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What are your memories of BBC Television Centre?

10:17 UK time, Tuesday, 29 June 2010

It is 50 years since the BBC's Television Centre first opened for business on 29 June 1960. What are your memories of the building?

The studio complex in west London was one of the world's first purpose built television production buildings and has played host to some of the most famous moments in broadcasting.

With the future of Television Centre now in question as the BBC prepares to move much of its production to central London - and part of the building now Grade II listed based on its special architectural and cultural significance - TVC prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday.

What are your favourite broadcasting moments? Do you have a connection with Television Centre? Did you work there when it first opened? What was it like 50 years ago?

Send in your pictures and videos of Television Centre in its early days

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Blue Peter and THAT elephant.

    OK I'm not old enough to have experienced it first hand, but still...that's the first thing that I think of.

  • Comment number 3.

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?
    To you guys at the BBC it may be the centre of the Universe but to ordinary people it should mean no more than any brick building of 50 years standing.

  • Comment number 4.

    Countless record breakers dance routines in the central open air circle.

  • Comment number 5.

    Wow, someone at HYS towers is obviously feeling brave if they're making a whole topic about how people feel about the BBC.

    I just wish Going Live and Live and Kicking's blummin' telephone number jingle wasn't so catchy that I still find myself humming it twenty years later.

    Oh yea, and stop making Doctor Who so good. It just makes it depressing for the vast majority of the year when it isn't on. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ON SATURDAY TEATIMES NOW BBC? ANSWER ME THAT!

  • Comment number 6.

    Its a building used for the purpose of making and showing TV programmes.

    It holds NO memories for me at all... any more than had it been on a factory unit on an industrial estate in Grimsby Docks or Timbuktu.

    Is this the best HYS can raise as an issue, hence it gets an answer it might not like to hear... but its true ...

  • Comment number 7.

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

  • Comment number 8.

    I`ve got some very happy memories of the 60`s, unlike TV today which is total rubbish and built around stupid reality shows and dumb cooking shows and don`t even get me started on the useless buy/build/renovate/sell a house programmes.
    Whatever happened to the good British comedy/drama (non-swearing) shows that the whole family could watch without fear of some foul-mouthed person whose every second word is the F word.
    It`s no wonder that less and less people are actually watching the 2nd rate TV these days.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    The days when the BBC made excellent, quality programmes such as the Forsyte Saga.

    Any chance of reverting to quality rather than the dross that, with a few exceptions is now the norm.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think my favourite moment must surely be when the BBC broadcast the go-code that initiated the military attack against Iran in 1953.

    Almost brings tears to my eyes...

  • Comment number 13.

    Why are the BBC moving to the very expensive central London area? Why not put some offices in cheaper areas at the end of some of the tube lines - East London (District, DLR, Central), South London (East London Line), North London (Metropolitan Line). It would also ease some of the passenger numbers coming into London.

    As for TVC, it's a rather grim exterior, but was shown a lot on TV when I grew up.

  • Comment number 14.

    In April 2009, I spent a week in London. I toured the BBC Television Centre. Great tour guide! Learned a lot, thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Comment number 15.

    Cronk wrote:

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago

    ---

    The TV license is not forced. I don't pay for it.

  • Comment number 16.

    chiptheduck wrote:
    For Pete's sake, can't we have a sensible HYS topic,

    ---

    Contributing is not compulsory.

  • Comment number 17.

    TV Centre is always seen as the central point of television for the BBC, but with the farce that has seen the different areas of the BBC, such as broadcasting and resources, there is no need to hold them all in this one building. As far as I understand it, TVC is to be opened as a cultural centre once the BBC has taken leave of the building?

  • Comment number 18.

    My grandfather used to tell me that a nuclear bomb-blast shelter was being built under the new BBC HQ, as he called it. Is that true?

  • Comment number 19.

    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.

  • Comment number 20.

    I briefly worked as a minicab driver in the 1980s, and used to take one of the cooks there. Nice lady, but her son was a bit dodgy.

    What did you expect me to say?

  • Comment number 21.

    Like many HYS fogies I have my go at the BBC, but feel very loyal towards it and its splendid history. This centre will probably end up as some kind of museum after the BBC has been sold off to help regenerate the private centre.

  • Comment number 22.

    What are your memories of the building? NONE,it would make a great block of flats for MP's.

  • Comment number 23.

    The BBC Television Centre is a very ugly building which like so much of the BBC represents poor quality and poor value for money.

  • Comment number 24.

    This HYS is open season for BBC bashing.
    No-one cares about the building. It's self-centred of the BBC to think it matters to anyone outside the BBC.

    BBC impartiality died the day they made a deal with China to self censor, so long as China doesn't block BBC domains. While it won't be admitted, I don't think China would have lifted its blocks if there was no guarantee of "safe" news reports. Look at how google is currently being treated for lack of self-censorship.

    If the BBC can be that subservient to a foreign government, I dread to think of the level of involvement and control our own government has over it.

  • Comment number 25.

    As one of the first purpose-built studio complexes in the world it's an interesting building and very much of its era, despite the indignities of constant 'modernisation' attempts visited on most similar postwar structures. It's also a relic of happier days for the BBC, when it had the ability to make its own distinct brand of programmes on site for a fraction of the cost of what it (we?) now has to pay to the likes of Endemol to pump out garbage like 'Big Meets Bigger' (oooh a scarey show about obesity - right on the 'message') and the recycled It's A Knockout with a nasty personal comments that is Total Wipeout.

  • Comment number 26.

    19. At 12:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tony wrote:

    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    However, you DO need a TV licence to watch any TV transmission in the UK, whether or not it emanates from the BBC

  • Comment number 27.

    About all that springs to mind is a place I walked past on the way to the original Games Workshop in the days when they imported and sold role-playing games rather than market Warhammer (a good game in its own right, but without the sheer magic and creativity of role-playing). Did sometimes wonder if our adventures would translate well to telly, but was too busy writing the next one to pitch you guys a script!

  • Comment number 28.

    For BBC TVC see NCP CAR PARK.

  • Comment number 29.

    It might be the centre of the universe in BBC land, but to most people it's a dodgy looking pile of bricks and mortar in West London...that's all.

    Stop being so self-important and self-centred; it's not really important at all.

  • Comment number 30.

    Should'nt this question be on the internal BBC site?

  • Comment number 31.

    16. At 12:16pm on 29 Jun 2010, me me me wrote:
    chiptheduck wrote:
    For Pete's sake, can't we have a sensible HYS topic,

    ---

    Contributing is not compulsory.

    ---------------------------------------------

    But anyone with a TV set in the UK is paying for it. Wake up me me me!

  • Comment number 32.

    This is a retrograde step as the BBC has historically & been currently assosciated with its West London complex & the media companies around it.

  • Comment number 33.

    15. At 12:08pm on 29 Jun 2010, me me me wrote:
    Cronk wrote:

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago

    ---

    The TV license is not forced. I don't pay for it.

    -----------------------------------------

    THEN GET OFF THE BBC WEBSITE YOU FREELOADER!

  • Comment number 34.

    If they are moving to central London.............won't that be more expensive.

    I thought they had been told to make cuts, and scatter the work round the country?

  • Comment number 35.

    ?

  • Comment number 36.

    I remember when they used to produce decent programmes instead of an almost endless supply of cooking, dancing, singing, DIY, soap opera filler that dominates now.

    Happy days.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have very fond memeries of the BBC's last Fifty years I have also visited the Center in Wood Lane both for recordings as a studio audience and its tour I have also been on the News too I remember when it used to be Black and White and the young girl in your logo when it first came on air.
    Keep going for another fifty years as over the years Blue Peter has done great things for all the children past and present and yes my own 2 (Now Adults) have each got Blue Peter badges.

  • Comment number 38.

    19. At 12:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tony wrote:
    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.
    ============================
    Check your facts. You have to have a license for a TV whether it can receive BBC or not.

    I'd be interested to know whether you need one for a computer if, for instance, you plugged a freeview receiver into it.

  • Comment number 39.

    Less than 40 comments in over 3 hours shows what people think of this self congratulatory topic.

  • Comment number 40.

    Like so many others, it means very little to me.

    I don't live in London, so I don't see it. I do remember when the BBC was well regarded, in the UK and abroad, though.

    The fact this thread exists is a sign of just how far up itself the BBC is.

  • Comment number 41.

    A Member of parliament has effectively called people who died on a football ground, thugs and the BBC have a discussion on what people's memories of Television Centre are? Get real, why are the discussions being dumbed down?

    Although I remember the day the BBC were so organised they interviewed some poor bloke about technology, when he had come for a job interview.

  • Comment number 42.

    I remember being stuck outside in a traffic jam and looking at the building and wondering if it was designed by some children at play time

  • Comment number 43.

    38. At 2:14pm on 29 Jun 2010, Steve Edwards wrote:

    19. At 12:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tony wrote:
    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.
    ============================
    Check your facts. You have to have a license for a TV whether it can receive BBC or not.

    I'd be interested to know whether you need one for a computer if, for instance, you plugged a freeview receiver into it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    THE ANSWER IS OF COURSE YOU DO. Although its worth the £10 a month to have to watch continious adds for "have you been injured at work," or "have you bought payment protection." etc

    On during the World Cup later stages to at least have pundits who know what they talking about. Churchill the nodding dog would do a better job than the ITV lot put together.

  • Comment number 44.

    If ever an HYS revealed the navel-gazing internalised mindset of the BBC this one is it.
    To answer the questions you would have to have worked at the BBC or lived in or near Shepherd's Bush.
    Memo to BBC staff. Most UK residents have not worked for the BBC and do not live in Shepherd's Bush. Oh by the way, neither do we have an underground station right outside the door of our places of work (White City) so some of us actually have to use things called CARS which we also know the BBC like to treat with disdain in their reportng.
    Not all bad news though - looks like they are sorting out the BBC Pension Scheme. Good. Perhaps we can get the licence fee down now.....


  • Comment number 45.

    Mid 50;s childrens television.It kept me spellbound then and still does!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    It was a groundbreaking design for its day. It needed the cut out circular shape to ensure that the distance between the studios and the central hub were all the same lengths to ensure that cuts between studios didn't result in gaps or overlaps in sound or vision.

    But now, it's not longer needed really. The world has moved on in the last 10 years and the BBC and other broadcast media has been left behind. Mass broadcast TV is yesterday's medium. Tomorrow it is IP (internet) and on-demand. I stopped paying my TV licence nearly a year ago - and I've not missed it.

    For clarity, and I triple checked this before cancelling my licence, you need a licence to watch any UK broadcast, from any UK provider, however it's delivered, if you watch or personally record it at the time it's being broadcast to everyone else. This includes videos on this website or on iPlayer which are marked "live". For the few things I want to watch on TV, I use iPlayer or other other stations' equivalents and only watch after it's been broadcast. For live sport, I go down the pub.

  • Comment number 47.

    42. At 2:27pm on 29 Jun 2010, Sat_tire wrote:
    I remember being stuck outside in a traffic jam and looking at the building and wondering if it was designed by some children at play time

    ----

    Very satirical.

    Did someone get out of the wrong side ogf the bed this morning?

    By the way, was it Television Centre that Clarkson drove around inside?

    If so thats my favourite (and only positively identifiable)memory of the building.

  • Comment number 48.

    The BBC Club Bar on the top floor. A great place to commune.

  • Comment number 49.

    I remember Jane Garvey telling us the corridors were strewn with champagne bottles the night Blair won in 1997. And these days BBC news can't even bear to say "Prime Minister David Cameron".

    hehe.

  • Comment number 50.

    @James Rigby

    So, you don't see a problem with consuming media that's been paid for by the license fee payer; because you're watching it on a PC. Regardless of the fact you're still using the BBC website, servers and bandwidth to watch it?

  • Comment number 51.

    An expensive white elephant long past it's sell by date.

  • Comment number 52.

    An expensive white elephant lobng past it's sell by date.

  • Comment number 53.

    I pass it every now and then when on my way to work.

    Whilst I have no real truck with the BBC (unlike some of the posters on here). I will be quite frank with you, it’s an ugly building. It has that, sickening 60's look about it, reminiscent of those awful council tower blocks.

    I always look at it and feel it’s like a set piece from one of the poorer Carry On movies. I half expect Sid James to come haring out of the place in some awful mustard colored car with that laugh of his!

    That all aside, the only thing I would say to the BBC is you need to up your game a bit; your programming of late has been a tad bit dire. More period dramas; Dickens etc

    Also, please will you finally bury Doctor Who - British Sci-Fi is just terrible, as is this show, it’s the HMS Invincible of cringe making, crap television.

    Bar all that, keep up the good work

    PS. More Clarkson, I think he’s terrific, as is James May, Oh, and you need to make more of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Fantastically funny!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    "52. At 3:15pm on 29 Jun 2010, GrumpyofLetchworth wrote:

    An expensive white elephant lobng past it's sell by date."

    Two attempts and you still get it wrong. Let me help you.

    An expensive white elephant long past its sell-by date.

  • Comment number 55.

    #10. At 11:49am on 29 Jun 2010, chiptheduck wrote:
    For Pete's sake, can't we have a sensible HYS topic, with correct links, no over-zealous censorship and a recommendation facility, rather than this self-indulgent tripe.

    ------------------------

    Well you do have a choice, Chip, you don't have to bother commenting on this HYS as there are others to choose from, and where is the over zealous censorship when it comes to people like "wiser than you" - he seems to be able to get away with saying anything. Also without the BBC you wouldn't have this particular forum to air your views.

    I think the BBC produces many great programmes, documentaries, dramas and wild life programmes. True it also produces a lot of dross, but there is always the off button.

  • Comment number 56.

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre? Totally Agree! If it’s 50 years old it’s most likely not energy efficient, costs a bomb to run, is in London the most expensive part of the country.

    Sounds a good time to sell it off and relocated!

  • Comment number 57.

    I don't remember when it opened as I wasn't born but I remember visiting it a few times as a courier in the early 90's and there was a "statue" of a giant Pirate about 25ft tall. I have never found the program or set it was used for!

  • Comment number 58.


    I was going to say "Muffin the Mule", but I think that was before 1960.

    I remember all BBC presenters spoke with a cultivated British accent and spoke perfect English (none of this, for example: "you can contact Bill or I" (instead of "you can contact Bill or me")

  • Comment number 59.

    6. At 11:43am on 29 Jun 2010, Andrew Lye wrote:
    ...
    Is this the best HYS can raise as an issue?
    ...

    Yawn.

  • Comment number 60.

    60 comments in 6 hours.

    Take the hint BBC and pull this HYS; nobody much care about TV Centre except the people at the BBC.

  • Comment number 61.

    I went with my class to see my form tutor (Mr McCourt) on Beat the Teacher. On this occasion, the teacher did get beaten in the final.

    I got hiccups & the host tried to scare me to get rid of them.. he failed.

    As an 11 year old.. I didn't have a clue who Paul Jones was, but it was fabulous to see the place & be in a studio, under all the lights, in front of the camera.

    A happy memory...

  • Comment number 62.

    Unlike most of the moaning minnies on this thread, I actually have quite a fond memory BBC TV Centre. I used to work for a large format printing business in central London, and one of our biggest clients was the Beeb (I often printed graphics that were used as part of the sets for programmes like the 10 o'clock News, Newsnight & Panorama). One day I delivered a job in person to the Photo Imaging Department in the Spur, when I was asked if I fancied quick tour of the building. I was shown around all the studios, as well as behind the scenes where there are banks of monitors manned by a busy team as the News went out - fascinating! When we got back I was asked if there was anything else I'd like to see, when suddenly I realised that I had yet to see the 'Blue Peter Garden!' So, off we went, and I was shown that, too. I must say that it was quite a bit smaller than I was expecting, but at least I got there after all those years in the late 60's & early 70's watching Percy Thrower do his bit there!
    Anyway, that's one of my memories of BBC TV Centre, surely one of the most iconic buildings in Europe.

  • Comment number 63.

    For me it has to be the late Michael Bentine and the sinking.

  • Comment number 64.

    @50 Pete Morley

    I have no problems, qualms or any moral issue about watching previously aired programmes on iPlayer, using this website, or doing anything else which is perfectly legal without owning a TV licence. Are you suggesting I should pay for something when the law does not require me to do so? I'm all for giving to good causes, but the BBC doesn't fall within my definition of a charity.

  • Comment number 65.

    That's easy. The afternoon of Sunday 27 November 1977 and the recording of that year's All Star Record Breakers.

    502 dancers gathered in the concrete doughnut, all the girls dressed in white tap shoes, white shorts, white socks, white Record Breakers t-shirts and all with two ponytails, each tied with a white ribbon.

    There's something magic about that clip. Something representative of a magic era of children's television. Proof that the BBC is best when it comes to television - no other TV company would have even considered doing such an extravaganza.

    I always wanted to ask Roy Castle about that day but sadly he's no longer with us. Did anyone reading this take part in it? If so let's hear your recollections.

  • Comment number 66.

    Les Dawson referring to it as a home for drunks.

    No corners to BUMP into.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Having spent nearly all of my adult life in Television Centre (mostly in the dark of the control rooms) I have always loved that building.
    There is just something special about the feel of it as you wander about.
    But my best memory must be when I got into a lift and was joined by three Doctor Whos - sadly the lift didn't get bigger :)
    Several years ago I was forceable evicted as the BBC sold off its engineers, but it's still nice to pop back every now and again.

  • Comment number 69.

    [em]chiptheduck wrote: For pity's sake, can't we have a sensible HYS topic, with correct links, no over-zealous censorship and a recommendation facility, rather than this self-indulgent navel gazing.[/em]

    Ever considered that it's readers of this topic, tired of meaningless posts like yours that are having your comments removed?

    No one is forcing you to comment. Is your life really that barren that you lie in wait of a topic "worthy" of you?

  • Comment number 70.

    BBC Television Centre - a wonderful building full of so much British TV history - name a classic BBCTV programme; chances are, it was filmed at Television Centre. It's got a distinctive design, and unlike a lot of modern buildings, particularly from that era, it's got character. 50 years on, it's still a useful building, but you wouldn't think it, the way the BBC tends to treat it. It's a sad indictment that the studios there are mostly left unused or are hired out for ITV to film their programmes. It's almost as if the BBC doesn't care about its own heritage anymore.

    Also very sceptical about the BBC's reasons for possibly closing TV Centre down and moving operations up to Salford. The BBC claims that the reason is to satisfy licence payers up North and be less London-centric, but if you ask me, it's all about money. It's just too expensive to refurbish the building (which they themselves have let fall into disrepair) and it's cheaper to build another building and move operations there. The average viewer cares not one jot where the programme is made. It could be made in Television Centre or in a derelict shed in the Hebrides or a coal pit in North Wales, all we care about is that the programme is actually any good!

  • Comment number 71.

    Johnny Morris on Animal Magic. Rolf Harris "Do you know what it is yet?" Crackerjack - "It's Friday - it's five O'clock -". Doctor Who.

    Wish I could add Pussycat Willum, but I think he was on ITV! Does anyone remember if Littlest Hobo, Champion the Wonder Horse, Flipper and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo were ITV or BBC programmes? We had no television, so I had to watch with neighbours' children.

    Much later (when we did have a television), the 1967 production of Forsyte Saga - the first series everyone rushed to the television to watch? Kenneth More, Nyree Dawn Porter and Eric Porter - brilliant.

    Oh, and the test card!!

  • Comment number 72.

    At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?


    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    .....A fine car park? , no not likely, given the way we British go about anything!, any car park replacing TV centre would become grossly over charged so most would avoid using it in favour of a cheaper penalty tickett on a double yellow line!, therefore making the way for some developer to bung a few grossly over expensive houses on it that no one can realistically afford to pay for!, but seriously what I find astonishing is the lack of use of the studios in the age of the so called 'exciting era of muilti channel digital television' here is the very centre of British Broadcasting standing idle in no more than 50 years of that buildings life, which if anything is quite depressing to see, does this suggest the era of quality programming has long died and silent in its grave just like the silence within those empty studios we see today?, some birthday for it BBC!, but then looking at some of the broadcasting drivel hatching out on our screens today its not really surprising.

  • Comment number 73.

    What a typically self-obsessed BBC question. Who cares a fig about this ugly 1960s structure?
    In fact look at all the discussion topics. There's not a materially relevant issue to most peoples' lives among them.
    I came across this in an item relating to the BBC's changes to its pension scheme though:
    "All of this sounds as though my retirement years and income are shrinking. Why?
    All this relates to the fundamental issues raised earlier - namely that we are all living for longer..."
    ALL living longer? What rubbish. Many of my dear ones died tragically young. This is what you get when the figures are fiddled. Life expectancy only includes those who are ALIVE. The already dead don't count. So if you have an aging demographic peak of course the "life expectancy" (for the living) will appear to rise. Incidentally, interesting how this is supposed to sit alongside the other doctrine, that thanks to their poor diet, sleep habits etc. most parents are told they can expect to outlive their kids.

  • Comment number 74.

    I just think of all the propaganda its spewed and all the news it didn't report - and of course all the people who have suffered for not paying to watch it.

  • Comment number 75.

    19. At 12:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tony wrote:
    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but the licence is a legal require to receive ANY broadcast, be it BBC, ITV or radio

  • Comment number 76.

    I went inside TV centre about 2 months ago and I was also there 21 years ago. Judging by the decor, I'm delighted to say that very little money (if any) seems to have been spent on improvements in that time. Well done BBC for spending our money on quality output rather than doing up your offices!

  • Comment number 77.

    It's a building, which I have never seen, I like some of the programs, made there, but the building means nothing too me.... Why should it?

  • Comment number 78.

    76. At 9:43pm on 29 Jun 2010, john3626 wrote:
    I went inside TV centre about 2 months ago and I was also there 21 years ago. Judging by the decor, I'm delighted to say that very little money (if any) seems to have been spent on improvements in that time. Well done BBC for spending our money on quality output rather than doing up your offices!

    Thats only because they have built some mega plush offices elsewhere that were massively delayed and well over budget!

    Television Centre - one of the ugliest buildings I have ever set eyes on!

  • Comment number 79.

    The Discovery Channel has surpassed the BBC in quality TV.
    Goodbye BBC.
    Before you go, just look at the number of repeats on Mr Yentobs channel.
    BBC2 used to be the channel of quality.
    The BBC has been Empire building for Ten Years and forgotten why it was created.
    To inform and entertain.

  • Comment number 80.

    If we are to discuss building, why not have a debate about Prince Charles, views on modern buildings. His views on the plans for Chelsea Barracks in particular, this would be better than just asking about a building used to make programs. Some of the programs are memorable but the building means nothing to people living in other parts of the country..

  • Comment number 81.

    43. At 2:32pm on 29 Jun 2010, Sat_tire wrote:
    38. At 2:14pm on 29 Jun 2010, Steve Edwards wrote:

    19. At 12:20pm on 29 Jun 2010, Tony wrote:
    7. At 11:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Cronk wrote:

    3. At 11:15am on 29 Jun 2010, cynicalsimon wrote:

    Why on earth would anyone care a hoot about the BBC television centre?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thinking about it why would anyone give a hoot about the BBC in general. If it wasn't for the forced TV license the BBC would have slipped into oblivion years ago and the BBC centre would have made a fine carpark! That it has become politically divisive, lost its impartiality and crammed with overpaid conceited luuvies is utterly nauseating.

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Who is forcing you to have a TV licence? No one. Do you have to have a TV tuned into the BBC? No. So get off your high horse.
    ============================
    Check your facts. You have to have a license for a TV whether it can receive BBC or not.

    I'd be interested to know whether you need one for a computer if, for instance, you plugged a freeview receiver into it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    THE ANSWER IS OF COURSE YOU DO. Although its worth the £10 a month to have to watch continious adds for "have you been injured at work," or "have you bought payment protection." etc

    On during the World Cup later stages to at least have pundits who know what they talking about. Churchill the nodding dog would do a better job than the ITV lot put together.
    ================================Thanks. I suppose you would.

    Years back I bought my daughters "Game Gears" - Like a colour Game Boy (Sony made?). You could get little TV Tuners for them. I suppose you would have needed TV licenses for those. Would they have shown up on the TV detector van?

    Anyway, 80 comments in 14 hours says "make space for something people care about"

  • Comment number 82.

    Strikes in the 70's
    Socalist producers
    Social reengineering
    Montepython
    Not the nine o'clock news and the TV centre

  • Comment number 83.

    i recall a long long time ago when the bbc made good family entertainment what do we get these days,news, local news, weather, more weather, graham Norton,constant cheap sport trailers,top gear repeats,mock the week trash TV,eastenders,,the next 2 weeks is wimbledon non stop,diy sos,bargain hunt,cash in the attic,cowboy trap,homes under the hammer,Jonathan dimbleby another African licence fee paid freebie if i hear the word Africa again i will put a hammer through the telly,,,,as you can see its turned into a lovey filled monster full of expensive non talent, lost causes, has beens or gay broadcasters full of smutty inuendo and our kids are learning from these people,its not worth a penny of our cash sell it.thanks for the memories hmmmmm.

  • Comment number 84.

    It's my 68th birthday today, what are your memories BBC, of me I wonder! Trouble with the BBC is that it's employees think the world revolves around them with an arrogance that beggars belief!

  • Comment number 85.

    83. At 10:49pm on 29 Jun 2010, scottyone wrote:...sell it...
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Scottyone. A great deal of the tangible manifestations of the BBC have already been sold: transmitters, network playout, control rooms, outside broadcast vehicles and equipment, premises etc. along with the staff.

    What remains seems to me largely incorporeal: rights, contracts and dispensations etc. giving the inner sanctum considerable power without the responsibility of actually running anything. Such as is necessary is easily delegated in any case.

  • Comment number 86.

    Being neither a public school graduate nor a hot chick with a clipboard I've never worked there. It looks rubbish on the telly though.

    What do you think about my place of work? Pretty neat eh? Far better than the BBC.

    Only people with proven abilities can work here though so don't hang about!



  • Comment number 87.

    My memory is not mine,

    it comes from Michael Bentine, the only Peruvian born in Watford, he used BBC Television Centre as a backdrop to some of his "Square World" programmes. After one where some brickwork was scorched by a pyrotechnic, he received a stiff letter informing him that BBC television centre was "not to be used for entertainment, under any circumstances"

  • Comment number 88.

    I am surprised that so many people, critical of the BBC, use the HYS forum. If the BBC is that bad, and you feel so strongly about it, why are you bothering to use their website?!!!!
    The BBC has its faults (the BBC morning news is woeful), and its standard of output is deteriorating, but it is still a superb treasure.
    When you are stranded in a ramshackle fort in Iraq (in a break from combat) and you want to listen to the FA Cup Final on whatever transistor radio you can find, where else do you turn - the World Service. Thanks BBC for making some really bleak and hard moments bearable.

  • Comment number 89.

    Cheers for censoring the comment beeb.

    But its fully in the public domain that a deal was done between the Tories & the Murdoch Empire before the election.

    Its widely speculated that the deal involves the future of the BBC, presumably to the benefit of the Murdoch empire and the detriment of the general public.

    Why not ask Cameron about the nature of that deal, rather than banningt all mention of it?

    Or are you as scared as everyone else in the media when it comes to criticising Murdoch?

  • Comment number 90.

    Over 50 years the BBC has produced some great programmes. Over the past 13 years we only remember the BBC for paying its boss £800,000 and spending thousands on taxi fares while showing repeats of Dads Army.

  • Comment number 91.

    Makes me feel quite sad really.

    The BBC used to be world leaders, offering quality programmes. But these days all the shows seem to require you to phone in and vote....

    No wonder many of my friends have done away with their TVs.

  • Comment number 92.

    88. At 07:29am on 30 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    I am surprised that so many people, critical of the BBC, use the HYS forum. If the BBC is that bad, and you feel so strongly about it, why are you bothering to use their website?!!!!
    1/ It is not the BBC's web site it is payed for by the tax payer's or (licence payer).

    2/Ever heard of freedom of speach.

    3/The World Service is funded by the government or the tax payer,Not the licence fee.

    When you are stranded in a ramshackle fort in Iraq (in a break from combat) and you want to listen to the FA Cup Final on whatever transistor radio you can find, where else do you turn - the World Service. Thanks BBC for making some really bleak and hard moments bearable.

    British Forces Broadcasting Service
    BFBS Radio's 3 stations broadcast on a combination of local FM and AM analogue frequencies, via live streaming at bfbs.com/listen, on Sky Guide Number 786, Freesat, and since April 2009 on DAB Digital Radio in the UK. The three BFBS Radio stations can be heard by the entire global Forces Community.

    * The Forces Station BFBS - Contemporary music and Forces Community Radio
    * BFBS Radio 2 - popular music, news, current affairs and sport
    * BFBS Gurkha Radio - programming for Gurkhas

    BFBS broadcasts to service personnel, their families and friends all over the world with local radio studios in Afghanistan, Belize, Belgium, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands, Kosovo, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland. In addition, BFBS radio is heard by troops in Oman, Iraq and Ascension Island as well as onboard Royal Navy ships at sea via live satellite links, on the World Wide Web at BFBS.com/Radio and on Sky Digital channel 0211, via a Eurobird 1 transponder.

    Since the 1980s, BFBS has formed part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), a registered charity, which is also responsible for the British Defence Film Library, SSVC Cinemas, and Combined Services Entertainment, providing entertainment for HM Forces around the world. Neither BFBS Radio nor BFBS Television carry commercial advertising.

  • Comment number 93.

    This must be the West London BBC HYS then.

    Will we be getting any regional architectural reminiscences?

  • Comment number 94.

    It looks a 'hideous carbuncle' - what took place in it is a lot more significant.

  • Comment number 95.

    Having to pay for a licence year in, year out.

  • Comment number 96.

    Why don't HYS suggest some more important topic like overnight expenses paid to people in that "other place".

  • Comment number 97.

    my fondest memories of aunty are from the 70's.there was some fantastic programs,doco's, plays, current affairs.sound reporting too.it started going sour for me,from a personel point of view in the 84 miners strike,sadly they lost there impartiality and courage and sided with thatcher and the met.ive still got my memories,fond ones,of the 70's and because of this i dont mind paying my bit towards it up keep(although i do complain if i think she's unfair)and while as long as we the public pay,it cannot fall into the hands of murdoch.......

  • Comment number 98.

    The elephant has grown much bigger than we had ever anticipated through over feeding with tax payer's money!

  • Comment number 99.

    Dear me people are so negative!!

    I've only been there once - it was to be in a show audience. Great fun, hope i get to go backl there one day.

  • Comment number 100.

    Well I've never seen it in real life, or been in it. But it's undoubtedly true that it's an iconic building, and instantly recognisable. It was a design master stroke putting those big white 'dots' on that huge wall of plain brickwork to the left of the entrance. Without those signature 'dots' the building would have been considerably less memorable.

    I wonder if they 'mean' anything, or whether they are just simple decoration, or whether they have some practical function?

    I'm not always a fan of the BBC, but fundamentally it is a fine institution and the people who work for the BBC have every right to feel pride and affection for Television Centre. It's part of their lives.

    People who say this is not a worthy enough topic for HYS should remember that HYS has absolutely no function in the world other than to let people with time on their hands impotently let off steam about things they mostly know little about. HYS is not important. It doesn't make any difference. It's just for fun! Some of you will have to check a dictionary to find out what 'fun' means, of course...

 

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