Bush House falls silent after last BBC broadcast

As part of the BBC`s relocation plans to cut costs, the World Service has moved from Bush House to Broadcasting House.

Updated: Jul 12, 2012, 21:08 PM IST

London: There was a lump in many a journalist`s throat on Thursday as the last transmission was made from the iconic Bush House, the base from where the BBC World Service reported major events in various languages, including Hindi, for over 70 years.

The BBC has moved out of Bush House as part of the corporation`s cost-cutting plans.

For decades, the BBC Hindi Service was broadcast from here, reporting key events such as Indira and Rajiv Gandhi`s assassinations at a time when the news media in India was largely governed by perspectives of the state.

In a special broadcast, BBC director general Mark Thompson today said: "This benign Tower of Babel, the scene of so many great broadcasting moments and the home of so many great broadcasters over the years, is now silent; its corridors deserted; its studios empty".

As part of the BBC`s relocation plans to cut costs, the World Service has moved from Bush House to Broadcasting House in central London.

Financial compulsions have already reduced the languages in which it is broadcast to 27 languages.

As a wave of nostalgia gripped a generation of Indian journalists who worked at the Bush House, Hindi Service journalist Rajesh Priyadarshi said: "It hurts. It was not about brick and mortar, it is the spirit of the building that I will always miss. It will always be with me wherever I go".

Thompson said in the last broadcast: "The BBC first moved into Bush House in 1941. It was wartime and the BBC`s European services had become too big for their temporary headquarters in a converted skating rink in Maida Vale in West London".

"In the decades that followed, as the Second World War gave way to the Cold War and then to today`s complex world, Bush House became a unique icon of authority and trustworthiness in news to millions of listeners around the globe," he added.

PTI