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24/06/2011 - London property: BBC Television Centre up for grabs  24/06/2011 - London property: BBC Television Centre up for grabs

24/06/2011 - London property: BBC Television Centre up for grabs

London, UK: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has finally put its London Television Centre up for sale.

BBC Television Centre officially opened on 29th June 1960. It was one of the first buildings in the world designed exclusively for making television programmes.

The London landmark is currently home to five thousand BBC employees. But plans to relocate to other BBC offices, such as MediaCity in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester and Broadcasting House in Portland Place, Marylebone, Central London by 2015 mean the Grade II Listed building will be surplus to requirements.

The fourteen acre site at White City in West London is rumoured to be on the market for £300 million (US$492 million) but it appears that all offers are being considered: “The BBC is seeking expressions of interest from the market for either a conventional, freehold property sale or alternative proposals possibly based around a joint venture partnership.” said a BBC spokesman.

Known to BBC employees as ‘The Doughnut’, it was suggested that the large round building could be converted into a BBC museum. However, the proposal was quickly dismissed.

Studios at ‘The Doughnut’ have been the birth place for many popular BBC TV shows, such as Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It is also home to Radio 5 Live and the majority of the UK’s national TV and radio news programmes.

One of the longest running children’s television shows in history, Blue Peter, has its famous garden at the back of the studios. But if you are a fan don’t worry; the Blue Peter Garden will be relocated to the roof of the MediaCity building in Manchester.

“Television Centre has played an extraordinary and central role in the history of the BBC, which will not be forgotten. Our primary aim of the sale is to maximise the value to the BBC and licence fee-payer whilst ensuring the teams and operations based there are successfully relocated,” commented Richard Deverell, programme director at BBC Television Centre.

The BBC owns a total of 585,000 square metres of property in 483 locations throughout the UK. The broadcaster has plans to reduce this by thirty per cent over the next few years.

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