100 years of BBC to be celebrated at National Museum of Computing in Milton Keynes

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The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park is staging a special exhibition to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the BBC.

BBC Through the Decades’ will feature the very first television broadcast in 1932, the move to colour in 1967 and the digital switchover that began in 2007.

Running from October 1 to November 20, it tells the story of technology through the ages that begins with analogue radio broadcast technology of the 1920s and ends with BBC iPlayer and the internet-enabled platforms of today.

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The BBC has been at the forefront of analogue and digital technology for a century, and today the BBC reaches an average audience of 489 million adults every week.

The BBC exhibition opens on October 1 at TNMOCThe BBC exhibition opens on October 1 at TNMOC
The BBC exhibition opens on October 1 at TNMOC

Visitors to the TNMOC exhibition will witness the evolution of the technologies that have formed the backbone of the BBC over its history and get hands-on with the technology that made the BBC famous.

Highlights of the nostalgia-filled exhibit include:

Ceefax reimagined – Ceefax, which began at the BBC in 1974, will be celebrated with a special TNMOC version of the world’s first Teletext information service The BBC Micro, an 8-bit microcomputer which is still going strong 40 years since its launch. The museum uses several of these venerable machines in its classroom, and visitors will be able to get hands-on with retro games. A BBC Domesday Project machine from 1986. The Domesday Project was a landmark survey of the country in the 80s. TNMOC has an original machine that still runs off its original LaserDiscs.

The exhibition's opening will be accompanied by a series of live Q&As with figures, including former BBC Technology Correspondent and TNMOC Honorary Fellow Rory Cellan-Jones, who will share his personal BBC story.

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In true Blue Peter fashion, children are invited to create an A4 poster showing what current technology should be preserved in a time capsule and opened in 100 years. Any child participating in the microbit workshop and the BBC quiz will receive a free musical glove.

Jacqui Garrad, Director of The National Museum of Computing, said: “The BBC is an iconic British institution, with global reach, respect, and recognition. We invite the public to come and celebrate the BBC’s 100th anniversary with us, get hands-on with our exhibits and learn all about the technology behind the BBC.”

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