London News

2017: A YEAR TO CELEBRATE!

From the first radio broadcast in 1927 to the first colour TV broadcast in 1967, 2017 marks several anniversaries for these landmark broadcasting events which saw the magic of the Championships broadcast to the world.

In honour of the broadcasts which made history, on the 6th April the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum proudly launched the “On Air: Wimbledon and the BBC 1927-2017” with special guest Sir David Attenborough. The new exhibition is in collaboration with the BBC and celebrates the history of broadcasting at The Championships.

Wimbledon 29th June 1927: On Radio – In the first year of broadcasting only Centre Court matches were broadcast to those who lived within London. The first section of the exhibition presents a series of interesting facts and articles, including running commentary from the first radio broadcast of the Championships presented by Capt. HBT Wakelam. The amazing Chakaphone radio from the National Science and Media Museum’s collection, is also on show, alongside the 1927 Championships ticket, programme and scorecard.

Wimbledon 21st June 1937: On Television – On the 21st June 1937 excited viewers could watch Bunny Austin and George Rogers compete for the championship title during the first television broadcast. An EMI Emitron camera, the type used to broadcast the first BBC television coverage of The Championships in 1937, is on display, alongside an interactive screen showing footage from that year.

Wimbledon 1ST July 1967: In Colour – Shown on BBC TWO, the magic of the 1967 championships was broadcast in colour, bringing the championships to life for viewers in the comfort of their own homes. Lead by Sir David Attenborough, The BBC and Wimbledon were the first to provide a regular colour TV service before anyone else! A Bush CTV25 colour television on loan from the National Science and Media Museum represents what people would have used to watch the first colour TV broadcast in Europe, and is displayed alongside a Radio Times issue from the same year. A ticket, poster and programme from the Wimbledon World Professional Championships, sponsored by the BBC to mark the introduction of colour television, complement Sir David Attenborough’s contemporary account of the history of colour broadcasting.

The exhibition ends with a smooth contrast from past to present - how Wimbledon is captured now, the different technologies used around the court, the chance to control one of the robotic cameras used at Wimbledon, and a look at some of the most memorable personalities and commentators who have brought The Championships to life for generations.

Highlights from the exhibition are available online at http://www.wimbledon.com/museum and at http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/research/programming/wimbledon, including photographs, video and audio commentary from many of the pioneering moments which made history from the BBC at Wimbledon.


Official opening of the special exhibition ‘On Air: Wimbledon and the BBC 1927-2017’ in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum with special guests Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC and Sir David Attenborough. In the grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Thursday 06/04/2017.
©AELTC/Thomas Lovelock

The special exhibition ‘On Air: Wimbledon and the BBC 1927-2017’ in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. In the grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Thursday 06/04/2017.
©AELTC/Thomas Lovelock

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