On this day in 1922, the British Broadcasting Company was formed and a national treasure was born.
I get a bit sentimental about the BBC. It’s one of those capitalised institutions that makes up our national character, like the NHS or BRIAN BLESSED, and yet, like libraries, it constantly seems to be under attack. This, then, is a post that comes to praise the BBC, not bury it. Here are some of the reasons I love the BBC:
I’d pay my share of the licence fee for this alone. I mean that. And no other channel in the UK is really making this sort of show.
I’m a stepdad in training, and so I watch a lot of CBeebies. Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, Show Me, Show Me and anything starring Justin Fletcher are going to be as fondly remembered in the future as my generation remembers The Magic Roundabout or Bagpuss. But my favourite CBeebies show by far is Big and Small. Go on, Google it. It’s a thing of awesomeness.
David Attenborough, Patrick Moore, Professor Brian Cox, Simon Schama, Stephen Fry, Nina and the Neurons… All a bit more worthy than It’s Me Or The Fat Dog. And that’s before we get onto music and everything from Last Night of the Proms to John Peel…
Especially the bit when Basil accidentally mentions the war. Or the moment in Dad’s Army when Pike’s name finds its way onto a Nazi hit list. A dead parrot being returned to a pet shop and Blackadder finally failing to avoid going Over The Top. The BBC has produced some of the most iconic comedy moments of sll time.
Songs of Praise
Yes, seriously. The BBC produces a show that basically caters for old ladies who can’t make it to church. No-one else does that; the BBC’s commitment to minority-interest programming is a strength that, should it be it be lost, will weaken the cultural fabric of the nation.
Heck, there are plenty more reasons – just wish the Beeb a happy birthday then go watch Mitch Benn’s ‘I’m Proud of the BBC’. Some things are worth defending.