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Tuning In

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 09 February 2013

Marconi had invented radio before Queen Victoria had celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, but radio in Britain took another 25 years to begin an official service to listeners.

On 14 November, 1922, the British Broadcasting Company's station at Marconi House broadcast for the first time. The opening words "This is 2LO calling" marked the beginning of the most distinguished public-service radio station in the world.

As part of the celebrations to mark World Radio Day on 13 February, historian Dominic Sandbrook explores the long and involved pre-BBC history of radio in Britain.

How did Britain's broadcaster develop into an institution dedicated to entertainment, education and information? And how are Australian diva Dame Nellie Melba involved and an improbably-named Captain Plugge connected to the story?

From Marconi to Savoy Hill via an old army hut in Essex, Tuning In is the story of the very earliest radio in Britain.

(Image: Dame Nellie Melba with a microphone in 1923)



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