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20 years since the Real IRA bombing of BBC TV Centre

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JK
JKDerry
Ironic that even the IRA couldn't destroy television centre, Thompson & Patel managed that. According to the Guardian 'Thompson has no immediate plans for a new job and said he would probably remain in the US rather than return to the UK. ' though I now understand he's MD of Ancestry - the genealogy company.

In 1993 they did a bomb alert at the centre, which caused the postponement of Noel's House Party, with Noel relegated to the broom cupboard studio, forced to play a repeat of Noel's Christmas Presents and a cartoon.

I doubt the IRA could have damaged BBC Television Centre to any larger extent than they did in 2001.
GE
thegeek Founding member
I believe it was as a result of the IRA attack that 'Internal Shelter Areas' were implemented across much of the BBC estate - parts of each building that you could congregate safely away from external windows. Presumably someone realised that evacuating everyone out to the street could be a security risk in itself. This did include some studio and technical areas in TVC to ensure continuity of broadcasting.
DE
deejay
I believe it was as a result of the IRA attack that 'Internal Shelter Areas' were implemented across much of the BBC estate - parts of each building that you could congregate safely away from external windows. Presumably someone realised that evacuating everyone out to the street could be a security risk in itself. This did include some studio and technical areas in TVC to ensure continuity of broadcasting.


I think it was possibly before that, because on that day staff were still working in bits of the building that weren’t directly in the line of fire. When they were developing the Westfield site the ISA areas came in, because they were pretty sure they were going to find unexploded WW2 Bombs.
LL
Larry the Loafer
Ironic that even the IRA couldn't destroy television centre, Thompson & Patel managed that. According to the Guardian 'Thompson has no immediate plans for a new job and said he would probably remain in the US rather than return to the UK. ' though I now understand he's MD of Ancestry - the genealogy company.

In 1993 they did a bomb alert at the centre, which caused the postponement of Noel's House Party, with Noel relegated to the broom cupboard studio, forced to play a repeat of Noel's Christmas Presents and a cartoon.

I doubt the IRA could have damaged BBC Television Centre to any larger extent than they did in 2001.


Is there any truth to the rumour I saw floating around online a while back that the bomb scare was a cover up for Noel having a tantrum and not wanting to present the show? I know it's a little early for the whole saga of him finding the show difficult.
JO
Jon
Ironic that even the IRA couldn't destroy television centre, Thompson & Patel managed that. According to the Guardian 'Thompson has no immediate plans for a new job and said he would probably remain in the US rather than return to the UK. ' though I now understand he's MD of Ancestry - the genealogy company.

In 1993 they did a bomb alert at the centre, which caused the postponement of Noel's House Party, with Noel relegated to the broom cupboard studio, forced to play a repeat of Noel's Christmas Presents and a cartoon.

I doubt the IRA could have damaged BBC Television Centre to any larger extent than they did in 2001.


Is there any truth to the rumour I saw floating around online a while back that the bomb scare was a cover up for Noel having a tantrum and not wanting to present the show? I know it's a little early for the whole saga of him finding the show difficult.

It sounds like people mixing up two separate events. I really hope the BBC wouldn’t make up an IRA terrorist threat just save the blushes of Noel Edmonds!
Last edited by Jon on 4 March 2021 9:16pm
SP
Steve in Pudsey
There was never really any satisfactory explanation for the lack of NHP. On air it was just "circumstances beyond our control" (or I think the CA might have said "problems in the studio" which did nothing for keeping up the pretence of it being the Great House, Crinkly Bottom). I don't actually know where the story of a bomb hoax came from.
EL
elmarko
Ironic that even the IRA couldn't destroy television centre, Thompson & Patel managed that. According to the Guardian 'Thompson has no immediate plans for a new job and said he would probably remain in the US rather than return to the UK. ' though I now understand he's MD of Ancestry - the genealogy company.


So what, are the brakes off now that the forum is closing and everyone’s just posting any old reply in a thread regardless of context?

Edit: Also Roger, you aren’t “causing offence” - that wasn’t the issue.
what, Roger Darthwell and msim gave kudos
WH
Whataday Founding member
I doubt the IRA could have damaged BBC Television Centre to any larger extent than they did in 2001.


They certainly could have done, when you consider previous bombings. Whether they'd want to or not is another question. The IRA campaign wasn't always about causing maximum destruction as generally civilian casualties damaged their support.
IO
Ian of old
I remember this very well. I saw the damage caused to part of Stage 6. This was the reason why the BBC One news bulletins had a different backdrop for a while, with no shot of the BBC News Centre.

Below is a clip of the BBC News on March 4th 2001, with the backdrop changed to a part view used by BBC News 24 studio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAeh_tY1uC0

That was actually from Moira's Breakfast news desk in TC7. Once the bomb exploded, both N6 (National) and N8 (News 24) were off limits. BBC1 bulletins were presented from TC7 until they could return to N6 and News 24 joined BBC World and broadcast a joint service from N9:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0SpeH8Es_8


And a joint service means it's that 'one semitone higher' headline bed like the overnights of that era. One day we'll figure out why on earth that was.
itsrobert and AndrewPSSP gave kudos
ME
mediaman2007
Remember this well. Tuned into News 24 which was still in its infancy in the grand scheme of things and noticed they were having technical issues and basically off air. Tuned elsewhere then back again for a very long countdown to the top of the hour it must have been 1 or 2am then a presenter comes on from BBC Millbank with the headline "Controlled explosion at BBC Television Centre." I immediately thought well that explains the fault !
MW
Mike W
Little known fact; there is to this day still some damage caused by the bomb on the exterior window frames of Stage VI - in the repairs it was missed.

Shrapnel from the taxi was expelled at high speed and penetrated the aluminium.

The red circles indicate blast damage, the orange line shows the direction of travel from Wood Lane (entrance to Stage VI to the left, towards South Africa Road to the right).
*


People I work with were placed on search duties in the aftermath to recover whatever was left, the bomb sent metal down onto the LUL tracks for the Central Line and the explosion broke windows on a housing estate behind White City.
Last edited by Mike W on 5 March 2021 1:10am
BR
Brekkie
I remember this very well. I saw the damage caused to part of Stage 6. This was the reason why the BBC One news bulletins had a different backdrop for a while, with no shot of the BBC News Centre.

Below is a clip of the BBC News on March 4th 2001, with the backdrop changed to a part view used by BBC News 24 studio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAeh_tY1uC0

That was actually from Moira's Breakfast news desk in TC7. Once the bomb exploded, both N6 (National) and N8 (News 24) were off limits. BBC1 bulletins were presented from TC7 until they could return to N6 and News 24 joined BBC World and broadcast a joint service from N9:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0SpeH8Es_8

From a presentation point of view everything about that clip is better than practically everything that followed.
AndrewPSSP, JamesWorldNews and itsrobert gave kudos

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