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"This is London"-side 1-

"This is London"-side 2-


    "This disc celebrates fifty years of External broadcasting to the world by the BBC. It all started in December, 1932, when Sir John Reith, then Director General of the BBC, and a few of his colleagues, spoke a few words over the air waves to listeners eagerly awaiting their first radio link with the Motherland. The first short-wave broadcast transmitted by the BBC to the vast British Empire - the BBC's Empire Service. 
Alan Burgess, a former BBC producer, has written the script, and with the actor Leo McKern as narrator, he tells the fascinating story of how from that modest beginning has grown one of the most influential and respected short-wave broadcast organisations in the world with a listening figure estimated at 100 million people every week. Today the BBC's World Service in English broadcasts 24 hours a day and, at almost any time, there are news bulletins going out in one or another of the 36 different language units in Bush House. 
A single disc of an hour's duration cannot encompass all fifty years of overseas broadcasting and the tremendous pageant of history it has reflected. What we have done therefore is to select some of the memorable voices and events that have made broadcasting history - not excluding some of the lighter moments that are woven into the tapestry of overseas programmes Take a step back in history and hear the voices of Winston Churchill, General de Gaulle and Harold Macmillan. Live again some of the dramatic events that reverberated around the world - Russia's invasion of Hungary, the Suez Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy. The Astronauts landing on the Moon. Listen once again to voices that made you laugh, or songs and music that bring back memories, from the 30's up to the 80's. 
Whether your memory covers the full fifty years or only a brief span, there is bound to be a favourite voice or tune on this record to help you recapture Fifty Glorious Years of BBC External Broadcasting. 


1   The Wedding of Prince Charles 29.7.81 The Archbishop of Canterbury (Robert Alexander Runcie) 
2   First Christmas Day Message from Sandringham 25.12.32 H. M. King George V 
3   Lilliburlero Band of the Scots Guards, Conductor: Major S. Rhode. 
4   Language Services identification Russian; Spanish: Japanese: Indonesian: Malay: Hausa: French: 
5   Part of Symphonic Variations by Cesar Franck Myra Hess with City of Birmingham Orchestra, Conductor: Basil               Cameron 
6   Excerpt from BBC Covers the World_ Hornepayne, N. Ontario 18.11.47 Cecil Mcintyre 
7   Destiny Waltz Troise and his Mandoliers 
8   Epsom Derby 6.6.34 Commentator: R.C. Lyle 
9   Last Night of the Proms Rule Brittania Colin Davis with BBC Symphony Orchestra 
10 Its Just Time for Dancing Henry Hall and his Orchestra 
11 Say it witk Music Jack Payne and his BBC Orchestra 
12 Night and Day Harry Roy and his Orchestra 
13 Speech from Reichstag 20.2.38 Adolf Hitler 
14 Excerpt from BBC broadcast Causes of  War 16.11.34 Winston Churchill 
15 Excerpt from speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet 9.11.37 Neville Chamberlain 
16 Opening of the Arabic Service 3.1.38 Sir John Reith 
17 Extract from the LBC programme on Bush House 24.10.81 Gerard Mansell 
18 First News broadcasts 27.9.38 French: German: Italian 
19 Bush House in the second World War 5.8.59 Martin Esslin 
20 Excerpt from broadcast to the Free French 22.6.40 General de Gaulle 
21 Part of a speech by the Prime Minister " .... this was their finest hour" 18.6.40 Winston Churchill 
22 Listening to Churchill broadcasts in wartime France 7.10.59 Ginette Spanier 
23 A wartime broadcast in French Winston Churchill 
24 ITMA 
    Tommy Handley: Jack Train 
25 Entertaining the Australian troops at the Boomerang Club 9.11.42 Tommy Trinder 
26 Wartime postscript from London After Dark 24.8.40 J.B. Priestley 
27 Lillie Marlene Ann Shelton 
28 Description of London by night during an air raid 24.8.40 Ed Murrow 
29 News bulletin - War with Japan 7.12.41 Alvar Liddell 
30 D-Day Special Announcement 6.6.44 John Snagge 
31 Excerpt from BBC feature Mike Charlie' - the story of WarReport2.6.55 Stanley Maxted 
32 VE-Day. A commentary on the scene when Winston Churchill joins the crowds singing Land of Hope and Glory 9.5.45      Richard Dimbleby 

Side 2 
1   Air raid Siren - All clear 
2   Hancock's Half Hour - extract 17.2.57 Tony Hancock: Hattie Jacques: Bill Kerr 
3   Radio jamming 
4   Former head of the BBCquote s Russian Service Alexander Lieven 
5   Montage of Far East Language Services Urdu: Bengali: Nepali: Hindi. 
6   Victor Silvester's overseas request programme. Intro followed by You're Dancing on My Heart 20.2.56 Victor Silvester 
7   Vivat Regina 
8   Queen's Jubilee 1977. Extract from speech at London's Guildhall 7.6.77 H.M. Queen Elizabeth 
9   Zadok the Priest Handel 
10 Trinidad Calypso spedally composed for H.M. the Queenquote s Coronation 2.6.53 
11 Excerpt from the Prime Minister's speech during Suez crisis 3.11.56 Anthony Eden 
12 Excerpt from Party Political broadcast in reply to P.M.'s speech on Suez crisis 4.11.56 Hugh Gaitskell 
13 Hungary's appeal for help as Russian troops invaded 4.11.56 Free Kossuth radio announcer 
14 Excerpt from Wind of Change speech 3.2.60 Harold Macmillan 
15 Despatch from Washington on President Kennedy's assassination 22.11.63 Leonard Parkin 
16 A report from Oran during the Algerian war Ronald Robson 
17 English by Radio - Pedagogical Pop. followed by We don't Talk anymore Keith Alexander; Miranda Forbes: Cliff Richard 
18 The Goon Show - extract Harry Secombe: Spike Milligan: Peter Sellers; Script by Spike Milligan 
19 Introduction to Good Morning Africa and signature tune 12.7.6, Pete Myers 
20 Signature tune and introduction to The World Today 
21 Signature tune and introduction to Outlook 
22 Introduction only to 24 Hours 
23 Sporting highlights: XX Olympiad Munich 1972 Commentary on finish of 3000 metres steeplechase 4.9.72 Norman Cuddeford 
24 The final round of the World Middleweight Boxing Championship: Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Randolph Turpin 10.7.51          Raymond Glendenning 
25 The World Cup - Footba11 1966 Commentary on the winning goal 30.7.66 A. Clarke 
26 An excerpt from an after dinner speech in New York Alistair Cooke 
27 Description of final stages of Moon Landing 20.7.69 Arthur Garrett 
28 Excerpt from Topical Tapes Profile interview with Margaret Thatcher February 1971 Margaret Thatcher: Bernard Palmer 
29 Governor Ronald Reagan interviewed on Outlook 8.4.75 Ronald Reagan: John Tidmarsh 
30 Part of a speech given by President Sadat during signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty 26.3.79 
31 On the eve of Independence - speech by Robert Mugabe 17.4.80
32 Letter from a Chinese listener (partly in Mandarin)
    Vicent Shui 
33 Postscript by the BBC's External Services Managing Director
    Douglas Muggeridge
34 Big Ben 

Narrated by Leo McKern
Script by Alan Burgess
Research by Helen Holmes
Production by Wendy Barnes

BBC External Services
BBC Transcription Services