Danielle George helps the BBC celebrate the birth of British TV

It all began with the famous words "This is the BBC, welcome to television” - the rest is history.

Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at The University of Manchester, recently returned to our screens to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first broadcast on British television, as co-presenter alongside presenter Dallas Campbell and mechanical engineer Dr Hugh Hunt in BBC Four’s ‘Television’s Opening Night: How the Box was Born’.

Eighty years ago, the very first official live broadcast on British television came from Alexandra Palace on 2 November 1936, but there are no surviving recordings of it.

In ‘Television’s Opening Night: How the Box was Born,’ Danielle, Dallas and Hugh worked to re-stage every aspect of the show, from the cameras that were used, to the variety acts included and the outfits worn.

They used the original technology and filming techniques and interviewed one of the first performers from the early months of television.

In 1936 there was a competition in two studios, between the cameras made by Marconi–EMI and John Logie Baird. While Dr Hunt focuses on John Logie Baird’s ’Flying Spot,’ Professor George was challenged to find out how the rival and highly experimental, all-electronic Marconi-EMI camera performed on its live TV debut.


I am delighted to have the opportunity to tell the story of the birth of British television, by helping to restage the night that changed the world forever.

- Professor Danielle George MBE

‘Television’s Opening Night: How The Box Was Born’ was broadcast on BBC Four on Wednesday 2nd November and is available to watch online using the following link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0817s4g/televisions-opening-night-how-the-box-was-born.

This latest TV appearance follows Professor George’s successful role in delivering the 2014 Christmas Lectures in partnership with the BBC and the Royal institution.

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