A brilliantly researched and gripping history of the BBC, from its origins to the present day.
‘The book could scarcely be better or better timed. It is elegantly written, closely argued, balanced, pulls no punches.’
MELVYN BRAGG, GUARDIAN
Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian‘s chief culture writer, steps behind the polished doors of Broadcasting House and investigates the BBC. Based on her hugely popular essay series, this personal journey answers the questions that rage around this vulnerable, maddening and uniquely British institution. Questions such as: what does the BBC mean to us now? What are the threats to its continued existence? Is it worth fighting for?
Higgins traces its origins, celebrating the early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the BBC today. She explores how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad. She shows how controversy is in its DNA and brings us right up to date through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, and she sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals.
This is a deeply researched, lyrically written, intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.
‘Engrossing.’ EVENING STANDARD
‘Beautifully written’. THE SPECTATOR
‘Exactly observed and beautifully written.’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘A loving portrait . . . never creaks with excess.’ FINANCIAL TIMES
‘A pleasingly intricate jigsaw of biography, politics, and opinion.’ INDEPENDENT
‘Excellent and enthralling . . . informative, educational and entertaining.’ GUARDIAN