Arthur Burrows (radio broadcaster)

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Arthur Richard Burrows (1882-1947) (A. R. Burrows or "Uncle Arthur" as he was known to listeners) was one of the earliest employees of the British Broadcasting Company and was the first to hold the position of Director of Programmes. Burrows was previously a journalist and also a keen wireless enthusiast. Prior to joining the BBC he was in charge of the original experimental transmissions from Marconi House, the first 2LO station.

Arthur Burrows was a man of several British broadcasting 'firsts':

  • At 6pm on 14 November 1922, he read the BBC's first-ever, on-air news bulletin.[1]
  • At 5pm on 24 December 1922, he played Father Christmas in the play 'The Truth About Father Christmas' - considered to be the first official broadcast of a radio drama.
  • He was one of the original BBC 'Uncles' ('Uncle Arthur'), the first London wireless Uncle on Children's Hour.

Burrows began his career on the Oxford Times newspaper, obtaining the post through the editor Claude Rippon. Burrows knew Rippon through the Oxford Camera Club; both were keen photographers.[2]


  1. ^ "About BBC news". BBC. Retrieved Nov 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Giles Hudson, “Uncle Arthur’s Photography: Arthur Richard Burrows (1882-1947) and the Oxford Camera Club”, Matters Photographical (15 Nov 2012)[1]
  • BBC Programme Records 1922-1926.
  • BBC Year Book 1930.
  • The Story of Broadcasting, A.R. Burrows, 1924.