BBC stars lend voices to Simon Armitage poem to mark broadcaster’s centenary

Stars of Doctor Who, Line Of Duty and Strictly Come Dancing have all lent their voices to the reading of a poem by the Poet Laureate to mark the BBC’s centenary.

A host of famous faces from across the BBC have made cameo appearances in a new video recording of the poem by Simon Armitage, titled Transmission Report.

The video released by the BBC on Monday features Armitage and celebrities including Jodie Whittaker, Professor Brian Cox, Craig Revel Horwood, Romesh Ranganathan and Adrian Dunbar.

Lines by Armitage describe the BBC as “the soul of the nation” and sending a “measured and clear signal” throughout its 100 years.

“Above gridlocked airwaves and channels jammed with cross-talk and static, I set my clock and steer by a signal that pulses keen and measured and clear,” the poet writes.

The video is accompanied by composer Patrick Pearson and The BBC’s Concert Orchestra.

Other familiar faces include stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK Krystal Versace, Ella Vaday and Kitty Scott-Claus, as well as Ross Kemp, Chris Packham, Sir Michael Palin and Dame Mary Berry.

BBC broadcasters Huw Edwards and Clive Myrie also make appearances, along with colleagues including Fiona Bruce, Zoe Ball and Alex Scott.

The BBC is also marking its centenary by renaming The One Show – for one week – to The 100 Show.

Speaking on The 100 Show about the poem, Armitage said he had wanted people to think about “what the (UK) broadcasting landscape would look like without the BBC”.

“It’s become a family member for a lot of people,” he said.

“I didn’t intend at the time that the poem would be spoken by all these names and faces but watching it, you can wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have them in our living rooms.”

He added: “I’m just trying to say to people that the intellectual and artistic and emotional life of this country would be much poorer without the BBC.”