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June 16, 2021 1:37 pm  #1

BBC Unveils Online "Genome" Of Radio/TV Programming Going Back To 1923

The BBC has been around since the roaring 20s (back when the year started with a "19.") Since then, it's put out hundreds of thousands of hours of programming, first on radio, then on TV, followed by online and in many cases today, all three. 

Now the Beeb has unleashed an amazing archive of its programming, which includes almost every page of its "Radio Times" magazine ever published (some months are missing) dating back to 1923. (It was the U.K. equivalent to our "TV Guide" except it covered just BBC shows on both mediums.)

Unfortunately, you won't be able to watch most of the video, even with a VPN set to Great Britain. The system is programmed to reject it. (I did get a few shows to work with the VPN set to GB, but it rejects others. So give it a shot - you never know.) But you can hear hundreds of BBC Radio shows from over the decades and read what was on the radio in the magazine, without a private network. So, what were the Britons who had a set listening to in 1923? Here's a sample:

Doesn't sound like a line-up most of us would want to listen to today, but then just the fact you were hearing "the wireless" was considered something of a miracle. The original ads are there, too. Never mind the iPhone. Who wouldn't want a Marconiphone?

You have to register to access some of the audio shows, but it doesn't matter where you are in the world. As an example, here's a link to a legendary Goon Show from March 1958. 

And then there's a comedy called "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" from 1969, which included a pre-Python John Cleese in the cast. 

A lot comes up when you search for The Beatles.

If you're a fan of the BBC or just wondered what you missed by not having access to it on the radio in North America, this is a place where you can waste hundreds of hours and still never see or hear everything. 

BBC Genome Home Page

BBC reveals new archive that allows access to 200,000 programmes – and early editions of Radio Times