BBC Television Centre Closes Its Doors For The Last Time Following Pope's Easter Broadcast

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BBC TV CENTRE
The BBC has sold its iconic studio building for £200m | PA

BBC Television Centre closes its doors today after 53 years of history.

The Grade II listed building in west London has been a centre of creativity since it opened on June 29 1960.

The one-time home of Top of the Pops and Blue Peter has been sold for £200 million and will be made into a shops and offices complex that will include hotels, flats and a cinema.

The final event to go through the studio will be the pope's Urbi et Orbi address, which will use voiceover facilities today.

Approximately 3,500 BBC staff have moved to New Broadcasting House in central London, a transition that began in October last year.

But the TV Centre studios will be refurbished for leasing out to production companies, including the BBC, from 2014, when BBC Worldwide will consolidate their headquarters at the centre.

BBC Studios and Post Production will also return to Television Centre studios in 2015.

Pop group Madness paid a fond farewell to the building at White City with a concert there on March 22.

Front man Suggs told the crowd and hundreds of staff watching from office windows and balconies: "Goodbye Television Centre. I'm going to miss you."

The live concert was broadcast on BBC Four followed by a programme called Goodbye Television Centre, which was filmed a few days earlier.

In the pre-recorded show, BBC stars including Sir David Attenborough, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Ronnie Corbett and Sir David Jason said their goodbyes to the building.

The building brought decades of programming and created countless household names.

The programme looked at the nostalgic history created by the stars of the small screen, both on and off camera, since the 1960s.

The programme will be shown again on the same channel on Saturday at 10.30pm.

New BBC director general Tony Hall starts work at the corporation on Tuesday.

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