“Jolly proud you are a Britisher”
Empire and identity, 1923–39
in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
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This chapter examines the key role of the BBC in fostering a culture of imperialism from the 1920s to the eve of the Second World War. The broadcast of The Four Feathers revealed several aspects of the BBC's relationship to empire and imperialism during the period from its inception in the early 1920s to the Second World War. The reach and potential influence of the BBC suggests that the empire remained important to British national identity in the 1950s, even after the first wave of decolonization. The extent and range of programmes that had empire as their subject matter were considerable such as Empire Vaudeville and Radio Times. From its inception, the BBC acted as an agent to promote the empire among its audience. When war came in 1939, the empire figured prominently in the BBC's programming. As the war progressed the BBC devoted a remarkable amount of time in its schedules to promoting the empire.

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