Icons of England
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1052 of 1160 nominations



Is this an icon?



Did you know that the BBC has a coat of arms? And a motto? (It’s “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”, by the way). These came about in 1927 as the BBC was being incorporated by Royal Charter. Gone were the days when the BBC was run by an organisation of manufacturers trying to sell more wireless sets by giving people something worth listening to. Storming in were the idealistic public servants, headed by Director-General John Reith with a mission to “inform, educate and entertain.” It began with just the radio but television broadcasts began to be transmitted in 1936, and the internet is now an important part of their programming too. The Beeb is not only the largest but also probably the most respected broadcasting corporation in the world and is funded, uniquely, by the licence fee – that is, directly by the people who watch it. The radio and television programmes the BBC provides are a vital part of life in England; its familiar nickname, ‘Auntie’, is a sign of the affection in which it’s widely held.

Photo: George Lewin


Your comments

It represents everything which is great about Englishness, our humour, our langauge, our sense of fair play and love of sports it reflects the nation to the world and brings the world to us. The BBC is the icon of England and Britain.

Richard Lees

I love the BBC, since despite it being a corporation rather than a co-operative as I believe it should be, it still manages to sustain a very diverse range of progarammes to cater for many hundreds of thousands of people, not forgetting of course the World Service which broadcasts to the whole world, not forgetting all the radio and television stations as well as its national Learning Centres, etc... Long live the Beeb!
Matt Archibald

The BBC has always been Britain's number one TV channel, it has brought us many iconic shows so itself should be an icon.
Ben Thomas

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye