Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
BBC - The Voice of Britain (1935)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

An impressionistic portrait of the BBC.

Morning at the BBC. The hymn 'O God Our Help In Ages Past' is sung. In Broadcasting House, the Reverend H.R.L. Sheppard reads from the Bible, and people in town and country alike listen to the service on their radios.

As engineers work, the morning post arrives and is sorted and replied to. G.K. Chesterton arrives to broadcast. Head of Productions Val Gielgud discusses his requirements with the studio executive. Light entertainment producer Eric Maschwitz confers with variety producer John Watt. Chief announcer Stuart Hibberd sits in the canteen.

Studio calls flash on an indicator. In one of the studios, Henry Hall rehearses his band. Gramophone specialist Christopher Stone tries out new records, and sound effects are tested.

Various rehearsals take place: by comedians Clapham and Dwyer, and productions of Macbeth and Dancing Daughters. The Radio Times comes off the presses. An outside broadcast is made of the Boat Race.

Children of various backgrounds listen to the Children's Hour, which includes a reading from 'The Heroes'. Children play with their toys to the sound of 'The Teddybears' Picnic', and a schools' broadcast tells them how to make a map of their neighbourhood.

Various BBC regional departments liaise with each other. The Scottish Regional Programme broadcasts the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Dr Adrian Boult, playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. The concert is interrupted to broadcast an S.O.S. message to a trawler at sea.

Preparations are made for a link-up with Montreal to broadcast an interview with a survivor of a mid-Atlantic disaster. News about King Aleksandar of Yugoslavia's funeral arrives from Paris. H.G. Wells reports on current conditions in Russia. The liner H.M.S. Queen Mary is launched by her namesake. In the studio, Nina Mae McKinney sings 'Dinah'. In the evening, families listen to the wireless at home or in the local pub.

A parade of frequent broadcasters: politicians Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin, George Lansbury and John Simon, the economist Josiah Stamp, science commentator Gerald Heard and cartoonists Maurice Dodd and David Low (who talks about caricatures). J.B. Priestley discusses the English spirit, G.K. Chesterton talks about the colonies, and George Bernard Shaw explains why politicians must be sincere when they broadcast.

Henry Hall and his band play 'Piccadilly Ride' and 'Sweet, Sweet the Candy Man'. He concludes the broadcast with "Here's to the next time", and the BBC shuts down for the night.