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In 1954 the BBC bought and converted Riverside Studios to become the first purpose-built television facility. This innovative project took until 1957, when the newly named BBC Riverside Television Studios was officially opened by the Queen. It was originally converted by the Triumph Film Company in 1933 from an engineering works and foundry to large sound stages. For the next twenty years, under BBC ownership, many iconic television programmes of that era were made there; Hancock’s Half Hour, Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, early Top of the Pops to name a very few. The building has evolved and re-invented itself many times; during the 70’s and 80’s it hosted Dance Umbrella; an annual festival of contemporary dance Also in the 80s a younger audience were introduced to the studios when the BBC produced a weekly television series called ‘Riverside’ Throughout the decades this building has been host to a vast range of theatre, comedy, dance and television. In another recent evolution, the Riverside Studios has been re-developed and it is shortly to be completed. It will feature a mixture of three flexible studio spaces for television, theatre, dance, opera, music and comedy as well as a cinema, screening room, archive, community & rehearsal space and a local events and entertainment space.

BBCPA have been in discussion with Riverside Studios about holding an event to celebrate the history of its television studios and connection with the BBC. Their archive programme, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to preserve its collection of priceless heritage material. The Projects Manager, Daniel Thurman would like to hear from any of our members who may have worked at the studios and who have a story to tell, alongside any memorabilia they may have.

Please contact Daniel @

For more information about Riverside Studios including a more detailed account of its history click here

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