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English Heritage calls for parts of BBC Television centre to be listed

English Heritage (EH) is calling on Margaret Hodge to list parts of the 1950s BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.

The organisation has urged the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport – who is expected to turn down calls for East London's Robin Hood Gardens estate to be listed tomorrow – to give areas within the Wood Lane complex, such as the Blue Peter garden, a Grade-II listing.

EH has also singled out other elements of the Graham Dawbarn-designed building for special heritage protection, including the scenery workshop, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling and rows of circular rooflights; the light and airy 1950s canteen; and the distinctive circular drum that houses offices and the main studios with its ‘dazzling mosaics’.

Peter Beacham, EH’s heritage protection director, said: ‘This building is not just architecturally important.

‘As one of the first purpose-built television studios in the world, it represents the moment when Britain led Europe into the television age. The BBC itself is an important part of our British identity and Television Centre has acquired an iconic presence.'

He added: ‘We know the BBC is rightly proud of its building and its heritage, and we are enthusiastically working with the organisation to make sure that marking Television Centre’s national importance will not affect its ability to adapt to changing technology or new uses.’

The building is expected to be at least part-vacated by the BBC in 2012, when most of the functions will be moved to Broadcasting House in central London.

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