Gerald Priestland on BBC Two opening night
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BBC Two's disastrous opening night 50 years ago

BBC Two is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. It was due to make its debut with a high-profile launch on 20 April 1964 - but immediately hit trouble when its opening night schedule was abandoned.

A major power cut in west London knocked out studios in BBC Television Centre, meaning the channel's launch was aborted.

Instead, a newsreader named Gerald Priestland was forced to fill in from a studio in Alexandra Palace, north London, which still had power.

The channel launched in earnest when power had been restored the following day.

  • 16 Apr 2014
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