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New exhibition on 100 years of the BBC in Wales opens at National Museum Cardiff

To mark the centenary of the BBC, a new exhibition at National Museum Cardiff BBC 100 in Wales, will tell the story of BBC broadcasting in Wales. From the first broadcasts of the 1920s through to the digital age of the 2020s, the exhibition explores how Wales has contributed to the making of the BBC and how the BBC has impacted on life in Wales.


Ryan Davies and Ronnie Williams ©BBC Cymru Wales

Open until 16 April 2023, BBC 100 in Wales follows the history of BBC radio and television broadcasting in Wales experienced by Welsh audiences; the changes in programmes, attitudes and technologies through primitive radios to digital devices. From the first broadcast in Cardiff on 13 February 1923, Wales found its voice on the wavelengths through a variety of programmes in English and in Welsh.


With the age of television came another new era with the birth of BBC Wales and the opening of Broadcasting House, Llandaff. Technologies changed but the many challenges of broadcasting within and for Wales remained over the decades.


©Amgueddfa Cymru

The exhibition will highlight a few of those key moments and the programmes broadcast on the BBC in Wales. Objects from Amgueddfa Cymru collections will be displayed alongside footage from the BBC Wales archive. There will be an opportunity to see the latest TV’s and radios available to buy in the 1950s and relax in a 1970s living room to watch some Christmas TV. Visitors of all ages will enjoy learning about children’s programmes of the past, from Muffin the Mule, Bagpuss and the Teletubbies.


BBC 100 in Wales will also feature a display of items on loan from some of the most notable BBC programmes made in Wales over the past two decades, whether you’re fans of Doctor Who, Sherlock or His Dark Materials, there will be something for everyone.


Throughout the exhibition there will be opportunities to reminisce and respond – the museum wants to hear more about what and how audiences in Wales would be watching and listening.



Sioned Williams, Principal Curator: Modern History at Amgueddfa Cymru said:


‘The exhibition looks at some of those key moments in the BBC’s 100-year history that have played a part in Welsh everyday life over the generations. It’s an opportunity for people to recall their own ‘BBC moments’ and to share their memories with others. I hope that some of the fascinating objects will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.’


‘We also want to hear people’s views, good or bad, and what they would like to see and hear on the BBC of the future’.


The exhibition is part of a new 7-year partnership with the BBC that was previously announced in 2021. Both organisations will work together on developing public programmes which includes the BBC 100 in Wales exhibition. They will also look to make their collections and research physically and digitally accessible. Both parties are committed to sharing experiences, helping to support our communities and wellbeing of Wales post COVID-19.


BBC Broadcasting House, Llandaff, Cardiff, late 1960s ©BBC Cymru Wales

David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru said:


“This exhibition has only been possible through our creative and positive partnership with the BBC. Over the last century, the BBC and other public service broadcasting has been a foundation of our democracy and of our understanding and engagement with the world. We’re very appreciative of the support from the BBC in developing the exhibition, and for the items they donated to the Amgueddfa Cymru collections so that the people of Wales may enjoy them for generations to come.


©Amgueddfa Cymru

To coincide with the centenary celebrations in Wales in February 2023, the museum will host a special free event, BBC 100 in Wales: Through the Lens, on 11 February. Families are invited to come and discover what goes on behind the scenes of TV production, from creating your own weather bulletin using green screen effects, to having some special effects make-up. There will also be talks throughout the day, including The Science of Doctor Who and a special effects masterclass with the lead make-up artist on Casualty. Visitors should book their free tickets for the talks in advance on the Museum website.


The exhibition is free to enter, and visitors can book their free tickets in advance. More information on the exhibition and family event can be found at www.museum.wales/BBC.

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