Last updated at 12:42 BST, Thursday, 18 July 2013

Staff blog


About the blogger

Rob is a producer at BBC Learning English. In this week's blog he shows you around our new home in the centre of London.

Welcome to our new home

Hello! It's good to be back with you on the blog again. I must start with an apology on behalf of BBC Learning English - we haven't officially welcomed you to our new home.

We are now located in a brand new building called New Broadcasting House in central London. It's slightly odd to call it a 'house' - it's not a house you would live in - it's really a huge, eight storey high office block - not a story, as in something you read! It's been joined onto the old existing Broadcasting House, as you can see here:

New Broadcasting House

Can you guess which floor we are based on?

A picture of the number 5 on the fifth floor of New Broadcasting House

And because we are on the 5th floor, we get a good view of London's famous West End district:

The view from the 5th floor of New Broadcasting House

The view from the 5th floor of New Broadcasting House

There is a saying to call a house a home, meaning a house feels like home only when your friends or family and your personal possessions are in it. I suppose we can call it home because my friendly colleagues are here and we are surrounded by many familiar things like our computers, books and equipment.

Look, here are some of the team hard at work in our new office:

The BBC Learning English team in the office

The BBC Learning English team in the office

A similar phrase is home is where the heart is, meaning a true home is where the person or place you most love is. Well, I don't think I would say our new work place is the place I love the most, and it's not really a home from home - but it is a pleasant place to spend my working hours. Our old office at Bush House (another house!) is now just a distant memory and our new building is a very different place.

For a start, it is open-plan, so it hasn't got many walls and we're not located in small separate offices. It looks like this:

The open-plan newsroom

The open-plan newsroom

The great thing about this is that you get to see almost everybody who works at the BBC, from technicians, to journalists to presenters. And as it is a new building, everything is spick and span - for now anyway! There is no junk on the desks or cupboards full of old equipment. We need to keep our desks clear because many of us hot desk - that means we share desks and don't always sit at the same place.

Another benefit of a being in a brand new building is we have the latest high-tech equipment, which makes it easier for us to produce all the lovely content for you. The building has a few quirks too: outside, the names of places we broadcast to around the world have been stamped onto the paving stones. Like this:

Paving stones outside New Broadcasting House

Do you live in any of the places shown?

But one thing that is really close to home is that in our new building we get free and unlimited cups of tea and coffee - that's something worth coming to work for! Here is my colleague Neil, enjoying a free cuppa:


My colleague Neil

I hope you now get a sense of where we are now working and where we are speaking to you from.

What are your first impressions? How does it compare with the place where you work or study? What is the best thing about where you work or study?



level in a building

to call a house a home

to make a building feel comfortable to live in

home is where the heart is

a true home is where the person or place you most love is

a home from home

a place where you are as comfortable and happy as you are at home

a distant memory

something from a long time ago that is getting harder to remember


having no (or few) dividing walls between areas

spick and span

very clean and tidy

hot desk

a desk that is available for anyone to use


modern, up-to-date technology


things that are strange and unexpected

close to home

affecting one intimately and personally

get a sense of

develop some understanding of

End of Section

Now tell us what you think

What are your first impressions of New Broadcasting House? How does it compare with the place where you work or study? What is the best thing about where you work or study?

Please note that we are not able to publish all comments and comments may be edited.


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    • 1. At 4:27pm on 15 May 2013, Rubens wrote:

      Rob, I´ve never been in London (yet), but I guess this one beter than Bush House....At leat the photos....
      Anyway... Congratulations....

      And enjoy it....

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    • 2. At 4:38pm on 15 May 2013, Furat wrote:

      Nice to read your blog !

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    • 3. At 4:49pm on 15 May 2013, dilopezat wrote:

      It's amazing!

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    • 4. At 5:04pm on 15 May 2013, Dv8brain wrote:

      To me, from the picture, it makes me feel like NASA :)
      open space, pretty active and energetic, and it could be fun to change your office desk from time to time, like playing the game -musical chairs which is good , you never know when and which desk you are going to sit at, who is going to sit next to you !! It s very exciting , I would like to work somewhere like that !

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    • 5. At 5:14pm on 15 May 2013, ahmadmsalma wrote:

      firstly it look likes a museum , but it is wonderful place
      I really like these kind of buildings and it affect my very much
      my university is more modern building but I prefer the classic one more.

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    • 6. At 01:33am on 16 May 2013, Ana Teresa wrote:

      Hello everybody. I think your new home is huge, beautiful and amazing. I work at a small language school but I like my work place and I love to be an English teacher... English is such a lovely and fascinating language! Good luck and thank you so much for all you bring to us.

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    • 7. At 05:19am on 16 May 2013, tenocht wrote:

      Hi Rob,
      It´s nice to see the place where the BBC Learning English Team
      is working, the place seems to have good environment.
      I have got a love/hate relationship with my job,
      on the one hand I love my job, I have got good co-workers, good friends, but on the other hand I hate my boss, he is as stubborn as a mule.

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    • 8. At 09:17am on 16 May 2013, Andrey wrote:

      Dear Bob,

      thank you for your very interesting report! It's been very exciting to read and see it. Looking through the photos I drew attention to one detail. Your building has a few quirks: outside, the names of places you broadcast to around the world have been stamped onto the paving stones. And one of stones is named as ASHBAGAT.
      Could you please explain where ASHBAGAT is? But I guess it should be ASHGABAT. Will you fix it? )

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    • 9. At 4:10pm on 16 May 2013, dia wrote:

      It must be very exciting to work there. I work at small company that has open-plan too, but with smaller space. I enjoy it, because we know everyone in that room and it feels like home.
      By the way, I like the topic of this blog. It makes me feel closer to the staff of BBC learning english.

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    • 10. At 9:13pm on 16 May 2013, Joici Maria wrote:


      Congrats, It is so nice. I am from Brazil and have relatives who live in Raddlet. I went once to England and I love it. Thanks for your work, we learned a lot.

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    • 11. At 1:45pm on 17 May 2013, Emerson wrote:

      Hello everybody, I work in open-plan room too, but, seeing the photos, that place seems more organized than where I work. You can change the local you work would be very to interesting. I liked!

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    • 12. At 2:15pm on 17 May 2013, Svetlana wrote:

      Hi Rob! Your new home nice description is much more interesting to read and see than your photo! You made me smile and feel your authentic english humor! Thanks for that. The best think about my work is people who I teach English with valuable help of BBC! Congratulations!!!

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    • 13. At 09:13am on 18 May 2013, Remi wrote:

      Hello Rob. Thank you for reporting the new building of BBC.
      The photo of the view of your office is very interesting.
      I remember what the old office was like which I knew when I
      watched the video of "Teachers" in Learning English Programme.

      Is there any other studios where you can take videos for programmes of Learning English? By the way, I entered my mail account and password after a long while since I had used the Question corner of English in your site at last time.

      I feel a little sad that I find that times I use my password at your site was only when I write some comments.

      Take care.

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    • 14. At 09:12am on 19 May 2013, crisghibli wrote:

      Hi everybody! It's the first time I've posted a comment to this website and I feel a bit embarrassed...
      Reading your description of the place where you work has been very interesting and now that I almost know that place I feel at home when I surf your site!

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    • 15. At 09:33am on 20 May 2013, Sveta wrote:

      Dear Rob,
      You have got a very interesting new place work. Perhaps it is very well. But I think that in the new house there isn’t place to be alone. You must be all time in public (in the presence of others). It’s difficult.
      Kind regards,

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    • 16. At 11:47pm on 20 May 2013, maxwel wrote:

      hi Rob
      It must be the best working place in the world, i'm really glad to see how things are in BBC learning English floor. even it's difficult and hard responsibilty for you Rob, but it's seems to be nice..I wish you good luck Rob..bye

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    • 17. At 10:07am on 21 May 2013, nalanozden wrote:

      in my opinion your new place seems so mixed. We have an open office but not get confused like yours. Our open office's has separate compartments in the form of tables even so we have got good communication with our co-workers. We get free and unlimited cups of tea and coffee too.
      More importantly, have you got a garden?

      :P :)

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    • 18. At 2:44pm on 22 May 2013, sakuramail wrote:

      Hi, Rob
      What a nice design your new office is!
      I didn't know it's combined with the old one. Such a unique...
      And I envy you are surrounded a lot of your friendly colleagues.
      My office is almost open-plan, and I usualy try to keep my desk tidy. There is also free and unlimited free tea and coffee!
      But my stomach can't accept over two cups of coffee a day...

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    • 19. At 8:01pm on 22 May 2013, plinio wrote:

      I took a photo of your new home when I went in London but I didn't know what it was. I'm glad to discover it now. It seems so chaotic and noisy I think i would go crazy. I hate hearing some people speaking while I am working

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    • 20. At 11:05am on 23 May 2013, Catherine63 wrote:

      Hi Rob and BBC Learning English Team,
      is very interesting to see the place where you are working. For years I visit almost every day your website to improve my English. I learned a lot from your lessons and podcasts. Thanks a lot for your work. So it’s really amazing to get a sense of where you are now working and where you are speaking to us from.
      I think that you are a very close-knit team, too, because it is not always easy to work so close and share the desk each other.
      I also work in an open space, but each person has a reserved space bounded by moving walls. Here everyone calls a house a home into the own space and in the same time can keep in touch with the others to share ideas and strategy for the job.
      Good luck for the new office!

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    • 21. At 11:28am on 24 May 2013, Bellalady wrote:


      i think you're really lucky to enjoy that kind of working place! it's amazing, big modern style and with a really good view of London! as if you had London in your hand! you must have good vibrations and inspiration to work! i'm jealous!:) Congratulations! my work place is the opposite, it's a big building but really old, and the only thing i can see from my window is nature...But i can survive:) have a nice work inspiration!

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    • 22. At 4:49pm on 24 May 2013, khacdai wrote:

      Friendly !

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    • 23. At 5:44pm on 25 May 2013, Tahir wrote:

      amazing, priceless job you`r doing for us guys, this site changed my thoughts throughout about English, so keep going, be sure that the time will appreciate you / greetings from Caucasus/Azerbaijan/Baku/Hovsan :)

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    • 24. At 11:15am on 27 May 2013, Hasib wrote:

      Hello Rob, I´ve never seen London (yet), but I guess it is really a nice and beautiful city.
      Anyway... Congratulations....

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    • 25. At 09:50am on 28 May 2013, artn wrote:

      Good to read it.

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    • 26. At 10:04am on 16 Jun 2013, Lewis wrote:

      I have to recognise that this post came as a great surprise to me - I couldn't have figured out that BBC departments would look like these!
      It's great to work in so agreeable environment where you might feel relaxed and well accompanied. I hope all of us could enjoy a similar work environment someday.
      Thanks for your contribution!

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