The BBC has added thousands of new archive clips to its website, including a 1977 vox pop in which an East End woman talks about her memories of television programmes and which has received almost three million views since being posted on social media in July.
BBC bosses say the new bbc.co.uk/archive site is designed to “hold a mirror up to our lives today and help paint a rich social history of Britain in the television era”.
It will be curated by the same team that currently mines the vaults for the ever popular BBC Archive social media accounts, which have attracted a loyal and ever-increasing daily following over the past four years.
Other clips include a 1974 report on Deke Duncan’s garden shed radio station, which thanks to its revival by BBC Archive, led to him getting his big break on the BBC 44 years later, and Blue Peter presenter John Noakes on a terrifying ascent of Nelson’s column in 1977.
It will also feature many more newly unearthed, surprising and charming clips, ripe for rediscovery. As the website grows, it will continue to inform, educate and entertain by resurfacing videos with topical appeal.
The launch date coincides with the 50th anniversary of Nationwide, the early evening precursor to the One Show that featured quirky stories from around the UK between 1969 and 1983.
Peter Rippon, BBC Archive executive editor, says: “The site is the beginning of a journey into the BBC’s most cherished asset.
“Social history, and what it reveals about who we are, is proving especially popular, so we’ve created collections of hundreds of items that give a glimpse of what the archive contains.
“We are planning to open up the archive much more as the BBC prepares to mark its Centenary in 2022. This is an important step on that journey.”