The BBC played a special role in society and was distinct because of its status as a public service corporation; its nature and purpose were intimately bound to the idea of the nation and rooted in its history of projecting and preserving national culture. From its founding in 1922 until its monopoly was broken in 1954, the BBC was the central site in Britain where national identity was produced, projected and contested. The BBC's national networks, the pre-war National Programme and the post-war Light Programme, reached nearly every corner of the British Isles. Empire programmes reminded Britons of their shared heritage and destiny. The BBC continues to serve the national interests at all points, throughout the wide range of every diverse activity and the enjoyment which broadcasting can reflect and rouse. It remains responsible for overseas services, which broadcast to the world on behalf of Britain.
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