Yellow highlighters at the ready - the listings have arrived! Except it's weeks 2 + 3 of the BBC, back in Nov/Dec 1922, and the Radio Times is nearly a year away. So how do we know what's on the wireless? And is it called radio yet?

A few trusty local newspapers printed a few listings - though watch this space, as they'll decide differently in a few episodes time. From The Pall Mall Gazette to The Derby Daily Telegraph, we've cobbled together the first BBC listings, thanks to our newspaper detective Andrew Barker.

Plus a few memos read by the early BBC staff who received them, an insight into the first Children's Hour, and the debuts of comedian Norman Long and the 2LO Wireless Orchestra.

There's also the return of the Parliamentary Podcast Players to shine a light on some dodgy dealing in Westminster (Government sleaze? At least that's no longer with us). It's all down to ex-Postmaster General F.G. Kellaway, who negotiated with the Marconi Company and co to help set up the BBC, now becoming a Marconi Company director. Could he have set up his own company for a windfall? We also whizz back to the Marconi Scandal of 1912, when shares were scooped up by government ministers thanks to some alleged insider dealing.

Our guests are Andrew Barker and Alan Stafford (Alan's books include It's Friday, It's CRACKERJACK).

Hear rare archive clips from:

  • 2LO Musical Director Stanton Jefferies
  • 5IT Chief Engineer A.E. Thompson
  • 5IT Station Director Percy Edgar
  • Comedian Helena Millais
  • Percussionist Billy Whitlock
  • Comedian Norman Long
 
And thanks to our Parliamentary Podcast Players:
  • Mr Speaker - Wayne Clarke
  • Captain Benn - Edi Johnston
  • Mr Short - Lynn Robertson Hay
  • Mr Hurd - Philip Rowe
  • Mr Middleton - Paul Stubbs
  • The PM Mr Bonar Law - Daniel Edison
  • Mr Neville Chamberlain - Pete Hawkins
 

SHOWNOTES:

  • Our Norman Long excerpt is from AusRadioHistorian - see his Youtube channel for hundreds more old gramophone records.
  • We mention singer Topliss Green - you can see and hear him sing, later, in this footage from British Pathe
  • The British Broadcasting Century Facebook page is here. Do like. I post things there.
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  • Paul Kerensa's other podcast of interviews, from Miranda Hart, Sally Phillips and Tim Vine (scroll way back for those) to more recent mid-pandemic catch-ups with comedians and writers, can be found here.
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  • The first few chapters of Paul's new historical novel on the BBC origin story - the novelisation of this podcast, pretty much - will be available soon on patreon.com/paulkerensa - and joining there also helps support this podcast... 
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We're unconnected to the BBC - we're talking about the BBCompany, not made by or anything to with the BBCorporation.

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Next time: the first four employees... including the arrival of John Reith.

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