by Dave Allan-Petale
I’ve been working at BBC World News for nearly two years, based at the corporation’s ancient HQ at Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush; a grey outer London suburb famed for hosting one of Europe’s largest shopping centres. You can imagine my enthusiasm for the location. But there is a light on the horizon… the Beeb is moving on up to an ultra-modern building in central London.
Broadcasting House is BBC radio’s spiritual home. It sits right on Regent Street just behind the iconic All Souls Church and has a beautiful art deco facade in front. The beginning of World War Two was broadcast from its studios, as well as messages to the French Resistance from its leader Charles de Gaulle. Now TV is being added, so the entire complex has been massively expanded (costing a billion pounds!) and it soars eight stories high with the most modern design enhancing every nook and cranny.
Everything is brand new, sleek and clean and the prospect of working right in the middle of London is awesome. Best of all, the new building unites all the departments of the BBC for the first time so the whole place will be a humming news centre.
Even though it’s well past its prime, the old TV Centre has a lot of history. Some of the BBC’s best programmes were made there and it will be a sad day when the last person turns off the lights. But I think Broadcasting House is bright enough to fill the void.