March 2021

dock10 celebrates ten years since its first live broadcast

A revolution in UK broadcasting began in 2011, as MediaCityUK opened with a fresh new attitude that was to change the way television and radio was made. Ten years on, we look back at the first live broadcast from the dock10 studios in Salford on March 18, 2011.

The broadcast was a special edition of Radio 4's Woman's Hour for Comic Relief, presented by Jenni Murray with comedians Jo Caulfield, Katy Brand, Susan Calman and Justin Moorhouse. Jenni Murray, fresh from performing 'Stands Up Comic Relief' at the Comedy Store in London, opened the live broadcast with words from her stand-up routine, "Yo me homies".

Looking back on the first broadcast, Justin Moorhouse said: "Media City was quite sparse compared to now, everything smelt fresh, it must've been what it's like for the Queen every day she visits somewhere. I remember being very excited about the day, meeting Jenni Murray and visiting the brand-new studios was a double delight; the audience and indeed the line-up were predominantly female - a good thing obviously. I was very excited and privileged to be a part of the history of MediaCityUK."

As that first live radio broadcast was happening, the first television programme was also being made at dock10 studios. This was the gameshow Don't Scare the Hare, presented by Jason Bradbury. "It was like a ghost town," Jason recently said of his memories of MediaCityUK at the time. "It was lots of glass, lots of concrete, lots of building, and then little pockets of offices that were occupied. But there was no television. There weren't camera people going around. There wasn't a hubbub in the cafes and so on. There was nothing outside. It was just a really enormous studio that we filled with this exotic kind of Alice in Wonderland. But to be part of the first ever show at MediaCityUK was an honour!"

Andy Waters, Head of Studios, has seen dock10 grow and thrive over the last ten years. "The broadcast industry was sceptical about the move to Salford," Andy recalls. "But now we are an internationally recognised media hub used by broadcasters and production companies from all around the world. I don't know anywhere else that brings together so many creative people from so many different organisations to create so much radio and television content on a single site. And with a regular influx of media students, it's wonderful to see the next generation of talent learning their tradecraft here. It's been a privilege to have been part of such a successful decade at dock10, and I'm looking forward to the next ten years.”