)
"Transferring non-news radio and TV production to the independent sector would save the BBC millions and possibly even the BBC itself"

Cancer specialist and anti-FGM activists named in Radio 4's most powerful woman list (Asian Image)

Marc Warren joins The Musketeers series 2 (Den of Geek)

BBC Radio 1 to count down top 100 downloads of all time (Digital Spy)
"After a decade of legal downloading in the UK, it's time for Radio 1 to celebrate with a countdown revealing the nation's top 100"

BBC charter a key issue for new culture secretary (Broadcast)

Festival to bring UK closer to Middle East (Ariel)
"BBC Arabic is giving Arab cinema, documentaries and journalism a UK showcase."

Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch to play Richard III for BBC (Independent)

'I believe it is now the right time to step down': Sir Bruce Forsyth quits Strictly Come Dancing after fronting show for a decade (Mail)

BBC Worldwide CEO re-joins BBC executive board (Digital TV Europe)
"Davie will replace BBC HR director Lucy Adams"

James Corden backs BBC Three online move: 'It is the best place for it' (Digital Spy)

Sandi Toksvig criticises BBC ban on all-male panel shows (Telegraph)
"recruiting more female hosts would be a more desirable way of correcting the imbalance"

BBC's Peter Horrocks: 'It's not that easy to get advertising in Somalia' (Guardian)
"World Service boss on financial pressure, selling ads, transmitting news via brainwaves, and Newsnight's 'brio'"

BBC Radio 2 Eurovision Pop-up station (Matt Deegan Writes)
"I think this is a great idea and something the BBC should do more of ... it makes use of existing technology ... It’s also a technology that nearly half of UK households have, so lots of people can access it."

BBC iPlayer hits record 10.7m daily requests (Mobile Entertainment)

The Village series 2 begins shooting, adds new cast members (Digital Spy)

BBC Radio 1Xtra Live heads to Birmingham (Birmingham Post)
"It’s our aspiration at BBC Birmingham to host more of these big events over the coming years.”

BBC axes The Review Show after 20 years (The Stage)

Roger Wright to leave BBC after 15 years as Radio 3 controller (Guardian)
"Director of the BBC Proms exits corporation to become chief executive of Aldeburgh music festival"

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 Wednesday 23 April 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

Jamaica Inn: Seeing sense in Aunt Patience's madness [TV]
How to be a good support act: Part 1 - Getting a gig and preparing for the show [BBC Introducing]
The BBC Online @20 [Internet]
Another Great Escape for BBC Introducing [BBC Introducing]
The 2014 BBC Performing Arts Fellowship Scheme [Performing Arts Fund]

Connected Red Button: a first look at the new service on Smart TVs [Internet]