I was thirteen when, shaking with nervous excitement, I went through the impressive doors of Bush House. The commissionaire – even more impressive – nodded me towards the lifts and we [me and my mother, who was required to be my chaperone], ascended to Radio.
I was a contestant in the Children’s Hour programme ‘Regional Round’ – a not very demanding quiz game hosted by Geoffrey Dearmer, a kindly man with a gong, who responded to a wrong answer with a ‘gentle gong, Geoffrey’.
Luckily I did not earn a gong, but a BBC book token. I still have the stub, even though I can’t remember the book I bought with it.
I dreamed of returning, perhaps as a child actor in one of the Children’s Hour serials. But fame eluded me, until I made it into Television Centre [another BBC giant that is now no more] as a regular on ‘You and Me’.
Bush House went dark at midday today. An era in broadcasting is over.