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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #1
Jaeger
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Television Centre £400m redevelopment | White City | U/C



After 50 years in the spotlight, BBC Television Centre is put up for sale

guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 June 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011...entre-for-sale


BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane west London is to be sold in the corporation's cost-cutting drive. Photograph: Leila Cutler/Alamy


It is the home of TV classics from Top of the Pops to Strictly Come Dancing, has Blue Peter pets buried in its famous garden and has even borne the brunt of a car bomb. But Television Centre in west London will not survive the BBC's drive to cut costs, after the corporation decided to put the £300m building up for sale.

The doughnut-shaped complex, which dates back to 1960, may have been designed on the back of an envelope in a pub – but generations of television viewers brought up watching programmes broadcast from the Wood Lane building were up in arms on Twitter complaining about the planned sale.

Mark Gatiss, the writer of Sherlock, tweeted: "A black, black day. As soon as #TV Centre has gone, a new report will no doubt recommend the building of a 'sort of HQ' for the BBC".

BBC radio DJ Danny Baker called the executives behind the decision "soul-less crumbs" and "half-wits" while the TV presenter and Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker said that "it's like they're going to saw up the Tardis and use it for firewood".

The comedian Katy Brand added a touch of nostalgia to what the BBC executives responsible for running sell-off and closure referred to, somewhat clinically, as "another milestone in the BBC's property strategy", commenting that she used to "climb over the Blue Peter garden fence & sit by Shep's grave" when on work experience at night as a teenager.

The children of the future will have to try harder to keep an eye on Shep's successors though: whoever buys the site will not inherit the Blue Peter garden.

It is to be relocated to the rooftop in Salford, where the BBC is in the process of moving its children's and sports departments, just a stone's throw from Manchester United's Old Trafford ground.

Despite the outcry, the BBC has been preparing to move out of Television Centre for some time – with the broadcaster first mooting the idea in 2007 – as the corporation aims to reduce its property holdings by 30%.

Selling the building, it is hoped, will save £20m a year, enough to pay for 30 hours of high-quality drama.

The decision means the BBC will succeed where the Real IRA failed. In 2001, a bomb exploded just outside the site while police were trying to carry out a controlled explosion. It blew up a taxi but left minimal damage to the building itself, parts of which are now Grade II-listed.

Under the plans, the building – which is home to 12 studios and 5,000 staff – will be "fully vacated" by 2015.

Aside from the move to Salford, BBC News is moving to the "home of journalism" – the description by corporation bosses of the newly renovated Broadcasting House just up the road from Oxford Circus. "We want as much investment in programmes, not property, as we can," added Richard Deverell, who is overseeing the development of the site. "This is part of the evolution to best meet the needs of licence-fee payers."

The BBC is looking at either an outright sale or partnership opportunities, with some of the ideas being suggested on Monday including the prospect of redeveloping it as a hub for other media and technology companies, including sharing facilities with ITV or even the new media giant Google. Also under consideration is the development of a BBC-linked visitor site or museum.

However, for all the talk of a BBC attraction, Chris Kane, head of BBC Workplace, admitted that a sale of the site for houses and flats would be ideal at a time when the corporation is contending with the consequences of a licence fee that will be frozen at its 2010 level of £145.50 a year until 2016. He indicated that residential development would be one of the most lucrative options to "maximise the value of the site".

The BBC owns 585,000 square metres of property space across the UK – in 483 locations, with about 100 buildings relating to broadcasting.

• This article was amended on 14 June 2011. In the original this quote was mistakenly attributed to Mark Gatiss: "I always knew this day was coming, but I didn't realise how unprepared I'd be to read my own death sentence. A black, black day." This has been corrected.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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BBC Breakfast will lose top guests after Salford move, warns its editor

BBC's flagship Breakfast show will struggle to attract leading guests when filming for the programme is moved from London to Salford, its editor has warned.


There are fears that the show's main presenters, Mr Turnbull and Miss Williams (above), will leave the Breakfast sofa Photo: BBC

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Media Correspondent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/t...ts-editor.html

It is the latest in a long line of debates over the north-south divide.

When the BBC announced the transfer of thousands of jobs from London to Salford, it said the move would boost the economy of the north-west and help spread the corporation's activities across the UK.

Mark Thompson, the director-general, went out of his way to stress that the move would not affect the broadcaster's ability to attract top names, even telling MPs it was "desperately parochial" to think otherwise.

But now his claims have been undermined by a senior BBC executive, who said it was naive to think it will be easy to continue bringing high-profile celebrities into the studio to be interviewed.

Alison Ford, editor of BBC Breakfast, has admitted that the corporation's flagship early morning show is likely to suffer from the relocation and even said she does not yet know if her senior presenters will go with her despite the decision deadline being only three months away.

Some of the programme's most popular broadcasters, including Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull, have already questioned the move, but the Breakfast editor is the first executive to openly voice concern about its impact.

"There are things we'll have to do differently because we are in Salford," she said.

"There are certain people who at the moment are more accessible and they won't be in the future – politicians, celebrities, opinion formers.

"Will we get Will Smith on the sofa in Salford? It would be naive of me to say 'Oh yes, it'll be fine.'

"It won't be as easy as it is now."

Her comments undermine what Mr Thompson told the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee last year when he tried to defend the £877 million move out of Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, London, to the MediaCityUK site in Salford, Greater Manchester.

He said it was "nonsense" to suggest talent and creativity disappear if "you move north of the Watford gap", arguing that This Morning, the ITV midmorning show, was able to attract big guests despite being broadcast from Liverpool, though it is now filmed in London.

"I think that it is desperately parochial to imagine that the only place you can do that is the glorious environs of Shepherd's Bush in London," he said.

"I believe that talent is available across the UK."

However, the BBC faces losing some of its top presenters, who are not willing to move from London to Manchester.

Miss Ford conceded she does not know how many of the Breakfast team will remain with the programme even though the relocation was announced last July.

In an interview with the BBC's in house Ariel magazine, she said: "People haven't yet said they're definitely coming and I don't think many of them will for a while.

"The presenters are in the same position as the rest of the team.

"It's not easy for people, they have to think really hard about whether they can move their families, whether they can commute."

There are fears that the show's main stars, Miss Williams and Mr Turnbull, will leave the Breakfast sofa and there are doubts over the future of the other regular presenters.

Miss Williams, a 45-year-old mother of four children, has already strongly hinted she will quit the show for family reasons, with one of her children studying for their A-levels and her recently widowed father living in the south east.

Mr Turnbull and Chris Hollins, the sports presenter who won the Strictly Come Dancing contest in 2009, have both raised doubts over whether the show will work as well in Salford.

While Mr Turnbull referred to the "very big question of getting bottoms on the sofa", Mr Hollins went further, criticising the move as a political decision which would hinder the programme's ability to attract the top names.

"It doesn't take a brain surgeon to say that it will be practically impossible to get the Prime Minister on set, as we do at the moment," he said.

Philip Davies, an MP on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said Miss Ford's comments undermined Mr Thompson's argument that the move would not have a negative effect on the BBC's output.

"Mark Thompson pooh-poohed my suggestion that it would be harder to attract top names in Manchester than in London, but she is confirming that this will be the case," he said.

"Her comments just reinforce the feeling the decision to move to Manchester is not being done for creative or editorial reasons, but as part of gesture politics."

Last edited by Jaeger; June 14th, 2011 at 04:28 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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I don't think the BBC will be doing itself any favours by moving Breakfast TV to Salford, indeed Sky have just invested massively in new London facilities at the Sky HQ in Brentford in Hounslow.

Not to worry though, we will still see 'A' list stars on our televisions, they will just be at Sky's London TV Studios or sitting in ITV's London Television Centre studios on the Southbank rather than on the BBC who will be up in Salford stewing.

It wouldn't even surprise me if Rupert Murdoch's Sky ends up buying Television Centre - possible the ultimate insult to the BBC.

I think Mark Thompson is quite naive and a lot of people are quite upset at the loss of television centre as well as his blaise attitude and constant reassurances that everything will be just the same in Salford. Do you really think international stars arriving in London and with tight schedules are going to travel up to Salford to give an interview or do you think they are more likely to pop along to London Television Centre on the Southbank or even to Brentford. Lets also hope that the BBC manages to relocate their sports department to Salford in time for the 2012 London Olympics, although to be honest apart from Athletics they don't have much sport on anyway.


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Old June 14th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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This is the story that just keeps on giving - a massive boost to the media. The so-called north/south divide generates a lot of interest and comment, so naturally newspapers love it when anything pops up from someone re. this.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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I know of no other nation in the world that feels and presents such a grand sense of embarrassment, resentment and ill feeling toward its capital.......My mistake - Libya!
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Old June 14th, 2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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What do people think of the building itself? Personally I never liked it, but it will probably be lauded as as a good example of architecture from the era.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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I'm not a fan of the building either. The site looks ramshackle. I hope the redevelopment could result in an amazing new quarter, with new high tech media studios for the BBC to rent out (at high cost!), some new housing and other media companies moving in. I'm sure the main part of the building could be scrubbed up to look good, as I'm sure it did when it was first built. Staff moves will also hopefully help the White city site look and feel more complete - I really don't like it! Hopefully it could also integrate more with Westfield next door (although I'd hate to see it expand over the road!)
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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Could Westfields extend into this building
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Old June 15th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissyb View Post
What do people think of the building itself? Personally I never liked it, but it will probably be lauded as as a good example of architecture from the era.
It was listed a few years ago. English Heritage pushed for it's listing due to it's cultural significance to the nation. The Wood Lane address is even iconic, as it was the address of the BBC for so many years. It's also home to the BBC Garden, which is full of former Blue Peter pets such as John Noakes dog Shep. The BBC even has plans to transfer the current garden to the roof of the new Salford building. This is Sacrilege to some people and there are many very upset and angry former BBC employees and members of the public.



It is quite a famous building, probably even more so in many ways than Broadcasting House, which has seen a massive refurbishment and redevelopment and is now home to BBC News and Current Affairs, as well as much of the BBC Radio Network.

Whilst the new media centre at Salford in Greater Manchester is impressive, certain shows such as Breakfast are probably better off in London at either Broadcasting House or even somewhere like Elstree.

You can find more information on the BBC buildings in London here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc...sh_house.shtml

Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus will now be the main BBC Building in London



The BBC are also planning to leave the listed Bush House (Home to the BBC World Service) which they lease, and there are rumours that the London School of Econmics are interested in buying this building as part of their expansion plans.



THe BBC Media Village close to the now up for sale BBC Television Centre at Wood Lane



BBC - Media City, Salford, Greater Manchester

http://www.mediacityuk.co.uk/


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Old June 15th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #10
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brilliant information. best decision for population.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #11
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i cant see any of those buildings in manchester ever being as iconic as wood lane...or ever being listed ..and probably being demolished in 30 yrs!!! I think leaving W128QT is a bad move. . but too late to do anything about it now i guess!
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #12
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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It was in that very building that Alan Partridge told Tony Hayers BBC Controller to 'Smell My Cheese You Mother'!!!



Shame Alan Partridge can't do the same to current BBC Director General Mark Thompson who is paid a massive £834,000 per year salary out of license payers funds.

As for Mr Thompson and the BBC Board of over paid fat cat executives they won't be going up north, they will be staying put in London

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/t...eral-told.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/t...rn-lights.html





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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:49 AM   #14
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Stupid politically driven decision we'll come to regret heritage wise. Let's all move to Salford so we can be politically correct with our income and divide the BBC in 2, destorying a cultural edifice and hub of creativity.

Smell my cheese indeed you mother!
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Old February 5th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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BBC Television Centre £1bn redevelopment | White City | Proposed

Plans for the £1bn redevelopment of BBC Television Centre have just been released:



Building: BBC TV Centre masterplan unveiled

Regeneration+Renewal: 1,000 home plan for BBC TV centre site

Planning Resource: 1,000 home plan for BBC TV centre site

Evening Standard: BBC themed outlets the star attraction in £1bn development of White City TV site
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Old February 5th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheps View Post
Stupid politically driven decision we'll come to regret heritage wise. Let's all move to Salford so we can be politically correct with our income and divide the BBC in 2, destorying a cultural edifice and hub of creativity.

Smell my cheese indeed you mother!
It was a stupid decision, the BBC should of just moved to east London.
The new scheme is alright but the themed part is a bit weird and sounds quite naff.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 10:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
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It was a stupid decision, the BBC should of just moved to east London.
The new scheme is alright but the themed part is a bit weird and sounds quite naff.
People need the BBC more than the BBC needs them. Manchester is one of the best cities in the UK maybe the second best.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #18
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I think the point of the move was really as much about decentralisation and reducing production and personnel in London, so there was no way the BBC was going to just shift from West to East.

With all this development in White City/Shepherd's Bush I'm wondering how the H&C line is going to cope after, say, 2020. It's basically a branch of one a zone 1 line, which operates at half capacity because of the need to accommodate Met trains at Baker Street.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 11:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerouac1848 View Post
I think the point of the move was really as much about decentralisation and reducing production and personnel in London, so there was no way the BBC was going to just shift from West to East.

With all this development in White City/Shepherd's Bush I'm wondering how the H&C line is going to cope after, say, 2020. It's basically a branch of one a zone 1 line, which operates at half capacity because of the need to accommodate Met trains at Baker Street.
Well there is the Central line at both White City and Shepherds Bush , as well as a new national rail station all within walking distance.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:55 PM   #20
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I find the disappointment over TV Centre overly sentimental which often happens with television/film studios. I've spoken to a few people who worked at TV Centre - they found the place a confusing labyrinth, mostly as a result of the rotunda shape which is not conducive to helping people navigate easily.

I do think the BBC is far too London-centric considering British people provide most of the funding - not just Londoners. In that sense I find the relocation a step in the right direction, only it should have been in Manchester city centre - not an enclave in Salford Quays. And let's not forget the BBC have spent close to a billion renovating Broadcasting House which the London media have kept very quiet compared with the much cheaper move to Salford Quays.
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