Bush House Gallery

Photos of the traditional home of the BBC’s World Service in London.


Bush House is a Grade 2 listed building at the southern end of Kingsway between Aldwych and the Strand in London. Sections of Bush House were completed and opened over a period of 10 years: Centre Block was opened in 1925, North-West Wing in 1928, North-East Wing in 1929, South-East Wing in 1930, and South-West Wing in 1935. The full building complex was completed in 1935. BBC World Service Broadcasting from Bush House lasted for 70 years, from 1941 to summer 2012. Broadcasting to Europe began on shortwave (actually in 1932), and services extended to cover the British Empire, subsequently reaching all the major continents in over 40 languages. Listeners could rely on hearing world news on the hour famously prompted by the Greenwich time signal.The sound of Big Ben chimes and the musical ident ‘Lillibulero’ became famous around the world.

Today, language programmes are still individually tailored to listeners in each part of the world. But apart from news and discussions, programmes in English include human interest topics, the latest developments in health, science and technology, arts news, live sport coverage and music.

As the lease on the building came to an end, (still continuing to broadcast in 27 languages) staff moved operations to ‘New Broadcasting House’ in Portland Place, London and so the home of World Service radio for 70 years was closed. The last ever World Service radio bulletin from Bush House took place on 12th July, 2012.

World Service staff bid farewell to iconic Bush House (video in external BBC site)

Bush House Inside Out: Celebrating 80 years of international Broadcasting (external BBC site)

All photos taken by Dave Robinson in 2012.