The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd (formerly BBC Worldwide), which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and also distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd.
From its inception, through the Second World War (where its broadcasts helped to unite the nation), to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture. It has also been known as "The Beeb", and "Auntie".
|British Broadcasting Corporation|
with a Royal charter
|Predecessor||British Broadcasting Company|
|Founded||18 October 1922 (as British Broadcasting Company)|
1 January 1927 (as British Broadcasting Corporation)
|Revenue||£4.954 billion (2016/17)|
|£-39.3 million (2016/17)|
|£-129.1 million (2016/17)|
|Total assets||£308.6 million (2016/17)|
Number of employees
Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920. It was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office (GPO), was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast. The company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform, educate and entertain".
The financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee. The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, and an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired. The BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was also banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services.
Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now the BBC under Reith's leadership had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified (monopoly) broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise. The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, and with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC suddenly became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis.
The crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently. The Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives largely in a manner of its own choosing. The resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment, or that the BBC had banned broadcasts from the Labour Party and delayed a peace appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Supporters of the strike nicknamed the BBC the BFC for British Falsehood Company. Reith personally announced the end of the strike which he marked by reciting from Blake's "Jerusalem" signifying that England had been saved.
While the BBC tends to characterise its coverage of the general strike by emphasising the positive impression created by its balanced coverage of the views of government and strikers, Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History and the Official BBC Historian has characterised the episode as the invention of "modern propaganda in its British form". Reith argued that trust gained by 'authentic impartial news' could then be used. Impartial news was not necessarily an end in itself.
The BBC did well out of the crisis, which cemented a national audience for its broadcasting, and it was followed by the Government's acceptance of the recommendation made by the Crawford Committee (1925–26) that the British Broadcasting Company be replaced by a non-commercial, Crown-chartered organisation: the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The British Broadcasting Corporation came into existence on 1 January 1927, and Reith – newly knighted – was appointed its first Director General. To represent its purpose and (stated) values, the new corporation adopted the coat of arms, including the motto "Nation shall speak peace unto Nation".
British radio audiences had little choice apart from the upscale programming of the BBC. Reith, an intensely moralistic executive, was in full charge. His goal was to broadcast "All that is best in every department of human knowledge, endeavour and achievement.... The preservation of a high moral tone is obviously of paramount importance." Reith succeeded in building a high wall against an American-style free-for-all in radio in which the goal was to attract the largest audiences and thereby secure the greatest advertising revenue. There was no paid advertising on the BBC; all the revenue came from a tax on receiving sets. Highbrow audiences, however, greatly enjoyed it. At a time when American, Australian and Canadian stations were drawing huge audiences cheering for their local teams with the broadcast of baseball, rugby and hockey, the BBC emphasized service for a national, rather than a regional audience. Boat races were well covered along with tennis and horse racing, but the BBC was reluctant to spend its severely limited air time on long football or cricket games, regardless of their popularity.
John Reith and the BBC, with support from the Crown, determined the universal needs of the people of Britain and broadcast content according to these perceived standards. Reith effectively censored anything that he felt would be harmful, directly or indirectly. While recounting his time with the BBC in 1935, Raymond Postgate claims that BBC broadcasters were made to submit a draft of their potential broadcast for approval. It was expected that they tailored their content to accommodate the modest, church-going elderly or a member of the Clergy. Until 1928, entertainers broadcasting on the BBC, both singers and "talkers" were expected to avoid biblical quotations, Clerical impersonations and references, references to drink or Prohibition in America, vulgar and doubtful matter and political allusions. The BBC excluded popular foreign music and musicians from its broadcasts, while promoting British alternatives. On 5 March 1928, Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister, maintained the censorship of editorial opinions on public policy, but allowed the BBC to address matters of religious, political or industrial controversy. The resulting political "talk series", designed to inform England on political issues, were criticized by Members of Parliament, including Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and Sir Austen Chamberlain. Those who opposed these chats claimed that they silence the opinions of those in Parliament who are not nominated by Party Leaders or Party Whips, thus stifling independent, non-official views. In October 1932, the policemen of the Metropolitan Police Federation marched in protest of a proposed pay cut. Fearing dissent within the police force and public support for the movement, the BBC censored its coverage of the events, only broadcasting official statements from the government.
Throughout the 1930s, political broadcasts had been closely monitored by the BBC. In 1935, the BBC censored the broadcasts of Oswald Mosley and Harry Pollitt. Mosley was a leader of the British Union of Fascists, and Pollitt a leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain. They had been contracted to provide a series of five broadcasts on their party's politics. The BBC, in conjunction with The Foreign Office of Britain, first suspended this series and ultimately cancelled it without the notice of the public. Less radical politicians faced similar censorship. In 1938, Winston Churchill proposed a series of talks regarding British domestic and foreign politics and affairs but was similarly censored. The censorship of political discourse by the BBC was a precursor to the total shutdown of political debate that manifested over the BBC's wartime airwaves. The Foreign Office maintained that the public should not be aware of their role in the censorship. From 1935-1939, the BBC also attempted to unite the British Empire's radio waves, sending staff to Egypt, Palestine, Newfoundland, Jamaica, India, Canada and South Africa. Reith personally visited South Africa, lobbying for state run radio programs which was accepted by South African Parliament in 1936. A similar program was adopted in Canada. Through collaboration with these state run broadcasting centers, Reith left a legacy of cultural influence across the empire of Great Britain with his departure from the Corporation in 1938.
The success of broadcasting provoked animosities between the BBC and well established media such as theatres, concert halls and the recording industry. By 1929, the BBC complained that the agents of many comedians refused to sign contracts for broadcasting, because they feared it harmed the artist "by making his material stale" and that it "reduces the value of the artist as a visible music-hall performer". On the other hand, the BBC was "keenly interested" in a cooperation with the recording companies who "in recent years ... have not been slow to make records of singers, orchestras, dance bands, etc. who have already proved their power to achieve popularity by wireless." Radio plays were so popular that the BBC had received 6,000 manuscripts by 1929, most of them written for stage and of little value for broadcasting: "Day in and day out, manuscripts come in, and nearly all go out again through the post, with a note saying 'We regret, etc.'" In the 1930s music broadcasts also enjoyed great popularity, for example the friendly and wide-ranging organ broadcasts at St George's Hall, Langham Place, by Reginald Foort, who held the official role of BBC Staff Theatre Organist from 1936 to 1938; Foort continued to work for the BBC as a freelance into the 1940s and enjoyed a nationwide following.
Experimental television broadcasts were started in 1930, using an electromechanical 30-line system developed by John Logie Baird. Limited regular broadcasts using this system began in 1934, and an expanded service (now named the BBC Television Service) started from Alexandra Palace in 1936, alternating between an improved Baird mechanical 240 line system and the all electronic 405 line Marconi-EMI system. The superiority of the electronic system saw the mechanical system dropped early the following year.
Television broadcasting was suspended from 1 September 1939 to 7 June 1946, during the Second World War, and it was left to BBC Radio broadcasters such as Reginald Foort to keep the nation's spirits up. The BBC moved much of its radio operations out of London, initially to Bristol, and then to Bedford. Concerts were broadcast from the Corn Exchange; the Trinity Chapel in St Paul's Church, Bedford was the studio for the daily service from 1941 to 1945, and, in the darkest days of the war in 1941, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York came to St Paul's to broadcast to the UK and all parts of the world on the National Day of Prayer. BBC employees during the war included George Orwell who spent two years with the broadcaster.
During his role as Prime Minister during the Second World War, Winston Churchill would deliver 33 major wartime speeches by radio, all of which were carried by the BBC within the UK. On 18 June 1940, French general Charles de Gaulle, in exile in London as the leader of the Free French, made a speech, broadcast by the BBC, urging the French people not to capitulate to the Nazis.
In 1938, John Reith and the British government, specifically the Ministry of Information which had been set up for WWII, designed a censorship apparatus for the inevitability of war. Due to the BBC's advancements in shortwave radio technology, the Corporation could broadcast across the world during World War II. Within Europe, the BBC European Service would gather intelligence and information regarding the current events of the war in English. Regional BBC workers, based on their regional geo-political climate, would then further censor the material their broadcasts would cover. Nothing was to be added outside of the preordained news items. For example, the BBC Polish Service was heavily censored due to fears of jeopardizing relations with the Soviet Union. Controversial topics, i.e. the contested Polish and Soviet border, the deportation of Polish citizens, the arrests of Polish Home Army members and the Katyn massacre, were not included in Polish broadcasts. American radio broadcasts were broadcast across Europe on BBC channels. This material also passed through the BBC's censorship office, which surveilled and edited American coverage of British affairs. By 1940, across all BBC broadcasts, music by composers from enemy nations was censored. In total, 99 German, 38 Austrian and 38 Italian composers were censored. The BBC argued that like the Italian or German languages, listeners would be irritated by the inclusion of enemy composers. Any potential broadcaster said to have pacifist, communist or fascist ideologies were not allowed on the BBC's airwaves.
There was a widely reported urban myth that, upon resumption of the BBC television service after the war, announcer Leslie Mitchell started by saying, "As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted ..." In fact, the first person to appear when transmission resumed was Jasmine Bligh and the words said were "Good afternoon, everybody. How are you? Do you remember me, Jasmine Bligh ... ?" The European Broadcasting Union was formed on 12 February 1950, in Torquay with the BBC among the 23 founding broadcasting organisations.
Competition to the BBC was introduced in 1955, with the commercial and independently operated television network of ITV. However, the BBC monopoly on radio services would persist until 8 October 1973 when under the control of the newly renamed Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the UK's first Independent local radio station, LBC came on-air in the London area. As a result of the Pilkington Committee report of 1962, in which the BBC was praised for the quality and range of its output, and ITV was very heavily criticised for not providing enough quality programming, the decision was taken to award the BBC a second television channel, BBC2, in 1964, renaming the existing service BBC1. BBC2 used the higher resolution 625 line standard which had been standardised across Europe. BBC2 was broadcast in colour from 1 July 1967, and was joined by BBC1 and ITV on 15 November 1969. The 405 line VHF transmissions of BBC1 (and ITV) were continued for compatibility with older television receivers until 1985.
Starting in 1964, a series of pirate radio stations (starting with Radio Caroline) came on the air and forced the British government finally to regulate radio services to permit nationally based advertising-financed services. In response, the BBC reorganised and renamed their radio channels. On 30 September 1967, the Light Programme was split into Radio 1 offering continuous "Popular" music and Radio 2 more "Easy Listening". The "Third" programme became Radio 3 offering classical music and cultural programming. The Home Service became Radio 4 offering news, and non-musical content such as quiz shows, readings, dramas and plays. As well as the four national channels, a series of local BBC radio stations were established in 1967, including Radio London. In 1969, the BBC Enterprises department was formed to exploit BBC brands and programmes for commercial spin-off products. In 1979, it became a wholly owned limited company, BBC Enterprises Ltd.
In 1974, the BBC's teletext service, Ceefax, was introduced, created initially to provide subtitling, but developed into a news and information service. In 1978, BBC staff went on strike just before the Christmas of that year, thus blocking out the transmission of both channels and amalgamating all four radio stations into one. Since the deregulation of the UK television and radio market in the 1980s, the BBC has faced increased competition from the commercial sector (and from the advertiser-funded public service broadcaster Channel 4), especially on satellite television, cable television, and digital television services. In the late 1980s, the BBC began a process of divestment by spinning off and selling parts of its organisation. In 1988, it sold off the Hulton Press Library, a photographic archive which had been acquired from the Picture Post magazine by the BBC in 1957. The archive was sold to Brian Deutsch and is now owned by Getty Images. During the 1990s, this process continued with the separation of certain operational arms of the corporation into autonomous but wholly owned subsidiaries of the BBC, with the aim of generating additional revenue for programme-making. BBC Enterprises was reorganised and relaunched in 1995, as BBC Worldwide Ltd. In 1998, BBC studios, outside broadcasts, post production, design, costumes and wigs were spun off into BBC Resources Ltd.
The BBC Research Department has played a major part in the development of broadcasting and recording techniques. The BBC was also responsible for the development of the NICAM stereo standard. In recent decades, a number of additional channels and radio stations have been launched: Radio 5 was launched in 1990, as a sports and educational station, but was replaced in 1994, with Radio 5 Live, following the success of the Radio 4 service to cover the 1991 Gulf War. The new station would be a news and sport station. In 1997, BBC News 24, a rolling news channel, launched on digital television services and the following year, BBC Choice launched as the third general entertainment channel from the BBC. The BBC also purchased The Parliamentary Channel, which was renamed BBC Parliament. In 1999, BBC Knowledge launched as a multi media channel, with services available on the newly launched BBC Text digital teletext service, and on BBC Online. The channel had an educational aim, which was modified later on in its life to offer documentaries.
In 2002, several television and radio channels were reorganised. BBC Knowledge was replaced by BBC Four and became the BBC's arts and documentaries channel. CBBC, which had been a programming strand as Children's BBC since 1985, was split into CBBC and CBeebies, for younger children, with both new services getting a digital channel: the CBBC Channel and CBeebies Channel. In addition to the television channels, new digital radio stations were created: 1Xtra, 6 Music and BBC7. BBC 1Xtra was a sister station to Radio 1 and specialised in modern black music, BBC 6 Music specialised in alternative music genres and BBC7 specialised in archive, speech and children's programming.
The following few years resulted in repositioning of some of the channels to conform to a larger brand: in 2003, BBC Choice was replaced by BBC Three, with programming for younger generations and shocking real life documentaries, BBC News 24 became the BBC News Channel in 2008, and BBC Radio 7 became BBC Radio 4 Extra in 2011, with new programmes to supplement those broadcast on Radio 4. In 2008, another channel was launched, BBC Alba, a Scottish Gaelic service.
During this decade, the corporation began to sell off a number of its operational divisions to private owners; BBC Broadcast was spun off as a separate company in 2002, and in 2005. it was sold off to Australian-based Macquarie Capital Alliance Group and Macquarie Bank Limited and rebranded Red Bee Media. The BBC's IT, telephony and broadcast technology were brought together as BBC Technology Ltd in 2001, and the division was later sold to the German company Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS). SIS was subsequently acquired from Siemens by the French company Atos. Further divestments included BBC Books (sold to Random House in 2006); BBC Outside Broadcasts Ltd (sold in 2008. to Satellite Information Services); Costumes and Wigs (stock sold in 2008 to Angels The Costumiers); and BBC Magazines (sold to Immediate Media Company in 2011). After the sales of OBs and costumes, the remainder of BBC Resources was reorganised as BBC Studios and Post Production, which continues today as a wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC.
The 2004 Hutton Inquiry and the subsequent Report raised questions about the BBC's journalistic standards and its impartiality. This led to resignations of senior management members at the time including the then Director General, Greg Dyke. In January 2007, the BBC released minutes of the board meeting which led to Greg Dyke's resignation.
Unlike the other departments of the BBC, the BBC World Service was funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, more commonly known as the Foreign Office or the FCO, is the British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom abroad.
In 2006, BBC HD launched as an experimental service, and became official in December 2007. The channel broadcast HD simulcasts of programmes on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four as well as repeats of some older programmes in HD. In 2010, an HD simulcast of BBC One launched: BBC One HD. The channel uses HD versions of BBC One's schedule and uses upscaled versions of programmes not currently produced in HD. The BBC HD channel closed in March 2013 and was replaced by BBC2 HD in the same month.
On 18 October 2007, BBC Director General Mark Thompson announced a controversial plan to make major cuts and reduce the size of the BBC as an organisation. The plans included a reduction in posts of 2,500; including 1,800 redundancies, consolidating news operations, reducing programming output by 10% and selling off the flagship Television Centre building in London. These plans have been fiercely opposed by unions, who have threatened a series of strikes; however, the BBC have stated that the cuts are essential to move the organisation forward and concentrate on increasing the quality of programming.
On 20 October 2010, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the television licence fee would be frozen at its current level until the end of the current charter in 2016. The same announcement revealed that the BBC would take on the full cost of running the BBC World Service and the BBC Monitoring service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and partially finance the Welsh broadcaster S4C.
Further cuts were announced on 6 October 2011, so the BBC could reach a total reduction in their budget of 20%, following the licence fee freeze in October 2010, which included cutting staff by 2,000 and sending a further 1,000 to the MediaCityUK development in Salford, with BBC Three moving online only in 2016, the sharing of more programmes between stations and channels, sharing of radio news bulletins, more repeats in schedules, including the whole of BBC Two daytime and for some original programming to be reduced. BBC HD was closed on 26 March 2013, and replaced with an HD simulcast of BBC Two; however, flagship programmes, other channels and full funding for CBBC and CBeebies would be retained. Numerous BBC facilities have been sold off, including New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road in Manchester. Many major departments have been relocated to Broadcasting House and MediaCityUK, particularly since the closure of BBC Television Centre in March 2013. On 16 February 2016, the BBC Three television service was discontinued and replaced by a digital outlet under the same name, targeting its young adult audience with web series and other content.
Under the new royal charter instituted 2017, the corporation must publish an annual report to Ofcom, outlining its plans and public service obligations for the next year. In its 2017–18 report, released July 2017, the BBC announced plans to "re-invent" its output to better compete against commercial streaming services such as Netflix. These plans included increasing the diversity of its content on television and radio, a major increase in investments towards digital children's content, and plans to make larger investments in other nations of the United Kingdom besides England to "rise to the challenge of better reflecting and representing a changing UK"
The BBC is a statutory corporation, independent from direct government intervention, with its activities being overseen from April 2017 by the BBC Board and regulated by Ofcom. The Chairman is Sir David Clementi.
The BBC operates under a Royal Charter. The current Charter came into effect on 1 January 2017 and runs until 31 December 2026. The 2017 charter abolished the BBC Trust and replaced it with external regulation by Ofcom, with governance by the BBC Board.
Under the Royal Charter, the BBC must obtain a licence from the Home Secretary. This licence is accompanied by an agreement which sets the terms and conditions under which the BBC is allowed to broadcast.
The BBC Board was formed in April 2017. It replaced the previous governing body, the BBC Trust, which in itself had replaced the Board of Governors in 2007. The Board sets the strategy for the corporation, assesses the performance of the BBC Executive Board in delivering the BBC's services, and appoints the Director-General. Regulation of the BBC is now the responsibility of Ofcom. The Board consists of the following members.
|Sir David Clementi||Chairman|
|Tony Hall||Director-General of the BBC|
|Simon Burke||Non-executive Director|
|Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson||Non-executive Director|
|Ian Hargreaves||Non-executive Director|
|Tom Ilube||Non-executive Director|
|Sir Nicholas Serota||Non-executive Director|
|Steve Morrison||Member for Scotland|
|Dr Ashley Steel||Member for England|
|Professor Elan Closs Stephens||Member for Wales|
|Anne Bulford||Deputy Director-General|
|Tim Davie||CEO, BBC Worldwide & Director, Global|
|Ken MacQuarrie||Director, Nations and Regions|
The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the broadcaster. Consisting of senior managers of the BBC, the Committee meets once per month and is responsible for operational management and delivery of services within a framework set by the Board, and is chaired by the Director-General, currently Tony Hall.
|Tony Hall||Chairman; Director-General|
|Anne Bulford||Deputy Director-General|
|Charlotte Moore||Director of Content|
|Mark Linsey||Director of BBC Studios|
|Fran Unsworth||Director of News & Current Affairs|
|Matthew Postgate||Chief Technology & Research Officer|
|Ken MacQuarrie||Director of Nations & Regions|
|James Purnell||Director of Radio & Education|
|Tim Davie||CEO, BBC Worldwide|
|Valerie Hughes D'Aeth||Director of HR|
The Corporation has the following in-house divisions covering the BBC's output and operations:
The BBC also operates a number of wholly owned commercial divisions:
From as early as the 1930s until the 1990s, MI5, the British domestic intelligence service, engaged in vetting of applicants for BBC positions, a policy designed to keep out persons deemed subversive. In 1933, BBC executive Colonel Alan Dawnay began to meet with the head of MI5, Sir Vernon Kell, to informally trade information; from 1935, a formal arrangement was made wherein job applicants would be secretly vetted by MI5 for their political views (without their knowledge). The BBC took up a policy of denying any suggestion of such a relationship by the press (the existence of MI5 itself was not officially acknowledged until the Security Service Act 1989.
This relationship garnered wider public attention after an article by David Leigh and Paul Lashmar appeared in The Observer in August 1985, revealing that MI5 had been vetting appointments, running operations out of Room 105 in Broadcasting House. At the time of the exposé, the operation was being ran by Ronnie Stonham. A memo from 1984 revealed that blacklisted organizations included the far-left Communist Party of Great Britain, the Socialist Workers Party, the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Militant Tendency, as well as the far-right National Front and the British National Party. An association with one of these groups could result in a denial of a job application.
In October 1985, the BBC announced that it would stop the vetting process, except for a few people in top roles, as well as those in charge of Wartime Broadcasting Service emergency broadcasting (in event of a nuclear war) and staff in the BBC World Service. In 1990, following the Security Service Act 1989, vetting was further restricted to only those responsible for wartime broadcasting and those with access to secret government information. Michael Hodder, who succeeded Stonham, had the MI5 vetting files sent to the BBC Information and Archives in Reading, Berkshire.
The BBC has the second largest budget of any UK-based broadcaster with an operating expenditure of £4.722 billion in 2013/14 compared with £6.471 billion for British Sky Broadcasting in 2013/14 and £1.843 billion for ITV in the calendar year 2013.
The principal means of funding the BBC is through the television licence, costing £147 per year per household since April 2017. Such a licence is required to legally receive broadcast television across the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. No licence is required to own a television used for other means, or for sound only radio sets (though a separate licence for these was also required for non-TV households until 1971). The cost of a television licence is set by the government and enforced by the criminal law. A discount is available for households with only black-and-white television sets. A 50% discount is also offered to people who are registered blind or severely visually impaired, and the licence is completely free for any household containing anyone aged 75 or over. As a result of the UK Government's recent spending review, an agreement has been reached between the government and the corporation in which the current licence fee will remain frozen at the current level until the Royal Charter is renewed at the beginning of 2017.
The BBC pursues its licence fee collection and enforcement under the trading name "TV Licensing". The revenue is collected privately by Capita, an outside agency, and is paid into the central government Consolidated Fund, a process defined in the Communications Act 2003. Funds are then allocated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Treasury and approved by Parliament via legislation. Additional revenues are paid by the Department for Work and Pensions to compensate for subsidised licences for eligible over-75-year-olds.
The licence fee is classified as a tax, and its evasion is a criminal offence. Since 1991, collection and enforcement of the licence fee has been the responsibility of the BBC in its role as TV Licensing Authority. Thus, the BBC is a major prosecuting authority in England and Wales and an investigating authority in the UK as a whole. The BBC carries out surveillance (mostly using subcontractors) on properties (under the auspices of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) and may conduct searches of a property using a search warrant. According to the BBC, "more than 204,000 people in the UK were caught watching TV without a licence during the first six months of 2012." Licence fee evasion makes up around one-tenth of all cases prosecuted in magistrates' courts.
Income from commercial enterprises and from overseas sales of its catalogue of programmes has substantially increased over recent years, with BBC Worldwide contributing some £145 million to the BBC's core public service business.
According to the BBC's 2013/14 Annual Report, its total income was £5 billion (£5.066 billion), which can be broken down as follows:
The licence fee has, however, attracted criticism. It has been argued that in an age of multi-stream, multi-channel availability, an obligation to pay a licence fee is no longer appropriate. The BBC's use of private sector company Capita Group to send letters to premises not paying the licence fee has been criticised, especially as there have been cases where such letters have been sent to premises which are up to date with their payments, or do not require a TV licence.
The BBC uses advertising campaigns to inform customers of the requirement to pay the licence fee. Past campaigns have been criticised by Conservative MP Boris Johnson and former MP Ann Widdecombe for having a threatening nature and language used to scare evaders into paying. Audio clips and television broadcasts are used to inform listeners of the BBC's comprehensive database. There are a number of pressure groups campaigning on the issue of the licence fee.
The majority of the BBC's commercial output comes from its commercial arm BBC Worldwide who sell programmes abroad and exploit key brands for merchandise. Of their 2012/13 sales, 27% were centred on the five key "superbrands" of Doctor Who, Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing (known as Dancing with the Stars internationally), the BBC's archive of natural history programming (collected under the umbrella of BBC Earth) and the (now sold) travel guide brand Lonely Planet.
The following expenditure figures are from 2012/13 and show the expenditure of each service they are obliged to provide:
|Department||Total cost (£million)|
|Television including BBC Red Button||2,471.5|
|Licence fee collection||111.1|
|Orchestras and performing groups||29.2|
|Libraries, learning support and community events||33.6|
|Other, including training, marketing, finance and policy||925.9|
A significantly large portion of the BBC's income is spent on the corporation's Television and Radio services with each service having a different budget based upon their content.
|Service||2012/13 total cost
|BBC One including regions||1,463.2||+ 125.6|
|BBC Two||543.1||+ 6|
|BBC Three||121.7||+ 8.8|
|BBC Four||70.2||+ 2.4|
|BBC News||61.5||+ 4|
|BBC Parliament||10.5||+ 1.2|
|BBC Alba||7.8||– 0.2|
|BBC Red Button||41.8||+ 4.6|
|Service||2012/13 total cost
|BBC Radio 1||54.2||+ 3.6|
|BBC Radio 1Xtra||11.8||+ 0.7|
|BBC Radio 2||62.1||+ 1.6|
|BBC Radio 3||54.3||+ 1.8|
|BBC Radio 4||122.1||+ 6.2|
|BBC Radio 4 Extra||7.2||– 1|
|BBC Radio 5 Live||76||+ 6.7|
|BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra||5.6||+ 0.3|
|BBC Radio 6 Music||11.5||– 0.2|
|BBC Asian Network||13||0|
|BBC Local Radio||152.5||+ 6|
|BBC Radio Scotland||32.7||+ 0.6|
|BBC Radio nan Gàidheal||6.3||+ 0.3|
|BBC Radio Wales||18.8||+ 1.1|
|BBC Radio Cymru||17.6||+ 1.7|
|BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle||23.8||0|
Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London, is the official headquarters of the BBC. It is home to six of the ten BBC national radio networks, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1xtra, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, and BBC Radio 4 Extra. It is also the home of BBC News, which relocated to the building from BBC Television Centre in 2013. On the front of the building are statues of Prospero and Ariel, characters from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest, sculpted by Eric Gill. Renovation of Broadcasting House began in 2002, and was completed in 2013.
Until it closed at the end of March 2013, BBC Television was based at BBC Television Centre, a purpose built television facility and the second built in the country located in White City, London. This facility has been host to a number of famous guests and programmes through the years, and its name and image is familiar with many British citizens. Nearby, the BBC White City complex contains numerous programme offices, housed in Centre House, the Media Centre and Broadcast Centre. It is in this area around Shepherd's Bush that the majority of BBC employees work.
As part of a major reorganisation of BBC property, the entire BBC News operation relocated from the News Centre at BBC Television Centre to the refurbished Broadcasting House to create what is being described as "one of the world's largest live broadcast centres". The BBC News Channel and BBC World News relocated to the premises in early 2013. Broadcasting House is now also home to most of the BBC's national radio stations, and the BBC World Service. The major part of this plan involves the demolition of the two post-war extensions to the building and construction of an extension designed by Sir Richard MacCormac of MJP Architects. This move will concentrate the BBC's London operations, allowing them to sell Television Centre, which is expected to be completed by 2016.
In addition to the scheme above, the BBC is in the process of making and producing more programmes outside London, involving production centres such as Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and, most notably, in Greater Manchester as part of the "BBC North Project" scheme where several major departments, including BBC North West, BBC Manchester, BBC Sport, BBC Children's, CBeebies, Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Breakfast, BBC Learning and the BBC Philharmonic have all moved from their previous locations in either London or New Broadcasting House, Manchester to the new 200-acre (80ha) MediaCityUK production facilities in Salford, that form part of the large BBC North Group division and will therefore become the biggest staffing operation outside London.
As well as the two main sites in London (Broadcasting House and White City), there are seven other important BBC production centres in the UK, mainly specialising in different productions. Broadcasting House Cardiff, has been home to BBC Cymru Wales, which specialises in drama production. Open since October 2011, and containing 7 new studios, Roath Lock is notable as the home of productions such as Doctor Who and Casualty. Broadcasting House Belfast, home to BBC Northern Ireland, specialises in original drama and comedy, and has taken part in many co-productions with independent companies and notably with RTÉ in the Republic of Ireland. BBC Scotland, based in Pacific Quay, Glasgow is a large producer of programmes for the network, including several quiz shows. In England, the larger regions also produce some programming.
Previously, the largest hub of BBC programming from the regions is BBC North West. At present they produce all Religious and Ethical programmes on the BBC, as well as other programmes such as A Question of Sport. However, this is to be merged and expanded under the BBC North project, which involved the region moving from New Broadcasting House, Manchester, to MediaCityUK. BBC Midlands, based at The Mailbox in Birmingham, also produces drama and contains the headquarters for the English regions and the BBC's daytime output. Other production centres include Broadcasting House Bristol, home of BBC West and famously the BBC Natural History Unit and to a lesser extent, Quarry Hill in Leeds, home of BBC Yorkshire. There are also many smaller local and regional studios throughout the UK, operating the BBC regional television services and the BBC Local Radio stations.
The BBC also operates several news gathering centres in various locations around the world, which provide news coverage of that region to the national and international news operations.
In 2004, the BBC contracted out its former BBC Technology division to the German engineering and electronics company Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS), outsourcing its IT, telephony and broadcast technology systems. When Atos Origin acquired the SIS division from Siemens in December 2010 for €850 million (£720m), the BBC support contract also passed to Atos, and in July 2011, the BBC announced to staff that its technology support would become an Atos service. Siemens staff working on the BBC contract were transferred to Atos and BBC technology systems (including the BBC website) are now managed by Atos. In 2011, the BBC's Chief Financial Officer Zarin Patel stated to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee that, following criticism of the BBC's management of major IT projects with Siemens (such as the Digital Media Initiative), the BBC partnership with Atos would be instrumental in achieving cost savings of around £64 million as part of the BBC's "Delivering Quality First" programme. In 2012, the BBC's Chief Technology Officer, John Linwood, expressed confidence in service improvements to the BBC's technology provision brought about by Atos. He also stated that supplier accountability had been strengthened following some high-profile technology failures which had taken place during the partnership with Siemens.
The BBC operates several television channels in the UK. BBC One and BBC Two are the flagship television channels; others are BBC Four, BBC News, BBC Parliament, and two children's channels, CBBC and CBeebies. Digital television is now entrenched in the UK, with analogue transmission completely phased out as of December 2012. It also operates the internet television service BBC Three, which ceased broadcasting as a linear television channel in February 2016.
BBC One is a regionalised TV service which provides opt-outs throughout the day for local news and other local programming. These variations are more pronounced in the BBC "Nations", i.e. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where the presentation is mostly carried out locally on BBC One and Two, and where programme schedules can vary greatly from that of the network. BBC Two variations exist in the Nations; however, English regions today rarely have the option to opt out as regional programming now only exists on BBC One. BBC Two was also the first channel to be transmitted on 625 lines in 1964, then carry a small-scale regular colour service from 1967. BBC One would follow in November 1969.
A new Scottish Gaelic television channel, BBC Alba, was launched in September 2008. It is also the first multi-genre channel to come entirely from Scotland with almost all of its programmes made in Scotland. The service was initially only available via satellite but since June 2011 has been available to viewers in Scotland on Freeview and cable television.
The BBC currently operates HD simulcasts of all its nationwide channels with the exception of BBC Parliament. Until 26 March 2013, a separate channel called BBC HD was available, in place of BBC Two HD. It launched on 9 June 2006, following a 12-month trial of the broadcasts. It became a proper channel in 2007, and screened HD programmes as simulcasts of the main network, or as repeats. The corporation has been producing programmes in the format for many years, and stated that it hoped to produce 100% of new programmes in HDTV by 2010. On 3 November 2010, a high-definition simulcast of BBC One was launched, entitled BBC One HD, and BBC Two HD launched on 26 March 2013, replacing BBC HD.
In the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the BBC channels are available in a number of ways. In these countries digital and cable operators carry a range of BBC channels. These include BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC World News, although viewers in the Republic of Ireland may receive BBC services via overspill from transmitters in Northern Ireland or Wales, or via "deflectors" – transmitters in the Republic which rebroadcast broadcasts from the UK, received off-air, or from digital satellite.
Since 1975, the BBC has also provided its TV programmes to the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), allowing members of UK military serving abroad to watch them on four dedicated TV channels. From 27 March 2013, BFBS will carry versions of BBC One and BBC Two, which will include children's programming from CBBC, as well as carrying programming from BBC Three on a new channel called BFBS Extra.
Since 2008, all the BBC channels are available to watch online through the BBC iPlayer service. This online streaming ability came about following experiments with live streaming, involving streaming certain channels in the UK.
In February 2014, Director-General Tony Hall announced that the corporation needed to save £100 million. In March 2014, the BBC confirmed plans for BBC Three to become an internet-only channel.
In December 2012, the BBC completed a digitisation exercise, scanning the listings of all BBC programmes from an entire run of about 4,500 copies of the Radio Times magazine from the first, 1923, issue to 2009 (later listings already being held electronically), the "BBC Genome project", with a view to creating an online database of its programme output. An earlier ten months of listings are to be obtained from other sources. They identified around five million programmes, involving 8.5 million actors, presenters, writers and technical staff. The Genome project was opened to public access on 15 October 2014, with corrections to OCR errors and changes to advertised schedules being crowdsourced.
The BBC has ten radio stations serving the whole of the UK, a further six stations in the "national regions" (Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), and 40 other local stations serving defined areas of England. Of the ten national stations, five are major stations and are available on FM and/or AM as well as on DAB and online. These are BBC Radio 1, offering new music and popular styles and being notable for its chart show; BBC Radio 2, playing Adult contemporary, country and soul music amongst many other genres; BBC Radio 3, presenting classical and jazz music together with some spoken-word programming of a cultural nature in the evenings; BBC Radio 4, focusing on current affairs, factual and other speech-based programming, including drama and comedy; and BBC Radio 5 Live, broadcasting 24-hour news, sport and talk programmes.
In addition to these five stations, the BBC also runs a further five stations that broadcast on DAB and online only. These stations supplement and expand on the big five stations, and were launched in 2002. BBC Radio 1Xtra sisters Radio 1, and broadcasts new black music and urban tracks. BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra sisters 5 Live and offers extra sport analysis, including broadcasting sports that previously were not covered. BBC Radio 6 Music offers alternative music genres and is notable as a platform for new artists.
BBC Radio 7, later renamed BBC Radio 4 Extra, provided archive drama, comedy and children's programming. Following the change to Radio 4 Extra, the service has dropped a defined children's strand in favour of family-friendly drama and comedy. In addition, new programmes to complement Radio 4 programmes were introduced such as Ambridge Extra, and Desert Island Discs revisited. The final station is the BBC Asian Network, providing music, talk and news to this section of the community. This station evolved out of Local radio stations serving certain areas, and as such this station is available on Medium Wave frequency in some areas of the Midlands.
As well as the national stations, the BBC also provides 40 BBC Local Radio stations in England and the Channel Islands, each named for and covering a particular city and its surrounding area (e.g. BBC Radio Bristol), county or region (e.g. BBC Three Counties Radio), or geographical area (e.g. BBC Radio Solent covering the central south coast). A further six stations broadcast in what the BBC terms "the national regions": Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. These are BBC Radio Wales (in English), BBC Radio Cymru (in Welsh), BBC Radio Scotland (in English), BBC Radio nan Gaidheal (in Scottish Gaelic), BBC Radio Ulster, and BBC Radio Foyle, the latter being an opt-out station from Radio Ulster for the north-west of Northern Ireland.
The BBC's UK national channels are also broadcast in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (although these Crown dependencies are outside the UK), and in the former there are two local stations – BBC Guernsey and BBC Radio Jersey. There is no BBC local radio station, however, in the Isle of Man, partly because the island has long been served by the popular independent commercial station, Manx Radio, which predates the existence of BBC Local Radio. BBC services in the dependencies are financed from television licence fees which are set at the same level as those payable in the UK, although collected locally. This is the subject of some controversy in the Isle of Man since, as well as having no BBC Local Radio service, the island also lacks a local television news service analogous to that provided by BBC Channel Islands.
For a worldwide audience, the BBC World Service provides news, current affairs and information in 28 languages, including English, around the world and is available in over 150 capital cities. It is broadcast worldwide on shortwave radio, DAB and online and has an estimated weekly audience of 192 million, and its websites have an audience of 38 million people per week. Since 2005, it is also available on DAB in the UK, a step not taken before, due to the way it is funded. The service is funded by a Parliamentary Grant-in-Aid, administered by the Foreign Office; however, following the Government's spending review in 2011, this funding will cease, and it will be funded for the first time through the Licence fee. In recent years, some services of the World Service have been reduced; the Thai service ended in 2006, as did the Eastern European languages, with resources diverted instead into the new BBC Arabic Television.
Historically, the BBC was the only legal radio broadcaster based in the UK mainland until 1967, when University Radio York (URY), then under the name Radio York, was launched as the first, and now oldest, legal independent radio station in the country. However, the BBC did not enjoy a complete monopoly before this as several Continental stations, such as Radio Luxembourg, had broadcast programmes in English to Britain since the 1930s and the Isle of Man-based Manx Radio began in 1964. Today, despite the advent of commercial radio, BBC radio stations remain among the most listened to in the country, with Radio 2 having the largest audience share (up to 16.8% in 2011–12) and Radios 1 and 4 ranked second and third in terms of weekly reach.
BBC programming is also available to other services and in other countries. Since 1943, the BBC has provided radio programming to the British Forces Broadcasting Service, which broadcasts in countries where British troops are stationed. BBC Radio 1 is also carried in the United States and Canada on Sirius XM Radio (online streaming only).
BBC News is the largest broadcast news gathering operation in the world, providing services to BBC domestic radio as well as television networks such as the BBC News, BBC Parliament and BBC World News. In addition to this, news stories are available on the BBC Red Button service and BBC News Online. In addition to this, the BBC has been developing new ways to access BBC News, as a result has launched the service on BBC Mobile, making it accessible to mobile phones and PDAs, as well as developing alerts by e-mail, digital television, and on computers through a desktop alert.
Ratings figures suggest that during major incidents such as the 7 July 2005 London bombings or royal events, the UK audience overwhelmingly turns to the BBC's coverage as opposed to its commercial rivals. On 7 July 2005, the day that there were a series of coordinated bomb blasts on London's public transport system, the BBC Online website recorded an all time bandwidth peak of 11 Gb/s at 12.00 on 7 July. BBC News received some 1 billion total hits on the day of the event (including all images, text and HTML), serving some 5.5 terabytes of data. At peak times during the day there were 40,000 page requests per second for the BBC News website. The previous day's announcement of the 2012 Olympics being awarded to London caused a peak of around 5 Gbit/s. The previous all-time high at BBC Online was caused by the announcement of the Michael Jackson verdict, which used 7.2 Gbit/s.
The BBC's online presence includes a comprehensive news website and archive. The BBC's first official online service was the BBC Networking Club, which was launched on 11 May 1994. The service was subsequently relaunched as BBC Online in 1997, before being renamed BBCi, then bbc.co.uk, before it was rebranded back as BBC Online. The website is funded by the Licence fee, but uses GeoIP technology, allowing advertisements to be carried on the site when viewed outside of the UK. The BBC claims the site to be "Europe's most popular content-based site" and states that 13.2 million people in the UK visit the site's more than two million pages each day. According to Alexa's TrafficRank system, in July 2008 BBC Online was the 27th most popular English Language website in the world, and the 46th most popular overall.
The centre of the website is the Homepage, which features a modular layout. Users can choose which modules, and which information, is displayed on their homepage, allowing the user to customise it. This system was first launched in December 2007, becoming permanent in February 2008, and has undergone a few aesthetical changes since then. The Homepage then has links to other micro-sites, such as BBC News Online, Sport, Weather, TV and Radio. As part of the site, every programme on BBC Television or Radio is given its own page, with bigger programmes getting their own micro-site, and as a result it is often common for viewers and listeners to be told website addresses (URLs) for the programme website.
Another large part of the site also allows users to watch and listen to most Television and Radio output live and for seven days after broadcast using the BBC iPlayer platform, which launched on 27 July 2007, and initially used peer-to-peer and DRM technology to deliver both radio and TV content of the last seven days for offline use for up to 30 days, since then video is now streamed directly. Also, through participation in the Creative Archive Licence group, bbc.co.uk allowed legal downloads of selected archive material via the internet.
The BBC has often included learning as part of its online service, running services such as BBC Jam, Learning Zone Class Clips and also runs services such as BBC WebWise and First Click which are designed to teach people how to use the internet. BBC Jam was a free online service, delivered through broadband and narrowband connections, providing high-quality interactive resources designed to stimulate learning at home and at school. Initial content was made available in January 2006; however, BBC Jam was suspended on 20 March 2007 due to allegations made to the European Commission that it was damaging the interests of the commercial sector of the industry.
In recent years, some major on-line companies and politicians have complained that BBC Online receives too much funding from the television licence, meaning that other websites are unable to compete with the vast amount of advertising-free on-line content available on BBC Online. Some have proposed that the amount of licence fee money spent on BBC Online should be reduced—either being replaced with funding from advertisements or subscriptions, or a reduction in the amount of content available on the site. In response to this the BBC carried out an investigation, and has now set in motion a plan to change the way it provides its online services. BBC Online will now attempt to fill in gaps in the market, and will guide users to other websites for currently existing market provision. (For example, instead of providing local events information and timetables, users will be guided to outside websites already providing that information.) Part of this plan included the BBC closing some of its websites, and rediverting money to redevelop other parts.
On 26 February 2010, The Times claimed that Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, proposed that the BBC's web output should be cut by 50%, with online staff numbers and budgets reduced by 25% in a bid to scale back BBC operations and allow commercial rivals more room. On 2 March 2010, the BBC reported that it will cut its website spending by 25% and close BBC 6 Music and Asian Network, as part of Mark Thompson's plans to make "a smaller, fitter BBC for the digital age".
BBC Red Button is the brand name for the BBC's interactive digital television services, which are available through Freeview (digital terrestrial), as well as Freesat, Sky (satellite), and Virgin Media (cable). Unlike Ceefax, the service's analogue counterpart, BBC Red Button is able to display full-colour graphics, photographs, and video, as well as programmes and can be accessed from any BBC channel. The service carries News, Weather and Sport 24 hours a day, but also provides extra features related to programmes specific at that time. Examples include viewers to play along at home to gameshows, to give, voice and vote on opinions to issues, as used alongside programmes such as Question Time. At some points in the year, when multiple sporting events occur, some coverage of less mainstream sports or games are frequently placed on the Red Button for viewers to watch. Frequently, other features are added unrelated to programmes being broadcast at that time, such as the broadcast of the Doctor Who animated episode Dreamland in November 2009.
The BBC employs staff orchestras, a choir, and supports two amateur choruses, based in BBC venues across the UK; the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Big Band based in London, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, the BBC Concert Orchestra based in Watford and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff. It also buys a selected number of broadcasts from the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. Many famous musicians of every genre have played at the BBC, such as The Beatles (The Beatles Live at the BBC is one of their many albums). The BBC is also responsible for the United Kingdom coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, a show with which the broadcaster has been associated for over 60 years. The BBC also operates the division of BBC Audiobooks sometimes found in association with Chivers Audiobooks.
The BBC operates other ventures in addition to their broadcasting arm. In addition to broadcasting output on television and radio, some programmes are also displayed on the BBC Big Screens located in several central-city locations. The BBC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office also jointly run BBC Monitoring, which monitors radio, television, the press and the internet worldwide. The BBC also developed several computers throughout the 1980s, most notably the BBC Micro, which ran alongside the corporation's educational aims and programming.
In 1951, in conjunction with Oxford University Press the BBC published The BBC Hymn Book which was intended to be used by radio listeners to follow hymns being broadcast. The book was published both with and without music, the music edition being entitled The BBC Hymn Book with Music. The book contained 542 popular hymns.
The BBC provided the world's first teletext service called Ceefax (near-homonymous with "See Facts") on 23 September 1974 until 23 October 2012 on the BBC 1 analogue channel then later on BBC 2. It showed informational pages such as News, Sport and the Weather. on New Year's Eve in 1974, competition from ITV's Oracle tried to compete with Ceefax. Oracle closed on New Year's Eve, 1992. During its lifetime it attracted millions of viewers, right up to 2012, prior to the digital switchover in the United Kingdom. It ceased transmission at 23:32:19 BST on 23 October 2012 after 38 years. Since then, the BBC's Red Button Service has provided a digital-like information system that replaced Ceefax.
In 2016, the BBC, in partnership with fellow UK Broadcasters ITV and Channel 4 (who later withdrew from the project), set up 'project kangaroo' to develop an international online streaming service to rival services such as Netflix and Hulu. During the development stages 'Britflix' was touted as a potential name. However, the service eventually launched as BritBox in March 2017. The online platform shows a catalogue of classic BBC and ITV shows, as well as making a number of programmes available shortly after their UK broadcast. As of 2017, BritBox is available in the United States with the potential availability for new markets in the future.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC, responsible for the commercial exploitation of BBC programmes and other properties, including a number of television stations throughout the world. It was formed following the restructuring of its predecessor, BBC Enterprises, in 1995.
The company owns and administers a number of commercial stations around the world operating in a number of territories and on a number of different platforms. The channel BBC Entertainment shows current and archive entertainment programming to viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with the BBC Worldwide channels BBC America and BBC Canada (Joint venture with Corus Entertainment) showing similar programming in the North America region and BBC UKTV in the Australasia region. The company also airs two channels aimed at children, an international CBeebies channel and BBC Kids, a joint venture with Knowledge Network Corporation, which airs programmes under the CBeebies and BBC K brands. The company also runs the channels BBC Knowledge, broadcasting factual and learning programmes, and BBC Lifestyle, broadcasting programmes based on themes of Food, Style and Wellbeing. In addition to this, BBC Worldwide runs an international version of the channel BBC HD, and provides HD simulcasts of the channels BBC Knowledge and BBC America.
BBC Worldwide also distributes the 24-hour international news channel BBC World News. The station is separate from BBC Worldwide to maintain the station's neutral point of view, but is distributed by BBC Worldwide. The channel itself is the oldest surviving entity of its kind, and has 50 foreign news bureaus and correspondents in nearly all countries in the world. As officially surveyed it is available to more than 294 million households, significantly more than CNN's estimated 200 million.  In addition to these international channels, BBC Worldwide also owns, together with Scripps Networks Interactive, the UKTV network of ten channels. These channels contain BBC archive programming to be rebroadcast on their respective channels: Alibi, crime dramas; Drama, drama, launched in 2013; Dave (slogan: "The Home of Witty Banter"); Eden, nature; Gold, comedy; Good Food, cookery; Home, home and garden; Really, female programming; Watch, entertainment; and Yesterday, history programming.
In addition to these channels, many BBC programmes are sold via BBC Worldwide to foreign television stations with comedy, documentaries and historical drama productions being the most popular. In addition, BBC television news appears nightly on many Public Broadcasting Service stations in the United States, as do reruns of BBC programmes such as EastEnders, and in New Zealand on TVNZ 1.
In addition to programming, BBC Worldwide produces material to accompany programmes. The company maintained the publishing arm of the BBC, BBC Magazines, which published the Radio Times as well as a number of magazines that support BBC programming such as BBC Top Gear, BBC Good Food, BBC Sky at Night, BBC History, BBC Wildlife and BBC Music. BBC Magazines was sold to Exponent Private Equity in 2011, which merged it with Origin Publishing (previously owned by BBC Worldwide between 2004 and 2006) to form Immediate Media Company.
BBC Worldwide also publishes books, to accompany programmes such as Doctor Who under the BBC Books brand, a publishing imprint majority owned by Random House. Soundtrack albums, talking books and sections of radio broadcasts are also sold under the brand BBC Records, with DVDs also being sold and licensed in large quantities to consumers both in the UK and abroad under the 2 Entertain brand. Archive programming and classical music recordings are sold under the brand BBC Legends.
Until the development, popularisation, and domination of television, radio was the broadcast medium upon which people in the United Kingdom relied. It "reached into every home in the land, and simultaneously united the nation, an important factor during the Second World War". The BBC introduced the world's first "high-definition" 405-line television service in 1936. It suspended its television service during the Second World War and until 1946, but remained the only television broadcaster in the UK until 1955, when Independent Television (ITV) began operating. This heralded the transformation of television into a popular and dominant medium. Nevertheless, "throughout the 1950s radio still remained the dominant source of broadcast comedy". Further, the BBC was the only legal radio broadcaster until 1968 (when URY obtained their first licence).
Despite the advent of commercial television and radio, the BBC has remained one of the main elements in British popular culture through its obligation to produce TV and radio programmes for mass audiences. However, the arrival of BBC2 allowed the BBC also to make programmes for minority interests in drama, documentaries, current affairs, entertainment, and sport. Examples cited include the television series Civilisation, Doctor Who, I, Claudius, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Pot Black, and Tonight, but other examples can be given in each of these fields as shown by the BBC's entries in the British Film Institute's 2000 list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. The export of BBC programmes both through services like the BBC World Service and BBC World News, as well as through the channels operated by BBC Worldwide, means that audiences can consume BBC productions worldwide.
The term "BBC English" was used as an alternative name for Received Pronunciation, and the English Pronouncing Dictionary uses the term "BBC Pronunciation" to label its recommendations. However, the BBC itself now makes more use of regional accents in order to reflect the diversity of the UK, while continuing to expect clarity and fluency of its presenters. From its "starchy" beginnings, the BBC has also become more inclusive, and now attempts to accommodate the interests of all strata of society and all minorities, because they all pay the licence fee.
Competition from Independent Television, Channel 4, Sky, and other broadcast-television stations has lessened the BBC's influence, but its public broadcasting remains a major influence on British popular culture.
Older domestic UK audiences often refer to the BBC as "the Beeb", a nickname originally coined by Peter Sellers on The Goon Show in the 1950s, when he referred to the "Beeb Beeb Ceeb". It was then borrowed, shortened and popularised by radio DJ Kenny Everett. David Bowie's recording sessions at the BBC was released as Bowie at the Beeb, while Queen's recording sessions with the BBC was released as At the Beeb. Another nickname, now less commonly used, is "Auntie", said to originate from the old-fashioned "Auntie knows best" attitude, or the idea of aunties and uncles who are present in the background of one's life (but possibly a reference to the "aunties" and "uncles" who presented children's programmes in the early days) in the days when John Reith, the BBC's first director general, was in charge. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC the song "Auntie" was released in 1972. The two nicknames have also been used together as "Auntie Beeb".
The BBC has faced various accusations regarding many topics: the Iraq war, politics, ethics and religion, as well as funding and staffing. It also has been involved in numerous controversies because of its coverage of specific news stories and programming. In October 2014, the BBC Trust issued the "BBC complaints framework", outlining complaints and appeals procedures. However, the regulatory oversight of the BBC may be transferred to OFCOM. The British "House of Commons Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport" recommended in its report "The Future of the BBC", that OFCOM should become the final arbiter of complaints made about the BBC.
The BBC has long faced accusations of liberal and left-wing bias. Accusations of a bias against the Premiership of Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party were often made against the BBC by members of that government, with Margaret Thatcher herself considering the broadcaster's news coverage to be biased and irresponsible. In 2011, Peter Sissons, a main news presenter at the BBC from 1989—2009, said that "at the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left". Another BBC presenter, Andrew Marr, commented that "the BBC is not impartial or neutral. It has a liberal bias, not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias." Former BBC director Roger Mosey classified it as "liberal defensive."
Conversely, writing for The Guardian, the left-wing columnist Owen Jones stated "the truth is the BBC is stacked full of rightwingers," and he cited as an example of bias its employment of "ultra-Thatcherite" Andrew Neil as a politics presenter. Paul Mason, the former Economics Editor of the BBC's Newsnight programme, criticised the BBC as "unionist" in relation to its coverage of the Scottish independence referendum campaign and said its senior employees tended to be of a "neo-liberal" point of view. The BBC has also been characterised as a pro-monarchist institution. The BBC was accused of propaganda by journalist and author Toby Young due to what he believed to be an anti-Brexit approach, which included a whole day of live programming on migration.
A 2018 opinion poll by BMG Research found that 40% of the British public think that the BBC is politically partisan, with a nearly even split between those that believe it leans to the left or right.
A BBC World Service newsreader who presented a daily show produced for Kyrgyzstan was claimed to have participated in an opposition movement with the goal of overthrowing the government led by president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The BBC presenter resigned from his post in 2010 once the allegations of his participation in the revolution became public.
The BBC, including World Service, operates under two constitutional documents – its Royal Charter and the Licence and Agreement. The Charter gives the Corporation legal existence, sets out its objectives and constitution, and also deals with such matters as advisory bodies. Under the Royal Charter, the BBC must obtain a licence from the Home Secretary. The License, which is coupled with an Agreement between the Minister and the Corporation, lays down the terms and conditions under which the BBC is allowed to broadcast.
The corporation has long faced accusations of liberal and leftwing bias from politicians and other sections of the media.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (; born 5 May 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice award and won the BBC Sound of 2008 poll. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 to commercial and critical success. It is certified seven times platinum in the UK, and three times platinum in the US. The album contains her first song, "Hometown Glory", written when she was 16, which is based on her home suburb of West Norwood in London. An appearance she made on Saturday Night Live in late 2008 boosted her career in the US. At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele received the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Adele released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. The album was critically well received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning numerous awards in 2012, among them a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; two Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year; and three American Music Awards, including Favorite Pop/Rock Album. The album has been certified 17 times platinum in the UK, and is overall the fourth best-selling album in the nation. In the US, it has held the top position longer than any album since 1985, and is certified diamond. The best-selling album worldwide of 2011 and 2012, 21 has sold over 31 million copies. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records. She was the first female artist to simultaneously have two albums in the top five of the Billboard 200 and two singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist with "Rolling in the Deep", "Someone Like You", and "Set Fire to the Rain", all of which also topped the chart. 21 is the longest-running number one album by a female solo artist in the history of the UK and US Album Charts.
In 2012, Adele released "Skyfall", which she co-wrote and recorded for the James Bond film of the same name. The song won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. After taking a three-year break, Adele released her third studio album, 25, in 2015. It became the year's best-selling album and broke first-week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified diamond in the US and earned her five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and four Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year. The lead single, "Hello", became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her third concert tour, Adele Live 2016, visited Europe, North America and Oceania, and concluded with finale concerts at Wembley Stadium in late June 2017.
In 2011, 2012, and 2016, Adele was named Artist of the Year by Billboard. At the 2012 and 2016 Ivor Novello Awards, Adele was named Songwriter of the Year by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2016. Her 2016–17 tour, saw her break attendance records in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia, and the US. With sales of more than 100 million records, Adele is one of the world's best-selling music artists.Andy Murray
Sir Andrew Barron Murray (born 15 May 1987) is a British professional tennis player from Scotland currently ranked No. 229 in men's singles as of 14 January 2019. Murray represents Great Britain in his sporting activities and is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, two-time Olympic champion, Davis Cup champion, winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals and former world No. 1.
Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final, becoming the first British player since 1977, and the first British man since 1936, to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Murray is also the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon singles titles since Fred Perry in 1936.Murray is the men's singles 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist, making him the only tennis player, male or female, to have won two Olympic singles titles. He featured in Great Britain's Davis Cup-winning team in 2015, going 11–0 in his matches (8 singles and 3 doubles) as they secured their first Davis Cup title since 1936.On 11 January 2019, Murray announced that he may retire in the following months, and if possible, he would like Wimbledon to be his last tournament.BBC News
BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage. The service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. Fran Unsworth has been Director of News and Current Affairs since January 2018.The department's annual budget is in excess of £350 million; it has 3,500 staff, 2,000 of whom are journalists. BBC News' domestic, global and online news divisions are housed within the largest live newsroom in Europe, in Broadcasting House in central London. Parliamentary coverage is produced and broadcast from studios in Millbank in London. Through the BBC English Regions, the BBC also has regional centres across England, as well as national news centres in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All nations and English regions produce their own local news programmes and other current affairs and sport programmes.
The BBC is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by Royal Charter, making it operationally independent of the government, who have no power to appoint or dismiss its director-general, and required to report impartially. As with all major media outlets it has been accused of political bias from across the political spectrum, both within the UK and abroad.BBC One
BBC One is the first and principal television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution. It was renamed BBC TV in 1960, using this name until the launch of the second BBC channel BBC2 in 1964, whereupon the BBC TV channel became known as BBC1, with the current spelling adopted in 1997.
The channel's annual budget for 2012–13 was £1.14 billion. The channel is funded by the television licence fee together with the BBC's other domestic television stations, and shows uninterrupted programming without commercial advertising. It is currently the most watched television channel in the United Kingdom, ahead of its traditional rival for ratings leadership, ITV.
As of June 2013 the channel controller for BBC One was Charlotte Moore, who succeeded Danny Cohen initially as an Acting Controller from May 2013.BBC World Service
The BBC World Service, the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasts radio and television news, speech and discussions in more than 40 languages to many parts of the world on analogue and digital shortwave platforms, Internet streaming, podcasting, satellite, DAB, FM and MW relays. In November 2016 the BBC announced again that it would start broadcasting in additional languages including Amharic and Igbo, in its biggest expansion since the 1940s. In 2015 World Service reached an average of 210 million people a week (via TV, radio and online). The English-language service broadcasts 24 hours a day.
The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd. The service is also guaranteed £289 million (allocated over a five-year period ending in 2020) from the UK government. The World Service was funded for decades by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government until 1 April 2014.The controller of BBC World Service English, is Mary Hockaday.Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (European Portuguese: [kɾiʃˈtjɐnu ʁoˈnaɫdu]; born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards, the most for a European player, and is the first player to win four European Golden Shoes. He has won 27 trophies in his career, including five league titles, five UEFA Champions League titles and one UEFA European Championship. A prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo holds the records for most official goals scored in Europe's top-five leagues (409), the UEFA Champions League (121), the UEFA European Championship (9), as well as those for most assists in the UEFA Champions League (34) and the UEFA European Championship (6). He has scored over 690 senior career goals for club and country.
Born and raised on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart at age 15. He underwent an operation to treat his condition, and began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United at age 18 in 2003. After winning his first trophy, the FA Cup, during his first season in England, he helped United win three successive Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup. By age 22, he had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations and at age 23, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. In 2009, Ronaldo was the subject of the most expensive association football transfer when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million).
With Real Madrid, Ronaldo won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. Real Madrid's all-time top goalscorer, Ronaldo scored a record 34 La Liga hat-tricks, including a record-tying eight hat-tricks in the 2014–15 season and is the only player to reach 30 goals in six consecutive La Liga seasons. After joining Madrid, Ronaldo finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or three times, behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival, before winning back-to-back Ballons d'Or in 2013 and 2014. After winning the 2016 and 2017 Champions Leagues, Ronaldo secured back-to-back Ballons d'Or again in 2016 and 2017. A historic third consecutive Champions League followed, making Ronaldo the first player to win the trophy five times. In 2018, he signed for Juventus in a transfer worth €100 million plus additional fees of €12 million; the highest ever paid by an Italian club and the highest fee ever paid for a player over 30 years old.
A Portuguese international, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015. He made his senior debut for Portugal in 2003 at age 18, and has since had over 150 caps, including appearing and scoring in eight major tournaments, becoming Portugal's most capped player and his country's all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal at Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final. He took over full captaincy in July 2008, leading Portugal to their first-ever triumph in a major tournament by winning Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament, before becoming the highest European international goalscorer of all-time. One of the most marketable athletes in the world, he was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017, as well as the world's most famous athlete by ESPN in 2016, 2017 and 2018.David Attenborough
Sir David Frederick Attenborough (; born 8 May 1926) is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth. He is a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, 3D and 4K.Attenborough is widely considered a national treasure in Britain, although he himself does not like the term. In 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide poll for the BBC. He is the younger brother of the director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough, and older brother of the motor executive John Attenborough.Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.
The show is a significant part of British popular culture, and elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who. The programme was relaunched in 2005, and since then has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff. Doctor Who has also spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, films, novels, audio dramas, and the television series Torchwood (2006–2011), The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–2011), K-9 (2009–2010), and Class (2016), and has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture.
Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor. The transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord "transforms" into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor's portrayal is unique, but all represent stages in the life of the same character. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative. The time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor occasionally meet. The Doctor is currently portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi's exit in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time".EastEnders
EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional Borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001 episodes have been broadcast every weekday apart from Wednesdays.
Within eight months of the show's launch, it reached the number-one spot in BARB's TV ratings and has consistently remained among the top-rated TV programmes in Britain. In 2013, the average audience share for an episode was around 30 per cent. Today, EastEnders remains a significant programme in terms of the BBC's success and audience share, and also in the history of British television drama, tackling many dilemmas that are considered to be controversial and taboo issues in British culture and social life previously unseen on United Kingdom mainstream television.As of May 2016, EastEnders has won nine BAFTA Awards and the Inside Soap Award for Best Soap for 14 years running (from 1997 to 2012), as well as twelve National Television Awards for Most Popular Serial Drama and 11 awards for Best Soap at the British Soap Awards. It has also won 13 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards for Best Soap, six TRIC Awards for Soap of The Year, four Royal Television Society Awards for Best Continuing Drama and has been inducted into the Rose d'Or Hall of Fame.FA Cup
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association (The FA). For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.
The competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League (Level 1) and the English Football League (Levels 2 to 4), and several hundred "non-league" teams in Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System (Levels 5 to 10). A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12. The tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds – the minimum number of games needed to win the competition ranges from six to fourteen.
The first six rounds are the Qualifying Competition, from which 32 teams progress to the first round of the Competition Proper, meeting the first of the 48 professional teams from Leagues One and Two. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper. In the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter-finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those "minnows" (smaller teams) who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely "giant-killing" victory.
Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have been two designs and five actual cups; the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design, introduced in 1911. Winners also qualify for the Europa League and a place in the FA Community Shield match. Chelsea are the current holders, having beaten Manchester United 1–0 in the 2018 final. Arsenal are the most successful club with 13 titles. Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the competition, having won seven finals as manager of Arsenal.Harry Kane
Harry Edward Kane (born 28 July 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the England national team. Many panel members commissioned by The Guardian considered him to be one of the best players in the world in 2018.Born and raised in Walthamstow, Kane began his professional career at Tottenham Hotspur, where, after fast progression through the team's youth academy, he was promoted to the senior team in 2009, at age 16. He did not initially feature for the side, and instead, was loaned out several times to clubs across the English football pyramid, including Leyton Orient, Millwall, Leicester City, and Norwich City.
Kane's involvement at Tottenham began to increase following the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as head coach in 2014. In his first full season at the club, Kane netted 31 goals across all competitions, and finished as the league's second highest goalscorer, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award. After the following campaign, at age 23, Kane finished as league's top goalscorer, and guided the club to UEFA Champions League qualification. In the 2016–17 season, Kane also completed the season as the league's top goalscorer, and helped the club finish as the competition's runners-up, while he won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award. In the 2017–18 season, Kane registered his best campaign statistically to date, with 41 goals scored in 48 games in all competitions.
Kane holds the record for most Premier League Player of the Month awards (six; shared with Steven Gerrard) and has been selected for the PFA Team of the Year four times. He established himself as Tottenham's fourth all-time scorer in official competitions in January 2019, and holds the best strike-rate (0.70 goals per game) in Premier League history.
An English international, Kane has scored 20 goals in 35 games for his country. He has appeared and scored at every youth level, and made his senior debut in March 2015 at age 22, where he scored on his debut. Kane featured and scored at UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, before he was selected as the squad's captain from May 2018, prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In the tournament, Kane led England to fourth-place, their highest finish since 1990, by finishing as the top goalscorer, and won the Golden Boot.Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson (born 11 April 1960) is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for co-presenting the BBC TV show Top Gear with Richard Hammond and James May from October 2002 to March 2015. He also currently writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun.
From a career as a local journalist in Northern England, Clarkson rose to public prominence as a presenter of the original format of Top Gear in 1988. Since the mid-1990s, he has become a recognised public personality, regularly appearing on British television presenting his own shows for BBC and appearing as a guest on other shows. As well as motoring, Clarkson has produced programmes and books on subjects such as history and engineering. In 1998, he hosted the first series of Robot Wars, and from 1998 to 2000 he also hosted his own talk show, Clarkson.
In 2015, the BBC decided not to renew Clarkson's contract with the company after a dispute with a Top Gear producer while filming on location. That year, Clarkson and his Top Gear co-presenters and producer Andy Wilman formed the production company W. Chump & Sons to produce The Grand Tour for Amazon Video. In 2018, he became the new host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for ITV.
His opinionated but humorous tongue-in-cheek writing and presenting style has often provoked a public reaction. His actions, both privately and as a Top Gear presenter have also sometimes resulted in criticism from the media, politicians, pressure groups and the public. He also has a significant public following, being credited as a major factor in the resurgence of Top Gear as one of the most popular shows on the BBC.Leeds United F.C.
Leeds United Football Club (formerly Leeds United A.F.C.) is a professional association football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F.C. by the Football League and took over their Elland Road stadium. They play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.Leeds United have won three English league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Charity/Community Shields and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The club reached the 1975 European Cup Final, losing to Bayern Munich. Leeds also reached the semi-finals of the tournament's successor, the Champions League in 2001. The club were runners-up in the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1973. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s.
Leeds play in all-white kits. The club's badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram 'LUFC'. The club's anthem is 'Marching On Together'. Leeds share rivalries with Manchester United, Chelsea and Millwall, as well as with local teams such as Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 5 European Cups, more than any other English club, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields.
Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to 11 League titles and seven European trophies. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005.
Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, and the world's eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club is one of the best supported teams in the world. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton.
The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragedies: the Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – mostly Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing.
The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone".Michael Owen
Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is an English former footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. Since retiring from football, he has become a racehorse breeder and owner.
The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen was born in Chester and began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997–2004, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances. Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", an official Liverpool fan poll. In 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004; he was frequently used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga before returning to England the following season where he joined Newcastle United for £16.8 million. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return, he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. Newcastle were relegated in the 2008–09 season and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent. He spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City in September 2012. Owen is one of eight players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. On 19 March 2013, Owen announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season.
Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to have scored in four consecutive major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup, but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's 11th-most-capped player and has scored a former national record (since overtaken by Wayne Rooney) of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.Premier League
The Premier League (often referred to as the English Premier League (EPL) outside England) is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
The Premier League is a corporation in which the member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches (playing each other home and away). Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Premier League has featured 47 English and two Welsh clubs since its inception, making it a cross-border league.
The competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014–15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, rising sharply to £2.4 billion in 2016–17.The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, second highest of any professional football league behind the Bundesliga's 43,500. Most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks second in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons, as of 2018.Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Six of them have won the title since then: Manchester United (13), Chelsea (5), Arsenal (3), Manchester City (3), Blackburn Rovers (1), and Leicester City (1). The record of most points in a Premier League season is 100 by Manchester City in 2017–18.Sherlock (TV series)
Sherlock is a British crime drama television series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Thirteen episodes have been produced, with four three-part series airing from 2010 to 2017, and a special episode that aired on 1 January 2016. The series is set in the present day, while the one-off special features a Victorian period fantasy resembling the original Holmes stories. Sherlock is produced by the British network BBC, along with Hartswood Films, with Moffat, Gatiss, Sue Vertue and Rebecca Eaton serving as executive producers. The series is supported by the American station WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series on PBS, where it also airs in the United States. The series is primarily filmed in Cardiff, Wales, with North Gower Street in London used for exterior shots of Holmes and Watson's 221B Baker Street residence.
Sherlock has been praised for the quality of its writing, acting, and direction. Sherlock has been nominated for numerous awards including Emmys, BAFTAs and a Golden Globe, winning several awards across a variety of categories. The show won in three categories at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Cumberbatch, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Freeman and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for Moffat. Two years later, it won Outstanding Television Movie. In addition, the show was also honoured with a Peabody Award in 2011. The third series became the UK's most watched drama series since 2001. Sherlock has been sold to 180 territories.All of the series have been released on DVD and Blu-ray, alongside tie-in editions of selected original Conan Doyle stories and original soundtrack composed by David Arnold and Michael Price. In January 2014, the show launched its official mobile app called Sherlock: The Network.United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The UK is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Newcastle.
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favouring leaving the European Union, and the country's exit is being negotiated. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).Wayne Rooney
Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985) is an English professional footballer who plays for Major League Soccer club D.C. United. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he has also been used in various midfield roles. He is the record goalscorer for the England national team and for Manchester United. At club level, he has won every honour available in English, European and Continental football, with the exception of the European Super Cup. Along with Michael Carrick, he is the only English player to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup.Rooney joined the Everton youth team at the age of 9, and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window. He won 16 trophies with the club, including five Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2008. He scored 253 goals for United in all competitions to make him their top goalscorer of all time, with 183 Premier League goals being the most scored by a player for any single club. Rooney's 208 Premier League goals make him the Premier League's second top scorer of all time behind only Alan Shearer. He also has the third-highest number of assists in the Premier League, with 103.Rooney made his senior international debut for England in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England (a record since broken by Theo Walcott) and he is England's youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship. Rooney has since featured at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups and was widely regarded as his country's best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015. With 53 goals in 120 international caps, Rooney is England's all-time record goalscorer and second most-capped player, behind Peter Shilton. Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red-carded player for England, having been sent off twice.
In 2009–10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. He won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times, a record only bettered by Steven Gerrard and Harry Kane. His displays at the start of the decade saw him come fifth in the vote for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or and he was named in the FIFA World XI for 2011. Rooney has won the Goal of the Season award by the BBC's Match of the Day poll on three occasions, with his bicycle kick against city rivals Manchester City winning the Premier League Goal of the 20 Seasons award.