1937 in British television

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List of years in British television (table)

This is a list of events related to British television in 1937.


  • 6 February – The BBC Television Service drops the Baird system in favour of the Marconi-EMI 405 lines system.
  • 12 May – The BBC use their outside broadcast unit for the first time, to televise the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. A fragment of this broadcast is one of the earliest surviving examples of British television – filmed off-screen at home by an engineer with an 8 mm cine camera. A short section of this footage was used in a programme during the week of the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and this latter programme survives in the BBC's archives.
  • 14 May – The BBC Television Service broadcasts a thirty-minute excerpt of Twelfth Night, the first known instance of a Shakespeare play on television. Among the cast is Greer Garson. Peggy Ashcroft appeared in a 1939 telecast of the entire play.
  • 18 June – Broadcast of the Agatha Christie play Wasp's Nest, the only instance of Christie adapting one of her works for television, a medium she later came to dislike.
  • 21 June – Wimbledon Championships (tennis) first shown on the BBC Television Service.
  • 11 November – The BBC Television Service broadcasts an adaptation of the World War I-set play Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff, starring Reginald Tate as Stanhope. Shown in commemoration of Armistice Day, it is the first time that a whole evening's programming has been given over to a single play.
  • 31 December – 2,121 television sets have been sold in England.


Television shows[edit]