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this day in history 1975

Parliament session first broadcast live

Fans of men in suits talking and going ‘here, here’, rejoice! Today, in 1975 was the first time ever in the very, very, very long history of the British parliament that proceedings were broadcast live. Microphones had been installed in the chamber since the 1950’s, but MPs had resisted their little chats being inflicted on the nation, as their passion and excitement might have stirred up the emotions of the general public to uncontainable levels.

But, in the mid 1970’s, due to the distractions of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and punk rock, the atmosphere was considered tranquil enough to attempt a live broadcast. For a month, the BBC and Independent Radio News featured debates and speeches, kicking off with Secretary of State for Industry Tony Benn, who was the first minister to be questioned on air. This trial only lasted a month, then it took several more years before radio, and eventually television, continually showcased the wild happenings in Westminster.