In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Our new TV


1949. A family rejoices in their new television set.

In this clip a family rejoices in the entertainment offered by their new television set. A modern day viewer might struggle to understand what all the fuss was about!

The typical television – like the Bush TV 22 from 1950 that begins this clip - had a 9 inch (22.5 cm) screen in a circular shape and a very dim picture that was subject to all sorts of interference.

The programmes on offer would also seem very strange to a modern day viewer. The listings for Sunday 9 July 1950 for the solitary TV channel provided by the BBC reads:

  • 5pm: For the Children - Annette in Fairyland
  • 5.30pm: Children's Newsreel
  • 5.45pm - 6pm: Scenes from the Royal Military Tournament
  • 8pm: Sunday Serenade with Vanessa Lee
  • 8.15pm: Nancy Price in The Orange Orchard, a Devonshire comedy. The action takes place in the Devon village of Tavybridge and a solicitor's office in London
  • 9.45pm - 10pm: News (sound only)

As the family in clip observe, with the pictures now in the home there was a reduced desire to find entertainment outside the home and cinemas, in particular, entered a period of decline.

The images show a Bush TV 22 television set from the early 1950s and a family pictured in 1947.



It's a marvellous achievement, absolutely marvellous, and anybody that's never seen it couldn't believe how wonderful it is. I'm that pleased, I really can't say much about it. It's magnificent.


Has it come up to your expectations?


Oh definitely, yes. I'm more than pleased, as I said before. And the reason I ordered a television was that, when I get out of my shop and I get in my armchair, I don't feel like going to the pictures at all, and my wife wants to go and I don't want to go, so I said, well, we'll bring the pictures to the home, and that's what it is - it's a really miniature cinema and theatre in your own home. It's absolutely wonderful.


You know, not long ago our theatre was burned down, and I do think that television here now is going to help to replace it wonderfully - oh, much more than people will ever know of.


You're not worried about the cost of the set?


And, you know, when my husband told me that he'd invested in one of these wonderful things - and it is wonderful - I was really afraid, because we'd worked very, very hard for this money to buy this piece of furniture, because it is a lovely piece of furniture - and now, after tonight, I'm more than sorry for the unkind things I said when it was delivered to my home.


Well, they're all at home tonight. We'll have a quick word from Geoffrey.


I think it's smashing!

Programmes to download

Programmes to download at any time

Download programmes

A collection of programmes to download as mp3 files at any time. Includes dance and music.



Current podcasts

See all School Radio and other Learning podcasts available from the BBC Podcast Directory.

Contact us

Contact us

Contact us

We are always pleased to receive your feedback, suggestions and pupils' work.

Perform our School Musicals

Perform our School Musicals

School Musicals

Our performance scripts for 9 to 11s, complete with music, songs and special effects to download.

Macbeth for mobile and tablet

Macbeth videos for mobile and tablet

Macbeth animations

Watch Macbeth animated in 8 short video episodes for mobile/tablet. See the Teacher Notes.

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Carrie's War

Coming in the Autumn term: a new reading of Carrie's War in 10 episodes. Series begins 20/09/2016.

Curriculum for Excellence

100 years since World War 1

WW1 Performance Pack

WW1 Performance Pack

Commemorate 100 years since WW1 by staging our specially-written play 'Archie Dobson's War'.

Private Peaceful - listen now!

Click to listen to Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful

All 13 episodes of Michael Morpurgo's moving WW1 story are available to listen to online.

Teacher's notes

Teacher's Notes

Online Teacher's Notes

Notes to support the programmes including details of all the series content.