Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


The BBC at 100: A timeline of the last century

From the first outside broadcast to streaming sport in 4K HDR, the BBC has seen a number of landmark events during its first 100 years

As the BBC marks its 100th birthday, TVBEurope takes a look at some of its milestone achievements over the past century.


1922 BBC starts

1927 First live football commentary, a Division One clash between Arsenal and Sheffield United


1932 Broadcasting House opens

1936 The BBC is the first broadcaster in the world to provide a regular television service

1937 First TV outside broadcast


1942 Desert Island Discs launches

1946 Woman’s Hour debuts

1948 First TV news broadcast

1948 First Olympic Games shown on TV

1949 First TV weather bulletin


1950 The world’s longest-running soap The Archers launches

1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II

1958 Blue Peter, the longest-running children’s show in the world, debuts


1960 The Hollywood of the television industry, aka Television Centre, opens its doors

1963 Doctor Who premieres

1967 First live international TV link up, The Beatles sing All You Need Is Love

1967 First BBC colour broadcast, coverage of Wimbledon on BBC Two

1969 Moon landing


1974 Ceefax is developed by BBC engineers who exploit the unused capacity of the 625-line television signal to send text information

1977 28 million watch Morecambe & Wise’s Christmas show

1977 Top Gear first broadcast


1983 BBC launches its first breakfast show, Breakfast Time

1985 EastEnders premieres


1997 BBC’s rolling news channel News 24 broadcasts for the first time


2004 Strictly Come Dancing sashays onto screens

2006 BBC HD begins broadcasting as a trial station to test the possibility and technical practicality of broadcasting programmes in HD

2007 BBC launches iPlayer


2011 BBC News School Report (now Young Reporter) makes history as the first-ever live television programme from MediaCityUK

2012 BBC broadcasts London Olympics

2018 BBC successfully broadcasts live sport in 4K HDR quality on iPlayer

2022 Glastonbury marks the first time the BBC broadcasts any music event in Ultra High Definition