Queen opens BBC's new base in Salford

The Queen met some familiar BBC characters at Salford's MediaCity

The Queen has visited Salford and officially opened the BBC's base in the MediaCityUK complex.

Earlier, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh opened hospitals in Manchester after arriving on the royal train at Manchester Victoria Station.

At MediaCityUK, she was taken on a tour of the BBC's studios and watched Football Focus in rehearsal.

Later, the royal couple attended a lunch at Manchester Town Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Manchester.

The visit is part of the Queen's tour of the UK to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

At the scene

The royal visit to MediaCityUK provided a neat illustration of just how much our society has changed since the Queen came to the throne 60 years ago.

Her coronation was one of the first TV outside broadcasts.

The technicians who worked on bringing that event to the screen would have been astonished at the state-of-the-art studios which the royals were shown today.

Their behind-the-scenes tour of the BBC's new Salford base included the Football Focus studio and the new home of BBC Sport.

Hundreds of BBC staff members craned for a glimpse of the Queen, and others lined the route outside.

Children from local schools waved flags and cheered loudly when the royal limousine arrived - and even more loudly when they caught sight of some of the children's TV presenters.

It all came to a confetti-showered close when the Queen waved the flag to start the Sport Relief mile, in the sunshine outside the studios.

BBC staff and local people all joined together in the fun run, with some adding precious minutes on to their performance times by stopping to wave at the royal couple.

Hundreds of schoolchildren cheered and waved flags when she arrived at the BBC's home in the MediaCityUK complex, with one child handing her a home-made greeting card saying "Welcome to Salford".

BBC director general Mark Thompson and Peter Salmon, director of BBC North, accompanied the royal party on a tour of the buildings.

They visited the studio where Match Of The Day and Football Focus are filmed, watching a rehearsal featuring ex-Liverpool defender, now pundit, Mark Lawrenson and German former player Didi Hamann, an ex-Liverpool midfielder.

Presenter Dan Walker explained how Football Focus was constructed before the Queen was escorted to the Children's TV studios where CBBC and Newsround are broadcast.

There the Queen was greeted by children's show presenters Chris Johnson, Ore Oduba and Cerrie Burnell.

A puppetry performance was given by the characters Hacker T Dog and Dodge T Dog, with help from Phil Fletcher and Warrick Brownlow-Pike respectively, who present the links between children's shows.

"We thought you might bring the corgis with you?" Hacker T Dog said - before the puppetmasters appeared from beneath the desk to reveal themselves with a bow.

"That's very good, isn't it?" the Queen said.

The Queen also started the BBC Sport Relief Mile for 600 participants from quayside at the complex.

Earlier, she had opened Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital and a new wing at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Royal tours in maps

The Queen with a map of the UK

There they met staff and patients and listened to a specially-commissioned musical work by the Royal Northern College of Music.

While attending a three-course lunch at the town hall, the Queen met newlyweds John and Frances Canning, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester.

The couple had gone ahead with their ceremony despite the royal visit, and it is believed the Queen featured in their wedding photographs.

The Queen then viewed a Jubilee Garden unveiled in Albert Square in her honour, which has as its centrepiece an enormous "throne" sculpted from a fallen beech tree from Wythenshawe Park.

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