The history of British television broadcasting
October 24, 2010 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for books or documentaries on the history of British television; not the device, but the early years of television broadcasting, the formation of the BBC, and the characters involved. Does anyone know of any?

Television and film documentaries about the subject would be good, but I'm especially interested in books, journalism or websites on the subject. Thanks!
posted by Gonnas to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You should certainly read David Attenborough's Life On Air. Covers the early early days of BBC Television, through to his appointment as Controller of BBC 2. Wonderful stories; its also an unabridged audiobook read by Attenborough himself.
posted by Erasmouse at 11:26 AM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: "Published in 1950, esteemed television critic Kenneth Baily’s book ‘Here’s Television’ is a fascinating account of the early days at the BBC." (Source)



posted by MonkeyToes at 11:29 AM on October 24, 2010

David Kynaston devotes quite a bit of Family Britain to the BBC.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:13 PM on October 24, 2010

Coming to you LIVE! (Behind-the-screen memories of Forties and Fifties television), compiled by Denis Norden, Sybil Harper, and Norma Gilbert (Methuen: 1985), is a fantastic collection of first-person accounts by UK television personalities and staff.

Alas, I think it is long out of print, but if you can lay your hands on a used copy, it is really fun.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2010

Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story is a great overview of 1960s BBC. Definitely a character, that one.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:44 PM on October 24, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, guys. I've started reading Here's Television, and it's excellent. Exactly what I was looking for.

I'll check out everyone else's suggestions too.
posted by Gonnas at 3:01 PM on October 27, 2010

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