BBC broadcasting in Wales, 1922–53
in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
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This chapter considers BBC broadcasting in Wales. Wales was not a region but a nation, though it lacked an identity. The study of broadcasting and national identity in Wales poses several problems unique to the principality. For one, the region of Wales in the BBC was not established until 1937. Further, Wales was divided by language and culture in ways quite different from Scotland. The traditional, rustic way of life of north Wales was quite distinct from the highly industrialized, urban, and anglophone culture of south Wales. On the one hand, the Welsh region had to battle with the BBC's Head Office in London over programmes, scheduling, hours of operation, and the use of the Welsh language and on the other hand, BBC radio in Wales was never Welsh enough to satisfy the Welsh nationalists, who demanded more Welsh-language programmes and eventually an independent broadcasting system for Wales. Defining a unitary ‘Wales’ and Welsh identity, while also struggling for autonomy from BBC Head Office, proved to be a challenge for Welsh broadcasters.

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