100 Voices that made the BBC

The story of the BBC, as told by the people who made it

From life in the BBC as a telephone operator, to the pioneers of colour television and BBC Online, the BBC Oral History Collection has been recording the world of the corporation since 1972.

Now in collaboration with the University of Sussex and other academic partners, unique insights into the organisations' life are being revealed, building to an ultimate collection of 100 Voices that made the BBC, in time for its centenary in 2022.


  • Inventing the FutureDuring the last 100 years the BBC has strived to keep ahead of developments in education, countering prejudice and disinformation, developing new technology, or cultivating fresh artistic talent. In this anniversary week, BBC History looks forward with an eye to the past.
  • Entertaining the UK85 years ago this Summer, the BBC broadcast the world’s first entertainment TV programme. Transmitted ahead of the launch of the Corporation’s full TV service, Here’s Looking at You was something of a surprise and set the scene for generations of entertainment programmes to come. Drawing on newly-released interviews from the BBC Oral History Collection, 100 Voices explores the varied landscape of broadcast entertainment – from light entertainment to natural history.
  • The BBC and the Cold WarTo commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we explore the role the BBC played in communicating our understanding and experience of the Cold War, with the help of newly-released interviews with those involved from the BBC Oral History Collection.
  • The BBC and World War TwoThis release from the BBC Oral History Collection sheds new light on how the BBC shaped the understanding of war, and how war changed the BBC.
  • Pioneering WomenA fresh and surprising story about the changing status of women and their pioneering contribution to broadcasting.​
  • People, Nation, EmpireIn June 1948, Britain began the process of becoming multi-cultural and post-Imperial. How did the BBC respond?
  • Radio ReinventedArchive interviews with people closely involved in the momentous reinvention of BBC Radio in 1967
  • The Birth of TVThe people who brought Television to you
  • ElectionsThe BBC's role in the events that changed the nation, told by its key players
  • BBC MemoriesUnedited interviews from the BBC Oral History Collection

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