Campaign Launched to Save BBC TV Centre Studios

Plan to demolish home of many famous shows is "massive mistake"

 

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A petition has been launched by a group of TV professionals to save studios at BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, as new owners Stanhope show off their plans to redevelop the iconic building.

The plans can be seen and commented on in the centre's main reception today, April 25 from 2pm till 8pm and on Saturday April 27 from 10am till 4pm.

People can also give their feedback online at Stanhope's Television Centre website.

The BBC moved out of the centre, Shepherd's Bush's most famous building last month and it closed down on Easter Sunday, March 31.

Now however, a campaign has been launched to save five studios which are due to be demolished under Stanhope's plans, which the company hopes to submit to Hammersmith and Fulham Council next month.

The campaign has been set up by a group of  experienced TV industry professionals – directors, producers, sound engineers, technicians, crew and many others from all walks of television production – who all feel passionately about the demolition of not only some of the best working TV studios in the country, but the destruction of such an iconic and magical place to work.

Stars includingEsther Rantzen, Phillip Schofield, Matt Lucas, Sir David Jason, Richard Wilson, Al Murray, Alexander Armstrong, Miranda Hart, Russell Grant, Charlie Brooker and Sir Michael Parkinson are all backing the campaign.

The campaigners say: " Contrary to what you might have heard in the media recently, BBC Television Centre was not a 'dinosaur in a digital age'. The eight main studios were anything but 'past their sell by date'. In fact they were incredibly busy working HD Studios making shows not just for the BBC but also for ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. This is particularly true of the last two years.

" Six of the eight studios had been fully upgraded to make shows in HD and Studio 6 (TC6) was the first studio in the country to be 3-D ready. They were also pioneering in the development of 5.1 sound. The studios were not only prepared for the technological advances ahead they were pre-empting them.

" What you might find surprising is that despite the fanfares of the building closing last month, planning permission for the redevelopment of the site hasn’t been submitted – let alone granted. The building will in fact lay empty for the next two years. That said, in the proposed plans by developers Stanhope, five of the eight studios at Television Centre will be demolished. Destroyed. Irreversible. No going back.

" These are five studios that are housing some of the country’s favourite TV shows. All of the shows you see above were made at Television Centre in the last 12 months. Current hit shows. Ask anyone working in the TV industry and they will tell you that these are amongst the finest studios in the country. Purpose built with a unique design which has facilitated making years of TV classics.

"To destroy these five studios would be a massive mistake."

To find out more about the campaign and how you can help, including signing a petition, visit the website.

 

April 25, 2013

 

 

 

With a design inspired by a question mark scribbled on the back of an envelope, Television Centre in White City has been one of the UK's most recognisable cultural landmarks for the last 53 years.

Some of the best-known programmes on British television were recorded within its walls including: Blue Peter, Dad's Army, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Hancock’s Half Hour, Morecambe and Wise, Match of the Day, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Two Ronnies and, more recently, Strictly Come Dancing.

Designed by Graham Dawbarn, TV centre was built in 1960 on the site of the Franco-British exhibition of 1908. The news first went out from the site nine years later but the entire BBC news operation has now relocated to Broadcasting House in central London.

The centre's central ring, which is known as the doughnut and the famous Studio 1 were both granted grade II listed building status in 2009 and will be retained.

The BBC sold the 14-acre site for £200million last year and there are now emerging proposals to build a hotel, flats, a cinema and offices on the site. The three main television studios will be refitted and leased out to production companies, including the BBC, from 2014. The site will also be home to the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. If planning approval is granted, the redevelopment is set to see the forecourt opened up to the public.

The BBC said goodbye to its home with a special farewell programme last Friday, with celebrities sharing memories and regrets about the sale of the building and a wind and rain-soaked live concert by Madness in the front courtyard. Both are still available to watch on BBC iplayer.

Property developer Stanhope PLC showed local residents its emerging ideas for the redevelopment at a series of events earlier this year, with another planned in April, and is asking for residents' views.

You can see the developer’s vision and master plan for the site here

March 28, 2013