Monday, 28 February 2011

The BBC's ornate 'royal microphone' from the 1930s revealed

The BBC's ornate 'royal microphone' from the 1930s revealed

I'm probably the only vintage blogger who hasn't yet seen the (I can now say "Oscar-winning") film The King's Speech but rest assured I definitely will, be it on the big screen or DVD (or maybe both!).

In the meantime here is a clip from yesterday's Radio 4 programme Broadcasting House during which a member of the Corporation's in-house museum brought along an original example of the so-called "royal microphones" (above) that, as he explains, were first designed in the 1920s to hide the ugly(!) B.B.C. devices from His Majesty's view!  The ones used in the Colin Firth film are exact replicas of this gloriously Art Deco-style piece of radio equipment, which the B.B.C. allowed the film's production crew to look over when recreating them.  Even better, they still work!  Is it me, or does it sound better when the presenter switches from his modern mic to the old '30s one? ;-)

What's more it sounds as though we may all get a chance to see (and hear?) this part of audio history in the future; amazingly these microphones had until recently only been on view to anyone visiting Broadcasting House but now it seems that the B.B.C. will be lending them out to more public displays (perhaps not so surprising considering the success of the film), so watch (or should that be listen to?) this space!

4 comments:

  1. No, I haven't seen it either, I don't go to the cinema at all. Such a horrible experience these days. And the nearest is 21 miles away.

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  2. Wow they are very lovely. I do like an old microphone!

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  3. Like you, I haven't seen it yet either! I'm hoping that my local cinema will keep on showing it for a few more weeks, then I might get the chance to watch it on the big screen.

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  4. I haven't seen it yet either, will get it on DVD though so I can watch it to my hearts content!

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