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BBC News Pioneer Receives Blue Plaque as Channel Celebrates 100th Anniversary

A BBC presenter who first brought politics and current affairs to the television screen has been commemorated by English Heritage with a blue plaque to mark the broadcaster’s centenary.

Grace Wyndham Goldie, one of the few female BBC executives, was directly responsible for early election television coverage and programs such as Panorama, which first aired in 1953.

Mrs Goldie also witnessed the first court television broadcast at Alexandra Palace in 1936.

The plaque was placed at St Mary Abbot’s Court in Kensington, where she lived for more than 50 years.

While at Flat 86, Ms Goldie began and ended her career with the BBC.

Mrs Goldie began working for the BBC in 1935 as a radio play and entertainment critic for its weekly magazine The Listener.

Although she retired in 1965, she remained involved and made recommendations on the BBC’s archiving policy.

Her plaque, installed on Tuesday, will be visible to the public on Thursday. BBC News CEO Deborah Turness said: “Grace Wyndham Goldie was a true pioneer – not just as a woman in a male-dominated industry, but as someone who quickly saw the potential of a radically new technology: television.

“All of us who publish news on television and on all other platforms are following in Grace’s footsteps.

“It is very fitting that this plaque marks their place in television history as the BBC celebrates its centenary.”

The London Blue Plaques scheme was established in 1866 and there are over 980 plaques, but only 14% of the plaques commemorate women.

The program relies on public nominations and English Heritage say they have encouraged people to nominate more women personalities and communities.

Anna Eavis, Curator of English Heritage and Secretary to the Blue Plaques Panel, said: “The very first televised election broadcast was almost entirely Grace Wyndham Goldie’s concept and while the ‘Swingometer’ and giant maps are technologically advanced, so is the format itself it done not changed.

“While her name may not be as well known as it should be, her legacy is on every current affairs program and I hope this well-deserved plaque will inspire passers-by to learn more about her.”

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