Television Centre

On the 18th of October in 1922, the British Broadcasting Company, as the BBC was initially named, was created by a group of radio wireless makers.

In 1949, at the Television Society Annual Dinner at the Waldorf Hotel, the head of the BBC Norman Collins announced plans for a new television centre to be built at Shepherds Bush. Six years later, on the 12th of December 1955, the London County Council granted permission for the centre, designed by the architect Graham Dawbarn who shaped the modernist building like a question mark.

Officially opened on the 29th of June 1960, the first programme to air from the new Television Centre was “First Night” with David Nixon.

Affectionately known as “the doughnut”, the rotunda featured on many broadcasts from Television Centre over the years – from Roy Castle’s record-breaking tap-dancers to Joanna Lumley recreating Purdey for Ruby Wax on “The Full Wax” – and holds at the centre T.B. Huxley-Jones’ sculpture of Helios, the Greek god of the sun.

Many classic shows have been filmed at Television Centre, including “Absolutely Fabulous” starring Joanna Lumley, Celia Imrie, Twiggy, & June Whitfield, “The Two Ronnies“, “Fawlty Towers“, “Are You Being Served?“, “Up Pompeii“, “Victoria Wood As Seen on TV“, “Doctor Who”, “Blue Peter”, “Only Fools & Horses”, “Steptoe & Son”, and “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”, to name a very few.

Retaining its Mid-century appeal, thanks in part to its Grade-II listed status, the modernist icon has been an integral part of television history.

Sold in 2012, the site was redeveloped and reopened in 2018 with three studios remaining alongside new office spaces, eateries, the White City House members’ club by Soho House, and apartments, including a penthouse designed by Bella Freud & Retrouvius.

The apartments at Television Centre have been called The Helios, after T.B. Huxley-Jones’ sculpture of Helios in the centre of the rotunda.

Television Centre Trio of pop art prints by Art & Hue

Television Centre

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