1939 in British television

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List of years in British television (table)

This is a list of British television related events from 1939.


  • 4 March – The BBC Television Service broadcasts one of the first plays to be written especially for television, Condemned To Be Shot by R. E. J. Brooke. The production is notable for the use of a camera as the first-person perspective of the play's unseen central character.
  • 27 March – The BBC Television Service broadcasts the entirety of Magyar Melody live from His Majesty's Theatre. The 175-minute broadcast is the first showing of a full-length musical on television.
  • 31 August – 18,999 television sets are sold in England before manufacture stops during the Second World War.
  • 1 September – The anticipated outbreak of war brings television broadcasting at the BBC Television Service to an end at 12:35 p.m. after the broadcast of a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Mickey's Gala Premiere and various sound and vision test signals. It is feared that the VHF waves of television would act as a perfect homing signal for guiding enemy bombers to central London: in any case, the engineers of the television service would be needed for the war effort, particularly for RADAR. The BBC Television Service would resume its broadcasting, with the same Mickey Mouse cartoon, after the war in 1946.


  • BBC Cricket (1939, 1946–1999, 2020–2024)

Television shows ending before the war[edit]


  • BBC Wimbledon (1927–1939, 1946–2024)



See also[edit]