Tag Archives: BBC

A new way to navigate the BBC Archives


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares a link to this article on the BBC Blog:

Currently there are over 15,000 permanently available programmes, largely radio programmes, on the BBC website dating back decades, but they can be very difficult to find. From today, we’re launching a new piece of technology called ADA (Automated Data Architecture) that unearths and helps people navigate the BBC’s rich archive of permanently available programmes.

As you can see below, it adds a list of related topic tags under the description of the programme. So if you’ve just listened to an episode on Ada Lovelace and were interested in other notable women of the Victorian era, you can now click that tag and find all the permanently available programmes on that topic. There are programmes on Beatrix Potter, Florence Nightingale and Sylvia Pankhurst to name a few. There will also be up to three recommended programmes on the right hand side, with a link to the topic that connects them.

This seemingly small change to a programme page can lead you down interesting little alleyways to fascinating places you never expected to visit. For example, starting off at Ada Lovelace can take you all the way to a programme on Julius Caesar via ‘the Byron family’ followed by ‘Fellows of the Royal Society’ then ‘Captain James Cook’ and finally the ‘Deaths by stabbing’ topic tags. Give it a try here and see where you end up.

Some programmes like Desert Island Discs, which have a lot of programmes available, have navigation which is tailored very carefully to the brand. This makes it easy to find programmes but also means the system cannot be re-used across other BBC brands or programmes.[…]

Click here to continue reading this article on the BBC Blog.

Mark notices a Yaesu FRG-8800 on “Death in Paradise”


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

I noticed recently in an episode of the BBC series, “Death in Paradise“, a Yaesu FRG-8800 sat on a book case.

[The screenshot is] from Season 4, Episode 1 “Stab in the Dark”, with the radio off DS Camille Bordey’s right shoulder. [See image above–click to enlarge]

The Yaesu FRG-8800 (Source: Universal Radio)

The Yaesu FRG-8800 (Source: Universal Radio)

So far, it has never been used. As the show is set on a fictitious Caribbean island, perhaps the props people figured a radio like that might be part of a busy island police station where seemingly someone dies every week.

I wonder what other shows people have noticed amateur radio gear in (Season 2 of 24 comes to mind, when Kim Bauer is taken in by a survivalist).

Thank you, Mark. I like how the FRG-8800 is just sitting there on the shelf–doesn’t look like it’s connected to anything.

Only recently, I noted a classic shortwave receiver in the trailer of a film. I think I captured it and made a note, but forgot to post. I’ll see if I can find it and post. Hopefully, seeing the image will jog my memory!

August 28: BBC Atlantic Relay station special DRM broadcasts

RNZI-DRM-2(Source: DRM Consortium)

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission on 21715 kHz from the BBC Atlantic Relay station, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC’s first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

Since 1966, the Atlantic Relay station has broadcast BBC World Service programmes to Africa and South America, and to this day, continues to broadcast over 250 programme hours every week to East and West Africa in English, French, Hausa and Somali.

BBCRelayStation-Ascension IslandThe two hour-transmission on 21715 kHz will start with the old, special sound of Bow Church Bell in east London, the sound of which, even if in DRM this time,  will remind older listeners of the BBC broadcasts of many decades ago. The 21-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.

DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale, is an international digital radio standard designed by broadcasters, for broadcasters, in co-operation with transmitter and receiver manufacturers. DRM is a high quality digital replacement for analogue radio broadcasting in the AM and FM bands.

This special transmission will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island’s BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

Click here to read more about the fascinating history of the BBC’s broadcasts from Ascension Island.

Transmission Details

FREQ   TIME (UTC)       SERVICE          TX        kW       Bearing Day      LANG               TARGET

21715   1155-1201         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa           (Special Announcement)

21715   1201-1400         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa            (English – ENAFW)

21715   1400-1430         BBC DRM         ASC     250       250       1          English             Brazil                (English – ENAFW)

Additional analogue transmission will broadcast from 13.30 GMT for ceremonial purposes.

15105   1330-1430         BAB                  ASC     250       27         1          English             W. Africa                   (Special Announcement)

BBC Monitoring: A tour of Caversham Park

(Source: Southgate ARC)

A tour of Caversham Park before it closes – the home of BBC Monitoring – a historical BBC World Service department which has been monitoring some of the world’s most seismic events for 75 years

Caversham Park became the BBC Monitoring Headquarters in 1941 and in light of recent news that, due to a £4million pound funding cut, it’ll be closing its doors for good, Rajan Datar visits the iconic building.

Coordinating Editor, Chris Greenway gives a tour of the building and a sense of its history, while Lina Shaikouni gives a taste of what the service provides today.

Over to You – The Home of BBC Monitoring

First broadcast on Saturday, August 20 the podcast should now be available at