Entertainment & Arts

BBC opens broom cupboard archive

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionArchive footage from the BBC Broom Cupboard is being made available to the public as part of the 25th anniversary of the studio.

Archive material of BBC children's presenters in the "broom cupboard" is being made available to the public.

The BBC has released clips and photos to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the studio, which helped launch Phillip Schofield and Andi Peters' careers.

The launch of the broom cupboard in 1985 marked a revolution in the BBC's approach to young viewers, with rolling presentation and a more human face.

Puppets Gordon The Gopher and Edd The Duck also became firm favourites.

Toby Anstis, Josie d'Arby, Andy Crane and Zoe Ball also appeared as presenters in the set - which got its name because of how cramped it was.

The broom cupboard was actually a small booth in one of the vision mixing galleries at BBC Television Centre.

Most of the time, the presenters' links were live and would introduce the start of each programmes, which included shows such as Jackanory, Grange Hill and Jonny Briggs.

Image caption The broom cupboard helped launch Phillip Schofield's career in broadcasting

The countdown clock at the beginning of taped programmes could often be seen on a monitor at the side of the booth, while children's drawings were stuck to the back wall.

Presenters would also read out letters from viewers, while Schofield became notorious for singing the theme tunes to programmes like Ulysses 31 over their opening titles.

Amongst the footage which has been released is a technical glitch which resulted in presenter Debbie Flint having to fill in for several minutes until Schofield came to her aid.

The BBC is also celebrating 60 years since the founding of its dedicated children's programming department this month.

More on this story

Around the BBC