The BBC comes in for a huge amount of flak, according to critics it is both too liberal and to conservative. It pays people too much, the license fee is too expensive and so on. It’s the British way to complain constantly about our institutions but the truth is that they are so much a part of our lives that if you took them away, we’d be furious.
I can’t really imagine a world without the BBC, it has entertained me, educated me and informed me.
So the BBC Genome Project, where you can look up the Radio Times editions from 1923 to 2009 is fascinating. You can see the broadcast schedule for a particular day, at a particular time. If you remember that the schedule changed for some reason, you can tell them.
The day I was born the Radio 4 schedule looked like this, I was born at 1pm, so just as the news was starting and in time for lunch!
This is was was happening on the BBC Home Service the day my mum was born.
My brother was born during Woman’s Hour.
It’s also just interesting to look at what has changed and what is constant. I grew up in the days when there were just 3 TV stations (BBC1, BB2 and ITV) and they shut down at night! I watched a lot of old movies on Saturday afternoons because that was what BBC2 showed and the alternative was Grandstand or World of Sport!
Nowadays, the television we watch or radio we listen to is a very individual choice because there are so many options, it’s strange to look back at a world when that wasn’t the case, it might be more strange if you’re younger than me.
Anyway, go and have a look!