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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom. Headquartered at Broadcasting House in London, it is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, employing over 22,000 staff in total, of whom approximately 19,000 are in public-sector broadcasting.

The BBC is established under a royal charter and operates under its agreement with the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and is used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.

Around a quarter of the BBC's revenue comes from its commercial subsidiary BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide), which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and also distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. In 2009, the company was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of its international achievements. (Full article...)

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Selected article

"Nana's Party" is the fifth episode of the second series of the British dark comedy anthology television programme Inside No. 9. It was first broadcast on 23 April 2015 on BBC Two. Written and directed by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the episode starred Claire Skinner as the obsessive-compulsive and aspirational Angela, who is hosting a party for the 79th birthday of her mother Maggie, played by Elsie Kelly. Angela's husband Jim, played by Pemberton, is keen to play a prank on Pat, Angela's brother-in-law, who is a practical joker. Pat is played by Shearsmith, while Carol, a recovering alcoholic who is Pat's wife and Angela's sister, is played by Lorraine Ashbourne. The episode also features Eve Gordon as Katie, Angela and Jim's teenage daughter, and Christopher Whitlow as a paramedic seen at the beginning and end of the episode.

Much of the episode's plot revolves around a practical joke with a fake cake that Jim has set up in an attempt to fool Pat. Moving the cake reveals the head of the person hiding under the table, but, in the meantime, the hidden character can hear conversations taking place nearby, unbeknownst to those who are not in on the joke. The episode plays on viewers' guesses as to what has led to the arrival—seen at the opening of the episode—of a paramedic. In particular, the person under the table is at risk of injury if candles burn down or someone puts a knife into the "cake". (Full article...)

Selected image

A High Definition enabled BBC Outside Broadcasts satellite truck at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
BBC reporter Tina Daheley (left) interviewing England women's football team manager Mark Sampson for BBC Sport at the team's match against Montenegro in 2014.

Selected list article

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award is an award given annually as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony each December. The award is given “for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”, and BBC Sport selects the winner. The award is named after the BBC sports presenter Helen Rollason, who died in August 1999 at the age of 43 after suffering from cancer for two years. Helen Rollason was the first female presenter of Grandstand. After being diagnosed with cancer, she helped raise over £5 million to set up a cancer wing at the North Middlesex Hospital, where she received most of her treatment.

The inaugural recipient of the award was horse trainer Jenny Pitman, in 1999. Other winners include South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who won the award in 2007. Several recipients have not played a sport professionally, including Jane Tomlinson, who won in 2002, Kirsty Howard (2004), Phil Packer (2009), Anne Williams, who received the award posthumously in 2013, and eight-year-old Bailey Matthews (2015). Michael Watson, who won the award in 2003, had a career in boxing but was paralysed and almost killed in a title bout with Chris Eubank. He won the award for completing the London Marathon, an accomplishment that took him six days. Former footballer Geoff Thomas won the award in 2005; he raised money by cycling the 2,200 miles (3,540.56 km) of the 2005 Tour de France course in the same number of days as the professionals completed it. In 2006, Paul Hunter posthumously received the award, who died from dozens of malignant neuroendocrine tumours – his widow Lindsay accepted the award on his behalf. (Full article...)

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Selected biography

Speight in 2007

Mark Warwick Fordham Speight (6 August 1965 – 7 April 2008) was an English television presenter and host of children's art programme SMart. Speight was born in Seisdon, Staffordshire, and left school at 16 to become a cartoonist. He took a degree in commercial and graphic art and, while working in television set construction, heard of auditions for a new children's art programme. Speight was successful in his audition and became one of the first presenters of SMart, working on it for 14 years.

Speight was also a presenter on See It Saw It, where he met his future fiancée, actress and model Natasha Collins. He took part in live events, such as Rolf on Art and his own Speight of the Art workshops for children. He was involved in charity work; he became the president of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Young Pavement Artists Competition, and was a spokesperson for ChildLine. (Full article...)

Selected building

BBC Birmingham headquarters

The BBC Birmingham national network production centre is based in The Mailbox in Birmingham. The Mailbox also serves as the headquarters for BBC English Regions and is the home of BBC West Midlands.

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