It's the BBC Here

This was an answer to a quiz I happened to be watching the other evening and I thought it was wonderfully British and a true reflection of our nation's spirit.

On 1st September 1939, due to the imminent outbreak of World War II, the BBC suspended their television service, right in the middle of an episode of Mickey Mouse (Mickey's Gala Premiere to be exact).

On 7th June 1946, 7 years later, after the war had ended, the BBC re-started it's programming at 3pm with presenter Jasmine Bligh saying:

Hello, do you remember me?


Followed by a second presenter, Leslie Mitchell saying:

As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted...


They then commenced the Mickey Mouse cartoon they had previously ended with at exactly the point they left it.

Only the Brits can come back after the longest and bloodiest war ever seen and apologise for it interrupting the programme as if those silly Germans simply didn't have proper manners. Superb.

4 Comments

  1. Stuart

    Lee, only just came across your 'blog, and have to admit: that story is wonderful - almost brought tears to my eyes!

    THAT'S what Britain used to be all about (stands and places hand over heart as "God Save The Queen" begins to play... :)

  2. The Stuart Homfray Weblog

    An Untimely Interruption
    Lee at Digerati Peninsula spots an excellent example of good old British 'matter of factness' from the BBC's television service after it resumed following the end of the Second World War. I'll leave it up to you to read his...

  3. sam

    Not strictly true, though. The first programme was the Reopening of the BBC Television Service by the Postmaster General- the Earl of Listowel, Which included a dance by Margot Fonteyn. The mickey mouse cartoon followed that, and was shown in its entirety... Not that I mean to pedantic.

  4. Lee

    Well, I went scurrying off to check my sources. The only one I found with reference to the Postmaster General was here, but makes no mention of the presenters. Everywhere else suggests that Jasmine Bligh was the first on screen.

    I suspect it went something like: Jasmine, Postmaster, Margot Fonteyn, Leslie Mitchell, cartoon.

    I'll try and confirm.

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