Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameSir George Reginald BARNES
Birth1904
Death1960
SpouseDorothy Ann BOND
Birth1905
Death1983
FatherHenry BOND LLD (1853-1938)
Notes for Sir George Reginald BARNES
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Sir George Reginald Barnes (1904–1960) was a British broadcasting executive, who was a station Controller of both BBC Radio and later BBC Television in the 1940s and 1950s. After spells at the Royal Naval Colleges in Osborne and later Dartmouth, he attended King's College, Cambridge, from 1922 to 1927, before he returned to Dartmouth to be a Master at the school there.

However, this proved not to be a permanent career for Barnes, and after a short spell at the Cambridge University Press he joined the BBC in 1935 as a Producer in the Talks Department. He produced talks with several high-profile figures, including in 1937 producing what is now the only record of author Virginia Woolf’s voice in the ‘Craftsmanship’ edition of Words Fail Me series, broadcast on 29 April 1937. The same year he produced four talks by William Butler Yeats.

In 1946 he was promoted to be the first ever Controller of the new BBC Radio station, the Third Programme, which still exists today in the form of BBC Radio 3, as it was renamed in 1967. He held this position for four years before in October 1950 becoming the Director of BBC Television. His appointment caused the resignation of the Controller of Programmes, Norman Collins, who disagreed with a man whose background was in sound broadcasting being appointed as his superior in the television service.

It was under his tenure as Director that interest in television exploded, particularly with the screening of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Drawing an audience of an estimated 20 million British and 300 million worldwide viewers — an unprecedented viewership — the Coronation broadcast, when viewed later by the Queen, caused her to knight Barnes on the spot at the BBC's Lime Grove Studios. Television coverage was now nationwide, although in 1955 the service was faced with the prospect of competition for the first time when the rival ITV network was launched.

Barnes retired from broadcasting in 1956, becoming Principal of the University College of North Staffordshire, now Keele University. He died in 1960, at the age of fifty-six, leaving a wife, Anne, and their son Anthony.
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