One Voice, Many Accents? The BBC and Empire After the Second World War

  • Gordon JohnstonEmail author
  • Emma Robertson


Against the backdrop of imperial retreat, Johnston and Robertson focus on the work of the General Overseas Service and how the BBC responded to nationalist and independence movements in the British Empire. Particular attention is given to the BBC’s changing relationship with British exiles and its (post)colonial listeners. Johnston and Robertson argue that in this febrile environment, the independence and autonomy of the BBC were challenged by former colonies and British governments alike. The complexity of the subsequent negotiations is explored by focusing on the BBC’s relations with four African states: Rhodesia, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana. Johnston and Robertson conclude with the important observation that many former British territories – Nigeria, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan – now have some of the highest percentages of regular BBC listeners.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.History Program, Department of Archaeology and HistoryLa Trobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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