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
Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since 9 December 1960. The programme centres on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on inner-city Salford. In the show's fictional history, the street was built in 1902 and named in honour of the coronation of King Edward VII; the show airs six times a week: Monday and Friday 7:30-8 pm and 8:30-9 pm. Since 2017, ten sequential classic episodes of the series from 1986 onwards have been broadcast weekly on ITV3; the programme was conceived in 1960 by scriptwriter Tony Warren at Granada Television in Manchester. Warren's initial kitchen sink drama proposal was rejected by the station's founder Sidney Bernstein, but he was persuaded by producer Harry Elton to produce the programme for 13 pilot episodes. Within six months of the show's first broadcast, it had become the most-watched programme on British television, is now a significant part of British culture; the show has been one of the most lucrative programmes on British commercial television, underpinning the success of Granada Television and wider ITV network.
Coronation Street is made by Granada Television at MediaCityUK and shown in all ITV regions, as well as internationally. On 17 September 2010, it became the world's longest-running television soap opera and was listed in Guinness World Records. On 23 September 2015, Coronation Street was broadcast live to mark ITV's sixtieth anniversary. Influenced by the conventions of the kitchen sink drama, Coronation Street is noted for its depiction of a down-to-earth, working-class community, combined with light-hearted humour and strong characters; the show averages 8 million viewers per episode. The first episode was aired on 9 December 1960 at 7 pm, was not a critical success. Granada Television had commissioned only 13 episodes, some inside the company doubted the show would last beyond its planned production run. Despite the criticism, viewers were drawn into the serial, won over by Coronation Street's ordinary characters; the programme made use of Northern English language and dialect. Early episodes told the story of student Kenneth Barlow, who had won a place at university, thus found his working-class background—as well as his parents and Ida —something of an embarrassment.
The character was one of the few to have experienced life outside of Coronation Street. In some ways this predicts the growth of globalisation, the decline of similar communities. In an episode from 1961, Barlow declares: "You can't go on just thinking about your own street these days. We're living with people on the other side of the world. There's more to worry about than Elsie Tanner and her boyfriends." Roache is the only remaining member of the original cast, which makes him the longest-serving actor in Coronation Street, in British and global soap history. At the centre of many early stories, there was Ena Sharples, caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall, her friends: timid Minnie Caldwell, bespectacled Martha Longhurst; the trio were likened to the Greek chorus, the three witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, as they would sit in the snug bar of the Rovers Return, passing judgement over family and each other. Headstrong Ena clashed with Elsie Tanner, whom she believed espoused a dauntlessly loose set of morals.
Elsie resented Ena's gossip, which most of the time had little basis in reality. In April 1961, Jed Stone made his first appearance and returned the following year in 1962, he left in 1963, but returned three years in 1966. He left again and returned 42 years in 2008. In March 1961, Coronation Street reached No. 1 in the television ratings and remained there for the rest of the year. Earlier in 1961, a Television Audience Measurement showed that 75% of available viewers tuned into Corrie, by 1964 the programme had over 20 million regular viewers, with ratings peaking on 2 December 1964, at 21.36 million viewers. Storylines throughout the decade included a mystery poison-pen letter received by Elsie Tanner, the 1962 marriage of Ken Barlow and Valerie Tatlock, the death of Martha Longhurst in 1964, the birth of the Barlow twins in 1965, Elsie Tanner's wedding to Steve Tanner and a train crashing from the viaduct, Steve Tanner's murder in 1968, a coach crash in 1969. In spite of rising popularity with viewers, Coronation Street was criticised by some for its outdated portrayal of the urban working class, its representation of a community, a nostalgic fantasy.
After the first episode in 1960, the Daily Mirror printed: "The programme is doomed from the outset... For there is little reality in this new serial, which we have to suffer twice a week." By 1967, critics were suggesting that the programme no longer reflected life in 1960s Britain, but reflected how life was in the 1950s. Granada hurried to update the programme, with the hope of introducing more issue-driven stories, including Lucille Hewitt becoming addicted to drugs, Jerry Booth being in a storyline about homosexuality, Emily Nugent having an out-of-wedlock child, introducing a black family, but all of these ideas were dropped for fear of upsetting viewers; the show's production team was tested when many core cast members left the programm
Ronald William George Barker, was an English actor and writer. He was known for roles in British comedy television series such as Porridge, The Two Ronnies, Open All Hours. Barker decided he was best suited to comic roles, he had his first success at the Oxford Playhouse and in roles in the West End including Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound. During this period, he was in the cast of BBC television comedies such as The Navy Lark, he got his television break with the satirical sketch series The Frost Report in 1966, where he met future collaborator, Ronnie Corbett. He starred in ITV shows including a short film. After rejoining the BBC, Barker found fame with the sketch show The Two Ronnies, with Ronnie Corbett, he starred in its sequel Going Straight and Open All Hours. He wrote comedy under his own name, though for much of his written material after 1968 he adopted pseudonyms to avoid pre-judgments of his writing talent, he won a BAFTA for best light entertainment performance four times, among other awards, received an OBE in 1978.
Television sitcoms such as The Magnificent Evans and Clarence were less successful and he retired in December 1987. The following year, he opened an antiques shop with Joy. After 1999, he appeared in smaller, non-comic roles in films, he died of heart failure on 3 October 2005, aged 76. Barker was born on 25 September 1929 at 70, Garfield Street, Bedfordshire, the only son of Leonard William Barker and Edith Eleanor. Barker's elder sister Vera was born in 1926 and his younger sister Eileen was born in 1933, his father was a clerk for Shell-Mex, this job saw the family move to Church Cowley Road in Cowley, Oxfordshire when Barker was four. Barker's biographer Bob McCabe described Barker's childhood as "a happy time, marred by no ructions or family tensions, apart from the occasional wet sock." As a child, Barker enjoyed dressing up in his father's pierrot outfit, as well as films and animals. He developed a love of the theatre attending plays with his family; the first play he saw was Cottage to Let and he once skipped school to see Laurence Olivier in Henry V.
He stood outside stage doors to collect autographs, his first being the actress Celia Johnson. Barker grew up in the Florence Park area of Oxford, went to Donnington Junior School, the City of Oxford High School for Boys, his chemistry textbook at Oxford was used by T. E. Lawrence, he found his talent for humour at school and developed his musical ability by singing in the choir at St James's, his local church. He got into the sixth form a year early after gaining the School Certificate but he felt what he was learning would be of no use to him in life and so left as soon as he could. After leaving school he trained as an architect but gave it up after six months, feeling he was not skilled enough. Barker took his sister Vera's job as a bank clerk at the Westminster Bank after she had left to become a nurse, he harboured dreams of becoming an actor, took up amateur dramatics, although he just saw the pastime as a chance to meet girls. For 18 months, while at the bank, he worked as an actor and stage manager, making his first appearance in A Murder Has Been Arranged as the musical director of the play-within-a-play.
He gave up his job to become a professional actor. His father did not support his acting ambition. Barker failed to get into the Young Vic School, but joined the Manchester Repertory Company, based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire taking comic roles in their weekly shows, he was employed as the assistant to the assistant stage manager, earning £2.10s.0d a week. He made his debut as a professional actor on 15 November 1948 as Lieutenant Spicer in a performance of J. M. Barrie's Quality Street, he went on to play the organist in When We Are Married and by his third role, the chauffeur Charles in Miranda, Barker realised he wanted to be a comic actor. He was described as "ha the talent to be a great straight actor", but noted: "I want to make people laugh. Never mind about Hamlet. Forget Richard the Second. Give me Charley's Aunt. My mission in life was now crystal clear." He appeared in stage adaptations of Treasure Island and Red Riding Hood before getting his first leading role in The Guinea Pig as a working class boy at a public school.
When the production moved to Rhyl, Barker followed. The Manchester Repertory Company closed. Barker, aged 20 spent some time as a porter at Wingfield Hospital, he and a male nurse entertained the patients with comedy routines. He found work at the Mime Theatre Company, performing mimed folk music and dance, which soon folded in Penzance, he made his way back to Oxford and worked in Bramhall for the Famous Players. There he met actor Glenn Melvyn. Peter Hall worked with Barker at Oxford and gave him his break, casting him as the Chantyman and Joe Silva in his production of Mourning Becomes Electra at the Arts Theatre in London's West End in 1955. By the time he had made it to the West End, Barker had appeared in an estimated 350 plays. Bark
Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, journalist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels, including Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola and Daniel Deronda, most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight. Although female authors were published under their own names during her lifetime, she wanted to escape the stereotype of women's writing being limited to lighthearted romances, she wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her extensive and known work as an editor and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes. Eliot's Middlemarch has been described by the novelists Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language. Mary Ann Evans was born in Nuneaton, England.
She was Christiana Evans, the daughter of a local mill-owner. Mary Ann's name was sometimes shortened to Marian, her full siblings were Christiana, known as Chrissey and twin brothers who died a few days after birth in March 1821. She had a half-brother and half-sister, from her father's previous marriage to Harriet Poynton, her father Robert Evans, of Welsh ancestry, was the manager of the Arbury Hall Estate for the Newdigate family in Warwickshire, Mary Ann was born on the estate at South Farm. In early 1820 the family moved to a house named Griff House, between Bedworth; the young Evans was a voracious reader and intelligent. Because she was not considered physically beautiful, Evans was not thought to have much chance of marriage, this, coupled with her intelligence, led her father to invest in an education not afforded women. From ages five to nine, she boarded with her sister Chrissey at Miss Latham's school in Attleborough, from ages nine to thirteen at Mrs. Wallington's school in Nuneaton, from ages thirteen to sixteen at Miss Franklin's school in Coventry.
At Mrs. Wallington's school, she was taught by the evangelical Maria Lewis — to whom her earliest surviving letters are addressed. In the religious atmosphere of the Misses Franklin's school, Evans was exposed to a quiet, disciplined belief opposed to evangelicalism. After age sixteen, Evans had little formal education. Thanks to her father's important role on the estate, she was allowed access to the library of Arbury Hall, which aided her self-education and breadth of learning, her classical education left its mark. Her frequent visits to the estate allowed her to contrast the wealth in which the local landowner lived with the lives of the much poorer people on the estate, different lives lived in parallel would reappear in many of her works; the other important early influence in her life was religion. She was brought up within a low church Anglican family, but at that time the Midlands was an area with a growing number of religious dissenters. In 1836 her mother died and Evans returned home to act as housekeeper, but she continued correspondence with her tutor Maria Lewis.
When she was 21, her brother Isaac married and took over the family home, so Evans and her father moved to Foleshill near Coventry. The closeness to Coventry society brought new influences, most notably those of Charles and Cara Bray. Charles Bray had become rich as a ribbon manufacturer and had used his wealth in the building of schools and in other philanthropic causes. Evans, struggling with religious doubts for some time, became intimate friends with the radical, free-thinking Brays, whose "Rosehill" home was a haven for people who held and debated radical views; the people whom the young woman met at the Brays' house included Robert Owen, Herbert Spencer, Harriet Martineau, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Through this society Evans was introduced to more liberal and agnostic theologies and to writers such as David Strauss and Ludwig Feuerbach, who cast doubt on the literal truth of Biblical stories. In fact, her first major literary work was an English translation of Strauss's The Life of Jesus, which she completed after it had been left incomplete by another member of the "Rosehill Circle".
As a product of their friendship, Bray published some of Evans's earliest writing, such as reviews, in his newspaper the Coventry Herald and Observer. When Evans began to question her religious faith, her father threatened to throw her out of the house, but his threat was not carried out. Instead, she respectfully attended church and continued to keep house for him until his death in 1849, when she was 30. Five days after her father's funeral, she travelled to Switzerland with the Brays, she decided to stay on in Geneva alone, living first on the lake at Plongeon and on the second floor of a house owned by her friends François and Juliet d'Albert Durade on the rue de Chanoines. She commented that "one feels in a downy nest high up in a good old tree", her stay is commemorated by a plaque on the building. While residing there, she read av
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in 1891 in book form in three volumes in 1891, as a single volume in 1892. Though now considered a major nineteenth-century English novel and Hardy's fictional masterpiece, Tess of the d'Urbervilles received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England; the novel is set in impoverished rural England, Thomas Hardy's fictional Wessex, during the Long Depression of the 1870s. Tess is Joan Durbeyfield, uneducated peasants. However, John is given the impression by Parson Tringham that he may have noble blood, as "Durbeyfield" is a corruption of "D'Urberville", the surname of an extinct noble Norman family. Knowledge of this goes to John's head; that same day, Tess participates in the village May Dance, where she meets Angel Clare, youngest son of Reverend James Clare, on a walking tour with his two brothers.
He stops to join partners several other girls. Angel notices Tess too late to dance with her, as he is late for a promised meeting with his brothers. Tess feels slighted. Tess's father gets too drunk to drive to the market that night, so Tess undertakes the journey herself. However, she falls asleep at the reins, the family's only horse encounters a speeding wagon and is fatally wounded. Tess feels so guilty over the horse's death and the economic consequences for the family that she agrees, against her better judgment, to visit Mrs d'Urberville, a rich widow who lives in a rural mansion near the town of Trantridge, "claim kin", she is unaware that, in reality, Mrs d'Urberville's husband Simon Stoke adopted the surname though he was unrelated to the real d'Urbervilles. Tess does not succeed in meeting Mrs d'Urberville, but chances to meet her libertine son, who takes a fancy to Tess and secures her a position as poultry keeper on the estate. Although Tess tells them about her fear that he might try to seduce her, her parents encourage her to accept the job, secretly hoping that Alec might marry her.
Tess dislikes Alec but endures his persistent unwanted attention to earn enough to replace her family's horse. Despite his cruel and manipulative behaviour, the threat that Alec presents to Tess's virtue is sometimes obscured for Tess by her inexperience and daily commonplace interactions with him. Late one night, walking home from town with some other Trantridge villagers, Tess inadvertently antagonizes Car Darch, Alec's most discarded favourite, finds herself in physical danger; when Alec rides up and offers to "rescue" her from the situation, she accepts. Instead of taking her home, however, he rides through the fog until they reach an ancient grove in a forest called "The Chase", where he informs her that he is lost and leaves on foot to get his bearings. Alec returns to find Tess asleep, it is implied that he rapes her. Mary Jacobus, a commentator on Hardy's works, speculates that the ambiguity may have been forced on the author to meet the requirements of his publisher and the "Grundyist" readership of his time.
Tess goes home to her father's cottage, where she keeps entirely to her room feeling both traumatized and ashamed of having lost her virginity. The following summer, she gives birth to a sickly boy. On his last night alive, Tess baptises him herself, because her father would not allow the parson to visit, stating that he did not want the parson to "pry into their affairs"; the child is given the name'Sorrow', but despite the baptism Tess can only arrange his burial in the "shabby corner" of the churchyard reserved for unbaptised infants. Tess adds a homemade cross to the grave with flowers in an empty marmalade jar. More than two years after the Trantridge debacle, now twenty, has found employment outside the village, where her past is not known, she works for Mrs. Crick as a milkmaid at Talbothays Dairy. There, she befriends three of her fellow milkmaids, Izz and Marian, meets again Angel Clare, now an apprentice farmer who has come to Talbothays to learn dairy management. Although the other milkmaids are in love with him, Angel singles out Tess, the two fall in love.
Angel spends a few days away from the dairy. His brothers Felix and Cuthbert, both ordained Church of England ministers, note Angel's coarsened manners, while Angel considers them staid and narrow-minded; the Clares have long hoped that Angel would marry Mercy Chant, a pious schoolmistress, but Angel argues that a wife who knows farm life would be a more practical choice. He tells his parents about Tess, they agree to meet her, his father, the Reverend James Clare, tells Angel about his efforts to convert the local populace, mentioning his failure to tame a young miscreant named Alec d'Urberville. Angel asks Tess to marry him; this puts Tess in a painful dilemma: Angel thinks her a virgin, she shrinks from confessing her past. Such is her love for him, that she agrees to the marriage, pretending that she only hesitated because she had heard he hated old families and thought he would not approve of her d'Urberville ancestry. However, he is pleased by this news because he thinks it will make their match more suitable in the eyes of his family.
As the marriage approaches, Tess grows troubled. She writes to her mother for advice, her anxiety increases when a man from Trantridge, named Groby, recognises her and crudely alludes to her history. Angel overhears and flies into an uncharac