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.
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
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