Lime Grove

A temporary measure for 42 years

The Lime Grove studios were originally built for the British film industry in 1915. At different times Gaumont, Gainsborough Pictures and Rank Films occupied the site, and some of the great names of British cinema worked there, including Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and David Lean.

The studios were acquired by the BBC in 1949 as a 'temporary measure' until its new Television Centre was built in nearby Wood Lane. When the new industry expanded as few had predicted, it soon became clear that the BBC would need a second substantial production centre in London for many years to come.

Lime Grove studios produced a host of memorable shows, including Hancock's Half-Hour, Andy Pandy, Blue Peter, Steptoe & Son, Sooty, Doctor Who, Panorama, Nationwide, Grandstand and Breakfast Time. The first episode of Doctor Who, 'An Unearthly Child' was recorded there in 1963.

In 1992 the studios were closed, and the occasion was marked by a special day of television programmes. Lime Grove studios were subsequently demolished and the site was turned over to residential housing.

Further reading