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British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences: A 50th Anniversary Conference

BBC2: Origins; Influence; Audiences: A 50th Anniversary Conference
25-26 April 2014
Science Museum, London


On the 20th April 1964 the BBC launched its second television channel: BBC2. Although the launch was a flop (due to a major power cut) the station soon became a fixture of UK broadcasting. This conference engages with the example of BBC2 in a contribution to the history of how, as well as what, we access through television.

In the 1960s questions were raised about the increasingly dominant role of television in the home and the part the Pilkington Committee played in preserving middle- and upper-class values in the medium. It was also the first channel in the UK to offer UHF, then colour, television, changing the way that television was produced, broadcast and consumed.

It is also timely in other ways. The way television is accessed is changing rapidly, not only through satellite and cable, but as a result of the convergence of television and internet technologies. Audiences can access services as and when they choose. As the technology changes so must the way we study the history of the television, as not only programme types, but the idea of a self-contained channel becomes a thing of the past.

This conference also includes a screening and evening reception in the Science Museum’s Energy Hall.

Further details, including the programme, can be found at:


Early Bird Prices (before the 11th April): £90 total

Regular conference fee (after the 11th April): £110 total

Please visit the Science Museum website to book tickets:

With thanks to the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) we are offering four reduced price student places at £40. To apply for one of these places please email with your name, institution and a brief statement about how the conference relates to your research interests.

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