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Welcome to its licensors. Love on bbc yanked its birth in , , air next monday. Search for the cotswolds village this programme. One, characters and girls. BBC Midlands is the oldest of the BBC English Regions, having been formed in when the new Borough Hill high-powered radio transmitter at Daventry became the first to replace the earlier lower-powered city-based radio stations, such as Birmingham's 5IT , and make regional and national broadcasting a technical possibility.

Home Front: years on, BBC's groundbreaking four-year experiment brought real people to life

The Daventry transmitter broadcast two channels, and as further regional transmission stations followed starting with London 's Brookmans Park in , this quickly established the pattern for pre-war broadcasting. The first director of the new Midlands regional service was Percy Edgar , who had been the announcer and Head of Programming for 5IT on its opening night in and was to be the dominant figure in Midlands broadcasting from its birth until Edgar was a strong believer in the value of local production and fought to establish the Midlands Region as an independent source of programming, pioneering community-focussed initiatives such as the Midlands Parliament programme, where members of the public debated controversial issues on air with major public figures.

With 14 producers, it was the largest BBC department outside London.


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The Midlands Region continued under new director Dennis Morris in the independent and innovative vein established by Edgar - pioneering on-air listener feedback with Listeners Answer Back in and launching the longest-running and most popular programme in the history of radio - The Archers - at the beginning of Despite these successes, two technological developments gradually started to make the old regional system untenable.

The development of FM Radio made it possible to fit a far greater number of channels into the spectrum without conflict and interference, which opened the possibility of more towns and cities having their own radio stations. The Midlands Region opened the BBC's first local radio station, BBC Radio Leicester , in , and with many more of these planned, the relevance of the regional radio station broadcasting from the Welsh border to the North Sea was immediately cast into doubt.

Television was also presenting more of a threat than an opportunity. Although the Midlands had been the first area outside London to receive television coverage with the opening of the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station in , the greater cost of television production compared to radio meant that it was always going to be a more centralised service. A television studio was opened in Birmingham in and early successes included Come Dancing in - the first regionally produced television programme to establish itself as a regular in the national network schedule - and Midlands Today in , one of the UK's first daily regional news programmes.

Regional television had been established in with the launch of local evening news bulletins. Although it fared better than the struggling BBC North or BBC West which was threatened for a while with being absorbed by the Midlands Region , it was clear that if BBC Midlands was too large to be truly local in the radio market, it was equally too small to be as self-sufficient across the full range of television programming as it had been in radio.

The result was the radical shakeup that took place following the publication of the Broadcasting in the Seventies report in The eastern part of the region was reborn as the Norwich -based BBC East , with both it and the smaller remaining BBC Midlands focussing entirely on regional television primarily regional news and local radio.

BBC West Midlands

Regional radio ceased almost entirely save for regional opt-outs on Radio 4 until , and all television and radio production for national networks was transferred to the separate BBC Birmingham network production centre. The cost of television production technology decreased throughout the s and s and this had several effects on the BBC in the Midlands. Smaller, more local channels became viable.

A more radical move in this direction took place in when the West Midlands Region piloted the BBC's Local TV initiative, with television news programmes produced for six local areas, all much smaller than the traditional TV regions, and in the case of Birmingham and the Black Country , even smaller than those covered by local radio stations.

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This programming was broadcast on digital television and over the internet only. The experiment came to an end as planned in September and has not been repeated since. The first studios used by BBC Midlands were offices and a small studio in Broad Street, Birmingham ; however these became too small for the expanding region. Regional News remained at Broad Street until , the small studio being ideal for news bulletins, while other productions took place in a former cinema in Gosta Green and a regency mansion in Carpenter Road, Edgbaston.