There was a tinge of sadness among BBC staff this week as the corporation left its traditional home of BBC1 and BBC2 to move to unspecified locations away from the television set which has been its home since the 1950s.
The BBC has been forced to adapt to the modern era in recent years, creating new departments, introducing internal markets and outsourcing much of its core business. Now the incoming Director General has ruled that the British Broadcasting Corporation needs to concentrate on its central mission of restructuring the organisation, relocating staff, and rebuilding office space. ‘As a by-product of this on-going process, we can no longer afford the old-fashioned luxury of making television programmes.’
‘Of course, we all have fond memories of many of the shows that the BBC used to make,’ said incoming Director General Tony Hall. ‘Fawlty Towers, Planet Earth, I Claudius, The One Show… Actually not that one. But there can be no room for sentiment in the modern business-orientated multi-sector communications organisation. License payers may no longer see the familiar old TV channels where they used to be on their television sets. But they can be confident that the BBC will still be there; in our offices, moving bits of paper around and thinking about where we can relocate to next.’
Meanwhile the BBC are issuing a number of DVD box sets featuring some of the nation’s favourite locations that the BBC has occupied down the years. ‘The Lime Grove Years’, ‘Shepherd’s Bush Theatre’, ‘Pebble Mill’, ‘Broadcasting House’ and ‘White City’.
There are also proposals for a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the BBC’s next studio relocation, to be shown on ITV 1 in the autumn.