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Examining the ways in which the BBC constructed and disseminated British national identity during the second quarter of the twentieth century, this book focuses in a comprehensive way on how the BBC, through its radio programmes, tried to represent what it meant to be British. It offers a revision of histories of regional broadcasting in Britain that interpret it as a form of cultural imperialism. The regional organisation of the BBC, and the news and creative programming designed specifically for regional listeners, reinforced the cultural and historical distinctiveness of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The BBC anticipated, and perhaps encouraged, the development of the hybrid ‘dual identities’ characteristic of contemporary Britain.

Thomas Hajkowski

6 BBC broadcasting in Wales, 1922–53 In 1949, Alun Oldfield-Davies, Controller of the BBC’s station in Wales, declared: “the basic job of the BBC in Wales is to nourish and encourage national unity and to add wealth, depth, and value to all aspects of national life.”1 At first, this seems to be a rather straightforward testament to the role of the BBC in Wales. For Oldfield-Davies, Wales was not a region but a nation, albeit one that lacked a cohesive culture or identity. The BBC, he suggested, could and ought to participate in the process of forming a national

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Thomas Hajkowski

3 The BBC and the making of a multi-national monarchy I n addition to the imperial project, the BBC vigorously promoted the ­monarchy as a symbol of British national identity. Beginning with the first monarchical broadcast in 1924, the BBC slowly but surely convinced the reigning monarch, King George V, to exploit the possibilities of the new medium of radio. Future monarchs would have little choice but to follow George’s lead. The monarchy and the BBC found their relationship mutually beneficial. George V and other royal broadcasters gave radio a legitimacy

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Religion, eugenics and war
Ralph Desmarais

12 Governing science on BBC radio in 1930s Britain: religion, eugenics and war Ralph Desmarais During the 1930s, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired hundreds of science-related radio talks in its evening programming schedule, most delivered by renowned scientists and scientific popularisers. In both authorship and content, these BBC scripted talks often overlapped with the wide range of non-specialist popular science books whose published titles had proliferated over the preceding decades to meet the British adult public’s increasing demand for

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
The manipulation of British Public Opinion, 1880–1960

Imperial history and the imperial idea have been examined almost entirely in a centrifugal manner, as the radiation of influences from Britain into its wider hinterland. This book explores the manifestations of the imperial idea, from the trappings of royalty through writers like G. A. Henty to the humble cigarette card. It uses popular imperialism as a focus for the examination of the theatre, the cinema, education, juvenile literature, imperial exhibitions, youth movements, and a variety of imperial propaganda bodies between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The most aggressive and innovative advertisers of the day were companies dependent on the imperial economic nexus, in tea, chocolate, soaps and oils, tobacco, meat extracts, shipping, and later rubber. Middle and upper-class attachment to the music hall developed out of its success among the working class. Radio conveyed a sense of the unity of Empire, at least in the public mind, such as the Edwardian imperial societies had found unattainable. After the Second World War the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) continued to present a vision of a beneficent and regenerative Empire. The great exhibitions which from the 1880s came to be dominated by the imperial theme offer the most striking examples of both conscious and unconscious approaches to imperial propaganda. By the 1880s the new morality had come to be wedded to the late nineteenth-century world view and was suffused with the patriotic, racial, and militarist elements which together made up the new popular imperialism.

Contemporary witchcraft and the Lancashire witches
Joanne Pearson

figure of the witch can be manipulated to fit the spirit of each age’. 38 Undoubtedly, then, the image of the witch still haunts the human imagination, and retains strong connections to areas such as Essex and Lancashire for Witches and non-Witches alike. In the documentary Lucifer Over Lancashire , broadcast by the BBC in the era of the satanic/ritual abuse panic in 1987, we are told by the Reverend Kevin Logan, vicar of St John’s Church, Great Harwood, that ‘Pendle Hill speaks for itself, casting a dark shadow over the land’, it is a

in The Lancashire witches
Abstract only
Thomas Hajkowski

Conclusion I n October 1955, Harman Grisewood, the BBC’s Director of the Spoken Word, presented a paper, “The Status of the BBC as the National Instrument of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom,” to the BBC’s Board of Management. The paper provides a window into the mind-set of the upper echelons of the BBC in the mid-1950s. Two facets of Grisewood’s paper stand out: his insistence on the special role of the BBC in society but also his concern about the challenge of commercial television. Grisewood insisted on the distinctiveness of the BBC, particularly because

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Abstract only
Thomas Hajkowski

Introduction On New Year’s Eve, 1945, William Haley, the Director-General of the BBC, composed a memo to Lindsay Wellington, Head of the BBC’s Home Service and one of his top lieutenants. Haley had just completed his first full year as Director-General. He had led the BBC through the final stages of the Second World War and the difficult transition to peacetime broadcasting. Like many of us, he used the occasion of New Year’s Eve to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. Contemplating the position of broadcasting in Britain, Haley judged it

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Empire and identity, 1923–39
Thomas Hajkowski

1 “Jolly proud you are a Britisher:” empire and identity, 1923–39 O n the evening of December 13, 1939, Val Gielgud, Head of the BBC’s Features and Drama Department, listened to the final installment of the Drama Department’s serialized adaptation of A. E. W. Mason’s imperial adventure story The Four Feathers. The following day he wrote to the producer of the series, Peter Creswell, to congratulate him on its success. He noted to Creswell that the Director-General, F. W. Ogilvie, and the Home Service Board praised the program,1 concluding that “the romantic

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
Regional broadcasting and identity in “Ulster”
Thomas Hajkowski

7 This Is Northern Ireland: regional broadcasting and identity in “Ulster” T his chapter makes three interconnected claims. First, that BBC Northern Ireland (hereafter BBC NI) played a vital role in maintaining a strong British national consciousness in Northern Ireland. Second, that BBC NI selfconsciously sought to also construct a unifying “Ulster” identity for the new province. As with Scotland and Wales, the BBC’s projection of “Ulsterness” did not represent the abandonment of unionism or British identity but was rather an attempt to assert the

in The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53