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BBC Experiments in Local Radio Broadcasting 1961–62

A Research Paper by Matthew Linfoot, published by Media History

In the early 1960s, the BBC was given the opportunity to demonstrate that it had the skills and resources to create localized broadcasting, by organizing a series of experimental stations across the UK. Although the output was not heard publicly, the results were played to the Pilkington Committee on Broadcasting, who were deliberating about the future direction of radio and television. Using archival research, featuring contemporary BBC documents, this paper argues that these experimental stations helped senior managers at the BBC to harness technological innovation with changing attitudes in society and culture, thus enabling them to formulate a strategy that put the BBC in the leading position to launch local radio a few years later in 1967.


Matthew Linfoot


Before joining the University in 2003, I worked at the BBC in a variety of roles. I was the presenter & producer of a weekly magazine programme at BBC GLR94.9 (1993-2000), as well as producing a sixteen part series of oral history programmes about London, The Century Speaks. I won a SONY Gold Award (Best Music Documentary) for producing & co-writing You’ve Got To Hide Away, with Tom Robinson, which explored hidden gay sexuality in popular music. Latterly, I was the editor of the BBC London website before moving to BBC Nations & Regions to work on two major and exciting projects, A Sense of Place and Voices as a senior producer.


27 June 2018
Research Area
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Media History
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