History of the BBC

History of the BBC

BBC Buildings - Savoy Hill

Savoy Hill Studio 1
Studio 1 at Savoy Hill, 1928

The first home of the BBC

Savoy Hill, off the Strand in central London, was designed by Stephen Salter and opened for medical use in 1889. It became the home of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, which offered accommodation to the British Broadcasting Company in 1923.


Early Radio days

Early radio contributors in Savoy Hill included HG Wells and George Bernard Shaw, who were offered whisky and soda as they relaxed in the atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club. Here, radio drama flourished, weather forecasts and Big Ben chimes were introduced, and listeners could even follow cricket coverage. However, broadcasting developed exponentially – two studios quickly became nine, and the cramped but cosy environment of Savoy Hill was abandoned when the BBC moved to its first purpose-built centre, Broadcasting House in Regent St. The BBC left the site in May 1932.

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