From Auntie Beeb to a Media Commons?

From Planet 248

by Colin Thomas

As the BBC reaches 100, Colin Thomas reflects on his experience within the corporation – from political blacklisting of colleagues to censorship of his work; and also outspoken programming innovation. How could public service broadcasting embrace a more democratic and egalitarian ethos?

Soon after I joined the BBC as a production trainee in 1964, I was representing that venerable organisation at a formal dinner in Bruges. My Belgian neighbour at the dinner told me that, when he was a boy, he and his friends delighted in annoying Nazi foot patrols by shouting ‘BBC’ at them and then running for cover before they were clouted. I felt a glow of pride that I was now part of a corporation whose very name had come to symbolise freedom of expression.

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About the author

Colin Thomas is a television producer/director, author of the book/DVD Dreaming A City: From Wales to Ukraine and two apps. His TV programmes include The Dragon Has Two Tongues and his awards include three for Best Documentary at BAFTA Cymru, a Jury Award at the Celtic Film and TV Festival and a Prix Europa.