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The BBC's first ever purpose-built television studio complex opened on 29 June 1960, marking a new era in British broadcasting. 

Before the opening of the iconic BBC Television Centre in 1960, the BBC had made its programmes in converted buildings across London and the UK, such as the two at Alexandra Palace, Broadcasting House in the West End and even ROSL's own clubhouse during the Second World War. But facing growing competition from American television imports, it was decided by the corporation that a purpose-built venue, dubbed the 'Hollywood of the Small Screen', would be the best way to improve programme making.

The unusual shape of the 13-acre site in Shepherd's Bush that the BBC had acquired for the building posed problems for architect Graham Dawbarn. The puzzle of how to best fit as many studios as possible on the site led to Dawbarn drawing a question mark on the back of an envelope.

He later realised this would be the ideal shape to fit the seven studios, offices, engineering areas and restaurants onto the site of the former 1908 Franco-British exhibition. 

BBC Television Centre geograph.org.uk 7407

Since opening, the Television Centre has undergone numerous extensions and refurbishments before it was finally sold in 2013 as the BBC moved much of its broadcasting facilities back to the newly-refurbished Broadcasting House and a new complex in Salford, Greater Manchester.

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