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Happy 100th birthday to the BBC

We have had the BBC in our lives for exactly 100 years. Today, 18 October, marks the date on which the British Broadcasting Company – as it was first named – was established in 1922 by the biggest British radio companies, keen to exploit the sales of receivers. Funding came from a charge on the sale of radio sets, and the BBC was born.

The new company decided that a diet of music and educational talks should be provided, that there should be no advertising and that there should be no clash between radio stations. Its first Director-General, John Reith, promised that the broadcaster would ‘inform, educate and entertain’ the people of the United Kingdom. In the 100 years since, it has continually delivered on that promise, and become a vital public service.

The BBC is a British institution that has been beloved by viewers and listeners – within the United Kingdom and across the globe – for a century. We would like to take this opportunity to wish it a very happy birthday, and we hope that its second 100 years may be as successful as the first.

It was on 14 November 1922 that the BBC broadcast its first programme, and we will mark the centenary of that occasion next month. If you would like to suggest ways in which we can celebrate the BBC as it enters its next 100 years, please email us at

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