The old leather armchair almost certainly dates back to the ATV days and may have been a senior vision engineer's pride and joy.  Note the old ITV monitor layout.  The preview monitor is bottom centre and the 4 camera monitors as close to it as possible - so they remain within the operator's peripheral vision.  This makes very good sense to me.  BBC practice was - and is - to have the preview monitor in the operator's eyeline but the camera monitors a in a line above it. 

Note that this room is actually larger than the production gallery.  You can see who ruled the roost in the 1960s and '70s.