As the BBC approaches its centenary, BBC Cymru Wales opens its new headquarters to the public as it begins a programme of public tours. To mark the opening, King Charles III and the Queen Consort (then the The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall) visited the site and were given a tour of the broadcasting facilities. While on their tour of Central Square, King Charles III (The Prince of Wales) met sports presenter Catrin Heledd on the set of Scrum V, some of the presenters of BBC Wales Today including weather presenters Derek Brockway and Sabrina Lee before recording an extract from Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood from the Dylan Thomas radio studio with actors Owen Teale and Alexandria Riley.
On 13 February 1923 at 5pm, BBC broadcasting in Wales began when the British Broadcasting Company - as it then was - opened its Cardiff station. That first broadcast took place in Castle Street, Cardiff when Mostyn Thomas sang the famous ballad Dafydd y Garreg Wen. BBC Cymru Wales relocated to Central Square during 2020 from Broadcasting House in Llandaff.
Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC
Being able to welcome the public into Central Square is a special moment in a hugely significant year for the BBC – and we’re thrilled that The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall [King Charles III and the Queen Consort] could mark the occasion with us. I’m really excited that, from today, audiences will be able to experience this fantastic new broadcast centre and see for themselves the extraordinary capacity and potential it has to deliver for audiences in Wales and elsewhere."
Behind the scenes
Groups can join their guides for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of BBC Cymru Wales’ broadcasting centre at Central Square. Your clients can visit the state-of-the-art news, sport and radio studios to discover the secrets of making BBC programmes. As a working broadcast building, no two tours are the same, but they’ll always be informative, interesting and fun. At the BBC’s newest studios, designed by award-winning architects Foster + Partners, groups will:
• visit one of the largest BBC newsrooms, packed with cutting-edge technology including augmented reality, virtual reality and robotic cameras;
• take a sneak peek at TV galleries and other broadcast facilities.
• discounted group admission rates;
• maximum groups size is 20 but larger groups can be divided across two or more time slots;
• a 90min guided tour with knowledgeable guides who share insider insights and little-known facts. Shorter tours may be available on request;
• exclusive access to the broadcast centre and a chance to visit places that can only be seen on a BBC Tour;
• a choice of tour slots available Thursday to Sunday to suit your itinerary;
• easy drop-off and pick-up points for coaches;
• city centre location directly opposite Cardiff Central train station, with excellent transport links;
• tours available in English, Welsh and British Sign Language interpreted (BSL);
• a choice of bars, cafés and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets right on the doorstep.
Advance booking is essential by contacting +44 (0)29 2087 8444.
Tours of Central Square are available between Thursday and Sunday with further information available at bbc.co.uk/tours.