Audiences are to be given unprecedented behind the scenes access as part of a special day of live programming on February 29, to mark the BBC World Service’s 80th birthday.
Highlights from the day will include a special global audience with Sir David Attenborough and The Strand – the WS global arts programme – will be edited by guest artist and music producer William Orbit.
Audiences will be able to join a special debate about what they want from the World Service, both on air, online and across social media forums. (#bbcws80)
The day will give audiences around the world a unique insight into production of their favourite programmes and multilingual videos will be produced of all the broadcasts throughout the day online at bbc.co.uk/worldservice.
For the first time audiences will be invited to watch and participate in over 12 hours of programmes in English and across more than 12 different languages. The day will be hosted by BBC Persian’s Pooneh Ghoddoosi and BBC World Service presenter Ros Atkins.
BBC World Service’s daily morning editorial meeting, which normally takes place behind the doors of Bush House, will be opened up and broadcast live for the first time. In this meeting – a daily part of life in the building – the newsroom’s editors discuss and agree the big stories and developments and decide on which stories will shape the day’s news agenda.
The open courtyard of Bush House will host many of the programmes that day. Flagship programmes such as Newshour and World Have Your Say will invite audiences to join a conversation about international broadcasting and the future priorities of the BBC World Service.
Listeners around the world – and the audience at Bush House – will have the chance to shape the news agenda and debate by making suggestions from the floor, or through Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News, said: “The 80th birthday and departure from Bush House means these are historic and changing times for the BBC World Service. We want our audiences to be at the heart of both the commemoration of the past and conversation about the future.”
BBC World Service Commissioning Editor, Steve Titherington, said: “We are turning Bush House inside out showing who we are and what we do to our audiences and asking what the world wants next from the BBC World Service.”
On February 29, BBC World Service is also launching a new series of programmes on the human body. Linked to the Olympics, The Human Race will invite the public to take part in a ‘healthcheck special’ featuring leading international scientists and sportspeople.
Not only celebrating 80 years of broadcasting, this special day of programming marks the start of the BBC World Service’s move from Bush House, its iconic London home for over 70 years, to a new state of the art broadcasting centre in Oxford Circus.
The move will see all of the BBC’s news services – UK and international – based together for the first time. The aim is to create ‘the world’s newsroom’ – enhancing the BBC’s global newsgathering and creating a forum for the best journalism in the world.
BBC World Service English – much of the day’s global schedule from 07:00 to 23:00 GMT will broadcast live from outside Bush House. Programming highlights from this day include:
09:00 – The live news meeting – normally conducted behind closed doors, audiences will for the first time be given insight into the inner workings of the newsroom.
11:00 – World Have Your Say – the global interactive news discussion programme will ask audiences around the world what they want the programme to be about on that day.
15:00 – A live global audience with Sir David Attenborough.
17:00 – World Business Report and Focus on Africa will link up to broadcast a special programme asking how business journalism is reporting the financial crisis with Alistair Darling on the panel, and looking at the creative energy and entrepreneurship coming out of Africa.
19:00 Health Check – will air a special programme to launch The Human Race Season – a raft of programmes examining the human body. Endurance runners and sprinters, sports psychologists, doctors and coaches will all be in the courtyard to try to answer ‘What makes an Olympic athelete?’
20:00 – 22:00 – Newshour, BBC World Services flagship current affairs show, will broadcast a special debate looking at the future of international broadcasting.
22:00 – 23:00 – The Strand Extra – BBC World Service’s global arts show, will be edited by special guest artist and music producer William Orbit.