The BBC’s much-loved Television Centre has finally been sold for a whopping £200m to property developer Stanhope Plc.
The most iconic building to be found in London’s glittering Shepherd’s Bush, dear old TVC has throughout the years been the home of some of Britain’s best-loved television shows from Doctor Who and Blue Peter to Monty Python and Top of the Pops.
But nothing lasts forever and with the Corporation in a progressive (and money saving) mood at the moment, the BBC’s decided to up sticks and leave its distinctive home behind, with the last broadcast from TVC scheduled for 2013.
And so, as the corporation readies itself to quit this labyrinthine monument to TV production, let’s remind ourselves of some statistical facts about what will doubtless soon become West London’s most sought-after block of flats…
1…Greek god. Helios, specifically, the god of the sun, whose golden statue by TB Huxley Jones stands atop a pedestal in the middle of TVC’s courtyard. He’s up there to symbolise the radiation of TV around the world, and radiate it has.
1…bombing. The Real IRA planted a bomb outside TVC in 2001, housed in a red taxi. Thankfully it didn’t kill anyone but it was still a terrifying experience for those in and around the building.
II…Grade listed status. It might have been sold but (some of) it can’t be knocked down; various parts of TVC, including the main facade, the canteen block and the scenery workshop were given Grade II listed status in 2009.
3…more years to go until the BBC is fully evacuated from TVC. The last staff are currently scheduled to leave the site in 2015.
7…storeys. TVC extends seven floors up toward the heavens and sits on a basement that’s been used as dressing rooms and video storage space over the years.
14…acres. Is the amount of space taken up by the question-marked shaped complex and its surrounding buildings.
25…studios (including the newsrooms). Over the course of its time in use, TVC’s been home to 25 different production spaces, though since the Sports and Childrens departments move to MediaCity in Salford, many of them are now either vacant or no longer in use.
52…years. TVC first opened for business in June 1960, meaning that it’s recently celebrated its 52nd birthday.
5000…people. At the last headcount at the end of 2010, it was found that TVC was home to just over 5000 members of BBC staff. And even after the Corporation’s moves to MediaCity and Broadcasting House are complete, there’ll still be 1200 TVC staffers left to relocate…
9,000,000…pounds is what it originally cost to build TVC.