It has been called a Top Hat because of its original design, as well as being likened to an ocean cruise liner in both shape and context, pushing its prow at the bend of Great Portland Street as it points towards Oxford Circus and Regent Street beyond.
The Architectural Review of 1932 called it "the new Tower of London", assessing aptly its immediate and surprising impact on the London landscape.
But other appellations have been less flattering: "this battleship of modernism" and "a fortified medieval castle" were just two contemporary commentaries.
The gold inscription in the original Art Deco reception foyer augustly nominates the building as "a temple of the arts and muses”.
It was from this building that the nation first heard the voice of their monarch - in this case, that of George VI.
They first heard too the voice of the current Queen when she was still the young Princess Elizabeth sending a message to the children of the Commonwealth during the Second World War.
Other momentous messages also issued from Broadcasting House: the announcement of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, of the Second World War, messages to the French Resistance from its leader Charles de Gaulle, the first report from Belsen concentration camp (by Richard Dimbleby), the Normandy landings and the Atomic Bomb bulletin.
On a more joyous note, the nation's children first heard stories of Listen With Mother from here; famous comedians from Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan to Harry Secombe and Kenneth Horne made the UK laugh; and Radio 1's DJs hit the air from this site.
Many series still running and still ever-popular - Desert Island Discs, The Archers and Today - all began their broadcasting career in Broadcasting House.
The coming together of all the BBC’s news journalists into the new building by 2013 will ensure it continues to be a centre of many more national firsts in the future.
Broadcasting House was only pre-empted in Europe by Germany's radio centre in Berlin built a few years earlier, and across the water, by USA's Radio City in New York.
When the BBC began in 1922, as a conglomerate to sell radio equipment, it had no idea that radio as a medium had such potential. Indeed, speech and music as radio content were discovered almost by accident - the primary aim of radio was to transmit signals.
However, the new-fangled invention took off like wildfire, and the BBC's original building in Savoy Hill very quickly became far too small. So a Mr Tudsbery, the BBC's civil engineer, was commissioned by the then Director-General John Reith, to find a new site - "take any steps you may consider necessary to bring to notice any sites or interesting buildings that you feel might be suitable for consideration by the Corporation" said his brief.
He looked at a number of sites until Portland Place was finally fixed upon, and the architect Lieutenant Colonel Val Myer was commissioned to design the building. Val Myer was the architect of Asia House in Lime Street, and of a number of office buildings for the Bengal government.
His original design was nicknamed the Top Hat scheme, based as it was upon the American skyscraper. It revolved around two concepts: a studio tower at the heart of the building, with offices flanking it giving access to daylight as well as providing insulation from noise.
Local residents complained that such a tall building would block their light - they claimed the right of 'ancient lights' - and so the original design was modified, creating its strange, asymmetrical form with one side of the top of the building lower than the other.
Its proximity to John Nash's stately All Souls church also caused problems, and the BBC was obliged to pay £75 for new glass windows in one side of the church.
The Bakerloo and Victoria tube lines ran under the building site, along with sewers over 100 years old - all of which were problematic.
And finally, the BBC could not make the new development work in financial terms unless it found some commercial partners to rent space on the ground floor of the building - hence the tall floor-to-ceiling windows along Great Portland Street (they were never in fact used for any commercial purpose, as the BBC needed them for its expanding workforce).
Blazing white, with its clean-cut Art Deco profile, the building dominated this northern corner of Oxford Street.
Modernist carvings and sculptures by Eric Gill adorned its façade and foyer.
The best interior designers and decorators were commissioned for its studios and public spaces; its semi-circular Council Chamber glowed in pale Tasmanian oak; and the purpose-built Radio Theatre featured decorative friezes and a purpose-built organ.
BH was also a technological sensation for its time: 22 studios were built inside the building - more radio studios than had ever existed before in the UK; there was an advanced Control Room, so that transmission could never be lost; new-age air conditioning controlled and monitored the temperature inside the building; and artificial daylight was created for BH's interior rooms.
Overall, it was a unique building, designed to perform functions which had never been undertaken previously in the UK.
Between 1932 and 1936, BBC staff doubled as broadcasting took off in a way that no-one could possibly have foreseen.
Extra buildings and extensions proliferated - including an ice rink in Maida Vale, a theatre, and two new extensions to Broadcasting House in 1961 and 1995.
During the Second World War, Broadcasting House was badly bombed on three occasions in 1940 and 1941 - a large segment of its façade was destroyed, major damage was inflicted internally across the third to seventh floors, and seven BBC personnel died.
Following the first Broadcasting House attack, the decision was taken to camouflage the building using dark grey 'wallgrease', designed for later removal from the Portland stone by steam cleaning.
Throughout the War years, there was a determination that broadcasting would persist, and a complex of rooms was constructed in the basement of Broadcasting House to ensure that even if the building were flattened, vital broadcasts would carry on.
Moving into the 1980s and 1990s, Broadcasting House lacked the space and infrastructure for the emerging new technologies. The new development has been designed to sit harmoniously alongside its historic neighbours, whilst housing the very latest digital broadcast technology.
The new Broadcasting House will be a major communications landmark, forming a new unified home for BBC Radio & Music, World Service and News. It aims to create a dynamic and flexible 21st century broadcast centre in the heart of London.
At any one time, over ten million people across the UK will watch or listen to output from the new Broadcasting House, and every week at least 150 million people worldwide will tune into the BBC World Service networks.
There was a problem with the statue of Ariel, on the façade of the building above the main entrance.
Ariel is the spirit of the air from Shakespeare's play The Tempest, who sings beautiful, luring songs which entrance all visitors to stay on Prospero's magical island. He was thought to be an appropriate representation of the spirit of broadcasting.
However, Eric Gill's depiction of him caused the BBC some problems... "Maidens are said to blush and youths to pass disparaging remarks regarding the statues of Prospero and Ariel" (Daily Herald, 1933).
GG Mitchelson, MP for St Pancras, declared that the figures were "objectionable to public morals and decency".
All this, because the statue of the boy Ariel was thought to be sexually too well endowed. Rumour had it that John Reith, the first BBC's Director-General, ordered Gill to amend the statue to make it less offensive to the general public.
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