The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788; the Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, have only had common ownership since 1967. In 1959, the historian of journalism Allan Nevins analysed the importance of The Times in shaping the views of events of London's elite: For much more than a century The Times has been an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain, its news and its editorial comment have in general been coordinated, have at most times been handled with an earnest sense of responsibility. While the paper has admitted some trivia to its columns, its whole emphasis has been on important public affairs treated with an eye to the best interests of Britain.
To guide this treatment, the editors have for long periods been in close touch with 10 Downing Street. The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The Times of India and The New York Times. In countries where these other titles are popular, the newspaper is referred to as The London Times or The Times of London, although the newspaper is of national scope and distribution; the Times is the originator of the used Times Roman typeface developed by Stanley Morison of The Times in collaboration with the Monotype Corporation for its legibility in low-tech printing. In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in Times Modern; the Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to compact size in 2004 in an attempt to appeal more to younger readers and commuters using public transport. The Sunday Times remains a broadsheet; the Times had an average daily circulation of 417,298 in January 2019. An American edition of The Times has been published since 6 June 2006.
It has been used by scholars and researchers because of its widespread availability in libraries and its detailed index. A complete historical file of the digitised paper, up to 2010, is online from Gale Cengage Learning; the Times was founded by publisher John Walter on 1 January 1785 as The Daily Universal Register, with Walter in the role of editor. Walter had lost his job by the end of 1784 after the insurance company where he worked went bankrupt due to losses from a Jamaican hurricane. Unemployed, Walter began a new business venture. Henry Johnson had invented the logography, a new typography, reputedly faster and more precise. Walter bought the logography's patent and with it opened a printing house to produce a daily advertising sheet; the first publication of the newspaper The Daily Universal Register in Great Britain was 1 January 1785. Unhappy because the word Universal was omitted from the name, Walter changed the title after 940 editions on 1 January 1788 to The Times. In 1803, Walter handed editorship to his son of the same name.
In spite of Walter Sr's sixteen-month stay in Newgate Prison for libel printed in The Times, his pioneering efforts to obtain Continental news from France, helped build the paper's reputation among policy makers and financiers. The Times used contributions from significant figures in the fields of politics, science and the arts to build its reputation. For much of its early life, the profits of The Times were large and the competition minimal, so it could pay far better than its rivals for information or writers. Beginning in 1814, the paper was printed on the new steam-driven cylinder press developed by Friedrich Koenig. In 1815, The Times had a circulation of 5,000. Thomas Barnes was appointed general editor in 1817. In the same year, the paper's printer James Lawson and passed the business onto his son John Joseph Lawson. Under the editorship of Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights in politics and amongst the City of London.
Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname'The Thunderer'. The increased circulation and influence of the paper was based in part to its early adoption of the steam-driven rotary printing press. Distribution via steam trains to growing concentrations of urban populations helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence; the Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover particular conflicts. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War, was immensely influential with his dispatches back to England. In other events of the nineteenth century, The Times opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws until the number of demonstrations convinced the editorial board otherwise, only reluctantly supported aid to victims of the Irish Potato Famine, it enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400,000 people to 800,000 people.
During the American Civil War, The Times represented the view of the wealthy classes, favouring the secessionists, but it was not a supporter of slavery. The third John Walter, the founder's grandson, succeeded his father in 1847; the paper continued as more or less independent, but from t
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, comedy and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967; the station controller is Gwyneth Williams, the station is part of BBC Radio and the BBC Radio department. The station is broadcast from the BBC's headquarters at London. On 21 January 2019 Williams announced. There are no details of when, it is the second most popular domestic radio station in the UK, broadcast throughout the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands on FM, LW and DAB, can be received in eastern and south eastern counties of Ireland, the north of France and Northern Europe. It is available through Freeview, Virgin Media and on the Internet, its sister station, BBC Radio 4 Extra, complements the main channel by broadcasting repeats from the Radio 4 archive, extended versions of Radio 4 programmes and supplements to series such as The Archers and Desert Island Discs.
It is notable for its news bulletins and programmes such as Today and The World at One, heralded on air by the Greenwich Time Signal "pips" or the chimes of Big Ben. Radio 4 broadcasts the Shipping Forecast, which reached 150 years old in August 2017; the pips are only accurate on FM, LW, MW as there is a delay on DAB and digital radio of 3 to 5 seconds longer online. BBC Radio 4 is the second most popular British domestic radio station by total hours, after Radio 2 – and the most popular in London and the South of England, it recorded its highest audience, of 11 million listeners, in May 2011 and was "UK Radio Station of the Year" at the 2003, 2004 and 2008 Sony Radio Academy Awards. It won a Peabody Award in 2002 for File On 4: Export Controls. Costing £71.4 million, it is the BBC's most expensive national radio network and is considered by many to be its flagship. There is no comparable British commercial network: Channel 4 abandoned plans to launch its own speech-based digital radio station in October 2008 as part of a £100m cost cutting review.
In 2010 Gwyneth Williams replaced Mark Damazer as Radio 4 controller. Damazer became Master of Oxford. Music and sport are the only fields that fall outside the station's remit, it broadcasts occasional concerts, documentaries related to various forms of both popular and classical music, the long-running music-based Desert Island Discs. Prior to the creation of BBC Radio 5 it broadcast sports-based features, notably Sport on Four, since the creation of BBC Radio 5 Live has become the home of ball-by-ball commentaries of most Test cricket matches played by England, broadcast on long wave; as a result, for around 70 days a year listeners have to rely on FM broadcasts or DAB for mainstream Radio 4 broadcasts – the number relying on long wave is now a small minority. The cricket broadcasts take precedence over on-the-hour news bulletins, but not the Shipping Forecast, carried since its move to long wave in 1978 because that can be received at sea; the station is the UK's national broadcaster in times of national emergency such as war, due to the wide coverage of the Droitwich signal: if all other radio stations were forced to close, it would carry on broadcasting.
It has been claimed that the commanders of nuclear-armed submarines believing that Britain had suffered nuclear attack were required to check if they could still receive Radio 4 on 198 long wave, if they could not they would open sealed orders that might authorise a retaliatory strike. As well as news and drama, the station has a strong reputation for comedy, including experimental and alternative comedy, many successful comedians and comedy shows first appearing on the station. Following the six o'clock news from Monday to Friday, the station broadcasts a thirty-minute comedy programme; the station is available on FM in parts of Ireland and the north of France. Freesat and Virgin have a separate channel which broadcasts the Radio 4 LW output in mono, in addition to the FM output; the BBC Home Service was the predecessor of Radio 4 and broadcast between 1939 and 1967. It had regional variations and was broadcast on medium wave with a network of VHF FM transmitters being added from 1955. Radio 4 replaced it on 30 September 1967, when the BBC renamed many of its domestic radio stations, in response to the challenge of offshore radio.
It moved to long wave in November 1978, taking over the 200 kHz frequency held by Radio 2, moved to 198 kHz as a result of international agreements aimed at avoiding interference and to mark the station becoming a national service for the first time the station became known as Radio 4 UK, a title that remained until mid 1984. For a time during the 1970s Radio 4 carried regional news bulletins Monday to Saturday; these were broadcast twice at breakfast, at lunchtime and an evening bulletin was aired at 5.55pm. There were programme variations for the parts of England not served by BBC Local Radio stations; these included Roundabout East Anglia, a VHF opt-out of the Today programme broadcast from BBC East's studios in Norwich each weekday from 6.45 am to 8.45 am. Roundabout East Anglia came to an end in mid-1980, when local radio services were introduced to East Anglia with the launch of BBC Radio Norfolk. All regional news bulletins broadcast
The Hunt for Red October (film)
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American espionage submarine film produced by Mace Neufeld, directed by John McTiernan, that stars Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill. The film is a namesake based on Tom Clancy's 1984 bestselling eponymous novel; the story is set during the late Cold War era and involves a rogue Soviet naval captain who wishes to defect to the United States with his officers and the Soviet Navy's newest and most advanced nuclear missile submarine. An American CIA analyst deduces his motive and must prove his theory to the U. S. Navy before a violent confrontation between the Soviet and the American navies spirals out of control; the film was a co-production between the motion picture studios Paramount Pictures, Mace Neufeld Productions, Nina Saxon Film Design. Theatrically, it was commercially distributed by Paramount Pictures and by the Paramount Home Entertainment division for home media markets. Following its wide theatrical release, the film won a number of accolades.
At the 63rd Academy Awards, the film was honored with the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, along with nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. On June 12, 1990, the original soundtrack and conducted by Basil Poledouris, was released by MCA Records; the Hunt for Red October received positive reviews from critics and was the 6th top-grossing film of the year, generating $122 million in North America and more than $200 million worldwide in box office business. The film was the first in a series involving the fictional character Jack Ryan, played additionally by Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, John Krasinski. In November 1984, Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius is given command of Red October, a new Typhoon-class nuclear missile submarine with a stealth "caterpillar drive", rendering it undetectable to passive sonar. Ramius leaves port to conduct exercises with attack submarine V. K. Konovalov, commanded by his former student Captain Tupolev. Once at sea, Ramius secretly kills political officer Ivan Putin and relays false orders that they are to conduct missile drills off America's east coast.
At the same time, American attack submarine USS Dallas, tasked with identifying and shadowing Soviet subs as they leave port, detects Red October as it begins its mission, but loses contact once the sub's caterpillar drive is engaged. The next morning, CIA analyst and former Marine, Jack Ryan, after consulting with Vice Admiral James Greer, briefs government officials on Red October and the threat it poses; the U. S. fears. They learn that the bulk of the Soviet Navy has been deployed to the Atlantic to find and sink the sub. During the briefing, Ryan hypothesizes that Ramius instead plans to defect, NSC chairman Jeffrey Pelt gives Ryan three days to confirm his theory. Meanwhile, though unable to track Red October, guesses his former mentor's route and sets a course to intercept. Due to the actions of an unknown saboteur, Red October's caterpillar drive malfunctions during risky maneuvers through a narrow undersea canyon. Petty Officer Jones, a sonar technician aboard Dallas, has discovered a way to detect Red October using his underwater acoustics software, Dallas plots their own intercept course.
Ryan arranges a hazardous mid-ocean rendezvous to board Dallas, where he attempts to persuade its captain, Commander Bart Mancuso, to contact Ramius and determine his intentions. The Soviet ambassador informs the U. S. government that Ramius is a renegade, asks for help in sinking Red October. That order is sent to the U. S. fleet, including Dallas, which has found the Soviet sub. Ryan, however, is convinced that Ramius plans to defect with his officers and convinces Mancuso to contact Ramius and offer assistance. Ramius, stunned that the Americans guessed his plan, accepts, he stages a nuclear reactor "emergency", ordering his crew to abandon ship. After a U. S. frigate is spotted, Ramius submerges. Meanwhile, Ryan and Jones come aboard via a rescue sub, at which point Ramius requests asylum for himself and his officers. Red October is attacked by V. K. Konovalov, which has tracked them across the Atlantic; as the two Soviet subs maneuver, one of Red October's cooks, Loginov, an undercover KGB agent and the secret saboteur, opens fire on the bridge, fatally wounding first officer Vasily Borodin before retreating to the nuclear missile bay.
Ryan and Ramius pursue him, Loginov wounds Ramius in the shoulder, but Ryan kills Loginov before he can detonate a missile. Meanwhile, Red October makes evasive maneuvers with a diversion provided by Dallas, causing V. K. Konovalov to be destroyed by its own fired torpedo; the crew of Red October, now rescued, watch the explosion from the deck of the U. S. frigate. Ryan and Ramius, their subterfuge complete, navigate Red October to the Penobscot River in Maine. Ramius admits that the reason he defected was that after he was handed the plans for Red October, a nuclear war first strike weapon, he concluded that he could never support such an action. From atop the submarine's sail deck, pleased to have made it to America, offers Ryan a quote from Christopher Columbus. Ryan nods in agreement and offers in return, "Welcome to the New World, sir". Producer Mace Neufeld optioned Tom Clancy's novel after reading galley proofs in February 1985. Despite the book becoming a best seller, no Hollywood studio was interested because of its content.
Neufeld said, "I read some of the reports from the other studios, the story was too complicated to understand". After a year and a half he got a high-level executive at
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
Benjamin Thomas "Ben" Willbond is an English actor and screenwriter with numerous credits in television and film. Willbond was educated at Stamford School in Lincolnshire and read Russian and French at the University of Oxford. Along with Arnold Widdowson, Willbond was part of the comedy duo "Ben & Arn", who won Perrier Award for "Best Newcomer" in 1999, formed the self-proclaimed "thinking man's French pop duo" Priorité à Gauche, he went on to perform his solo character shows at several Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the last being in 2005 which starred Katy Brand and Jim Field Smith. He is best known for his regular role in CBBC's Horrible Histories, in which he plays a wide variety of historical figures, most memorably recurring roles as Henry VIII and Alexander the Great. Along with the five other members of the Horrible Histories starring cast, Willbond is the co-creator, -writer and -star of Yonderland, a family fantasy comedy series that premiered on SkyOne on 10 November 2013. In addition he is the co-writer of Bill, a BBC-produced comedy film based loosely around the early life of William Shakespeare, which involved the same starring troupe.
Willbond had starred in a short-lived sketch show for ITV2 called Laura, Ben & Him with Marek Larwood and sometime writing partner Laura Solon. He appeared in Solon's BBC Radio 4 sketch show, Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking. Other notable television work includes the recurring roles of Steve Warwick in the BBC comedy Rev, Adam Kenyon in BBC Four's The Thick of It and as a television director in the movie-length final episode of the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras, he has appeared in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show for ITV2 and Mayo for BBC One. Willbond's other radio credits include BBC Radio 4 series Deep Trouble, Double Science, Recorded for Training Purposes and the first series of Electric Ink, he starred in the YouTube romantic comedy "Nigel and Victoria." His 2010 short film Tooty's Wedding, which he co-wrote with Solon, won numerous international comedy awards and was screened as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Other notable film work includes the movie Starter for 10. In 2007 he had a short appearance in St Trinian's, as a nervous school inspector.
Willbond plays for the Thunderers. He has a degree in French and Russian from Oxford University and he can play the violin, he and wife Charlotte have two sons. Official Website Ben Willbond on IMDb Official Twitter Site
BBC Online known as BBCi, is the BBC's online service. It is a large network of websites including such high-profile sites as BBC News and Sport, the on-demand video and radio services co-branded BBC iPlayer, the children's sites CBBC and CBeebies, learning services such as Bitesize; the BBC has had an online presence supporting its TV and radio programmes and web-only initiatives since 1994 but did not launch until December 1997, following government approval to fund it by TV licence fee revenue as a service in its own right. Throughout its short history, the online plans of the BBC have been subject to harassment from its commercial rivals, which has resulted in various public consultations and government reviews to investigate their claims that its large presence and public funding distorts the UK market; the website has gone through several branding changes. Named BBC Online, it was rebranded as BBCi before being named bbc.co.uk. It was renamed BBC Online again in 2008, however the service uses the branding "BBC".
The web-based service of the BBC is one of the most visited websites and the world's largest news website. As of 2007, it contained over two million pages. On 26 February 2010 The Times claimed that Mark Thompson Director General of the BBC, proposed that the BBC's web output should be cut by 50%, with online staff numbers and budgets reduced by 25% in a bid to scale back BBC operations and allow commercial rivals more room. On 2 March 2010, the BBC reported that it will cut its website spending by 25% and close BBC 6 Music and Asian Network. On 24 January 2011, the confirmed cuts of 25% were announced leaving a £34 million shortfall; this resulted in the closure of several sites, including BBC Switch, BBC Blast, 6-0-6, the announcement of plans to sell on the Douglas Adams created site h2g2. The service's original home was www.bbcnc.org.uk launched by BBC Education on 11 May 1994 as a non-profit paid subscription service. For a joining fee of £25 and a monthly subscription of £12, members of the club were given access to an early type of social networking site featuring a bulletin board for sharing information and real-time conversation, along with a dialup Internet connection service.
Within 12 months, the BBC offered "auntie" on-line discussion groups. The BBC Director General John Birt sought government approval to direct licence fee revenue into the service, describing planned BBC Internet services as the "third medium" joining the BBC's existing TV and Radio networks, achieving a change in the BBC Charter; this led to the official launch of BBC Online at the www.bbc.co.uk address in December 1997. As well as the licence fee funded www.bbc.co.uk, BBC Worldwide launched the commercially funded beeb.com, featuring entertainment focused content, with sites including Radio Times, Top Gear and Top of the Pops. BBC Online launched licence fee funded web sites for Top of the Pops and Top Gear, resulting in some duplication. Beeb.com was refocussed as an online shopping guide, was closed in 2002. Beeb.com redirected to the BBC Shop website, run by BBC Worldwide. In 1999, the BBC bought the www.bbc.com domain name for $375,000 owned by Boston Business Computing, but the price of this purchase was not revealed until 6 years later.
As of 2005, www.bbcnc.org.uk no longer exists. In 2001, BBC Online was rebranded as BBCi; the BBCi name was conceived as an umbrella brand for all the BBC's digital interactive services across web, digital teletext, interactive TV and on mobile platforms. The use of letter "i" prefixes and suffixes to denote information technology or interactivity was much in vogue at this time; as part of the rebrand, BBC website pages all displayed a standard navigation bar across the top of the screen, offering category-based navigation: Categories, TV, Communicate, Where I Live, A-Z Index and a search function. The navbar was designed to offer a similar navigation system to the i-bar on BBCi interactive television. After three years of consistent use across different platforms, the BBC began to drop the BBCi brand gradually. Interactive TV services continued under the BBCi brand until it was dropped in 2008; the BBC's online video player, the iPlayer has, retained an i-prefix in its branding. On 14 December 2007, a beta version of a new bbc.co.uk homepage was launched, with the ability to customise the page by adding and rearranging different categories, such as'News','Weather' and'Entertainment'.
The widget-based design was inspired by sites such as Facebook and iGoogle, allowed the BBC to add new content to the homepage while still retaining users' customisations. The new homepage incorporated the clock design used in the 1970s on the BBC's television service into the large header and a box containing featured content of the website; the new BBC homepage left beta on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 to serve as the new BBC Homepage under the same URL as the previous version. On 30 January 2010, a new webpage design became available as a beta version, that by May 2010, replaced the old homepage; this homepage expanded on the customisation theme. The website all