The BBC Television Centre at White City in west London was the headquarters of BBC Television between 1960 and 2013. Officially opened on 29 June 1960, it is one of the most readily recognisable facilities of its type, having appeared as the backdrop for many BBC programmes. Parts of the building are Grade II listed, including the central ring and Studio 1. Most of the BBC's national television and radio news output came from the Television Centre (TVC) with most recorded television output from the nearby Broadcast Centre at 201 Wood Lane, care of Red Bee Media. Live television events from studios and routing of national and international sporting events took place within the Television Centre before being passed to the Broadcast Centre for transmission.
It was announced on 21 September 2010 that the BBC would cease broadcasting from Television Centre in 2013. On 13 June 2011 the BBC announced that the Television Centre was on the market, and that it was "inviting bid proposals from people looking for a conventional, freehold property or those interested in a joint venture", suggesting that it may yet remain connected to the BBC.
On 16 July 2012 it was announced that the complex had been sold to property developers Stanhope plc for around £200 million and that the BBC would retain a continued presence at Television Centre through its commercial subsidiaries BBC Studios and Post Production, and BBC Worldwide. BBC Studios and Post Production (relocated to Elstree Studios) was due to move back to Television Centre to operate Studio 1, 2 and 3 in 2015, but it was announced in July 2014 that it had agreed with Stanhope to move back in 2017, at the same time as other key tenants, to enable the most efficient overall site construction programme to take place. BBC Worldwide moved into office space in the Stage 6 building following extensive refurbishment in 2015.
The radio and television news departments moved to Broadcasting House in central London, the home of BBC Radio, as part of a reorganisation. BBC News moved to new facilities in Broadcasting House on 18 March 2013, but TVC remained in active use with many programmes being taped in the studios until it closed for redevelopment officially on 31 March 2013. BBC TVC was one of the largest such facilities in the world and was the second-oldest operational television studio in the United Kingdom, after Granada Studios where the BBC's main commercial rival, Granada Television, was based for many decades.
Developers Stanhope said in April 2014 that the new Television Centre development would "pay homage to the original use of the building" and retain original features of the buildings including the "doughnut", atomic dot wall and Helios statue. The new Television Centre will be opened up to the public and will offer entertainment and leisure facilities, including a new branch of members' club Soho House, offices aimed at the creative sector and approximately 1,000 new homes, together with pedestrian access through the site providing connectivity with the local area, including Hammersmith Park.
Well this was fun
Iíd thought this had gone or was fully redeveloped now, but it wasnít until a friend on Facebook posted a pic of this from his office window I realised there might still be something worth looking at here.
For those who donít really know where the BBC Television Centre is located Iíll give you an idea. Itís in a pretty built up area with Wood Lane and White city tube stations on the opposite site of the road, Westfield shopping centre opposite it and Hammersmith park and Loftus road, QPRís football stadium behind it. So fairly well overlooked.
So heading into London on a Sunday morning with a non-member just to have a look around we found ourselves heading in this direction and having a drive around the area. Helped by the heavy traffic we got a fairly good idea where things where at and what we could do.
So it started, our stomachs were empty and we found ourselves sitting in the Burger King at Westfield looking over the road at thisÖ
We had a number of options, jumping the hoarding, trying the doors or, well the one we took which was a little too obvious but worked for us. If you want to know how, just drop me a PM but I wonít put it on here for obvious reasons lol
Once inside the perimeter we were amazed at how big the site actually is. We didnít really know where to look first so just opened the nearest door and made our way in. We were amazed at quite how much was left, offices, posters, signs etc. The site isnít yet fully stripped and heralds some real gems.
The studios are worth looking at alone, they have been stripped of any props but still have all the cables and lifting gear for the lighting, sound and recording gear. The productions rooms for each studio have been stripped bare apart from the walls which were a little plush to say the least.
We ran out of time to climb one of the many cranes on site, but hey thereís always time for another visit.
There were a few people on site and occasionally we had to hide as we heard voices or hear lifts pinging but it made for an exciting explore. The site has more security cameras than any site Iíve seen before but it seems that none of them are active anymore, either that or we were just lucky.
Well thatís it from me, enjoy the pics and go look before itís too late