Tag Archives: The Radio Times

BBC Genome Project releases 1930s editions of Radio Times

(Source BBC Genome Blog)

The BBC Genome Project is releasing the next batch of pages from Radio Times, this time covering the 1930s.

Genome users will now be able to access the articles, editorial material, letters pages, illustrations and photographs from the 1930s. We hope this will help users correct some of the errors in the Genome data – as well as gain insights into broadcasting during this fascinating period.

The 1930s was a turbulent decade. The country had to cope with the worldwide depression and mass unemployment that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In 1936, King George V died, but his successor Edward VIII abdicated at the end of the year, to be replaced by George VI, his younger brother. Internationally, the decade was marked by the rise of the Nazis in Germany, and the sequence of events which culminated in the outbreak of war in September 1939.

It was a period of change in broadcasting too. At the start of the 1930s the BBC was still overseen by Sir John Reith, its first Director General. In 1932, the BBC moved from its cramped headquarters at Savoy Hill to the purpose-built Broadcasting House.[…]

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Download the 1923 “first Wireless Christmas” edition of The Radio Times


(Source: BBC Genome Blog via Mike Barraclough)

The much-loved Christmas edition of the Radio Times made its first appearance in 1923. 

It was all very different to today’s multi-channel, on-demand world. There was only radio, and London station 2LO had a meagre five-and-a-half hours of programmes on Christmas Day.

But to some extent, the first Christmas issue set many traditions which have prevailed for decades in various guises. The cover was a warm splash of colour and very festive in tone, while the publication’s austere masthead was festooned with snow and holly.

John Reith, who went on to become the BBC’s first director general, was given the first page to deliver a message to listeners, in which he deliberated the meaning of Christmas and then inevitably talked about the joy of broadcasting and the “first Wireless Christmas”.

“The loud speaker is such a convenient entertainer,” he wrote. “He doesn’t feel hurt if a cracker is pulled in the middle of a song, or offended if the fun grows riotous during his performance”.

While Reith was keen to talk up the virtues of broadcasting, the magazine was packed with adverts for radio sets and cartoons about the joys of consuming radio programmes.

But Christmas is all about giving, and we’d like to offer you the chance to download the first Christmas issue. It’s a fascinating document and we hope you will enjoy it. Happy Christmas fromBBC Genome!

Download a PDF version of the 1923 Christmas Radio Times by clicking on this link

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