The BBC’s epic mistakes after dismissing David Bowie and Sir David Attenborough before fame


Early in their careers Sir David Attenborough and David Bowie were denied jobs at the BBC

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David Bowie discusses the potential of the Internet in 1999

The BBC rejected both Sir David Attenborough and David Bowie for jobs before they were famous, it has been revealed.

The 95-year-old broadcaster David was turned down by the company in 1952 as a radio producer.

His candidacy from nearly 70 years ago, which was stamped with a rejection stamp, is due next week in an exhibition of 100 objects to mark the BBC’s 100th anniversary.

But although he didn’t get a job in 1952, he got one the following year.

In his mid-twenties, he got his first job at the BBC, then rose through the ranks to become a BBC Two controller in 1965 before supporting environmental causes through documentaries.

Other items will also be on display at the exhibit, including the BBC Talent Selection Group verdict criticizing the late David Bowie.

David Attenborough was initially kicked out of the BBC


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The singer auditioned for the radio playlist in 1965, but was quickly rejected.

He was only 18 at the time and was considered by the BBC as “amateur” with a “not particularly exciting” voice.

At the time, he performed a cover of Chim Chim Cher-ee by Mary Poppins with his group Lower Third.

But despite this small setback, he went on to create 11 UK No.1 albums before passing away at the age of 69 in 2016.

A job application from Lord Reith, when he was “33” when he applied to become the BBC’s first managing director in 1922, will also be one of the items on display.

That will be his newspaper confession from the time he confessed that he knew nothing about broadcasting.

He is now a national treasure


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David Bowie sent a sample to the BBC when he was 18


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A 1930s newspaper clipping shows how the BBC was inundated with applications from around the world when it announced it was employing its very first TV presenter.

The rental proposition of Roy Plomley’s iconic Desert Island records in the 1940s is involved.

The idea has become a long-standing aspect of the Radio 4 show.

One of the more recent items is from the 1990s and is Colin Firth’s iconic white shirt from Pride and Prejudice when he played Mr. Darcy.

The articles will be divided between the ten decades surrounding five general themes.

The themes are: ‘the technology that changed our lives’, ‘the programs that brought us together’, ‘Iconic and British’, ‘a diverse and changing Britain’ and ‘opening up a wider world’.

It was reported by The Telegraph that Robert Seatter, responsible for the history of the BBC, said: “The BBC is much more varied, rich, diverse and indeed it reflects the history of all of us. It is this amplification of social history.

“We’re all a part of it. That’s what we’re trying to give back: to see the history of the BBC as the history of Britain.”

The exhibition will be live on the BBC website on Monday, January 3, which will include 100 objects to celebrate the company’s 100 years.

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