41 Facts About BBC 1


BBC 1 One is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network owned and operated by the BBC 1.

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BBC 1 began its own regular television programming from the basement of Broadcasting House, London, on 22 August 1932.

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BBC 1 Television returned on 7 June 1946 at three o'clock in the afternoon.

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BBC 1 held a statutory monopoly on television broadcasting in the United Kingdom until Associated-Rediffusion, the first Independent Television station, began to broadcast on 22 September 1955.

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BBC 11 moved to purpose-built facilities at Television Centre on 20 September 1969.

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On 30 December 1980, the BBC 1 announced plans to introduce a new breakfast television service to compete with TV-am.

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On 17 January 1983, one year after originally planned, the first edition of Breakfast Time was shown on BBC 11, becoming the first UK wide breakfast television service and continued to lead in the ratings until 1984.

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BBC 11 was relaunched on 18 February 1985 with a new look, new programming including Wogan, EastEnders and a revised schedule to help streamline and maintain viewers throughout the course of the evening.

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The increase in the drama department was achieved by switching the money away from the administrative service over a three-year period, after BBC 11 was criticised for failing in matching ITV's output in drama.

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The BBC 1 originally planned to axe the series as they wished to spend its budgets on new programming for the channel, but was forced to back down from public pressure and Doctor Who returned in September 1986.

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On 9 September 1985, the long-standing children's programming block was overhauled and rebranded as Children's BBC 1, which gave it dedicated idents for the first time and had a live in-vision presenter, similar to rival ITV's Children's ITV block which had been running since January 1983.

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Previously the BBC 1 had broadcast children's programming using BBC 11's team of regular duty announcers.

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Alan Yentob said "The spring package is to remind people of what the BBC 1 is here for, range and ambition you won't find anywhere else at peak time".

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BBC 1's had previously been sounded out about the job in 1997 after Michael Jackson's departure, but had turned down the opportunity as she felt she was then not yet experienced enough.

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However, in 2001 BBC 1 One overtook its main rival ITV in terms of annual audience share for the first time since the rival channel had launched in 1955, although much of this was down to the success of the channel's daytime television line-up, which had its own Controller: Jane Lush.

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The moving of Panorama attracted criticism that BBC 1 One was sidelining serious programming in favour of more populist output.

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On 14 February 2005 it was announced that Lorraine Heggessey was to leave the BBC 1 to take up the post of Chief Executive at production company Talkback Thames.

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Five months after her departure, BBC 1 One was named "Channel of the Year" at the Edinburgh Television Festival, primarily on the strength of Heggessey's commissions such as Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.

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BBC 1's future was deemed uncertain following critical comments from Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust and he resigned on 5 October 2007.

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In 2009, a report published by the BBC 1 Trust found scheduling changes had led to a decrease in viewers.

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In 2012, the BBC 1 out-bid ITV for the rights to air a British version of Dutch TV talent show The Voice.

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On 8 October 2013, the BBC 1 announced plans to launch a one-hour time shift of the channel, named BBC 1 One +1.

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However, on 30 June 2015, the BBC 1 Trust rejected the plans for a BBC 1 One +1 channel as they stated that it would be at the expense of commercial rivals.

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Since 1990, the BBC 1 has had to commission output from other domestic suppliers.

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BBC 1 One has traditionally been the home of children's television: Blue Peter had been broadcast on the channel prior to the Children's BBC 1 strand, and sections such as the pre-school Watch with Mother being transmitted on the channel for several decades.

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Sports coverage on BBC 1 One includes Premier League football highlights on Match of the Day, the Wimbledon Championships, the London Marathon, and other international athletics and swimming events, the Olympic Games, Rugby league, Rugby Union, Snooker tournaments, the American Super Bowl, and more.

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BBC 1 showed the 2010 FIFA World Cup, splitting the group stage matches with ITV.

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Entertainment programming on BBC 1 One includes game shows such as the National Lottery, Total Wipeout, Strictly Come Dancing and chat shows such as The Graham Norton Show.

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In 2005 BBC 1 One was criticised for reducing the amount of religious programming, previously 101 hours per year.

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In March 2019, BBC 11 had a dedicated timeslot for BBC 13 as a programming block.

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The block was dropped when BBC 1 Three returned as a linear TV channel in early 2022.

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BBC 1 One's daytime line-up was a major factor in it overtaking ITV as the most popular channel in 2000, a position it has retained, even though ITV achieves a higher audience share during the daytime.

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On 11 February 2008, BBC 1 One dropped Neighbours and the programme has since been broadcast on Channel 5.

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On 16 May 2012, the BBC 1 announced the children's block of shows would be moved permanently to CBBC 1 and CBeebies upon the completion of the Digital switchover.

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In February 2022, the BBC 1 confirmed that EastEnders will get a Monday to Thursday slot at 7.

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The first BBC 1 ident was shown on 2 December 1953, known as the Bat's Wings.

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BBC 1 One has individual continuity and opt-outs for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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BBC 1 One is widely available in Ireland on cable and satellite television.

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BBC 1 One is available on cable and IPTV in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco and Liechtenstein.

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BBC 1 announced in May 2008 that it had achieved its aim for all programming to have subtitles for viewers with hearing difficulties.

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The BBC 1 offers audio description on some popular BBC 1 One programmes for visually impaired-viewers.

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