Indians to strike a chord at BBC anniversary celebrations

LONDON: Internationally renowned musicians, artists and journalists will help celebrate the 70th anniversary of BBC World Service next month.

The major special broadcasts in the week of the anniversary include:The World Service Global Party, on 15 December. This brings three hours of live entertainment and performances from musicians in India, Senegal, Great Britain, Afghanistan and Mexico. Trilok Gurtu and Ranjit Barot will play live in Mumbai.

There will also be a World Service 70th Birthday Lecture delivered by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan who answers questions from listeners around the world on 11 December to begin the fortnight of special programmes.

On 19 December, the actual birthday, BBC World Service will present the day's programmes live from Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Presenters Heather Payton Outlook and Ben Malor Africa Live will introduce 14 hours of programmes and read listeners' e-mails.

Once an hour A Day in the Life of the World will highlight people connected to the BBC worldwide, including an engineer who services a transmitter in the mid-Atlantic.

BBC World Service claims to now have a global audience of 150 million and an internet presence in 43 languages.

Other highlights in the fortnight of celebration include a special edition of Pick of the World; an extended Newshour with a daily in-depth interview with a key international figure; and new analysis of significant world events in From Our Own Correspondent by BBC correspondents who covered the stories at the time including Kate Adie, Mark Tully, Brian Barron and Mike Wooldridge.

This is London which airs throughout the week of Monday 16 December, examines key moments in the life of the World Service over the last 70 years.

Other programmes will explore the birth of the Empire Service (as the World Service then was); the story of the Arabic Service; the Cold War days; and the World Service since 9/11..

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