TV - BBC Rewind

As part of its centenary celebrations the BBC has launched a new website, BBC Rewind, across the UK, providing public access to a vast portion of the Corporation’s extensive archive....

Press Release

The new website contains tens of thousands of audio-visual recordings, largely from news output and documentaries. They reflect the life and events of the UK spanning decades, telling the story of the nation through its people.

This is the largest release of digital archive content in BBC history, categorised by the nations and regions of the UK and containing many emotional and powerful stories, many of which have not been viewed since their original broadcast.

In total, over 30,000 pieces of uncovered content will be on the site with the oldest material dating back to the late 1940s.

The huge collection provides a unique snapshot of our shared past, from captivating footage of 60s’ schoolchildren providing refreshing, funny and uncomplicated observations on marriage, religion and work; to the fascinating story of 500 Polish people who - 20 years after World War Two had ended - were still living in an immigration camp in Devon, mixing little with the outside world.

BBC Rewind users will recognise icons like David Attenborough and Moira Stewart among the thousands of videos on offer, and everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to rock royalty including Paul McCartney.

From Northern Ireland there’s footage of sports heroes Dame Mary Peters and Martin O’Neill in their prime; Gloria Hunniford in one of her first TV jobs as roving reporter and videos of Liam Neeson long before he made his name in Hollywood.

Some of the famous faces in the Wales collection include Tom Jones, while a Sian Phillips Welsh language piece from 1959 shows a day in her life as a young actress in London.

And in Scotland, the BBC Rewind team has brought together a collection of films detailing the fascinating social history of the country. From the Island of Soay residents being relocated to Mull in 1953 to the women of Campbeltown taking part in a broom throwing competition in 1963, the archives are bursting with material providing a fascinating insight in to a world largely forgotten and for some unknown.

Visitors to the site will have the ability to search for recordings from all four nations and can use an interactive map to narrow down content to a regional, local, and even, street level.

Over the coming months, specially selected content from the website will feature in reports for the BBC’s national and regional news and current affairs programmes, providing glimpses back in time for a wider audience.

James Stirling, Executive Editor BBC 100, says: “As we celebrate 100 years of the BBC, we’re opening up our unique and deeply valuable archive, an important part of the nation’s collective memory.

“By breathing new life into stories which have laid dormant for years, audiences will be able to discover recordings which can help us all learn more about who we are and where we’re from.”

The new BBC Rewind website will be available at

Image - Mother of five Margaret McEwan-King traded her old car in for a faster model - a Formula 1 car and she raced in her spare time.
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