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Introduction

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 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 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 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 revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd (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.

Selected article

Chris Hoy,2008 winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is an awards ceremony that takes place annually in December. Devised by Paul Fox in 1954, it originally consisted of one titular award (2008 winner, Chris Hoy, pictured). Several new awards have been introduced, and as of 2008, eight awards are presented. The oldest of these are the Team of the Year and Overseas Personality awards, which were introduced in 1960. The other awards are the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Helen Rollason Award, the Coach Award, Young Sports Personality of the Year, and the Unsung Hero Award. Other awards that have been presented in the past include the Special Achievement Award and the Sports Personality of the Century Award. The trophy for the main award is a silver-plated four-turret lens camera, and for the other awards smaller imitations of the main trophy are used. All of the BBC local regions hold their own independent award ceremonies, which take place before the main ceremony and are used to compile a shortlist for the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award. The event was held outside London for the first time in 2006, when tickets were made available to the public.

Selected picture

Nicholas Parsons at a recording of BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute

Nicholas Parsons during a recording of BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute. First aired in 1967, the comedy panel game has been chaired by Parsons from the start and it won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award in 2003.

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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 Glasgow Studios, home to BBC Scotland

Opened in 2007, BBC Pacific Quay is BBC Scotland's television and radio studio complex at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. It is home to most productions for BBC Scotland and the network.

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