In November 2005, BBC World Service announced that ten language services were to be cut, while simulatanously confirming that television in Arabic was to begin in 2007.
Eight of the services to be closed were European languages.
Announcing the cuts, the director of BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman, said that the European services had been a beacon of free and independent information during the Cold War, but were now unnecessary in newly-democratic states that had their own, free media.
In this special programme, World Service commemorates the story of broadcasting to Central and Eastern Europe, and explains how all eight services were exceptional and unique both in their functioning and their history.
Listen to part one
Listen to part two
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