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Friday, June 26, 1998 Published at 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK


New era for BBC radio news

The new newsroom has the latest technology

They couldn't be budged by bombs, but progress has finally overtaken the BBC's radio news bulletins produced and read from Broadcasting House in central London.

After 66 years of being based at the famous building in Portland Place, the BBC's radio news operation has moved to Television Centre in west London.

[ image: Broadcasting House: home to radio news since 1932]
Broadcasting House: home to radio news since 1932
Friday's day shift was the last to arrive at Broadcasting House.

A new split-level newsroom has been built at Television Centre where radio broadcasters are using state-of-the-art facilities alongside their television counterparts.

The new technology will mean that broadcasts will cost less and need fewer staff.

Broadcasting House has told the nation of events from the D-Day landings to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Bomb couldn't stop bulletin

[ image: A World War Two bomb demolished part of the building]
A World War Two bomb demolished part of the building
It has, on one occasion, created news, when it was hit by a 500lb bomb in 1940.

Despite the blast, newsreader Bruce Belfrage did not interrupt his bulletin.

The move has prompted many of the BBC's senior journalists to exchange their memories of covering the news in the old newsroom.

Recalling the IRA bombing of the Docklands, senior journalist Iain Rodger said: "Everyone went into overdrive, supplying all outlets with continuous updates until the detail was consolidated for the World Tonight. It was exhilarating to be part of it."

Former foreign editor Ian Mitchell told of the frustrations of covering the Falklands War. He said: "We were getting lots of information from amateur radio sources, we knew what was happening but couldn't use any of it. They were long frustrating hours."

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