Simon Armitage’s poem celebrating 100 years of the BBC released with moving star-studded video  

The Poet Laureate and University of Leeds Professor of Poetry’s centenary poem, Transmission Report, was broadcast on The One Show.  

After Simon read the first lines, a host of famous faces helped to deliver the specially commissioned composition, inspired by 100 years of the BBC.  

Jodie Whittaker, Professor Brian Cox, Huw Edwards, Craig Revel Horwood, Romesh Ranganathan, the stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, Sir Michael Palin, Zoe Ball, Dame Mary Berry and more featured, accompanied by composer Patrick Pearson and the BBC’s Concert Orchestra.  

Transmission Report is set to be displayed on a floor to ceiling panel in the reception of BBC Broadcasting House, London, from this week until the end of the year. 

To watch the video, visit the BBC website.

Read Transmission Report in full below.

Transmission Report 

It’s the year two thousand and twenty two  

on planet Earth, apparently, and I’m careering  

through time and space, careening  

between galaxies, scanning the frequencies.  

The weather is mostly cosmic drizzle,  

and the media mostly celestial drivel,  

but for a century now I’ve picked up a station  

called ‘the BBC’. And despite occasional   


have experienced  

deep vibrations  

in my brain cells, tear ducts and funny bones.  

As a bonus,  

it annoys the hell out of tyrants and moguls.  

But what is it, this BBC, this corporation  

with nothing to flog, this soul of the nation?  

If there’s some world order it’s trying to favour  

then it’s a complete failure:  

just recently I learnt all there is to know  

about the sex life  

of the natterjack toad,  

then witnessed war,  

then considered the meaning of meaning of life,  

then deep-dived beneath Antarctic ice.  

Then watched a pride of lionesses  

make a football stadium’s grassy plain  

its natural terrain.  

Above gridlocked airwaves  

and channels jammed with cross-talk and static  

I set my clock and steer  

by a signal that pulses keen and measured and   


Simon Armitage