BBC Security Department - 1970s

Currently waiting for a response from British Broadcasting Corporation, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

ROSSA MCPHILLIPS

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I have a question relating to BBC departmental structures in the 1970s. It relates to an incident where a BBC TV drama production in 1972 was suspected of leaking official secrets.

It has been confirmed that Room 105, on the first floor of Broadcasting House, London, was a sub-department of the Personnel Department, with responsibilities of liaising with the Security Service in order to vet BBC employees up from the 1930s until the 1990s. However, if a BBC TV show was suspected of inadvertently revealing official secrets, such as through a prop or storyline for example, what department, in 1972, would have the responsibility of handling such an enquiry?

My question specifically relates to the following incident; production crew, involved in the making of 'Doctor Who' in 1972, claimed that two men, reportedly from the Ministry of Defence, questioned them about a prop BBC Visual Effects had made of a nuclear submarine. The Ministry of Defence officials were concerned that the nuclear submarine prop was very close to a secret prototype being developed. The matter was swiftly resolved and no further action was taken at the time.

What was the procedure for such events? What departments within the BBC would be involved to investigate security concerns? In 1972, who specifically amongst BBC employees would be involved in such an investigation? Would Room 105 be involved in this?

Thank you in advance for your help. This is for a feature article I am writing.

Yours faithfully,

ROSSA MCPHILLIPS

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Rossa,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 28 April 2021. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20210705.

Kind regards,

Information Rights

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]

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