Happy 100th Birthday to the BBC

The BBC turns 100 today. We’ll all have our special memories of it. For me, my first ever favourite tv programme was Play School which I wanted to watch every single day. One of my favourite presenters was Floella Benjamin, now of course a Lib Dem peer. The BBC shared a video of her singing Happy Birthday with Hamble, my favourite of the toys

Blue Peter was such a big part of my life as a child, and particularly the annual appeals which gave everyone a chance to help others.

It was watching Roots in 1976 and seeing the appalling depiction of slavery that started me off on the journey to being a Liberal. The Doctor encouraged me along that road with his curiosity, respect for others and eccentricity.

The BBC World Service has kept people informed in good times and bad.

It is revered across the world, for the quality and range of its programmes. We need to protect its funding model and status as a unique public service broadcaster.

Senior Lib Dems have marked the centenary.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Caron’s right to raise this issue, but the difficult question is how we deal with it. One problem is the belief of some Conservatives that the BBC is their enemy, and that they need to help Murdoch and others win the battle to overthrow it. More of concern to me is the advances in technology. Young people get their news in small bite-sized chunks throughout the day, and don’t watch TV news at all, or current affairs discussion programmes like Newsnight, which are too long at half an hour. Nor are they going to watch arts programmes like Arena, which we watched because there was nothing else on. Nor, even more importantly, are we going to get another Catchy Come Home (before your time, Caron) which changed the political landscape for ever, and

  • (to continue the above bit ending in a posting accident) .. Cathy Come Home worked because we all watched it on the same night and were talking about it the next day. Catch-up and recording options mean that can’t happen again, and anyway, people prefer to watch fantasies like Game of Thrones and The Queen, on Netflix.
    This suggests that the BBC is never going to regain its central role in British life, and that the Tory assassins who want to kill it off aren’t the real problem.

  • .. and it was Cathy, of course, not Catchy.

  • Steve Trevethan 19th Oct '22 - 10:47am

    As the attachment demonstrates, the B. B. C. is neither consistently accurate nor honest.

  • @Steve Trevethan, you are being a little harsh in my opinion. The BBC has been guilty of some terrible howlers, most seriously when it has tried to cover up past mistakes. But it puts out thousands of hours of good and often excellent content every year, sometimes working to demanding deadlines. I think Caron is right to concentrate on the beneficial impact on our country of the vast majority of what they have produced over the last hundred years.

  • Andy Daer’s last comment is correct. The BBC has and will sometimes get things wrong and make mistakes,…… but at least it is fundamentally honest eventually when things go wrong…… and, most important… it is not in the pocket of non Dom billionaires with a right wing agenda.

    Public service broadcasting has a long and distinguished history and it is something to be cherished.

  • Ruth Bright 19th Oct '22 - 4:10pm

    Floella and the Play School FOCUS Team. Jemima, Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty. Legends all.
    Hamble was definitely ahead of her time.

  • Matt J Brown 19th Oct '22 - 6:18pm

    I’m afraid I am one of those who objects to having to pay for the running costs of the BBC when I would be perfectly happy to do without it. I hope the licence fee is scrapped and people who wish to consume BBC output pay for it directly.

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