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Moon Landing (BBC)

1 9 6 9 (UK)

BBC television coverage of man’s first landing on the Moon consisted of 27 hours of coverage over a ten-day period. The programmes titled Apollo 11 were broadcast from Lime Grove Studios in London.

The BBC2 sections were broadcast in colour and the BBC1 sections in black and white (full colour television in the United Kingdom being a few months away). The main presenter was Cliff Michelmore, with James Burke and Patrick Moore concentrating on scientific and technical explanations and analysis.

In America, Michael Charlton reported live from Cape Kennedy and Mission Control in Houston.

The London studio set of Apollo 11 consisted of “a long, angled desk, large models of the Moon and the Earth, and a large picture of a rocket. On the front of the desk was a digital clock which counted down the time to lift-off etc.

Film animations and models of various parts of the spacecraft helped explain certain stages of the journey.

The actual night of the Moon landing on Sunday/Monday, 20/21 July was also historic for British TV, as it was the first all-night broadcast on British television, with both BBC1 and ITV remaining on air for 11 hours from 11.30 pm on 20 July to 10.30 am the following morning.