- BBC One
Infobox TV channel
name = BBC One
logosize = 200px
logofile = BBC_One_logo.svg
logoalt = The BBC One logo since 2006
launch = 2 November 1936
picture format =
576i( PAL) 16:9
share = 20.8%
share as of = June 2008
share source = [http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/monthreports.cfm?report=monthtotal]
country = United Kingdom
former names = BBC Television Service
(1936 - 8 October 1960)
(8 October 1960-April 1964)
(April 1964-4 October 1997)
web = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone]
sister names =
BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four
terr serv 1 = Analogue
terr chan 1 = "Normally tuned to 1"
terr serv 2 = Freeview
terr chan 2 = Channel 1
sat serv 1 =
sat chan 1 = Channel 101
sat serv 2 = Sky Digital
sat chan 2 = Channel 101 and
BBC UK regional TV on satellite
sat serv 3 = Sky Digital (IRL)
sat chan 3 = Channel 141
sat serv 4 =
sat chan 4 = 10773H 22000 5/6
cable serv 1 =
cable chan 1 = Channel 101
cable serv 2 =
cable chan 2 = Channel 108
cable serv 3 =
cable chan 3 = Channel 19
cable serv 4 =
cable chan 4 = Channel 50
cable serv 5 =
cable chan 5 = Channel 213
adsl serv 1 =
Tiscali TV (UK)
adsl chan 1 = Channel 1
BBC One (BBC1 until 1997) is the primary television channel of the
British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC). It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular public televisionservice with a high level of image resolution. [A 240-line intermediate film systemand the Marconi-EMI's 405-lineall-electronic television service. Germany introduced all-electronic television with a medium level of image resolution (180 lines) in 1935.] It was later renamed BBC tv until the launch of sister channel BBC Twoin 1964. The channel has an annual budget of £840 million., and makes an annual profit of £900 million. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/bbcannualreport.pdf BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2005/2006] ] Along with the BBC's other domestic television stations, it is funded entirely by the television licence fee, and therefore shows uninterrupted programming with no commercial advertising.
The early years
Baird Television made Britain's first television broadcast, on 30 September 1929 from its studio in
Long Acre, London via the BBC's London transmitter, using the electromechanical system pioneered by John Logie Baird. This system used a vertically-scanned image of 30 lines — just enough resolution for a close-up of one person, and with a bandwidth low enough to use existing radio transmitters. Simultaneous transmission of sound and picture was achieved on 30 March 1930, by using the BBC's new twin transmitter at Brookmans Park. By late 1930, 30 minutes of morning programmes were broadcast Monday to Friday, and 30 minutes at midnight on Tuesdays and Fridays, after BBC radio went off the air. Baird broadcasts via the BBC continued until June 1932.
The BBC began its own regular television programming from the basement of
Broadcasting House, London on 22 August 1932. The studio moved to expanded quarters at 16 Portland Place, London, in February 1934, and continued broadcasting the 30-line images, carried by telephone line to the medium wavetransmitter at Brookmans Park, until 11 September 1935, by which time advances in all-electronic television systems made the electromechanical broadcasts obsolete.
After a series of test transmissions and special broadcasts that began in August, regular BBC television broadcasts officially resumed on 1 October 1936, from a converted wing of
Alexandra Palacein London, housing two studios, various scenery stores, make-up areas, dressing rooms, offices, and even the transmitter itself, now broadcasting on the VHFband. BBC television initially used two systems, on alternate weeks: the 240-line Baird intermediate film systemand the 405-lineMarconi-EMI system, each making the BBC the world's first regular high-definition television service, broadcasting Monday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 10 pm. [cite book
first = R.W.
last = Burns
title = Television: An International History of the Formative Years
location = London
publisher = The Institution of Electrical Engineers
year = 1998
pages = ix
id = ISBN 0-85296-914-7 ] The two systems were to run on a trial basis for six months; early television sets supported both resolutions. However, the Baird system, which used a mechanical camera for filmed programming and Farnsworth image dissector cameras for live programming, proved too cumbersome and visually inferior, and was dropped in February 1937.
Initially, the station's range was officially a 25-mile (40 km) radius of the Alexandra Palace transmitter—in practice, however, transmissions could be picked up a good deal further away, and on one occasion in 1938 were picked up by engineers at
RCAin New York, who were experimenting with a British television set. [They filmed the static-ridden output they saw on their screen, and this poor-quality mute film footage is the only surviving record of 1930s British television filmed directly from the screen. Some images of programmes do survive in newsreels, which also contain footage shot in studios while programmes were being made, giving a feel for what was being done, albeit without directly replicating what was being shown on screen.]
On 1 September 1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany, the station was unceremoniously taken off air with little warning. [cite web|url=http://www.transdiffusion.org/emc/baird/tvoff/index.htm|title=The edit that rewrote history - Baird|accessdate=2007-05-28] It was feared that the VHF transmissions would act as a beacon to enemy aircraft homing in on London. Also, many of the television service's technical staff and engineers would be needed for the war effort, in particular on the RADAR programme. The last programme aired was a
Mickey Mousecartoon, " Mickey's Gala Premiere". According to figures from England's Radio Manufacturers Association, 18,999 television sets had been manufactured from 1936 to September 1939, when production was halted by the war.
BBC television returned on 7 June 1946 at 3 p.m.
Jasmine Bligh, one of the original announcers, made the first announcement, saying, 'Good afternoon everybody. How are you? Do you remember me, Jasmine Bligh?'. The Mickey Mouse cartoon of 1939 was repeated 20 minutes later. [cite news
last = Rohrer
first = Finlo
title = Back after the break
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5054802.stm
accessdate = 2007-04-25]
Postwar broadcast coverage extended to
Birminghamin 1949 with the opening of the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, and by the mid 1950s most of the country was covered.
Alexandra Palace was the home base of the channel until the early 1950s when the majority of production moved into
Lime Grove Studios(closed 1991), then in 1960 to the purpose-built BBC Television Centreat White City, also in London, where the channel is still based.
Television News continued to use Alexandra Palace as its base — by early 1968 it had even converted one of its studios to colour — before moving to purpose-built colour facilities at TV Centre on 20 September 1969.
The BBC held a
monopolyon television broadcasting in the United Kingdom until the first ITVstation was launched in 1955. The competition quickly forced the channel to change its identity and priorities following a large drop in audience figures. By the 1980s, the channel had launched the first breakfast televisionprogrammes and returned to its previous form under the controller of the channel at the time, Michael Grade.
Since the launch of multichannel television, BBC One's share of the viewing has declined, although not as fast as
ITV's, leading the channel to once again become the most watched in the last decade.
The station was renamed BBC1 when BBC2 was launched in April 1964. On 15 November 1969, simultaneously with
ITVand two years after BBC2, the channel officially began 625-line PALcolour programming. [In the weeks leading up to 15 November, BBC1 had unofficially transmitted the occasional programme in colour to test its system.] Stereo audio transmissions began in 1988 ( NICAM), and wide-screen programming was introduced on digital platforms in 1998. Many of these developments took some years to become available on all transmitters.
The channel has had a diverse range of identities and priorities over the years and was named Channel Of The Year at the 2007 Broadcast Awards.
The channel was praised by judges who said: "At a time when all major terrestrial broadcasters are facing questions about how fast and far their share of viewing will fall, BBC One has shown it can deliver mass entertainment.."
Peter Fincham, then Controller of BBC One, said: "I am really delighted that BBC One did so well at the Broadcast Awards. I had like to thank the many many people who contributed to a successful year on the channel and these awards reflect the variety and strength of the programming." [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/01_january/25/awards.shtml BBC One named Channel Of The Year at Broadcast Awards] BBC Press Office; 25 January 2007]
quotation|BBC One aims to be the UK’s most valued television channel, with the broadest range of quality programmes ofany UK mainstream network. The channel is committed to widening the appeal of all genres by making a range of subjects accessible to a broad audience. BBC One is committed to covering national and international sports events and issues, showcasing landmark programmes and exploring new ways of presenting specialist subjects.|BBC One remit
[cite web|url=http://www.barb.co.uk/|title=BARB ] are as follows:
The Vicar of Dibley13,080,000
Concert for Diana12,220,000
Strictly Come Dancing12,090,000
With a mission to provide big programmes for all licence-fee payers, it has the main sport, news, current affairs and documentaries. It has historically broadcast children's programmes (now taken from
CBBCand CBeebies). The channel remains one of the principal television channels in the United Kingdom and provides 2,508 annual hours of news and weather, 1,880 hours of factual and learning, 1,036 hours of drama, 672 hours of children's, 670 hours of sport, 654 hours of film, 433 hours of entertainment, 159 hours of current affairs, 92 hours of religion and 82 hours of music and arts. [cite web
title = BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2005/2006
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/bbcannualreport.pdf
pages = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/bbcannualreport.pdf#page=146 p.144]
accessdate = 2007-04-28]
News and current affairs
2,508 annual hours of news and weather (293 in peak, 1,049 of BBC News simulcasts) are provided by regular news programmes "
BBC Breakfast", the " BBC News at One", " BBC News at Six" and the " BBC News at Ten" (the most-watched UK news programme), each including BBC regional news programmes. All of the three main news bulletins have a lead over their rival programmes on ITV. BBC Onehas also taken overnight simulcasts from the BBC News channel since 1997.
Each year 159 hours of current affairs programmes are broadcast on BBC One, including "Panorama" and "Watchdog". Politics is also covered, with programmes such as "Question Time" and "This Week". "
Crimewatch", a programme appealing for help in unsolved crimes, is also frequently broadcast.
Factual and learning
Whilst nature documentaries such as "Planet Earth" are the most familiar part of the 1,880 annual BBC One hours of factual and learning, this also includes lifestyle-format daytime programmes and a number of "reality TV" formats and the "One Life" strand.
BBC One is the BBC's home of drama, with 1,036 hours each year. There are four half-hour episodes of "
EastEnders" each week, with an omnibus episode at the weekend, plus hospital dramas "Casualty" and " Holby City". In recent years the BBC's innovative dramas such as " Spooks", " Judge John Deed", "Hustle" and time-travel police drama "Life on Mars" and "Ashes to Ashes" have defeated ITVin the ratings. Also included in the 20 weekly hours of new drama is its " Doctor Who".
Because there are many homes that do not yet have access to the
CBeebiesand CBBC digital television channels, BBC One broadcasts 672 hours of children's programmes each year, over two hours each day, mostly during the late afternoon. Some have suggested that these programmes should migrate to the digital channels in 2013, but considering it is in BBC One's remit to appeal to all, including children, this seems unlikely.
BBC One broadcasts 670 hours of sport each year. This includes Premiership football highlights on "
Match of the Day", tennis from Wimbledon, horse racing such as the Grand National, the London Marathon, the Olympic Games, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Snookertournaments, and international athletics. It was also confirmed BBC One would have the rights to show Football League, Carling Cup ties and Formula Onemotor racing from 2009.
British and international films are broadcast for 654 hours each year on BBC One. This is mainly late-night fillers with some box office hits at Christmas and holiday periods.
433 hours of entertainment are broadcast by BBC One each year. This includes game shows like "
National Lottery", quiz shows like " Have I Got News for You", several talent shows such as " Strictly Come Dancing" and chat shows such as " Friday Night with Jonathan Ross".
The annual 92 hours of religion comprises mainly of weekly editions of recorded "
Songs of Praise" Christianservices and Sunday morning Christian "Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford", which ended its nine year run on BBC One on 2 September 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/heavenandearth/programme.shtml|title=Heaven and Earth ends] It will be replaced by shows produced by two independent production companies. Mentorn Oxford will produce "Heart and Soul", described as “a new multifaith programme featuring a panel and a studio audience”, followed by "Life from the Loft" which will take the same slot early next year, and will be made by the Leeds-based company True North. [cite web|url=http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=38046|title=New shows to replace Heaven and Earth] In 2005 BBC One was criticised for reducing the amount of religious programming, previously 101 hours per year. [cite web|url=http://www.christiantoday.com/article/channel.governors.criticise.bbc1.for.reducing.religious.programming/2818.htm|title=BBC criticised for reducing amount of religious programmes]
BBC One broadcasts many comedy programmes, often on Friday nights. These include the long-running "
My Family" and highly successful " Little Britain", no longer in production, which was transferred from BBC Three. One of the most popular BBC comedy shows was " Only Fools and Horses", which until recently was still regularly repeated on the channel.
Music and arts
As the weekly popular music chart programme "
Top of the Pops" was axed (except for the Christmas Day edition), BBC One now broadcasts only 82 hours of music and arts each year. The majority of this is the Alan Yentobfronted "Imagine" and classical music concerts such as the BBC Proms.
Daytime programming from 9.15 a.m. is mainly lifestyle shows such as "
Bargain Hunt", but also includes soaps such as "Doctors". From 3.05 p.m. until 5.15 p.m. is the CBeebies/CBBC broadcasting strand, with its own visual identity. Historically, BBC One's most popular daytime programme was "Neighbours", with audience figures approaching five million. From 11 February 2008 BBC One dropped "Neighbours" and the programme is now broadcast on Five. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6669769.stm |title=Five wins Neighbours soap fight |accessdate=2008-02-10 |date= 2007-05-18|publisher= BBC News] In its place is the game show Weakest Link, moved from BBC Two.
28% of "qualifying hours" are made by independent production companies (statutory target is 25%). 99% of peak hours programmes are original productions (target 90%), as are 82% of all hours (target 70%).
Some of the channel's most popular programmes, such as "
Match of the Day", " Have I Got News for You", " The Kumars at No. 42", "The Apprentice" and " Little Britain" originally started off on other BBC channels, and moved to BBC One because of their popularity. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/08_august/25/apprentice.shtml The Apprentice moves to BBC One] BBC Press Office]
For the first half-century of its existence, with the exception of
films and imported programmes from countries such as the United States and Australia, almost all the channel's output was produced by the BBC's in-house production departments. This changed following the Broadcasting Act 1990, which required that 25% of the BBC's television output be out-sourced to independent production companies. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/questions/quotas.shtml|title=About the Independent Production Quota] By 2004 many popular BBC One shows were made for the channel by independents, but the in-house production departments continue to contribute heavily to the schedule.
To reflect the countries within the United Kingdom that the channel is available in, BBC One has individual continuity and opt-outs for Scotland, [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/statements2007/television/bbcone_scot.shtml About BBC One Scotland] BBC Website] Wales [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/statements2007/television/bbcone_wales.shtml About BBC One Wales] BBC Website] and
Northern Ireland. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/statements2007/television/bbcone_ni.shtml About BBC One Northern Ireland] BBC Website] The channel's visual identity is largely the same as the version used in England, save for the inclusion of the country name below the main BBC One logo.
In the English regions, [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/england BBC - England] BBC Website] the BBC has and current affairs programme opt-outs as well as a limited amount of continuity for the English regions. During such regional opt-outs, the region name is displayed as with the national variations, in smaller characters beneath the main channel logo. A generic news programme,
UK Today, available mainly to digital viewers but also shown in the case of problems with regional news programmes was discontinued in 2002. This was replaced by transmission of BBC London News, since digital viewers are now able to receive regional programming. BBC One Scotlandhas the greatest level of variation from the generic network, owing to BBC Scotlandscheduling Scottish programming on the main BBC Scotland channel, rather than on BBC Two.BBC One Scotland variations include the soap opera River Cityand the football programme Sportscene, the inclusion of which causes network programming to be displaced or replaced.
BBC One Wales was considered a separate channel by the BBC upon its launch in the mid-1960s, appearing as "BBC Wales" (without the "1") ["...a separate service - BBC Wales - available to the greater part of the people in the Principality..." BBC Handbook 1967, p25; British Broadcasting Corporation, London: 1966]
BBC One's identity has been symbolised by a globe shown on its
idents for most of its existence. [cite web|url=http://www.transdiffusion.org/emc/baird/symbol.php|title=Oh, that Symbol... - Baird|accessdate=2007-05-28] In 1962 this was represented as a map of the UK shown between programmes, but in 1963 the globe appeared, changing in style and appearance over the next 39 years.
* From 15 November 1969 it became a 'mirror-globe' in several colours and sizes (a globe in front of a curved mirror which reflected a distorted view of the reverse).
* On 18 February 1985 the COW (Computer Originated World) debuted. This was a computer-animated globe with the land coloured gold and the sea a transparent blue, giving the impression of a glass globe.
* On 16 February 1991, the day that BBC2 rebranded, an ethereal crystal-ball-type globe appeared, played out on air from
* On 4 October 1997 the globe became a red, orange and yellow hot-air balloon, coloured to resemble a globe, flying around various places in the UK.
* On 29 March 2002 the globe was replaced by a series of idents consisting of people dancing in various styles (see
BBC One 'Rhythm & Movement' idents).
* On 7 October 2006 at 10.00 a.m. the new set of idents based on circles ("see
BBC One 'Circle' idents") was launched. According to the BBC, the circle symbol both represents togetherness and acts as a nod to the former globe idents.
Impact of Peter Fincham
Joining the channel as Controller in 2005,
Peter Finchamoversaw the commissioning of several successful BBC One programmes including "Robin Hood" (2006–present), "Jane Eyre" (2006) and " How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?", which was soon followed by related shows "Any Dream Will Do" and "I'd Do Anything" because of its success.cite news|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article1919429.ece|title=Back the BBC to hang on to its viewers in the multi-channel age|publisher= The Independent|first=Raymond|last=Snoddy|date= 2006-10-23|accessdate=2007-01-19] His first full year in charge of the channel saw a year-on-year growth in the audience share, with a rise from 22.2% in August 2005 to 23.6% in August 2006.cite web|url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/advertising/story/0,,1874583,00.html|title=Channel 4's Big Brother hangover|publisher= Guardian Unlimited|format=Requires free registration|date= 2006-10-18|accessdate=2007-01-19]
Fincham also directly initiated the creation of both early evening current affairs and lifestyle programme "
The One Show" (2006–present), now to run all but two weeks of the year, and the prime time chat show"Davina" (2006), the latter being designed as a vehicle for successful "Big Brother" presenter Davina McCall.cite web|url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/bbc/story/0,,1865519,00.html|title=The One Show gets another go|first=Matt|last=Wells|publisher= Guardian Unlimited|format=Requires free registration|date= 2006-09-06|accessdate=2007-01-19] However, "Davina" was a critical and ratings disaster,cite news|url=http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_m_z/thomas_sutcliffe/article351178.ece|title=Do not blame Davina for this disaster|publisher= The Independent|first=Thomas|last=Sutcliffe|date= 2006-03-14|accessdate=2007-01-19] which Fincham subsequently admitted was personally his fault, although he defended the strategy of experimenting with the BBC One schedule. He continued with this experimentation in January 2007, when he moved the current affairs series "Panorama" from its Sunday night slot to back to the prime time Monday evening slot from which it had been removed in 2000, most likely in response to a demand from the Board of Governors of the BBCfor the channel to show more current affairs programming in prime time.cite news|url=http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,14934-2276469,00.html|title=Panorama to take on ITV soap|publisher= The Times|first=Adam|last=Sherwin|date= 2006-01-19|accessdate=2007-01-19]
Fincham's judgement was again called into question, this time by "
The Daily Telegraph" newspaper, for his decision to spend £1.2 million replacing the BBC 'Rhythm & Movement' idents, which had been introduced by his predecessor Lorraine Heggesseyseveral years earlier, with the BBC One 'Circle' idents, a set of eight ten-second films, some of which were shot abroad in locations such as Mexico and Croatia.cite news|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/27/nbbc27.xml|title= BBC splashes out £1.2 m on circle of life TV links|last=Alleyne|first=Richard|publisher= The Daily Telegraph|date= 2006-09-27|accessdate=2007-01-19] Fincham later found himself having to publicly defend the £18 million salary that the BBC paid presenter Jonathan Ross in 2006,cite news|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2219035,00.html|title=BBC's £18 m deal makes Ross best-paid presenter|first=Adam|last=Sherwin|publisher= The Times|date= 2006-06-10|accessdate=2007-01-19] although Ross's BBC One work - primarily consisting of " Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" - formed only a small part of his overall BBC commitment.
In May 2007, Fincham took the decision to drop the Australian soap opera "
Neighbours" from BBC One after 21 years on the channel, when its producers significantly raised the price they wanted the BBC to pay for it in a bidding war. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6669769.stm|title=BBC pulls out of Neighbours fight |publisher= BBC News Online|date= 2007-05-18|accessdate=2007-05-18] Fincham commented that it was 'a big loss', but that BBC One would not pay 'the best part of £300 m'. [http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2083290,00.html Neighbours will move in Spring 2008] Media Guardian] Neighbours left the channel in spring 2008 to move to Five and is currently the most popular daytime show.
Fincham was involved in a further controversy in July 2007, when he was accused of misleading BBC One viewers. The incident involved a clip from forthcoming documentary "A Year With the Queen" which was shown to journalists during a press conference. It apparently showed the Queen storming out of a session with American photographer
Annie Leibovitzover a disagreement about what she should wear, but the BBC subsequently admitted that the scenes used in the trailer had been edited out of their correct order, meaning that a false impression was given. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6294472.stm|title=BBC apologises over Queen clips|publisher= BBC News Online|date= 2007-07-12|accessdate=2007-07-13] Fincham admitted the error, but rejected calls that he should resign from his position as a result. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6896892.stm|title=I stay, says royal row BBC boss|publisher= BBC News Online|date= 2007-07-13|accessdate=2007-07-13] His future was deemed uncertain following critical comments from BBC TrustChairman Sir Michael Lyons [ [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article2224732.ece Fincham Criticised by Sir Michael Lyons] Times Online] and he resigned on 5 October 2007.
The BBC has stated that by April 2008 it aims to have
subtitlesfor viewers with hearing difficulties present on 100% of programming - currently 95% of BBC One and BBC Two programmes are subtitled. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/subtitles.shtml BBC policy on subtitles] BBC Website] The BBC also offers audio descriptionon some popular BBC One programmes [cite web|url=http://www.tvhelp.org.uk/audes/schedule.php|title=List of programmes with audio description] for visually impaired viewers. Currently 8% of the BBC's total television output, which includes BBC One, has audio descriptions. This will increase to 10% by 2008. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/ad.shtml BBC Policy on Audio Descriptions] BBC Website]
Notes and references
Oldest television station
List of television programmes broadcast by the BBC
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone/programmes/schedules/london/today BBC One listings] at bbc.co.uk
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