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Introduction

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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 22,000 staff in total, more than 16,000 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.

Around a quarter of BBC's revenue comes from its commercial subsidiary BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide), which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and also distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. In 2009, the company was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of its international achievements.

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Yes Minister is a multi-award winning satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC television and radio between 1980 and 1984. Along with the sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, which ran from 1986 to 1988, 38 episodes were made. Set in the private office in Whitehall of a British government cabinet minister (and, in the sequel, in 10 Downing Street), the series follows the ministerial career of Jim Hacker MP, played by Paul Eddington. His various struggles to formulate and enact legislation or effect departmental changes are opposed by the will of the British Civil Service, in particular his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, played by Nigel Hawthorne. His Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, played by Derek Fowlds, is usually caught between the two, although heavily influenced by Sir Humphrey. Almost every programme ends with the line "Yes, Minister" (or "Yes, Prime Minister"), uttered (usually) by Sir Humphrey as he quietly relishes his victory over his "political master" (or, occasionally, acknowledges defeat). A huge critical and popular success, the series received a number of awards; including several BAFTAs and in 2004 came sixth in the Britain's Best Sitcom poll. It was the favourite television programme of the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

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Peter Cockroft

BBC Weather forecaster Peter Cockroft during a broadcast for BBC London News. After joining the BBC in 1991 to present national forecasts, he moved to BBC London News in 2002.

Did you know...

Highlights from Wikipedia's Did you know...

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  • ... that BBC traffic reporter Sally Traffic has also narrated poetry albums for the blind?

Quotes

  • "I got the first page with about three minutes to go. Then, the red light came on and it was up to me. It was an intensely dramatic script and most of the pages were fed to me at the microphone, so I had to get it right first time. God knows I put my heart into it." — Newsreader Robert Dougall, recalling his message as the 'anonymous Englishman', calling for Germany to withdraw its forces.
  • "Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own. If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans.
And I hate to tell you, but it's true." - Sir Terry Wogan announcing he is to step down as presenter of the breakfast show on Radio 2.

Selected biography

Helen Frances Rollason, MBE (née Grindley: 11 March 1956 – 9 August 1999) was a British sports journalist and television presenter, who in 1990 became the first female presenter of the BBC's sports programme Grandstand. She was also a regular presenter of Sport on Friday, and of the children's programme Newsround during the 1980s.

Born in London, Rollason studied to become a PE teacher before entering radio broadcasting in 1980. After directing sport related content for Channel 4, where she helped to bring American football to British television, she anchored coverage of the 1987 World Student Games and 1988 Summer Olympics. Her work on Grandstand proved popular with viewers, and led to a number of other sports presenting roles for Rollason throughout the 1990s. As well as covering mainstream events such as the 1996 Summer Olympics, she became a champion of disability sports, helping to raise its profile and change its public and media perception. She presented sports bulletins for BBC Breakfast News and BBC News, and in 1996 was named as Sports Presenter of the Year.

Rollason was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1997, and fought a two-year battle with the disease. A 1998 documentary, Hope for Helen, followed her treatment, and won her much public support for her courage. She continued to work throughout her illness, and shortly before her death was awarded an MBE in the 1999 Birthday Honours. Later that year, the BBC established an award in her memory which is presented at the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony. A cancer charity was also founded in her name. Rollason's television career also helped to open up the way for other women to enter the world of sports broadcasting, with presenters such as Sue Barker and Gabby Logan following in her footsteps.

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The new Egton Wing of Broadcasting House

The Egton Wing of Broadcasting House was completed in 2005 on the site of Egton House. A memorial sculpture, Breathing, for those killed whilst reporting on wars is situated on the roof.

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