Last updated at 7:43 AM on 14th June 2011
The BBC has put its landmark Television Centre up for sale after 50 years at the iconic London site.
The Corporation said it is looking for a deal which will 'maximise the value' for itself and for licence fee-payers - and that could be as much as £300million.
The 14-acre site in White City, West London, is currently home to around 5,000 employees but will be empty by 2015 after staff have moved to other sites including MediaCity in Salford and Broadcasting House.
On sale: The BBC's Television Centre home in West London is on the market and could cost potential buyers as much as £300million
Famous outline: The main circular building, known to staff as the doughnut, was given Grade II listed status by English Heritage in 2009
It has vowed to leave 'no stone unturned' in a search for a buyer buy said it will not sell unless it gets value for money.
'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.
'The key objective for any sale or partnership is to maximise the value of the site to the BBC and licence fee-payers.'
The BBC originally announced it wanted to sell the building, which opened in 1960, in 2007.
Famous history: Doctor Who is among the programmes filmed there, but it has also been home to the Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers
Moving on: The BBC garden - being tended here by Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes - is at the Television Centre site
Television history: The life of a world famous studios
• Its construction was announced by Norman Collins, the then-Controller of the BBC Television Service, on Friday, April 1, 1949.
• It was supposed to be six acres - but turned out to be twice as big - and to cost £9m.
• From the air the building has a 'question mark' shape. The architect, Graham Dawbarn CBE, had been handed a 50-page brief and retreated to a pub to consider his task. He doodled a question mark on an envelope and realised that it was the ideal shape.
• In the middle of the 'doughnut' is a sculpture of Helios, the Greek god of the sun. Designed by TB Huxley-Jones, and erected in 1960, it represents the radiation of television light around the world. Two reclining figures at the bottom are sound and vision, the two components of television.
• It officially opened on June 29, 1960, one of the world's first buildings designed specifically for the making and transmission of TV.
• The first programme broadcast was First Night with David Nixon in Studio Three.
• Power cuts were relatively familiar but one such cut caused the launch night of BBC Two, on April 20, 1964, to be cancelled; programmes began the next day instead.
• At half past midnight on Sunday, March 4, 2001, the Real IRA detonated a car bomb outside the building. No-one was killed.
• The BBC News Centre, which transmits almost all of the Corporation's national TV and radio news, opened there in 1998.
• The building was given Grade II listing on June 17, 2009, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
• It was at Television Centre on October 22, 2009, that BNP leader Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time, which saw protesters storm the BBC's reception.
The main circular building, known to
staff as the doughnut, was given Grade II listed status by English
Heritage in 2009 and could complicate the deal as it would limit what its new owners could do.
The BBC said it had enough time and space around the sale to ensure it was not forced into taking a lower price than wanted.
Among the shows recorded in its
studios are Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Blue Peter,
Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing.
The site is also home to the Blue Peter garden, which will be relocated to a studio roof at the Salford site.
Richard Deverell, W12 programme
director, said: '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.'
The BBC, which currently owns
585,000sq metres of property in Britain across 483 locations, wants to
cut its property holdings by 30 per cent.
However, it has also said it would consider joint-venture proposals that could leave it with some presence at the site while the suggestion of a BBC museum has also been mooted.
The Corporation has handed the marketing of the sale to property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, and has invited potential buyers to register interest by July 1.
A leading commercial property agents - who declined to be named - said the building was likely to cost around £200million.
Recent improvements to the area's
transport links and the vast nearby Westfield shopping centre made the
site particularly attractive to local and foreign residential
developers, they said.
However, if the BBC chooses a joint
venture going forward, that would significantly cut the value of the
property, according to one agent.
'The value of an employer in a media
business is very much lower than the value of residential development,
so if there are people that want to enter into a joint venture, and if
they are in the media world, that will inevitably reduce the price,' the
'That would be an interesting dilemma for the BBC because they will have a choice between the highest price and the most politically favoured combination of uses.'
Incentive for buyers: Television Centre's proximity to the Westfield Shopping Centre and its transport links make it attractive to property developers
Share this article:
Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.
The comments below have not been moderated.
I guess they need the money to pay for Mr. Patten and all those celebs. Scrap the Fee. Why should we have to pay for them. Why if it belongs to us does the Goverment have such a major say in what happens, ie putting Patten in charge, (and we all know from past history what he is like!). Other Tv Companies are making small fortunes so why can not the beeb do the same without money from the Goverment. Why has the Beeb become a mouth peice for the Goverment. Their news stories have become slanted towards the Goverment and DO NOT give all the true facts. LET THE BEEB GO IT ALONE.
- Carrotcruncher, Powys Wales, 14/6/2011 12:50
Why on earth would they elect to sell prime West London real estate during a property slump? It doesn't make any sense. This is akin to Gorden Brown selling off our gold.
- Trudi, Worcs, 14/6/2011 12:47
Lots of communist history in that building.
- The Salfordian, Salford, 14/6/2011 12:10
You can keep it.. far to many disabled bays
- alan, east sussex, 14/6/2011 10:56
So selling ofdf the BEEB will raise £300 million so this should reduce the licence fee considerably or scrap it altogether, which is what should happen.
- DW, Wigan, 14/6/2011 10:49
A grade 2 listed building ideal. Convert it into flats for our overpaid MPs then they don't need second homes and all the expenses that goes with them Plenty room for the families at week-ends providing they pay the transport costs themselves. Just think the money saved on expenses would pay for the refurbishment in a matter of months.
- alc2010, Eastleigh Hampshire, 14/6/2011 10:45
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
A nun complaining of stomach pains has given birth to a baby boy in Italy The woman, from South America, was taken to hospital by fellow
Kerry Belton was on her way to collect her younger sister from school She entered Felixstowe Police Station to ask to use the toilets in a
Most Watched Videos
How Much Nigerians In The Diaspora Know About Nigeria
Video of girl with some nice dance moves
The Bible made us to know that towards the end of time, strange things will definitely happen. Few months ago, a Pastor forced his congregation
Maid in Nairobi caught on camera breastfeeding boss's baby
Channel 4 News learns that the head of a London-based evangelical church with 3,000 congregation members has been charged with indecent assault on a child
Most Read News
Social workers in Zimbabwe now collect payment through mobile platforms in order to avoid being duped.Most now move around with at least two mobile phones
The Oodua World Council, OWC, has warned that the electioneering campaign of the forthcoming elections must neither go the way of operation “weti e” of
Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mr. Segun Adesegun, has said the revenue of the state has largely depended on workers coming to settle in the state
High Chief Moses Enimade, the Oyewoga of Ode-Irele, discloses the allegedly real reason of deaths linked with the mysterious disease in Ondo state. Enimade shared his point
Lagos – Many enthusiastic voters turned out in large numbers in many polling centres in Lagos as early as 8.00a.m.for the governorship and House of
Lagos – A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on Thursday adjourned to June 25, the hearing in the case involving a dismissed Divisional Police
Most Watched Movies
Features: Pete Edochie, Ernest Obi, Patience Ozokwor, Ebele Okaro, Yul Edochie, Eve Esin, Sanni Danja, Baba Danguro
To keep their wealth within the family, two highly succesful men make a pact...their two childrem must marry each other. All was well and good until
Features: Chinwetalu Agwu, Uche Ogbodo Wealth blinds a man's eye, so much so that he is marrying his two daughters t one man...Now two sisters have
Sequel To The Three Widows Features: Justice Asiri, Ngozi Ezeonu, Queen Nwokoye, Oge Okoye, Zubby Michael, Rukaya The primitive culture of Maguda kingdom is affecting the princes'