BH at BH
There will be a special edition of Broadcasting House this weekend to mark the first 10 years of the programme. For the first time, Broadcasting House will come live from the Radio Theatre in... er... Broadcasting House.
The BH programme has only come from the famous building itself once or twice... right at the beginning. The name was chosen by the first editor as a joke, because the production team was moved out of the beloved BH building just as BH-the-programme started. Being always slightly behind the curve has long been a feature of the programme and aside from the mail arriving on our desks in Television Centre a couple of weeks late for 10 years, it has not caused too many problems.
The original idea was the programme should be 'not the Today programme' and since launch we have tried to subvert the some of the traditional rules of news and current affairs. The Donald Rumsfeld Soundbite of the Week (we celebrated his retirement here), is one example. Our Sony Award nominated Quiz, and a theatrical arrest (which you can listen to here) are other successful examples. We even made a tape of Rumfeld soundbites for the then NATO Secretary General, George Robertson, to give to the man himself.
We have also got into trouble. Our colleagues on Today have hopefully forgotten the time we bugged their meeting room (they were not there when we did it, honest). We provoked the ire of the press when, in an attempt to mock the emerging continuous TV news channels reporting of Royal stories, we put a reporter outside Clarence House to report regularly during the programme that nothing was happening during the Queen Mother 'being 99'. It was disrespectful apparently. We also celebrated the arrival the Al Jazeera's English language service by getting Charlotte Green to read the shipping forecast in Arabic (which you can listen to here). Listeners complained it was frightening.
Over the years we have hopefully shown that on a Sunday morning the Radio 4 listener can take a mix of the lateral, wry and self-deprecating with serious journalism and sometimes uncomfortable journalism in the best traditions of BBC News. So what can you expect this weekend. Maybe something on the benefits of self indulgence?