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03-28-2009, 03:17 AM

A script written by the BBC and the government to be broadcast in the event of a nuclear attack has been published.

The script, written in the 1970s and released by the National Archives, included instructions to "stay calm and stay in your own homes".

It said communications had been disrupted, and the number of casualties and extent of damage were not known.

Other papers reveal debates about how to ensure the person reading the script was authoritative and comforting.

The script was discussed from 1973 to 1975, during the Cold War.

'Voice of the BBC'

It was released along with letters between government departments and BBC executives.

The BBC had previously made some of the documents public under the Freedom of Information Act, but this is the first time they have been made widely available.

The Simpsons actor reads nuclear warning

In a letter from June 1974, Harold Greenwood from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications discussed who should read the announcement to give it an authoritative and comforting tone.

"During the Second World War we came to recognise the voices of Stuart Hibberd, Alvar Lidell and other main news readers," he wrote.

"I would expect that in the period of crisis preceding an attack a similar association of particular voices with the authoritative 'voice of the BBC' would develop."

Mr Greenwood said recorded announcements by an unfamiliar voice would not reassure listeners.

"Indeed, if an unfamiliar voice repeats the same announcement hour after hour for 12 hours, listeners may begin to suspect that they are listening to a machine set to switch on every hour... and that perhaps after all the BBC has been obliterated," he said.

Adding in live local commentary would reassure listeners they were not listening to a cassette recorder, the Cabinet Office said.

'Conserve water'

The script said: "This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known."

It instructed the public to turn off fuel supplies, ration food to last 14 days, and conserve water - with a warning not to waste it by flushing the lavatory.


BBC transcript to be used in wake of nuclear attack [12.17KB]
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There was nothing to be gained by trying to get away, it warned.

"By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger. If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection."

Those in a radioactive fall-out area were told to wait in a fall-out room until a siren sounded or the "all clear" message was given over the airwaves.

The announcement was intended to be repeated every couple of hours.

It has previously been revealed the BBC stockpiled entertainment programmes to boost public morale in the event of a war.

In the event of a nuclear attack, staff were told to stay in hiding for 14 days, when it would be safe to leave.

T-post Tom
03-28-2009, 05:27 AM
Something of that magnitude would require a special reading by an authoritative personality...


Adept Havelock
03-28-2009, 09:31 AM
They could just play this BBC production to calm the populace:

<embed id="VideoPlayback" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-2023790698427111488&hl=en&fs=true" style="width:400px;height:326px" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> </embed>

03-28-2009, 09:43 AM
They should let Ozzy Osborne read the announcement...

03-28-2009, 10:21 AM
They should let Ozzy Osborne read the announcement...

Yeah... if you can't dazzle them with the truth, baffle them with BS. By the time people figured out what he was saying, it would all be over anyway.

Hog's Gone Fishin
03-28-2009, 10:26 AM
They should let Ozzy Osborne read the announcement...

ROFL That would be hailarious!!!!

03-28-2009, 11:07 AM
cnn had a doomsday message too, i think they had an american flag waving, and the hymn they chose was 'nearer my god to thee'

03-28-2009, 12:52 PM
They need to have this playing in the background as they're reading it.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnHmskwqCCQ&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnHmskwqCCQ&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

03-28-2009, 12:55 PM
I think they made a song of this broadcast

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RTOQUnvI3CA&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RTOQUnvI3CA&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

03-28-2009, 03:03 PM
Too funny.

03-28-2009, 03:58 PM
I think I would have failed at organizing this. I would have gone with a humorous twist just to lighten the mood a little.

03-28-2009, 04:50 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VzXtyDYe2ig&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VzXtyDYe2ig&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>