Sunday 3 January 1988

…All the Christmas decorations came down today.
Needles from the tree went everywhere – we should have worn special clothes
to protect us, as I kept finding them in my jumper hours afterwards.
The house is now empty of all festive things.
It is rather sad.
The BBC revealed itself to the public this evening in a programme called
See For Yourself.
I did…

This was the first of the Beeb’s big John Birt-inspired look-at-how-awfully-accountable-we-are escapades, and I remember it being fantastically exciting. What’s not to like about a couple of hours on a Sunday night going behind the scenes at Auntie?

There are no clips from 1988’s See For Yourself on YouTube, but I thought I’d include this sequence from the 1989 edition as it:
a) features Sue Lawley at the peak of her powers as Mrs BBC, and
b) spends an enormously impressive few minutes following Sue as she walks through a sequence of BBC sets, beginning with Top of the Pops (in whose environs she leaves a bemused-looking DG Michael Checkland and Chairman Marmaduke Hussey) and including ‘Allo ‘Allo, Bread, Grandstand (“from hockey to horse racing… it’s comparatively cheap too!”) and Crimewatch.

We also learn that: “This sofa is a good example of the BBC’s economy… it’s subsequently been refurbished for Jimmy Savile in his latest Fix It series!”

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