May 11, 1922: 2LO London begins broadcasting

2LO was the second radio station to regularly broadcast in the United Kingdom (the first was 2MT). It began broadcasting on May 11, 1922, for one hour a day from the seventh floor of Marconi House in London’s Strand.

On November 14, 1922 the station was transferred to the new British Broadcasting Company which in 1923 took up the nearby Savoy Hill for its broadcasting studios.

On March 9, 1930 2LO was replaced by the BBC Regional Programme and the BBC National Programme.



February 14, 1922: the first British radio station, 2MT, begins broadcasting

2MT was the first British radio station to make regular entertainment broadcasts, and the world’s first regular wireless broadcast for entertainment. Transmissions began on February 14, 1922 from an ex-Army hut next to the Marconi laboratories at Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex. Initially the station only had 200 watts and transmitted on 700m (428 kHz) on Tuesdays from 2000 to 2030.

2MT led to the creation of its sister station 2LO, and subsequently the BBC. 2MT did not itself become part of the BBC and closed down on January 17, 1923.


November 15, 1922: 2ZY Manchester begins broadcasting

2ZY was the name of a radio station broadcast by the British Broadcasting Company from Manchester, England, between 1922 and 1927. The station aired its first test transmission on 450 metres on May 17, 1922 and began regular broadcasting on November 15, 1922, just a day after sister station 2LO began daily programmes in London. On the same day, 5IT began in Birmingham and eight other stations opened in subsequent months across Britain. The frequency chosen for 2ZY was then 375 metres medium wave. The programmes were made and broadcast at first from the Metropolitan-Vickers electricity works in Old Trafford. The ornate iron water tower at the works was the site of the transmitter.

After the opening of the BBC National Programme in 1927, the local material put out by 2ZY and the others was known as the BBC Regional Programme and the 2ZY name was dropped. Both the National and Regional services were combined in 1939 to form the Home Service.


November 15, 1922: 5IT Birmingham begins broadcasting

5IT was a BBC radio station which broadcast from Birmingham, England, between 1922 and 1927. It was the BBC’s second station, going live at 17.20 on November 15, 1922, the day after 2LO started daily BBC broadcasting from London and one hour forty minutes before 2ZY launched BBC broadcasting in Manchester. It was replaced from August 21, 1927 by the higher-powered 5GB broadcasting a Midlands regional programme from Daventry.


October 18, 1922: The British Broadcasting Company Ltd (BBC) is formed

The British Broadcasting Company Ltd (BBC) was a British commercial company formed on October 18, 1922 by British and American electrical companies doing business in the United Kingdom (and anxious to build sales of their products by ensuring that there were radio broadcasts to which their radio-buying customers could listen) and licensed by the British General Post Office. Its original office was located on the second floor of Magnet House, the GEC buildings in London and consisted of a room and a small antechamber. On December 14, 1922, John Reith was hired to become the Managing Director of the company at that address. The company later moved its offices to the premises of the Marconi Company. The BBC as a commercial broadcasting company did not sell air time but it did carry a number of sponsored programmes paid for by British newspapers. On December 31, 1926, the company was dissolved and its assets were transferred to the non-commercial and Crown Chartered British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).