On This Day 41 Years Ago – First live broadcast of Parliament – whatever next!

On 9th June 1975 the BBC & IRN radio stations broadcast the first live transmission from the House of Commons.

Commentary was provided by David Holmes the BBC political editor and Edmund Boyle from Independent Radio News who shared a cramped, sound-proofed box inside the chamber. Secretary of State for Industry Tony Benn was the first minister to be questioned in Parliament live on air, starting a debate which some listeners said was difficult to follow on radio. But the BBC and IRN said it was pleased with the first daily Question Time broadcast of this four-week experiment.

Good heavens – they’ll be broadcasting TV online next!

You can read more about the first live broadcast here on the news.bbc.co.uk but there is a much more comprehensive archive called the Sound of Democracy which makes interesting reading!  There is also an fascinating article called Hansard of the Air which includes some archive recordings including this one in 1979 of Margaret Thatcher’s motion of no confidence in the Labour Government!  The current radio broadcasts may be listened to at Today in Parliament.

The Sound of Democracy: In 1923 John Reith requested permission to allow microphones in the Houses of Parliament at the King's speech at the Sate Opening of Parliament. His request was turned down and it wasn't until this day on 9th June 1975 that microphones were actually allowed!
The Sound of Democracy: In 1923 John Reith requested permission to allow microphones in the Houses of Parliament at the King’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament. His request was turned down and it wasn’t until this day on 9th June 1975 that microphones were actually allowed!

 

 

 

 

 

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