The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962; the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. Recent academic work suggests that it would not have been started before 1513, it was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797. The subject's expression, described as enigmatic, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modelling of forms, the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.
The title of the painting, known in English as Mona Lisa, comes from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife." Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as "ma donna" – similar to "Ma’am", "Madam", or "my lady" in English. This became "madonna", its contraction "mona"; the title of the painting, though traditionally spelled "Mona", is commonly spelled in modern Italian as Monna Lisa, but this is rare in English. Vasari's account of the Mona Lisa comes from his biography of Leonardo published in 1550, 31 years after the artist's death, it has long been the best-known source of information on the provenance of the work and identity of the sitter. Leonardo's assistant Salaì, at his death in 1524, owned a portrait which in his personal papers was named la Gioconda, a painting bequeathed to him by Leonardo; that Leonardo painted such a work, its date, were confirmed in 2005 when a scholar at Heidelberg University discovered a marginal note in a 1477 printing of a volume written by the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero.
Dated October 1503, the note was written by Leonardo's contemporary Agostino Vespucci. This note likens Leonardo to renowned Greek painter Apelles, mentioned in the text, states that Leonardo was at that time working on a painting of Lisa del Giocondo. In response to the announcement of the discovery of this document, Vincent Delieuvin, the Louvre representative, stated "Leonardo da Vinci was painting, in 1503, the portrait of a Florentine lady by the name of Lisa del Giocondo. About this we are now certain. We cannot be certain that this portrait of Lisa del Giocondo is the painting of the Louvre." The model, Lisa del Giocondo, was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany, the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting is thought to have been commissioned for their new home, to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea; the Italian name for the painting, La Gioconda, means "jocund" or "the jocund one", a pun on the feminine form of Lisa's married name, "Giocondo".
In French, the title La Joconde has the same meaning. Before that discovery, scholars had developed several alternative views as to the subject of the painting; some argued that Lisa del Giocondo was the subject of a different portrait, identifying at least four other paintings as the Mona Lisa referred to by Vasari. Several other women have been proposed as the subject of the painting. Isabella of Aragon, Cecilia Gallerani, Costanza d'Avalos, Duchess of Francavilla, Isabella d'Este, Pacifica Brandano or Brandino, Isabela Gualanda, Caterina Sforza—even Salaì and Leonardo himself—are all among the list of posited models portrayed in the painting; the consensus of art historians in the 21st century maintains the long-held traditional opinion that the painting depicts Lisa del Giocondo. Leonardo da Vinci is thought to have begun painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in Florence, Italy. Although the Louvre states that it was "doubtless painted between 1503 and 1506", the art historian Martin Kemp says there are some difficulties in confirming the actual dates with certainty.
In addition, many Leonardo experts, such as Carlo Pedretti and Alessandro Vezzosi, are of the opinion that the painting is characteristic of Leonardo's style in the final years of his life, post-1513. Other academics argue that, given the historical documentation, Leonardo would have painted the work from 1513. According to Leonardo's contemporary, Giorgio Vasari, "after he had lingered over it four years, left it unfinished". Leonardo in his life, is said to have regretted "never having completed a single work". Circa 1504, Raphael executed a pen and ink sketch, today in the Louvre Museum, in which the subject is flanked by large columns. Experts universally agree. Other copies of the Mona Lisa, such as those in the National Museum of Art and Design in Oslo and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore display large flanking columns; as a result, it was thought that the Mona Lisa in the Louvre had side columns and had been cut. However, as early as 1993, Zöllner observed; this was confirmed through a series of tests conducted in 2004.
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is an English actor and screenwriter best known for his work on the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean. Atkinson first came to prominence in the BBC's sketch comedy show Not the Nine O'Clock News, receiving the 1981 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance, via his participation in The Secret Policeman's Ball from 1979, his other work includes the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, playing a bumbling vicar in Four Weddings and a Funeral, voicing the red-billed hornbill Zazu in The Lion King, featuring in the BBC sitcom The Thin Blue Line. His work in theatre includes the 2009 West End revival of the musical Oliver!. Atkinson was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest actors in British comedy, among the top 50 comedians in a 2005 poll of fellow comedians. In addition to his 1981 BAFTA, he received an Olivier Award for his 1981 West End theatre performance in Rowan Atkinson in Revue, he has had cinematic success with his performances in the Mr. Bean movie adaptations Bean and Mr. Bean's Holiday, in the Johnny English film series.
He appears as the titular character in Maigret. Atkinson, the youngest of four brothers, was born in Consett, County Durham, England, on 6 January 1955, his parents were Eric Atkinson, a farmer and company director, Ella May, who married on 29 June 1945. His three older brothers are Paul. Atkinson was brought up Anglican, was educated at Durham Choristers School, a preparatory school, St Bees School. After receiving top-grades in science A' levels, he secured a place at Newcastle University, where he received a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In 1975, he continued for the degree of MSc in Electrical Engineering at The Queen's College, the same college where his father matriculated in 1935, which made Atkinson an Honorary Fellow in 2006, his MSc thesis, published in 1978, considered the application of self-tuning control. Atkinson embarked in doctoral work before devoting his full attention to acting. First winning national attention in The Oxford Revue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 1976, he had written and performed sketches for shows in Oxford by the Etceteras — the revue group of the Experimental Theatre Club, for the Oxford University Dramatic Society, meeting writer Richard Curtis, composer Howard Goodall, with whom he would continue to collaborate during his career.
Atkinson starred in a series of comedy shows. It consisted of a series of satirical interviews with fictional great men, who were played by Atkinson himself; the series was written by Atkinson and Richard Curtis, produced by Griff Rhys Jones. After university, Atkinson did a one-off pilot for London Weekend Television in 1979 called Canned Laughter. Atkinson went on to do Not the Nine O'Clock News for the BBC, produced by his friend John Lloyd, he featured in the show with Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, was one of the main sketch writers. The success of Not the Nine O'Clock News led to him taking the lead role in the medieval sitcom The Black Adder, which he co-wrote with Richard Curtis. After a three-year gap, in part due to budgetary concerns, a second series was broadcast, this time written by Curtis and Ben Elton. Blackadder II followed the fortunes of one of the descendants of Atkinson's original character, this time in the Elizabethan era; the same pattern was repeated in the two more sequels Blackadder the Third, Blackadder Goes Forth.
The Blackadder series became one of the most successful of all BBC situation comedies, spawning television specials including Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, Blackadder: Back & Forth, set at the turn of the Millennium. The final scene of "Blackadder Goes Forth" has been described as "bold and poignant". During the 2014 centennial of the start of World War I, Michael Gove and war historian Max Hastings complained about the so-called "Blackadder version of history". Atkinson's other creation, the hapless Mr. Bean, first appeared on New Year's Day in 1990 in a half-hour special for Thames Television; the character of Mr. Bean has been likened to a modern-day Buster Keaton, but Atkinson himself has stated that Jacques Tati's character Monsieur Hulot was the main inspiration. Several sequels to Mr. Bean appeared on television until 1995, the character appeared in a feature film. Bean was directed by Atkinson's colleague in Not the Nine O'Clock News. A second film, Mr. Bean's Holiday, was released in 2007.
In 1995 and 1996, Atkinson portrayed Inspector Raymond Fowler in The Thin Blue Line television sitcom written by Ben Elton, which takes place in a police station located in fictitious Gasforth. Atkinson has fronted campaigns for Kronenbourg and Give Blood. Atkinson appeared as a hapless and error-prone espionage agent named Richard Lathum in a long-running series of adverts for Barclaycard, on which character his title role in Johnny English, Johnny English Reborn and Johnny English Strikes Again was based. In 1999, he played the Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death, a special Doctor Who serial produced for Comic Relief. Atkinson appeared as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car on Top Gear in July 2011, driving the Kia Cee'd around the track in 1:42.2, placing him at the top of the leaderboard until M
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold is a 1994 American Western comedy film directed by Paul Weiland. It is the sequel to City Slickers and stars Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Jon Lovitz, Daniel Stern. Although a mild financial success, the film did not reach the popularity of the first, receiving a negative response, it was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Sequel. A year after the events of the first film, Mitch Robbins is a much happier and livelier man, having moved out of the city and become station manager at the radio station where he works, where he has employed his best friend, Phil Berquist. However, he is being plagued with nightmares about his deceased friend and comes to believe that he may still be alive. On his 40th birthday, Mitch sees a man resembling Curly on the train, which does nothing to placate his worries, finds a treasure map belonging to Lincoln Washburn hidden in Curly's old hat, albeit with a missing corner, he and Phil investigate the contents of the map in the library and learn that Lincoln was Curly's father and a train robber in the Old West who in 1908 infamously stole and hid one million dollars in gold bullion in the deserts near Las Vegas.
With an impending trip to Las Vegas for a convention, Mitch decides to venture out to find the gold along with Phil and his immature younger brother, Glen. Several mishaps ensue, such as Glen accidentally burning a hole in the map with a magnifying glass, Mitch falling off a cliff while retrieving it and Phil believing he was bitten by a rattlesnake while he sat on a cactus, they are ambushed by the two cowboys who they bought their supplies from, who demand the map, since Phil recklessly told them all about the gold. Just as they are poised to kill them, the man resembling Curly fights them off, he introduces himself as Duke, Curly's identical twin brother, explains that long ago, their father had plans to find the gold with his sons once he was no longer being monitored, but he died before. On her death bed, their mother gave Curly the map, he contacted Duke to find him so that they could find the gold together, but he died on the cattle drive the previous year. Duke learned from Cookie that Mitch had Curly's belongings, so sought him out, though Mitch believed he was Curly.
Though Duke is prepared to take the map and find the gold by himself, Mitch chastises him for his attitude, reasoning that Curly would not approve. Out of respect for Curly, Duke allows the others to accompany him and share the gold. A reckless act by Mitch causes a stampede in which the map and all their supplies are lost. Thanks to Glen's memory, they are able to press on and find the location of the cave where the gold is hidden, they find it, but are confronted by two armed cowboys seeking it. In the ensuing fight, Glen is shot, but Duke discovers the bullets to be blanks with red paint pellets. At that moment, Clay Stone, the organizer of the cattle drive, appears along with some of their old friends, such as Ira and Barry Shalowitz. Clay explains that the cowboys are his sons and he has been looking for Duke for some time. Having left the cattle business, he is now making a living taking men on a trip to find the gold, revealed to be lead bars painted gold. Though Mitch and Glen feel lost, Duke remains convinced that the gold is out there somewhere, stays behind as the others return to Las Vegas.
Mitch is visited by Duke in his hotel room, who reveals that the entire time, he knew where the gold was and intended to keep it all for himself, but couldn't bring himself to do so, having found his one thing to be honesty. Through Mitch's skepticism, Duke reveals that he had the missing corner of the map, which points to where Lincoln reburied the gold in 1909, presents a bar of it to Mitch as a gift, he tries to scratch the gold off with a knife, screams in joy upon realizing that it is real after all. Billy Crystal as Mitch Robbins Daniel Stern as Phil Berquist Jon Lovitz as Glen Robbins Jack Palance as Duke Washburn Patricia Wettig as Barbara Robbins Noble Willingham as Clay Stone Pruitt Taylor Vince as Bud Bill McKinney as Matt David Paymer as Ira Shalowitz Josh Mostel as Barry Shalowitz Lindsay Crystal as Holly Robbins Beth Grant as Lois Jayne Meadows as the voice of Mitch's mother Jennifer Crystal as jogger Bob Balaban as Dr. Jeffrey Sanborn Frank Welker as Norman Parts of the film were shot in Arches National Park, Dugout Ranch, Professor Valley, Goblin Valley in Utah.
The film gained a negative reception and debuted at No. 3. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold on IMDb City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold at Box Office Mojo City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold at Rotten Tomatoes
Sixty Six (film)
Sixty Six is a 2006 British biographical-comedy-drama film about a bar mitzvah which takes place in London on the day of the 1966 world cup final based on the true life bar mitzvah of director Paul Weiland. Bernie Reubens, a young Jewish boy, is about to have his bar mitzvah, he meticulously plans a lavish reception to upstage that of his older brother Alvie, but as the family's finances lurch from one disaster to another, the family is forced to lower Bernie's expectations and stage the bar mitzvah reception at home in North London. When England reaches the 1966 football World Cup Final, most of the guests make excuses not to come to the reception so that they can watch the game. In the end Bernie's father saves the day by driving Bernie to watch the end of the match. Gregg Sulkin as Bernie Reubens Helena Bonham Carter as Esther Reubens Eddie Marsan as Immanuel "Manny" Reubens Ben Newton as Alvie Reubens Elliot Cukier as Young Alvie Reubens Thomas Drewson as Terry Shivers Peter Serafinowicz as Uncle Jimmy / Mr. Reubens, Sr. / Football Commentator Stephen Grief as Uncle Henry Catherine Tate as Aunt Lila Stephen Rea as Dr. Barrie Geraldine Somerville as Alice Barrie Maria Charles as Mrs Glitzman Maximilian Law as Narrator The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 65%, based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Likable but overly sentimental, Sixty Six has snatches of sharp dialogue but is too predicable." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 57 out of 100, based on 11 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The Hollywood Reporter praised the film, saying "Although the subject might sound specialized, the picture is engineered with such skill that it transcends the ethnic details to become a universal story of a boy trying to find his place in an inhospitable world." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times reviewed the film as being "enlightened by Bernie's impassioned narration and by a gallery of small comic details." The New York Times described the film as "A dolorous comedy that leans if inoffensively, on ethnic stereotypes." Sixty Six at BFI Sixty Six at British Council–Film Sixty Six at LUMIERE Sixty Six on IMDb Sixty Six at Box Office Mojo Sixty Six at Rotten Tomatoes
Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, is a British screenwriter and film director. One of Britain's most successful comedy screenwriters, he is known for his romantic comedy films, among them Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually, About Time, he is known for the drama War Horse, for having co-written the hit sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean, The Vicar of Dibley. In 2007, Curtis received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest award given to a filmmaker by the British Film Academy. At the 2008 Britannia Awards, Curtis received the BAFTA Humanitarian Award for co-creating Comic Relief and for his contributions to other charitable causes. In 2008, he was ranked number 12 in a list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture" compiled by The Telegraph. In 2012, Curtis was one of the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork—the cover of The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Curtis is the co-founder, with Sir Lenny Henry, of the British charity Comic Relief, which has raised in excess of £1 billion. Curtis was born in New Zealand, he is the son of Anthony J. Curtis, his father was a Czechoslovakian refugee who moved to Australia when aged thirteen and became an executive at Unilever. Curtis and his family lived in several different countries during his childhood, including Sweden and the Philippines, before moving to Great Britain when he was 11. Curtis attended Papplewick School, Berkshire. For a short period in the 1970s, Curtis lived in Warrington, where he attended Appleton Grammar School, before he won a scholarship to Harrow School, where, as head boy, he abolished fagging, he achieved a first-class Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature at Christ Church, Oxford. At the University of Oxford, Curtis met and began working with Rowan Atkinson, after they both joined the scriptwriting team of the Etceteras revue, part of the Experimental Theatre Club.
He appeared in the company's "After Eights" at the Oxford Playhouse in May 1976. Collaborating with Rowan Atkinson in the Oxford Revue, he appeared alongside him at his breakthrough Edinburgh Fringe show; as a result of this, Curtis was commissioned to co-write the BBC Radio 3 series The Atkinson People with Atkinson in 1978, transmitted in 1979. He began to write comedy for film and TV, he was a regular writer on the TV series Not the Nine O'Clock News, where he wrote many of the show's songs with Howard Goodall and many sketches with Rowan Atkinson. Curtis was the co-writer with Philip Pope of the Hee Bee Gee Bees' single "Meaningless Songs" released in 1980 to parody the style of a series of Bee Gees' disco hits. First with Atkinson, with Ben Elton, Curtis wrote the Blackadder series from 1983 to 1989, each season focusing upon a different era in British history. Atkinson played the lead throughout, but Curtis remains the only person to have been a writer for every episode of Blackadder; the pair continued their collaboration with the comedy series Mr. Bean, which ran from 1990–1995.
Curtis had by already begun writing feature films. His first was The Tall Guy in 1989; the romantic comedy starred Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson and was produced by Working Title films. The TV movie Bernard and the Genie followed in 1991. In 1994, Curtis created and co-wrote The Vicar of Dibley for comedian Dawn French, a great success. In an online poll conducted in 2004 Britain's Best Sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley was voted the third best sitcom in British history and Blackadder the 2nd, making Curtis the only screenwriter to have created two shows within the poll's top 10 programmes. Curtis achieved his breakthrough success with a Funeral; the 1994 film, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, was produced on a limited budget by the British production company Working Title Films. Curtis chose Mike Newell to direct the film after watching his TV film Ready When You Are, Mr. McGill. Four Weddings and a Funeral proved to be the top-grossing British film in history at that time.
It made an international star of Grant, Curtis' Oscar nomination for the script catapulted him to prominence. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Forrest Gump. Curtis' next film was for Working Title, which has remained his artistic home since. 1997's Bean was a huge hit around the world. He continued his association with Working Title writing the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, which broke the record set by Four Weddings and a Funeral to become the top-grossing British film of all time; the story of a lonely travel bookstore owner who falls in love with the world's most famous movie star was directed by Roger Michell. Curtis next co-wrote the screen adaptation of the international bestseller Bridget Jones's Diary for Working Title. Curtis knew the novel's writer Helen Fielding. Indeed, he has credited her with saying that his original script for Four Weddings and a Funeral was too upbeat and needed the addition of the titular funeral.
Two years Curtis re-teamed with Working Title to write and direct Love Actually. Curtis has said in interviews that the sprawling, multi-character structure of Love Actually owes a debt to his favourite film, Robert Altman's Nashville; the film featured a "Who's Who" of UK actors, including Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Andrew Linco
Love Actually is a 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. It features an ensemble cast, many of whom had worked with Curtis in previous film and television projects; the screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are shown to be interlinked as the tales progress. Most of the film was filmed on location in London; the story begins five weeks before Christmas and is played out in a weekly countdown until the holiday, followed by an epilogue that takes place one month later. The film was released in the United States on 14 November 2003, it opened in the United Kingdom one week to positive reviews. The film was a box-office success, grossing $247 million worldwide on a budget of $40–45 million, it received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture -- Comedy. Shown during the Christmas season, the film has proved more popular with audiences than critics, it has been discussed as being arguably a modern-day Christmas classic.
The film begins with a voiceover from David commenting that whenever he gets gloomy about the state of the world he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, the pure uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David's voiceover relates that all the messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate; the film tells the'love stories' of many people: With the help of his longtime manager Joe and roll legend Billy Mack records a Christmas variation of The Troggs' "Love Is All Around". Although he thinks the record is terrible, Mack promotes the release in the hope it will become the Christmas number one single, which it does. After celebrating his victory at a party hosted by Sir Elton John, Billy discerns that Joe is in need of affection and suggests that he and Joe celebrate Christmas by getting drunk and watching porn. Juliet and Peter's marriage is videotaped by Mark. Although both Juliet and Peter believe that Mark dislikes Juliet, he is in love with her.
When Mark evades Juliet's requests to see the video he made at the wedding, Juliet visits Mark. She says she wants them to be friends and, when she finds and views the wedding video, it turns out to be just adoring close-ups of her. After an uncomfortable silence, Mark blurts out that he snubs her out of "self-preservation." On Christmas Eve, Juliet answers the doorbell to find Mark carrying a boombox playing Christmas songs and large cue cards, on which he has written, without expectation of reciprocation, that he loves her. As he walks away, Juliet runs. Writer Jamie is pushed by his girlfriend to attend Juliet and Peter's wedding alone, as she feigns illness, he returns between the ceremony and the reception to check on her, discovers that she is having an affair with his brother. Crushed, Jamie withdraws to his French cottage, where he meets Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia, who does not speak English. Despite their inability to communicate, they become attracted to each other; when Jamie returns to England, he realises he is in love with Aurélia and begins learning Portuguese.
He returns to France to find her and ends up walking through town, gathering people as they walk to her job at a restaurant. In broken Portuguese he proposes, she says yes, in broken English. Harry is the managing director of a design agency. Harry is comfortably married to his wife, who stays home to raise their children. Harry becomes aroused by Mia's overtly sexual behaviour at the office and does nothing to dissuade her. At the company Christmas party held at Mark's gallery, he not only enquires if Mark is her boyfriend, but dances with her. While at the shops, he calls Mia to find out what she wants for Christmas and ends up caught by his wife purchasing an expensive necklace from the jewellery department thanks to the salesman Rufus. On, Karen discovers the necklace in Harry's coat pocket and assumes it is a gift for her; when she finds a shaped box under the tree to open on Christmas Eve, she is heartbroken to find it is a Joni Mitchell CD, meaning that the necklace was for someone else.
She asks him what he would do if he were her. She says. Karen's brother, David, is the elected Prime Minister. Natalie is a new junior member of the household staff at 10 Downing Street. During a meeting with the U. S. President, they run into Natalie and the president makes some inappropriate comments to David about Natalie's body. David walks in on Natalie serving tea and biscuits to the president, it appears that something untoward is happening. Natalie seems ashamed. At the following joint press conference, David is uncharacteristically assertive while taking a stand against the president's intimidating policies. Finding that his relationship with Natalie has become strained and a distraction, David has her moved to another job. However, he is spurred to action on Christmas Eve when he finds a Christmas card from Natalie declaring that she is his and no one else's. After a door-to-door search of her street, he comes across Mia, who informs him that Natalie lives next door
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a royal charter since 1927, it produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television broadcasts is dated to 2 November 1936. The BBC's domestic television channels have no commercial advertising and collectively they account for more than 30% of all UK viewing; the services are funded by a television licence. As a result of the 2016 Licence Fee settlement, the BBC Television division was split, with in-house television production being separated into a new division called BBC Studios and the remaining parts of television being renamed as BBC Content; the BBC operates several television networks, television stations, related programming services in the United Kingdom. As well as being a broadcaster, the corporation produces a large number of its own programmes in-house and thereby ranks as one of the world's largest television production companies.
John Logie Baird set up the Baird Television Development Company in 1926. Baird used his electromechanical system with a vertically-scanned image of 30 lines, just enough resolution for a close-up of one person, a bandwidth low enough to use existing radio transmitters; the simultaneous transmission of sound and pictures was achieved on 30 March 1930, by using the BBC's new twin transmitter at Brookmans Park. By late 1930, thirty minutes of morning programmes were broadcast from Monday to Friday, thirty minutes at midnight on Tuesdays and Fridays after BBC radio went off the air. Baird's broadcasts via the BBC continued until June 1932; the BBC began its own regular television programming from the basement of Broadcasting House, London, on 22 August 1932. The studio moved to larger quarters in 16 Portland Place, London, in February 1934, continued broadcasting the 30-line images, carried by telephone line to the medium wave transmitter at Brookmans Park, until 11 September 1935, by which time advances in all-electronic television systems made the electromechanical broadcasts obsolete.
After a series of test transmissions and special broadcasts that began in August 1936, the BBC Television Service launched on 2 November 1936 from a converted wing of Alexandra Palace in London. "Ally Pally" housed two studios, various scenery stores, make-up areas, dressing rooms and the transmitter itself, which broadcast on the VHF band. BBC television used two systems on alternate weeks: the 240-line Baird intermediate film system and the 405-line Marconi-EMI system; the use of both formats made the BBC's service the world's first regular high-definition television service. The first programme broadcast – and thus the first on a dedicated TV channel – was "Opening of the BBC Television Service" at 15:00; the first major outside broadcast was the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. The two systems were to run on a trial basis for six months. However, the Baird system, which used a mechanical camera for filmed programming and Farnsworth image dissector cameras for live programming, proved too cumbersome and visually inferior, ended with closedown on Saturday 13 February 1937.
The station's range was a 40 kilometres radius of the Alexandra Palace transmitter—in practice, transmissions could be picked up a good deal further away, on one occasion in 1938 were picked up by engineers at RCA in New York, who were experimenting with a British television set. The service was reaching an estimated 25,000–40,000 homes before the outbreak of World War II which caused the service to be suspended in September 1939. On 1 September 1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany, the station was taken off air with little warning. Many of the television service's technical staff and engineers would be needed for the war effort, in particular on the radar programme; the last programme transmitted was a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Mickey's Gala Premier, followed by test transmissions. According to figures from Britain's Radio Manufacturers Association, 18,999 television sets had been manufactured from 1936 to September 1939, when production was halted by the war. BBC Television returned on 7 June 1946 at 15:00.
Jasmine Bligh, one of the original announcers, made the first announcement, saying,'Good afternoon everybody. How are you? Do you remember me, Jasmine Bligh?'. The Mickey Mouse cartoon of 1939 was repeated twenty minutes later. Alexandra Palace was the home base of the channel until the early 1950s when the majority of production moved into the newly acquired Lime Grove Studios. Postwar broadcast coverage was extended to Birmingham in 1949 with the opening of the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, by the mid-1950s most of the country was covered, transmitting a 405-line interlaced image on VHF; when the ITV was launched in 1955, the BBC Television Service showed popular programming, including comedies, documentaries, game shows, soap operas, covering a wide range