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Robert Seatter Robert Seatter Blog posts in total 19

  1. The Olympic Games, broadcast innovation and Super Hi-Vision

    Wednesday 18 July 2012, 17:28

    'May the weather be fine, the events well contested, and may records be broken...

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  2. Classic BBC sitcom Steptoe & Son, 50 years old today

    Wednesday 6 June 2012, 13:51

    The dysfunctional family is a constant dramatic theme, from Greek classical theatre (where usually they end up dead) to Ayckbourn's comic assemblies in the family home and garden. TV took up the family drama with...

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  3. Eighty years of Broadcasting House

    Monday 30 April 2012, 16:05

    The BBC made the first official broadcast from Broadcasting House in London on 15 May 1932.

    In this anniversary blog post, Head of BBC History Robert Seatter explains how the building was designed and constructed, and how it was received by critics at the time.

    You can see more pictures taken during...

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  4. From Muffin the Mule to In the Night Garden and beyond

    Friday 10 February 2012, 13:52

    It's hard to believe that it's already ten years since the children's channels, CBeebies and CBBC launched: the first for pre-school, the second aimed at 6-13 year-olds. In marked contrast to other digital children's channels...

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  5. 75 years of BBC TV

    Wednesday 2 November 2011, 09:54

    On 3 November on top of a hill in North London, an American singer called Adele Dixon, with a diction far away from our contemporary chart-topping Adele, sang these words: 'A mighty maze of mystic magic rays is all about us in the blue...' The rather headily alliterative lyric was attempting its own...

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  6. BBC milestone moments

    Wednesday 23 March 2011, 10:18

I took some News trainees round Broadcasting House in central London the other day. I was trying to get them to imagine how new and utterly undefined broadcasting was in the early days. How did you know how to build a new broadcasting centre, when hardly anyone else had ever done it? Colonel Val...

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  • Elizabeth R, 40 years on...

    Tuesday 15 February 2011, 08:31

    Elizabeth R hit the BBC airwaves 40 years ago on 17 Feb 1971. It followed of course the huge success of The Six Wives of Henry VIII a year earlier, and adopted the same prize-winning formula: six different screenwriters each taking a different slice of the monarch's life and each writing a 90...

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  • Open University - 'the embodiment of innovation'

    Wednesday 12 January 2011, 18:00

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  • The most famous royal broadcast?

    Thursday 9 December 2010, 09:24

    Almost three quarters of a century ago on 11 December 1936, another annus horribilis came to a crashing end with that most famous of royal broadcasts - the abdication speech of Edward VIII. What with Colin Firth's purportedly Oscar-winning role as George VI (in The King's Speech) due for release early...

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  • 40 years of The Goodies

    Tuesday 9 November 2010, 12:56

    Forty years ago this week (8 Nov 1970), three men on a bicycle ('trandem') careered into our comic TV world, promising to do 'anything, anytime, anywhere'. One was posh right down to his Union Jack underpants, one was a middle-class technocrat concocting new inventions in his back room, and the third...

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  • Bruce and the bomb

    Thursday 14 October 2010, 15:51

    Seventy years ago Broadcasting House suffered its worst bomb attack ever. A mere eight years after its Art Deco glory had been revealed to an expectant UK - 'the new Tower of London' gushed the press of the day. In fact, this beacon of white Portland stone had been covered with streaks of green...

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  • Keep Dancing

    Tuesday 28 September 2010, 13:01

    The 2009 Strictly Come Dancing contestents pose for a generic group photo.

    Well, we know that autumn's really here when another band of courageous celebs don their glittering costumes and take on the challenge that is Strictly Come Dancing! It's now well and truly part of the seasonal calendar, and has successfully reinvented Saturday night on the BBC.

    Strange, but perhaps...

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  • Happy birthday Andy Pandy!

    Friday 30 July 2010, 10:23

    Andy Pandy and TeddyAndy Pandy is - unbelievably - 60 years old this month! The first real star of BBC Children's TV, in his blue and white striped romper suit and odd little tricorne hat, he has survived where others far bigger and far more powerful have fallen by the wayside...

    So who came up with the idea? Andy was created...

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  • Sarkozy marks anniversary of General de Gaulle's BBC broadcast

    Thursday 17 June 2010, 12:21

    Vive La France!

    There's no denying that we British are a bit funny about the French. We love them for our houses in their countryside, their tasty gourmet food, their filmstars, their sex appeal. But when it comes to politics, it's a very different story. So it's a turn up for the books when there...

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  • Beatrice Harrison, cello and nightingale duet 19 May 1924

    Wednesday 19 May 2010, 10:32

    BBC anniversaries come thick and fast in the BBC calendar. In this year alone, we have 25 doof-doof years of EastEnders, 60 years of sequinned Come Dancing, and, on a darker note, 70 years of French pride since General De Gaulle gave his stirring address from Broadcasting House to rally the Resistance...

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  • As English as Egg and Bacon: The Boat Race

    Tuesday 30 March 2010, 15:46

    So the Oxford-Cambridge boat race - 'as English as egg and bacon' as one commentator writes - is now back with the BBC, after five years with ITV. Dating from 1829, and billed as 'the world's longest surviving sporting challenge', it will hit the BBC multi-media airwaves (on TV/radio/online) over Easter...

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  • A Year of Soap

    Wednesday 24 February 2010, 13:38

    (The original cast of Mrs Dale's Diary, 1948)

    So now 16.6 million of us know who killed Archie, alias actor Larry Lamb, in the roller-coaster soap EastEnders! We found out last Friday, on the 25th birthday of the show, as Stacey sobbed her way through the rising doof doofs of the much-loved and imitated...

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  • Carrying on with costume drama

    Friday 8 January 2010, 09:15


  • And so began TV's love affair with Henry VIII, and indeed the Tudors in general. Of course, the big screen had already featured Henry's larger-than-life persona - as early as 1911 Arthur Bourchier played the egoistical monarch, followed by Charles Laughton in 1933, Richard Burton in 1969 and Sid...

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  • Making BBC History

    Thursday 26 November 2009, 11:53

    This week sees the official launch of the new Democracy Live site at the Houses Of Parliament, bringing - as Total Politics said - "a decidedly 21st-century edge to watching parliamentary discussion". Now you can watch parliamentary activity across the UK nations AND from the European parliament, plus...

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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 Three online proposals set out as relaunch scheduled for autumn 2015 (Digital Spy)
    "This is not moving a TV channel and putting it online. This is new. We are the first broadcaster in the world to propose something like this."

    BBC Three to cut Don't Tell the Bride and other reality TV shows when channel moves online (Independent)

    BBC theme park featuring Doctor Who and Top Gear set to open in 2020 (Telegraph)

    JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling will be turned into BBC series (Daily Mail)
    "With the rich character of Cormoran Strike at their heart, these dramas will be event television across the world."

    Yentob leads the BBC fightback: we're being smeared for exposing Fake Sheikh (Independent)

    BBC Makes Unprecedented Counter-Attack To Sun Editorial Accusing It Of Left-Wing Bias (Huffington Post)

    Serial podcast set to air on Radio 4 Extra (Radio Times)
    "We know we already have tons of Serial listeners in the UK but we love that the BBC will help us reach many, many more than we ever could with podcast alone"

    BBC iPlayer launches on Xbox One (Broadband TV News)

    BBC ‘a great British company, not a government department’: Danny Cohen (Guardian)
    "I ask you to stand by the BBC in the year ahead. Support it, make the case for it, speak up for it, celebrate its achievements and help us make sure we can keep offering such an extraordinary range of programmes for all audiences."

    See Doctor Who, Miranda, more in BBC Christmas trailer (Digital Spy)

    The BBC is right to point out failure on debt. Osborne is wrong to complain about it (The Spectator)

    Chris Morris returns to airwaves with new sketch on BBC 6 Music on Sunday (Guardian)
    "Blue Jam and On the Hour satirist’s first radio sketch in 15 years will be broadcast on Mary Anne Hobbs’ morning show"

    BBC releases game maker kit for kids (Ariel)

    BBC Music Sound of 2015 longlist revealed (Guardian)
    "Solo artists such as James Bay, George The Poet and Raury make up most of this year’s list of musicians tipped for big things in 2015"

    Why Gillian Anderson is the new Helen Mirren (Telegraph)

    War and Peace to take over Radio 4: Ten-hour production of Tolstoy's novel to be broadcast on station on New Year's Day (Daily Mail)

    Sherlock returns: BBC confirms special with picture of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman back filming (Mirror)

    The Reith Lectures explain why doctors fail (Telegraph)
    "Dr Atul Gawande delivered an excellent first lecture on the fallibility of medicine, says Gillian Reynolds"

    Nine-year-old Katie Morag star on winning BAFTA award and juggling TV series with school lessons (Scottish Daily Record)

    Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Same-sex couple dance received positively (Metro)

    Doctor Who, Andrew Scott and Sir Ian McKellen up for BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015 (Radio Times)
    "Maxine Peake, Marcus Brigstocke and Toby Jones also scoop nominations for their work in audio drama"

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