[[quoteright:187:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/187px-BBC.svg.png ]]
[[caption-width-right:187: This is London[[note]]Now Salford.[[/note]] ]]
->''"Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation"''
-->--Official Motto

->''"To Inform. To Educate. To Entertain".''
-->--Lord Reith's vision from the Charter

''"This is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0yIDXP7nbM The BBC]]."''

[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/ The BBC]]'s full name is the British Broadcasting Corporation, not "Blurring, Buzzing Confusion," or "Best British Cheekbones," or "[[BitingTheHandHumor Burmese Borough Council]]" or "[[Creator/AdamAndJoe Big British Castle]]" or "[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Boring Brown Chocolate]]" or indeed "[[StrawmanNewsMedia Bastards Broadcasting Communism]]" [[OverlyLongGag or even]] "[[http://web.archive.org/web/20090720095811/http://teeveepedia.teevee.net/index.php/BBC Blimey, Bollocks, an' Cor!]]". Until 1955, when Creator/{{ITV}} was established, it broadcast the only TV channel in the United Kingdom. It is the world's largest broadcasting corporation, reaching 274 million households in 200 countries, compared to their closest rival, Creator/{{CNN}}, with 200 million. The BBC Television Service, now BBC One, is the oldest television channel in the world.

Founded in 1922 as a privately owned radio network, it was "acquired" and made into a state network in 1927. It was relatively poorly funded until 1946, when the television licence was introduced. The income generated gave the BBC the power to truly innovate and effectively shape modern television in all countries, not just the United Kingdom.

In 1964, BBC 2 (later BBC Two) was launched to cover less mainstream programming. More recently, the network has added several digital channels to its line up, including BBC Three, BBC Four, and other more specialized channels, such as Creator/{{CBBC}}. The BBC also broadcasts radio and TV channels outside the UK, such as the World Service and BBC Prime.

The BBC Television Service is very different from most other British networks in that it is publicly funded by the UK Television Licence; if you watch live broadcast TV in the United Kingdom, on TV or a live internet stream, then you must fund the BBC (to the tune of about £140 per year or, as the BBC likes to put it, 39p a day), a system widely used across Europe with most countries having a similar TV licence to fund their national broadcaster. The upshot is that the BBC's programming is advertisement-free (bar trailers between programmes), and thus they can take more risks, although it's been a matter of media, public, and government debate as to whether they're actually doing this. It's also supposed to be free of bias in areas like news reporting (like every other public broadcaster in the UK - no [[Series/TheOReillyFactor Bill O'Reillys]] or [[Series/TheDailyShow Jon Stewarts here,]] no siree), although practically every opposition party has accused it of supporting the current government and at least one government has accused it of the opposite. It takes this very seriously, and extends it to international affairs - it famously declared during the FalklandsWar that "the widow in Portsmouth is no different from the widow of Buenos Aires." Finally, it's meant to be responsible with the money it receives - although it had to fork out £50,000 of license money on a fine after a phone-in scandal. Which paled in comparison with the £90 ''million'' that it later blew on an unworkable digital video archiving system. Ouch.

The BBC's news service is essentially second to none in the UK and for much of the wider world, it provides a global TV and radio service in the form of the World Service, which some governments have jammed at times and was the real-life VoiceOfTheResistance in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Its political and current affairs programming has a reputation for the highly adversarial style of some prominent presenters; it's not unheard of for {{Newsnight}} or The Today Programme to draw viewer/listener complaints for being ''too hard'' on the politicians they're interviewing.

Note that not only is advertising on the BBC simply not done, ProductPlacement is actually a violation of the Ofcom Code (although it will now be allowed on other networks), and people have complained when brand names are visible on screen. For example, an episode of ''{{Spooks}}'' was pulled and digitally edited after it was pointed out on a preview that some computers in the background had the Apple logo visible. Creator/DavidTennant's Converse All-Stars in ''Series/DoctorWho'' had the logo painted over. For many years they even refused to broadcast any songs which mentioned brand names (the most famous example being the forced removal of a reference to Coca-Cola from "Lola" by TheKinks to get BBC airplay). This may seem overly touchy, but the BBC's lack of advertising has earned it some level of immunity to corporate influence - for example, when ''TopGear'' (in the 90s, before it became an international phenomenon with hundreds of millions of weekly viewers) condemned a particular car from an Italian car company, their CEO allegedly demanded that they "[[CriticalResearchFailure pull all the advertising from Top Gear's network]]" in order to influence them into a retraction.

At least 25% of the BBC's output (excluding news) must be made by outside independent production companies, with another 25% split between indie and in house production. Many well known "BBC" programmes are actually made by indies such as ''{{Spooks}}'', ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', ''Series/LifeOnMars'', ''Series/{{QI}}'', ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'', and ''Friday Night With Jonathan Ross''. This requirement was introduced to help the UK indie industry. These are genuine independent production companies who retain ownership of the rights for repeats, syndication, DVD and overseas sales etc, unlike the US (and Creator/{{Channel 4}}) where production company names in the show's credits are effectively vanity names and do not alter the fact that the show is made by the studio who own all the rights.

Criticisms of BBC programmes will often call them "a waste of the license fee". Praise will often include the phrase "worth the license fee alone" ([[Series/RedDwarf Craig Charles]]' 6 Music ''Funk and Soul Show'' uses this as a catchphrase). Having just mentioned ''Top Gear'', anyone saying either of that about TG is CompletelyMissingThePoint as the show is now self-supporting via TheMerch and sales of international rights. RupertMurdoch-owned papers often attack it, for reasons that [[BlatantLies are totally not related to its status as a serious contender with his own]] Creator/{{Sky}} network.

More seriously, in 2012 the BBC has come under fire with [[DepravedKidsShowHost the horrific revelations]] about British celebrity Jimmy Savile (longtime presenter of ''TopOfThePops'', ''Clunk Click'', and ''Jim'll Fix It''), specifically with regards to how much BBC brass knew of his conduct behind-the-scenes and what they covered up. (For Americans not aware of the matter, it's similar to what happened at Penn State University with Jerry Sandusky; Savile used his television and charity work as an avenue to sexually abuse children -- possibly hundreds of them over the decades.) Despite these batterings it maintains a very high level of public trust (the highest in Britain, [[http://www.newstatesman.com/broadcast/2012/11/bbc-still-most-trusted-media-organisation in fact]]), and is a source of pride to many Britons.

Notable BBC programmes are many indeed. A modern BBC programme can be pretty easily identified these days. During TheTeaser or TitleSequence, the BBC logo will appear on the screen while other things are going on. (The BBC actually lays down very strict rules on when and where the logo appears, as well as its size and duration on screen. This is due to the BBC logo's appearance in {{Title Sequence}}s being a way for engineers to tell if a programme is being broadcast in the correct AspectRatio - if the usually perfectly square logo is squashed or stretched, it's in the wrong aspect ratio.)

Genre-wise, the BBC's particular specialities are:
* CostumeDrama - a ''lot'' of it. It's widely exported.
* RadioDrama - The Beeb is almost as famous for its radio adaptations, comedies and dramas as it is for its TV dramas. In the past they have aired such ground breaking material as ''Radio/TheGoonShow'' (which inspired almost every British comedy since and was even referenced in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''), adapted many novels, such as the whole of CSLewis's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' series, and produced such long running and loved shows as ''Radio/JustAMinute'', ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'', and, of course, the most popular show of all, ''TheArchers'', an extremely accurate and topical depiction of -- of all things -- farming... Seriously, it's been going since ''1950'' and it's the most popular show on RadioFour. ''Radio/TheGoonShow'' once did a spoof of it and ''the spoof version is still completely accurate''. People who join on as young actors on that show have been known to leave by ''dying of old age in real life''. At the height of its popularity ''60% of the country tuned in every week''. It currently has over 17,000 episodes and is considered the longest running soap opera (and second longest running radio show, after ''Desert Island Discs'') ever made - and that's on a channel full of contenders for that title.
* SpeculativeFiction, most notably ''Series/DoctorWho''. Although the BBC made hardly any in-house SF or fantasy between the cancellation of the original ''Series/DoctorWho'' in 1989 and its revival in 2005, according to rumour because of [[SciFiGhetto executive hostility to the genre]]. The only significant SFFH show made in that time was ''Series/RedDwarf'', which may have survived because of MisaimedFandom on the part of the executives who thought it was laughing '''at''' the genre and its fans.
** Some American SpeculativeFiction imports including ''Franchise/StarTrek'' (apart from ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]''), ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Heroes}}''.
** One of the BBC's indirect contributions to the world of SpeculativeFiction deserves mention too. In 1997 the Radio 4 arts reporters took quite a shine to this [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone new children's fantasy novel]] and played some part in popularising it.
* Comedy (often risk-taking, ground-breaking and highly influential, like ''Creator/MontyPython''). This includes the genesis of the PanelShow genre.
* Natural History series, often narrated by DavidAttenborough.
* Travel documentaries, usually with Creator/MichaelPalin.

Because of its lack of need to chase advertising, and therefore ratings, the BBC is not under the same pressure ([[RupertMurdoch News Corp]] headlines aside) to gain 'instant hits' with high viewing figures. A number of TV shows that would not have had a second series commissioned on ITV (or in the US been pulled mid season) have gone on to become hits - ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' and ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' are prime examples. ''Series/MenBehavingBadly'' actually started on ITV, was dumped after series one, then picked up and nurtured in to a genre defining hit on the Beeb.

At the end of 2007, the BBC introduced the free iPlayer service, allowing UK-only users to download some of the previous seven days' programming online and some entire seasons. (Most BBC radio programmes and stations can be listened to by users outside the UK via BBC's website or smartphone apps like [=TuneIn=].) This may change in the future, as the BBC wants to open up the iPlayer to non-British audiences, for a fee.

The BBC's television stations are:

* BBC One -- the world's oldest regular scheduled TV channel (1936–39 and 1945–present). It is broken down into a number of regions for broadcasting purposes, with each region having some specific local shows (e.g., local news) and the production of national shows being spread across the United Kingdom. These are all available on satellite or cable and include the 14 regions of England (BBC One East, East Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, London, Yorkshire, Yorks & Lincs, West, West Midlands, North West, North East & Cumbria, South, South East, South West), BBC One UsefulNotes/TheChannelIslands, BBC One UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland, BBC One UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} and BBC One UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}.
* BBC Two has fewer regions (BBC Two England; BBC Two Scotland; BBC Two Wales; and BBC Two Northern Ireland). BBC Two is generally seen as the "Special Interest" channel, showing things that have a loyal following, but won't get the big ratings (e.g. snooker, "serious" documentaries, alternative comedy, the Chelsea Flower Show and, in Scotland, Gaelic programmes). A programme that proves popular with the "mainstream" audience may be "promoted" to BBC One (this has happened to ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' and ''Series/{{QI}}'', amongst others.)
* BBC Three - Comedy, the occasional film and repeats. Started off showcasing some new stuff like ''Nighty Night'' and ''LittleBritain'', in addition to stuff like ''TwoPintsOfLagerAndAPacketOfCrisps'', [[NetworkDecay but dove head first into the 16-24 demographic]] with shows like ''Series/TheWrongDoor'', ''Series/BeingHuman'' and various pilots for comedies, effectively getting revamped as a platform for this age group's creative works - possibly a more youthful SpiritualSuccessor to Creator/ChannelFour's ''Comedy Lab'' as well as potential rival to T4. These have [[SpooksCode9 not all been successful]]. Due to close in 2014.
* BBC Four - Pretty much the visual equivalent of Radios 3 and 4, with widespread critical acclaim. Documentaries, classical music orientated programmes and television films and plays in the vein of ''Play for Today''. Fridays are devoted to music documentaries and performances, featuring everything from classical to heavy metal. In TheNewTens, known for importing cop shows and other drama series from mainland European countries, not previously a UK tradition, including ''Series/{{Engrenages}}'' from France, the original Swedish TV version of ''Series/{{Wallander}}'', ''Series/{{Forbrydelsen}}'' and ''Series/{{Borgen}}'' from Denmark, and ''Il commissario Montalbano'' from Italy. Also ''[[FamilyGuy Condensation]]''.
* Creator/{{CBBC}} - A kids' channel. Showing mostly British stuff with the occasional Australian drama or American cartoon.
* Creator/CBeebies - In addition to CBBC, as well as traditional morning and afternoon slots, ''and'' extended Saturday and Sunday blocks, ''and'' morning blocks extended from about 7 until 10 in the summer, the BBC also has this channel. Targets 0-6 demographics. Has its own morning and afternoon slots prior to CBBC. Again, mostly British made content. Those living in the United States can now see a number of its shows in some markets if they receive On Demand service from their cable provider.
* BBC News Channel: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin - A BBC News channel. [[TwentyFourHourNewsNetworks Airs 24 hours a day]]. Formerly BBC News 24.
* BBC Parliament: Covers the debates of the UK's Parliament, including Select Committees (like the US standing committees), devolved assemblies and the House of Lords. Also does re-runs of past election night coverage and occasionally coverage of the US Congress. Similar to the American C-SPAN (which reciprocally broadcasts the UsefulNotes/PrimeMinistersQuestions).
* BBC Alba: The BBC's Scottish Gaelic-language channel.
** Although responsibility for Welsh-language programming has passed on to the independent S4C (Sianel PedwarCymru), the BBC still makes programmes for the Welsh-language network, most notably long-running soap opera ''Pobol Y Cwm''.
* In addition, during the London 2012 Olympics the BBC operated a whopping ''twenty-four'' live Olympic sports channels, although they weren't all showing live events simultaneously. Part of the cost of these channels was borne by the International Olympic Committee.

The BBC still has many {{radio}} stations as well. There are five national terrestrial stations. Radio 1 is the youth station, playing primarily chart music (many are quick to point out that "chart music" doesn't simply mean generic pop music as in the United States, but also encompasses various other genres including hip-hop, indie rock and blues) during the day, and more obscure genres get airplay in the evening and into the night. BBC Radio 2 is another music station, but aims for an older demographic. BBC Radio 3 plays classical, jazz and "world" music. BBC Radio 4 is the spoken word station, which broadcasts a mix of news, documentaries, drama, comedy and current affairs, similar to the American Creator/{{NPR}}. Finally, Five Live is a talk radio station, with an emphasis on sports, often featuring live commentary on UK sports events. Furthermore, the BBC has regional stations across the United Kingdom and several more specialist digital radio stations, most notably the indie rock-leaning 6 Music (which in 2010 was saved from certain death via cutbacks with the work of fans, musical acts and the BBC Trust), and BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC [Radio] 7) which specialises in spoken-word comedy, science-fiction, mystery and drama.

Commonly nicknamed "The Beeb" or "Auntie", the latter down to general perceptions of it being a bit stodgy and hand-wringing like a maiden aunt; it's [[FanNickname still affectionate]], though. [[UsefulNotes/{{Australia}} Down Under]], Creator/TheABC has the same 'Auntie' nickname, with the same connotations.

The BBC (or, more accurately, its commercial arm BBC Worldwide) also part-owns a number of commercial channels, mainly the [=UKTV=] Network, responsible for channels such as Dave, Home and Blighty, as well as a print arm which handles the bulk of the magazines which license its properties (''TopGear'' being one example) and listings magazine RadioTimes.

There's also BBC America (a cable network in the United States), which is the BBC in name only, being a privately run channel (although half-owned by BBC Worldwide, the other half being owned by [[DiscoveryChannel Discovery Communications]]) that shows programmes from a variety of makers, including the real BBC's rivals ITV, Channel 4 and E4, most notably ''TheInbetweeners'', ''PeepShow'' and ''{{Series/Skins}}'' . The name in America basically just means "British!". The channel does run some of the BBC's most popular programs, such as ''TopGear'', ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' and, of course ''Series/DoctorWho'' - all among of American extended cable's highest rated and critically acclaimed shows. It acquired the first-run rights to ''Series/DoctorWho'' (which they initially only had repeat rights to), gaining them in a deal with their original American rights holders, Sci Fi Channel, later called {{Syfy}}. Unsurprisingly, ''Doctor Who'' is now BBC America's highest rated show. It also has American science fiction programmes such as ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', ''Series/TheXFiles'' and the 2003-2009 ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'', but it devotes most of its day to British programming. It began to air original dramatic programming in 2012 with ''Copper'', with 2013's ''Series/OrphanBlack'' proving to be an unexpected breakout hit for the channel; it was soon broadcast in the UK on BBC Three. BBC Canada and BBC Kids serve Canada through joint partnerships with Canadian broadcasters (with the required smatterings of Canadian content), and BBC Entertainment, Knowledge, Lifestyle and versions of CBBC and Ceebies serve the rest of the world. There is also BBC World News, an advertising-supported 24-hour global news channel. It is unavailable in the UK due to license fee considerations, aside from a half-hour daily simulcast on BBC Four.

MitchBenn wants you all to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3q2iZuU5WM be proud of it]]. And why not?
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