The Daleks are coming: Museum of London to open Radio Times show

By Culture24 Reporter | 20 June 2013

The Museum of London will showcase a "who's who of British broadcasting" in an exhibition marking 90 years of classic Radio Times covers.

A photo of a magazine cover showing a robot
Radio Times, Vote Dalek (April 30 2005)© Radio Times
EastEnders, Tony Hancock, The Goon Show and Only Fools and Horses will be among the high-profile subjects of show which will also feature an exclusive Doctor Who display starring a life-size Dalek set against Westminster Bridge – a recreation of the 2005 cover declared the most iconic of all time in the Periodical Publishers Association's Great Cover Debate.

Ben Preston, the magazine’s current editor, said collaborating with the museum had been a “fantastic” opportunity to look back on “unforgettable” designs.

“To flick through the covers of Radio Times over the past 90 years is to watch a popular history of Britain unfold,” he reflected.

“Royal weddings, Coronations, the outbreak of war and peace, moon landings and a victorious World Cup, household names and stars born - all have graced the cover.

“No other magazine can rival Radio Times for showcasing the work of some of the nation’s finest artists and photographers.”

As much a timeline of broadcasting history as a salute to the stars, the exhibition charts the phenomenal advances made since the BBC’s first radio transmission, told through archive clips, artefacts and original photos and artwork.

They include an original Luftwaffe map of London, from 1941, plotting the Radio Times’ Waterlows printing plant as a Nazi air-raid target.

Sharon Ament, the museum’s Director, called the show “rather splendid” and “totally apt”.

“No sitting room was without this magazine – it was a weekly ritual to pore over its pages,” she observed.

“At the museum we tell the story of the world’s greatest city and its people, and it is Londoners who have led the way as both the producers and consumers of broadcast media.

“Now the Radio Times has a significant presence in another sort of living room – that of a vibrant and buzzing museum. I can’t wait for it to open.”

  • Cover Story: Radio Times at 90 runs from August 2 – November 3 2013.
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