SPECIAL: Percy Edgar - BBC and the Midlands from Day 2 to 1948

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Manage episode 290550080 series 2711511
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Percy Edgar was there right at the start of the BBC. One of the first voices, he booked the acts, managed the station, then became Director of the Midland Region. He was the most influential regional director from 1922 to 1948, far outlasting Reith and, well, every other early radio pioneer I can think of.

His grandson, the playwright David Edgar, has dusted down Percy's memoir and reads it for us on this our final special. Hear all about the foggy first night, the first children's programmes (including Susan the Blue Cat with Yellow Spots), the dancer who wouldn't stop moving, Edgar's encounters with Reith, his double act with A.E. Thompson, and the involvement of Percy's son (David's father) Barrie, who helped inspire the first regular children's programme, then went on to produce Come Dancing, Songs of Praise and Muffin the Mule amongst others.

Most of this episode has David read his grandfather's words, but now and then we have cameo clips from Percy Edgar and A.E. Thompson too.

We are indebted to David and the Edgar family for sharing the memoir with us. You can read along in its typewritten/hand-scrawled marvellousness on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BBCentury/posts/197527178633126

While you're there, join our group facebook.com/groups/bbcentury. We're also on twitter.com/bbcentury - and our host Paul can be followed at facebook.com/paul.kerensa and twitter.com/paulkerensa

We hasten to add we have no connection to the BBC - we're talking about them not with them. Even then, we're talking about the BBCompany, not the BBCorporation... yet. We'll get to how what happens in about 50 episodes' time.

Thank you for supporting the podcast, either via tips at paypal.me/paulkerensa or via monthly shrapnel in exchange for extra audio/video/writings on patreon.com/paulkerensa (some are broadcasting-specific, like my video interview with Diddy David Hamilton, some are wider writings and advance articles I write elsewhere). It all helps keep us in web-hosting and books - there's no profiteering here.

Your ratings/reviews really help spread word of the podcast too - we're a one-man operation. Not that dissimilar from when Percy Edgar ran the show...

Enjoy the episode! The full works are at bbcentury.podbean.com

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