Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01A War Footing20180108

Ed Stourton describes how the BBC adapted to being on a war footing.

The BBC is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also the story of Britain's people.

Writer and presenter Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for.

In this first episode, Ed describes how the BBC adapted to being on a war footing, the boredom of the Phoney War and the experiences of reporters sent to France.

These were the years when Auntie (the BBC's enduring nickname) earned a reputation for bossiness. It was also a period of remarkable voices - Churchill's fighting speeches de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, George Orwell, Ed Murrow, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn.

During these extraordinary times, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as a reliable purveyor of the truth.

Auntie's War is more than a portrait of an institution at a critical time, it is also a portrayal of the British in wartime and an insight into why we have our broadcast culture today.

Read by Edward Stourton
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

02Wartime Propaganda20180109

and relaying less than truthful information to the enemy.

The BBC is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also the story of Britain's people.

Writer and presenter Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for.

In this second episode, Ed investigates propaganda, coded messages sent across Europe, and relaying less than truthful information to the enemy.

These were the years when Auntie (the BBC's enduring nickname) earned a reputation for bossiness. It was also a period of remarkable voices - Churchill's fighting speeches de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, George Orwell, Ed Murrow, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn.

During these extraordinary times, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as a reliable purveyor of the truth.

Auntie's War is more than a portrait of an institution at a critical time, it is also a portrayal of the British in wartime and an insight into why we have our broadcast culture today.

Read by Edward Stourton
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

03Remarkable Voices20180110

Ed Stourton on the French and Americans broadcasting from Britain.

The BBC is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also the story of Britain's people.

Writer and presenter Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for.

In episode three, General de Gaulle rallies the French from London and US journalists arrive to report the Blitz.

These were the years when Auntie (the BBC's enduring nickname) earned a reputation for bossiness. It was also a period of remarkable voices - Churchill's fighting speeches de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, George Orwell, Ed Murrow, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn.

During these extraordinary times, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as a reliable purveyor of the truth.

Auntie's War is more than a portrait of an institution at a critical time, it is also a portrayal of the British in wartime and an insight into why we have our broadcast culture today.

Read by Edward Stourton
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

04George Orwell20180111

joins the propaganda effort at the BBC. Written and read by Ed Stourton.

The BBC is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also the story of Britain's people.

Writer and presenter Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for.

Episode Four - Propaganda, truth and lies and the space between. George Orwell joins the BBC.

These were the years when Auntie (the BBC's enduring nickname) earned a reputation for bossiness. It was also a period of remarkable voices - Churchill's fighting speeches de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, George Orwell, Ed Murrow, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn.

During these extraordinary times, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as a reliable purveyor of the truth.

Auntie's War is more than a portrait of an institution at a critical time, it is also a portrayal of the British in wartime and an insight into why we have our broadcast culture today.

Read by Edward Stourton
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LASTEyewitness Reports20180112

Ed Stourton on the creation of the BBC's War Reporting Unit, and live dispatches on D-Day.

The BBC is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also the story of Britain's people.

Writer and presenter Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for.

In this final episode, the BBC's War Reporting Unit comes into being, and correspondent Guy Byam is parachuted behind enemy lines.

These were the years when Auntie (the BBC's enduring nickname) earned a reputation for bossiness. It was also a period of remarkable voices - Churchill's fighting speeches de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, George Orwell, Ed Murrow, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn.

During these extraordinary times, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as a reliable purveyor of the truth.

Auntie's War is more than a portrait of an institution at a critical time, it is also a portrayal of the British in wartime and an insight into why we have our broadcast culture today.

Read by Edward Stourton
Abridged by Anna Magnusson
Produced by Pippa Vaughan
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.