No photography

I do a fair bit of freelance work for the BBC, so I’m often in Bush House and other buildings. While there I sometimes spot things of interest, such as a display case containing Alistair Cooke’s typewriter.

And, this being the digital age, I take photos of the things I see and post them to Flickr.

Well it seems the BBC, dedicated though it is to the provision of information to the world and having ‘nation speaking peace unto nation’, is rather less happy about people seeing what goes on inside its buildings. There is, I’ve been told – only eight months after the event – a general prohibition on taking photos inside or of any BBC building without written permission from facilities management or whatever they call the people who look after the buildings.

This doesn’t seem to have inhibited the BBC Pool on Flickr or stopped some important people posting cameraphone photos –  but I’ve been asked by the man who organised displays to take down my pics of the Cooke typewriter and, since he arranged the display, I have done so.

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7 Responses to No photography

  1. Hey Bill,

    I’m a big fan of your Blog on the BBC site and I was just wondering where I can find your flikr site.


  2. David Mery says:


    These restrictions could be related to the current paranoia about ‘hostile reconnaissance’ – See

    br -d

  3. Thanks for this post – given that there is an internal BBC photo competition that uses Flickr and the BBC is encouraging people to use Flickr more and more this seems strange.

    What made me laugh though is that it ties to a big change that I’ve been speaking to friends about.

    Where before you’d have to ask the organ grinder for his permission to do something – now you ask the organ grinder, get the go ahead and are stopped by the monkey.

  4. bill says:

    I’ve added my Flickr site to the list on the right – it’s at


  5. Thanks Bill. Some excellent snaps. I wish i’d seen it a few weeks ago;the NY to Boston $15 bus would have saved me a fortune!

  6. Gordon Joly says:

    The BBC situation reminds me of the problems of photography on the London Underground. It appears that since early 2006, all photography on “the Tube” is now banned. But not many people know that.

  7. Jem says:

    As a BBC employee and a contributor to the BBC Flickr group/pool then i understand you expressing surprise at this policy.

    For those who want to read the policy at source then its actually published here as part of a range of personnel documents released as part of the FOI.

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