The British Broadcasting Century with Paul Kerensa

Major Arthur Corbett-Smith: Reith’s Rival

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Episode notes

Episode 68 and STILL in March 1923 - March 26th to be precise, as Major Arthur Corbett-Smith is hired to be the 5th Cardiff station director in about as many weeks. It's not going well there...

...Corbett-Smith to the rescue? Trouble is, he's a little divisive. Some say he's the greatest gift to broadcasting (well, he does - he wrote his memoir in the third person), others say he's best out of the BBC (Reith, some newspaper correspondents).

Listen - make your own mind up.

To help you decide, two fab guests - Shakespeare-on-the-air expert DR ANDREA SMITH of the University of Suffolk (as Corbett-Smith aimed to be first to broadcast all his complete works) and GARETH GWYNN (writer of sitcom The Ministry of Happiness, all about Corbett-Smith and Cardiff 5WA).

Plus the first National Anthem on the BBC... the first time signals... and an early Newcastle station director so popular that when he moved to Bournemouth, Geordies bought more powerful radio sets just to hear him from the south coast.


  • Original music is by Will Farmer.
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