The radio studio as performance space
in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60
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There are few more prosaic settings than a radio studio, usually an anonymous-looking room with table, chairs, curtains and control panel. The best cinematic depiction of radio studios in action can be found in the documentary film BBC, The Voice of Britain , commissioned by the BBC from the GPO Film Unit. The ubiquity of radio was such that established literary classics could be reworked to accommodate the radio age. One of the more unlikely broadcasting crazes in both the United Kingdom and the United States was the spelling bee. Spelling contests with instant prizes, they were all the rage in the United States in 1937 and came to the United Kingdom in 1938. Paramount cashed in on the desire of radio audiences to see their favourites in the flesh with a series of what were in effect musical revues, the Big Broadcast series.


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