The BBC Turned 80 in 2014

The BBC is one of the largest and most iconic television and film broadcasting organizations on the planet. In fact, it’s the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization, as well as the largest by number of employees (23,000). In late 2014, the BBC celebrated its 80th anniversary with a resonating video reviewing its 80-year history, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch:

About The BBC

Over its 80-year history, the British Broadcasting Company has placed upon the world’s stage some of the most fantastic and incredible productions ever to grace airwaves and television sets. Their Broadcasting House in London is built on a foundation of splendid dramatic adaptations of some of the world’s best literature.

Careful attention is always given to every aspect of creation from scripting and casting to directing and editing. The resulting productions have inspired millions and spawned many of the ideas now gracing television networks around the globe.

The BBC began life as a national radio station. Its television arm has surpassed the reach of the radio by 18.8 percent. The BBC currently maintains ten television channels; most notably, BBC One and BBC Two.

Weekly Reach of the BBC
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The television studio has regularly been broadcasting since 1936 and has produced a bevy of iconic and well-known television shows. Some of the most famous around the world include:

  • Doctor Who
  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  • Blue Planet
  • Planet Earth
  • Top Gear
  • The Hallowed Crown
  • Sherlock

The BBC has also made a smattering of shows adapted for American television including House of Cards, Life on Mars, and Being Human. But the history of the BBC isn’t all there is to this long-standing British staple.

The organization’s future is bright. Literary giants like J. K. Rowling and Roald Dahl have productions in the works for the BBC, and they continue to introduce new adaptations of past literary giants like William Shakespeare, the Brontë Sisters, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

A Past and Future of Inspiration

A cultural pillar of the United Kingdom, the BBC is known worldwide. It has had a tremendous impact on the worlds of radio and television, inspiring generations of artists ranging from actors and directors to writers and more. Big industry names have either started in film via BBC productions or appeared on the network later in their careers. Some of the most noteworthy include:

  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Sir Ian McKellen
  • Martin Freeman
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Benedict Cumberbatch

In truth, almost every actor of caliber has graced at least one BBC production. A Google image search of the term “famous BBC actors” paints an indulgent picture of incredible talent.

Famous BBC Actors

The broadcasting company recently expanded into online-only channels, and they are reportedly pioneering how the channels of the future will work. One thing is certain, as we trudge through the coming 20 years before the BBC turns 100-years-old, more unrivaled programming is in our future. So, it is with great spirit that we conclude by saying long live literature, long live the BBC, and long live the Queen!

Feature Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

One thought on “The BBC Turned 80 in 2014

  1. I love the screenshot of the Google image search. I didn’t realize how many of the actors I love appeared on the BBC until I watched the video. Thank you for the urge to search the British section of my Hulu account! :p


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