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The first Christmas... Radio Times

December 24th, 2015 (01:43 am)

A gift in pdf from the BBC Genome team: the Christmas Radio Times of 1923. More is explained at the BBC Genome blog. This is the era of the BBC as monopoly private company rather than autonomous corporation and that's reflected in the business-led feature writing which opens the magazine; but there are contributions too from Ramsay Macdonald, a few weeks away from becoming first Labour prime minister, and Lilian Bayliss of the Old Vic, as well as various broadcasters including several of the uncles and aunts of the regional stations. The adverts are revealing of a vanished time; the listings show that a simultaneous broadcast of Shakespeare recitals by Sir Frank Benson was taken by most stations, intriguingly for me coming from 5NO in Newcastle; 5WA in Cardiff offers A Christmas Carol instead. Although not the modern Woman's Hour, which did not begin until the 1940s, there is a Women's Hour, but it only seems to last thirty minutes. Christmas Day itself is one of a Christmas party and religious messages, including one specifically aimed at children.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/24/the-first-christmas-radio-times.html.


Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: December 24th, 2015 09:08 am (UTC)

Thank you for that - your write-up is interesting, and I will look at the link later.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: December 24th, 2015 11:57 am (UTC)

Thank you - I've not looked closely at the articles yet.

Posted by: heliopausa (heliopausa)
Posted at: December 24th, 2015 02:31 pm (UTC)

That sounds like a great entry-point to get a feel for at least a few aspects of those times in the UK. Intriguing - thanks!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: December 25th, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)

My pleasure! The whole BBC Genome site, though very rough, is a mine of information about what the BBC thought its listeners' and viewers' tastes were, or could or should be.