The longest running series on television: Party political broadcasting in Britain

2019-04-11T10:47:42Z (GMT) by Simon Cross Dominic Wring
Introduced by the infant BBC radio service in 1924, Party Election Broadcasts first appeared on television during the 1951 national campaign. They soon established themselves as an enduring form of publicly subsidised campaigning in a country where paid electoral advertising is still prohibited. The chapter explores the evolution of this quintessentially British tradition and considers the innovative work and influence of film-makers, marketing experts and campaign consultants on the format. Although Broadcasts have become more like their American ‘spot’ cousins, they still retain distinctive qualities and continue to offer politicians a rare opportunity to directly address their electorate.