47 Facts About BBC One


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

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In 2013, a major global study of the BBC by the Populus polling organisation found BBC One to be rated the highest-quality TV channel in the world, with BBC Two coming in third place.

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

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

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BBC One 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 One1 moved to purpose-built facilities at Television Centre on 20 September 1969.

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

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BBC One1 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 BBC One 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 One, 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 One had broadcast children's programming using BBC One1's team of regular duty announcers.

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On 23 May 1986, long-running lunchtime magazine show Pebble Mill at BBC One was broadcast for the last time after being on air for 14 years.

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

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BBC One'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 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 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 One to take up the post of Chief Executive at production company Talkback Thames.

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Five months after her departure, BBC 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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Fincham directly initiated the creation of both The BBC One Show, an early evening, current-affairs and lifestyle magazine programme, which now runs all but two weeks of the year, and Davina, a prime time chat show, the latter hosted by Davina McCall, who presented Big Brother.

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BBC One'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 One Trust found scheduling changes had led to a decrease in viewers.

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

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On 18 November 2013, the Northern Irish regional variant of BBC One HD was swapped with the SD channel on Sky's EPG for HD subscribers.

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BBC One's remit is to be the BBC's most popular mixed-genre television service across the UK, offering a wide range of high quality programmes.

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

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BBC One has broadcast overnight simulcasts from the BBC News Channel since 1997; the latter in turn simulcasts the majority of all regular BBC One bulletins.

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When BBC One is broadcasting a BBC News special, it hands some of its daytime programming to BBC Two.

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BBC One has traditionally been the home of children's television: Blue Peter had been broadcast on the channel prior to the Children's BBC 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 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 One showed the 2010 FIFA World Cup, splitting the group stage matches with ITV.

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Entertainment programming on BBC 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 One was criticised for reducing the amount of religious programming, previously 101 hours per year.

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In March 2019, BBC One1 had a dedicated timeslot for BBC One3 as a programming block.

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

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BBC 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 One dropped Neighbours and the programme has since been broadcast on Channel 5.

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

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

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BBC One's identity has been symbolised by a globe shown on its idents for much of its existence.

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

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

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BBC One Scotland has the greatest level of variation from the generic network, owing to BBC Scotland scheduling Scottish programming on the main BBC Scotland channel, rather than on BBC Two.

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BBC One Wales was considered a separate channel by the BBC as early as its launch in the mid-1960s, appearing as BBC Wales.

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

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

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BBC One 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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In 2016, the controller of BBC One would be promoted to oversee all BBC channels, with the channel controller roles being entirely scrapped in 2020, in favour of a focus on digital streaming.

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