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Science Museum to showcase ‘pioneering technologies’ from BBC’s 100 years

The BBC at 100 display will include a 78 'Midget' Portable Disc Recorder, developed in the 1940's, as well as the iconic BBC Microcomputer

The UK’s Science Museum is opening a new exhibition to celebrate the BBC’s centenary which will showcase what it describes as the pioneering technologies that helped to shape modern media platforms.

The BBC at 100 display will include a 78 ‘Midget’ Portable Disc Recorder developed by the BBC and Marguerite Sound Studios to record news segments directly from the frontline of the Second World War. The technology transformed news reporting from 1944 by taking BBC listeners closer to the conflict and increasing the speed at which essential news could be shared.

It will also feature the BBC Microcomputer developed during the Computer Literacy Project in the 1980s; as well as a special extended boom pole used by BBC News during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain social distancing between reporters and interviewees.

Visitors will also be able to see a Cyberman costume from Doctor Who, which was constructed in 1988 using a pilot’s flight suit as the base, and stands almost six feet tall.

Dr Rachel Boon, lead curator of BBC at 100 and Curator of Computing and Communications at the Science Museum, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be opening a new display – BBC at 100 – that vividly illustrates how over the course of a century the BBC has seized the opportunity of emerging broadcast technologies to inform, educate and entertain audiences across the globe.”

The BBC at 100 opens at the Science Museum on 27th July and is free to visit.