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On Display

In which the BBC are exhibitionists


One thing new about Saturday’s trip to the NMPFT: the museum now houses Bradford’s local BBC radio studio, usually used to broadcast BBC Radio Leeds. The studio and offices are in one of the ordinary museum galleries, with large windows* to make sure everybody gets a good look at the presenter at work.

Now, the BBC seems to have made a habit of doing this in the past few years. Their studio here moved from a cupboard in one of the council offices, to a shop by the bus station; again with big windows so passers-by can watch. The same has happened to their studios in Hull. Somewhere at the BBC, a few years ago, someone made a note: “all radio studios to have big windows for random passers-by”, and they’ve stuck to it ever since.

Thinking about it, I’m wondering where they came across the idea. Back in the 1990s, I rather liked the TV series Northern Exposure, which, as it happens, featured a local radio station which broadcast from an ordinary town shop, the DJ sitting by the window watching everyone pass by as he talked. Maybe, someone at the BBC is a Northern Exposure fan too, and ever since then has been doing their best to put the BBC’s radio presenters into public view.

* presumably with very sound-proof glazing.

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