Profile to publish official history of the BBC

Profile to publish official history of the BBC

Profile Books will publish The BBC: A Century in British Life, the "official history" of the BBC by David Hendy to coincide with the corporation’s centenary in 2022.

The book will provide a single-volume history of the BBC and its role in British life. It will draw on years of research and writing by former BBC producer Hendy, an expert in broadcasting and cultural history who has privileged access to previously unused behind-the-scenes resources. 

The BBC will tell the history of an "extraordinary institution"; the oldest national public broadcaster in the world. It will also be a "broader cultural history of Britain, weaving into its fabric the wider world of politics, the arts, social change, and everyday life."

Profile Books acquired British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Caroline Dawnay at United Agents.  North American rights have been sold to Clive Priddle at Public Affairs.

Andrew Franklin, managing director of Profile Books said: "The BBC is one of the most important institutions in Britain, and David Hendy is one of our finest historians, so it’s an enormous pleasure and privilege to be bringing them together for a centenary history: it’s the perfect synthesis of subject and author."

Hendy said: "There are still many, many untold stories about the men and women behind-the-scenes who, since 1922, have spent their working lives making those countless TV and radio programmes we remember so vividly.

"There's also much more to be discovered about how we have been listening and watching in the privacy of our own homes - allowing these broadcasters to examine our lives, reflect us back to ourselves, perhaps even change our way of seeing the world. So it's a great privilege to get to write the history of the BBC: it’s an extraordinary institution – woven so deeply into the culture and politics of the past century that almost none of us has been left untouched by it."

Hendy is professor of media and communication at the University of Sussex. His books include Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening (Profile) and Life on Air: a History of Radio Four (Oxford University Press), which won the 2008 History Today-Longman book of the year award and was nominated for the Orwell Prize.