Portal:BBC

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Introduction

Official logo since 4 October 1997

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London and 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, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, 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 Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, 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, and used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.

Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd (formerly BBC Worldwide), which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and also distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd.

Selected article

The Quatermass Experiment is a British science-fiction serial, broadcast by BBC Television in the summer of 1953, and re-staged by BBC Four in 2005. Set in the near future against the background of a British space programme, it tells the story of the first manned flight into space, overseen by Professor Bernard Quatermass of the British Experimental Rocket Group. When the spaceship that carried the first successful crew returns to Earth, two of the three astronauts are missing, and the third is behaving strangely. It becomes clear that an alien presence entered the ship during its flight, and Quatermass and his associates must prevent the alien from destroying the world. Originally comprising six half-hour episodes, it was the first science-fiction production to be written especially for an adult television audience. The serial was the first of four Quatermass productions to be screened on British television between 1953 and 1979. As well as spawning various remakes and sequels, The Quatermass Experiment inspired much of the television science fiction that followed it, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it influenced successful series such as Doctor Who and Sapphire and Steel. It also influenced Hollywood blockbusters such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien.

Selected image

Mark II TARDIS from Doctor Who

The Mark II fibreglass TARDIS, a time machine and spacecraft from the BBC television series Doctor Who — this one was used in shows recorded during the 1980s and was designed by Tom Yardley-Jones.

Did you know...

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Quotes

  • "I got the first page with about three minutes to go. Then, the red light came on and it was up to me. It was an intensely dramatic script and most of the pages were fed to me at the microphone, so I had to get it right first time. God knows I put my heart into it." — Newsreader Robert Dougall, recalling his message as the 'anonymous Englishman', calling for Germany to withdraw its forces.
  • "Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own. If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans.
And I hate to tell you, but it's true." - Sir Terry Wogan announcing he is to step down as presenter of the breakfast show on Radio 2.

Selected biography

Helen Frances Rollason, MBE (née Grindley: 11 March 1956 – 9 August 1999) was a British sports journalist and television presenter, who in 1990 became the first female presenter of the BBC's sports programme Grandstand. She was also a regular presenter of Sport on Friday, and of the children's programme Newsround during the 1980s.

Born in London, Rollason studied to become a PE teacher before entering radio broadcasting in 1980. After directing sport related content for Channel 4, where she helped to bring American football to British television, she anchored coverage of the 1987 World Student Games and 1988 Summer Olympics. Her work on Grandstand proved popular with viewers, and led to a number of other sports presenting roles for Rollason throughout the 1990s. As well as covering mainstream events such as the 1996 Summer Olympics, she became a champion of disability sports, helping to raise its profile and change its public and media perception. She presented sports bulletins for BBC Breakfast News and BBC News, and in 1996 was named as Sports Presenter of the Year.

Rollason was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1997, and fought a two-year battle with the disease. A 1998 documentary, Hope for Helen, followed her treatment, and won her much public support for her courage. She continued to work throughout her illness, and shortly before her death was awarded an MBE in the 1999 Birthday Honours. Later that year, the BBC established an award in her memory which is presented at the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony. A cancer charity was also founded in her name. Rollason's television career also helped to open up the way for other women to enter the world of sports broadcasting, with presenters such as Sue Barker and Gabby Logan following in her footsteps.

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Selected building

The transmission mast at Alexandra Palace

The transmission mast above the BBC wing of Alexandra Palace in North London. Alexandra Palace was home to the BBC Television Service (now BBC One) from 1936 until the early 1950s, and was the site of the world's first public broadcasts of analogue high-definition television in 1936.

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