First edition of Panorama

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History on 11th November


End of the First World War

Britains 1st New Town

Work starts on the Manchester Ship Canal

First edition of Panorama

The 11th of November 1953 AD

For more than 50 years Panorama has been the flagship of BBC Current Affairs, albeit a flagship occasionally steered into quiet backwaters by certain executives who think more than an hour of serious TV could kill audience numbers (and audiences).
The programme had a less than auspicious start: a tape was played backwards, taking the hoped for gloss off the debut on Wednesday November 11 1953.
Over the decades Panorama has put out many memorable episodes. To the dismay of some it broadcast the famous spaghetti trees April 1st hoax in 1957, Richard Dimbleby its most famous presenter keeping a straight face throughout. In the British media way his son David went on to present the programme two decades later; other anchors for it over the years include David Vine, Robin Day , and Robert Kee.
The programme’s revelations about Scientology scored large audiences, but the greatest to date was for the (in)famous interview of Princess Diana by Martin Bashir put out on November 20 1995 when she made the famous claim: “There were three of us in this marriage,” referring to Prince Charles ’s relationship with the then Camilla Parker-Bowles , when nearly 23 million viewers tuned in.

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It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. - Charles Dickens
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On this day:
Saxon King Edmund martyred by the Vikings - 0869, Battle of Quiberon Bay - 1759, Nuremberg Trials begin - 1945, Snowdonia designated a National Park - 1951, Windsor Castle is damaged by fire - 1992, Diana Admits Adultery - 1995, Judith Keppel Who wants to be a Millionaire Winner - 2000
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