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Old 19-03-2013, 19:52
Airborae
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You know, in amidst all the anniversary talk and the new series, the sad news is that BBC TV Centre in London has finally closed. The place that saw so many classic Doctor Who stories filmed there.

It's just a sad note for anniversary year, so I'd like to pay a tribute to all the crew, actors, behind the scenes, studio technicians etc who helped to make Doctor Who what it was. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Thanks guys. You did a splendid job.
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Old 19-03-2013, 19:57
davrosdodebird
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*raises glass from Whoonie Inn*

To TVC
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:16
ShootyDogThing
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Aww I went there when I was younger to appear on Blue Peter funnily enough, it really inspired me to get involved in film production. Sad to see it go!
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:18
davrosdodebird
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IIRC there'll be a tv event on the 30th to commemorate the building etc. Madness will be playing there. I'll definately be watching. Unless it clashes with DW of course
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:25
Dave-H
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I worked there for nearly forty years (Jon Pertwee was the Doctor when I started), and had I retired as normally would have happened, on my 60th birthday, which is on March 31st, I would have retired on the same day that TVC closed, so the building and I would have left the BBC on the same day!
Actually it wasn't to be, as I ended up taking voluntary redundancy in 2009.
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:32
TEDR
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Actually it wasn't to be, as I ended up taking voluntary redundancy in 2009.
Were you sickened by the concept of 'the regions'?

(no, that's not a real question; I assume you were in a sufficiently comfortable position to take the redundancy offer and clear off early?)
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:41
Dave-H
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Were you sickened by the concept of 'the regions'?
(no, that's not a real question; I assume you were in a sufficiently comfortable position to take the redundancy offer and clear off early?)
Oh, I was in a very comfortable position thanks very much!
Seeing what's happened since I left made me even gladder that I got out when I did!
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:44
TEDR
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Oh, I was in a very comfortable position thanks very much!
Seeing what's happened since I left made me even gladder that I got out when I did!
But you could have been DIrector General! That is under the new rule, which appears to be similar to a backwards form of hot desking.
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Old 20-03-2013, 00:46
ocav
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IIRC there'll be a tv event on the 30th to commemorate the building etc. Madness will be playing there. I'll definately be watching. Unless it clashes with DW of course
Commemorative programme is this FRIDAY on BBC Four. I'm not sure about the madness concert. Nothing scheduled though for on the 30th
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Old 20-03-2013, 02:44
CoalHillJanitor
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What's going to become of the building?
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Old 20-03-2013, 03:40
DJGM
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What's going to become of the building?
BBC Television Centre was sold to developers Stanhope plc last year for a reported 200m, and officially closes down in
it's current form on 31st March. After this, a program of redevelopment is due to start. Some bits of TV Centre are to be
demolished, mainly areas that have long since been abandoned. Some bits of TVC cannot be demolished, due to their
listed status. At least 3 of the studios will remain, and are due to be refurbished as part of the redevelopment plans.

The famous "concrete doughnut" is to be turned into a hotel and apartments, while the forecourt at the front of TVC is
to become a public plaza with bars and cafes. It had been feared by some that the entire TVC would be demolished,
like the former BBC Manchester studios on Oxford Road. Thankfully that isn't happening. Certain BBC subsidiaries
are actually moving back into TVC after the redevelopment project is complete.

While it's certainly the end of an era, BBC Television Centre isn't being consigned to the history books yet!

Full details are available at the official website, television-centre.com.
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Old 20-03-2013, 07:45
davrosdodebird
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Commemorative programme is this FRIDAY on BBC Four. I'm not sure about the madness concert. Nothing scheduled though for on the 30th
Sorry, you're right; it's on BBC4, preceded by the 1 hour Madness performance.
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Old 20-03-2013, 08:36
Airborae
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Quite appropriate really to have Madness playing. Considering the madness in selling the property where so much television history has been made. And that is no exaggeration.
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:59
CoalHillJanitor
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BBC Television Centre was sold to developers Stanhope plc last year for a reported 200m, and officially closes down in
it's current form on 31st March. After this, a program of redevelopment is due to start. Some bits of TV Centre are to be
demolished, mainly areas that have long since been abandoned. Some bits of TVC cannot be demolished, due to their
listed status. At least 3 of the studios will remain, and are due to be refurbished as part of the redevelopment plans.

The famous "concrete doughnut" is to be turned into a hotel and apartments, while the forecourt at the front of TVC is
to become a public plaza with bars and cafes. It had been feared by some that the entire TVC would be demolished,
like the former BBC Manchester studios on Oxford Road. Thankfully that isn't happening. Certain BBC subsidiaries
are actually moving back into TVC after the redevelopment project is complete.

While it's certainly the end of an era, BBC Television Centre isn't being consigned to the history books yet!

Full details are available at the official website, television-centre.com.
Thanks.


I'm Doug Stanhope, and that's why I drink.
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Old 20-03-2013, 15:10
mossy2103
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Quite appropriate really to have Madness playing. Considering the madness in selling the property where so much television history has been made. And that is no exaggeration.
It would have been madness to commit to spending a great deal of money in bringing the place up to the level expected from a broadcast centre in the digital age, especially one where many facilities (such as power and aircon) would have to be totally stripped out or integrated, or where the actual design & layout was not longer fit for purpose, and where the building itself was in a state of disrepair.
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Old 20-03-2013, 16:36
davrosdodebird
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I agree completely with Danny Baker's comments in The Sun today: "I know, The Houses of Parliament is old isnt it? We should turn that into a Hotel as well!"
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Old 20-03-2013, 19:54
saladfingers81
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What a lovely thread. Thanks Airborae. I saw the pictures of the empty TVC. Very sad and very poignant. Truly the end of an era and one we are unlikely to see again.
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Old 20-03-2013, 19:56
saladfingers81
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Thanks.


I'm Doug Stanhope, and that's why I drink.
Haha. I like what you did there.
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Old 20-03-2013, 20:16
Unicyclatrix
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I agree completely with Danny Baker's comments in The Sun today: "I know, The Houses of Parliament is old isnt it? We should turn that into a Hotel as well!"
Gotta love Danny Baker for this and his recent and rather magnificent on air departure from one radio station...
But the question I want to ask is, IF Michael Bentine was still with us, would the new BBC headquarters be iconic enough to unconvincingly destroy?
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Old 20-03-2013, 23:06
Airborae
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What a lovely thread. Thanks Airborae. I saw the pictures of the empty TVC. Very sad and very poignant. Truly the end of an era and one we are unlikely to see again.
Thank you. I thought it important enough to make a thread.
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Old 21-03-2013, 06:58
Irma Bunt
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It would have been madness to commit to spending a great deal of money in bringing the place up to the level expected from a broadcast centre in the digital age, especially one where many facilities (such as power and aircon) would have to be totally stripped out or integrated, or where the actual design & layout was not longer fit for purpose, and where the building itself was in a state of disrepair.
Oh, there always has to be one, doesn't there? No soul or feeling, eyes just focussed on the balance sheet. That's the same argument they're using to move us from our beloved studios in Manchester, with all their rich history, to bloody Media City. "Media City" - the very name suggests something created on an iPad by executives or accountants - y'know, the people who've ruined our industry - and never mind the fact that everyone who works there loathes it.
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:28
mossy2103
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Oh, there always has to be one, doesn't there? No soul or feeling, eyes just focussed on the balance sheet. That's the same argument they're using to move us from our beloved studios in Manchester, with all their rich history, to bloody Media City. "Media City" - the very name suggests something created on an iPad by executives or accountants - y'know, the people who've ruined our industry - and never mind the fact that everyone who works there loathes it.
Sorry, it's what is known as being practical rather than trying to mould an old building that might be iconic but is no longer fit for purpose in the digital age.

BTW, I am not an accountant, just a realist who understands that it is likely to cost more to update TVC, cost more to try to make it fit for purpose, and is likely never to be as good as a purpose-built building.

Iconic history is great if it does the job
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Old 21-03-2013, 11:16
Listentome
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I find this very sad. I grew up watching that building on my telly, then I worked there for a bit. I never stopped getting excited walking around the bending corridors, not knowing which famous face you might pass.
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Old 21-03-2013, 12:01
sandydune
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It is a shame, it will bring big changes to White City but it's too busy as it is.


What are they going to do with the big clock at the Television Centre?
Many a time, many years ago I remember seeing that clock from the distance as I travelled on the tube into Shepherds Bush
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Old 21-03-2013, 12:19
Dave-H
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I take comfort in the fact that the BBC I joined in 1971 doesn't actually exist any more, and hasn't existed since John Birt's "reforms" over twenty years ago.

I'm sorry to see TV Centre closed by the BBC of course, but I'm glad it will keep the name, will still have a few working TV Studios, and will hopefully be at least partially accessible to the public, which it isn't at the moment.
The fact that is wasn't even a listed building horrified me, and I'm glad that at least that was speedily corrected, which prevented the site being completely demolished and redeveloped.

It was built for a different age, was full of asbestos, which made maintenance and remodelling very difficult and expensive, and is far too large for the present BBC.
I'm afraid that the decision to move out was the only sensible one the BBC could make. It would have happened years earlier if the financial crash hadn't depressed property prices.

Thanks goodness that meant that "The Centre" was still there looking reasonably as it did 50 years ago for filming on An Adventure in Space and Time. That programme will now be almost as much a memorial to the great days of TVC as it will be to Doctor Who itself.
Such a shame they couldn't film the studio recording reconstruction where it actually happened, but that was at Lime Grove Studios, which sadly were demolished twenty years ago!
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