Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

26 May 2010

Appreciate Broadcasting House

Broadcasting House, on a corner where Portland Place meets Langham Place, is an Art Deco masterpiece designed by architect George Val Myer and completed between 1930 and 1932.

Fronted with Eric Gill's statues of Prospero and Ariel, from Shakespeare's The Tempest, the building was built for the BBC, and was the UK's first purpose-built broadcasting facility, including 22 sound-proofed studios.

Broadcasting House is home to Radios 3, 4 and 7 and also houses the BBC Radio Theatre, which your author featured back in January last year. Whilst the building is currently undertaking a major redevelopment, expected to be finished in 2011, it remains largely intact, and operational, with some building to the rear to accomodate the anticipated arrival of BBC News from the News Centre at Television Centre.

The building is not constantly open to the public, but there are occasional tours, which are available for about a tenner, and you can get in by listening to a radio recording (see link above). For more on the tours, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/tours/bh_london.shtml

^Picture by ➨ Redvers^


  1. It really is a magnificent building, but I'm afraid I really don't go a bundle on the Gill statues. I find his work, fonts aside, a little creepy...

  2. I work in Broadcasting House and believe me when I say that the inside is not to be compared to the outside. The building has no central heating, and no ventilation, apart from air cooling, so everyone is always freezing in there, summer and winter. That's probably why they don't do tours!

    The statue is indeed creepy, bad human proportions, but the building and the clock are very beautiful indeed.

  3. This is one of my favourite buildings in London! I don't find the statue creepy at all; I think Prospero and Aerial are great characters to have on a building associated with broadcasting. I don't get the creepy references, but maybe I'm being naive.

  4. Thanks for your input, all. It truly is a fantastic building.

    And just to clarify, it appears they *do* do tours.