This week marks the 80th Anniversary of the BBC’s first ever television broadcast. The programme aired from Alexandra Palace in London on the 2nd of November 1936, officially marking the start of the regular television service that we know today.
The camera system first used was invented by Hastings native, John Logie Baird. The machine, nicknamed “the Flying Spot”, stood at an enormous 7 feet tall, and was operated by a large, revolving disc that spun at the speed of sound.
The inventor first conceived the idea of “television” whilst walking among the hills of Hastings, and conducted his early experiments in the town, leading the local Wetherspoons to take on his name in tribute.
Sadly, no recordings of the original broadcast have survived; leading a team of BBC Four experts to attempt to reconstruct all aspects of the programme; from entertainments acts, to building the famed “Flying Spot” camera.
The reconstruction is due to broadcast live from Alexandra Palace this Wednesday at 8pm on BBC Four.