BBC TV Centre…

…with grateful thanks to several current and ex BBC staffers who have passed some fascinating documents and other information to me.

(Revised March 2024)

tvc night exterior peter sumpter 450p

photo thanks to Peter Sumpter






Jennifer Saunders on the BBC in general and Television Centre in particular:


‘The BBC was more than a channel.  More, even, than a production company.  The BBC was a national resource.  It trained and produced the greatest technicians in television, most of whom then eventually went on to work in the film industry.  It was a centre of learning and creativity, with an executive culture that trusted the creative staff to do their job.  It was the place everyone wanted to work, despite the fact that you got more money on ITV.  It was full of TV history.  Dawn and I loved just to walk round the corridors and see what else was happening.  Who was in the studios?  Who was writing what?

It had great studios, totally made for purpose.  Make-up rooms and dressing rooms were all perfectly placed to service each studio, and there were small tea bars between each one for snacks and refreshments.  If you needed a proper lunch, you went to the canteen that overlooked the Blue Peter garden.  If you wanted a posh lunch, you went to the silver service restaurant that was on the balcony above the canteen.  Same food, but with a waitress serving your  peas  with two spoons.  Executives would eat there with guests or stars. This was before the days when they all felt they had to get a limo to the Ivy and spend unnecessary amounts of licence fee.’

from ‘Bonkers: My Life in Laughs’ by Jennifer Saunders.



Copyright information: As on the rest of this website – please do not use or ask permission to use any of these images in books or other publications or on TV programmes or commercially run websites. Many of the illustrations are copyrighted by their respective copyright holders according to the original copyright or publication date as printed on the artwork or publication and are reproduced here for historical reference and research purposes. If you do own the copyright to any image displayed here and wish it to be credited or removed, please contact me and I shall of course be happy to oblige.


Many of the images on this page are taken from old out of print books and documents. However, I am particularly grateful to Bernie Newnham and his superb BBC tech ops history site on . Many happy memories have been rekindled by reading it I have shamelessly ‘borrowed’ a few stills from the site but I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the operational history of TV It’s much more interesting than this one!