• ABouT The book

    The personal record of the author’s journey to record the restoration of this iconic and much-loved site.

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    From October 2016 through to the re-opening this year some 200 photos were taken each month.

  • TIme line

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    2016 November

    Initial scouting for photo competition


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    2017 April

    End of Enabling Works

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    2017 May

    Start of Construction Phase

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    2018 August

    Official handback of site

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    2018 September 1

    BBC Prom

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    2018 September 3

    Book announcement

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    2018 December 1

    Opening night

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    2018 December 3

    Book launch

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    2019 September 25

    Final episode of this new Sky Arts series is all about the restoration of Alexandra Palace and I’m very proud to say includes a 2:30 feature on my photographic record.

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    2019 September 25

    Three years ago, I thought I was about to embark on a one-off visit to take candidate shots for the CIOB photography competition.


    Two years later I thought my involvement had reached a peak with the release of the book.


    A year on again and my work is being featured in a Sky Arts series.

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    2019 December 01

    A year on from the reopening I thought it about time to think about a second edition of the book.


    I admit the first edition although hopefully of amazing quality was expensive - and a big thank you to the many that still purchased copies.


    A few people fed back that the smaller photos were a bit small.


    There was little coverage of the Historic BBC Studios.


    And of course, only covered events up to the week prior to the opening.


    The new volume will be A4 soft back magazine style - still quality reproduction but hopefully coming in around £25 even though it will have roughly 1/3 as many new pages.


    And to redress the balance with detailed coverage of the BBC Studios - the virtual reality content has been ramped up with the inclusion of a fully renders VR model of the first-floor studios and galleries.


    I’ll pass on further details over the next few weeks.

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    2020 October 27

    Is it almost a year since my previous entry announcing the imminent release of a second edition of my book?


    For the delay all I can do is apologize.


    However, the good news is that the second edition is now complete and will be available to purchase via Blurb from Monday November 2, 2020.


    At this stage, the only other thing you need to know is that the hardback first edition will only be available to purchase until this coming Sunday - November 1.


    From Monday November 2, you will only be able to buy the new softback second edition.


    Over the remainder of this week I will be posting further updates and introducing you to the new layout and additional material of the second edition.


    Until tomorrow...

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    2020 October 28

    One of the first things that differentiates the second edition from the first are the page dimensions - being nearly twice the size of the original.


    This has allowed more space for the images with a color-coded notes section to the left.

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    2020 October 29

    The first edition finished just before the opening weekend celebrations in December 2018; the second edition extends the timeline to cover the opening weekend and opening night along with the tour that formed part of the Architectural Festival in June 2019.


    For the second edition Matt Somerville - FCBstudios Architect responsible for the restoration - has provided a further Perspective,


    And of course, my introduction has been extended to cover the inclusion of some of my images in the Sky Arts series, The Art of Architecture.

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    2020 October 30

    The pages dedicated to the restoration of The Historic BBC Studios have been given a different treatment - not only to show the boundary between old and new material but also to accommodate the different context in which we view the studios.


    The Victorian Theatre and The East Court to a degree have somehow been in suspended animation for the past eighty years.


    The Historic BBC Studios had been working studios for most of the first forty of those years.


    The books concentrates on the then and the now to set the context of the theatre and east court.


    While for The Historic BBC studios, it was about setting the BBCs tenure at Alexandra Palace within the context of a longer timeline stretching back from the Open University's use of the studios in the 1980's back to the trials of the Baird and Marconi-EMI equipment to decide which technology would eventually define not just the technology used in the first decades of television but also how the technologies of today have been determined by those pioneering days.


    And yet the history of the Southeast Wing of the palace stretches back another 60 years, with very little of the spaces that were repurposed as studios, control rooms and transmission halls still visible.


    Its comparable to evolution - places without function get mothballed - like the theatre. While spaces that remain in use do so because the evolve and change.

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    2020 October 31

    From Black and White to colour

    Over the past week I've been highlighting some of the differences between the original and the new edition of the book.


    Today I'll draw your attention to two of the more subtle evolutions in the new edition.


    A couple of days ago I mentioned the new edition is presented in full colour - including all the historical images of the BBC Studios, Control Rooms, Transmission Halls and corresponding images as they appeared before the BBC moved in.


    A significant part of the delay in publication has been due to the fast-moving development of Artificial Intelligence relating to automatic colourisation of images.


    Even now the images on this website are from a more recent development but I can guarantee you will not have seen images like these relating to Alexandra Palace ever before.


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    2020 October 31

    From Reality to Virtual Reality

    Hooefully if you purchased the first edition of the book and managed to decipher the cryptic implications of an AUgemented Reality (AR) App on the title page and if you scanned the image with the appthe fudrsising video for the Charitable Trust woul;d be played.


    Two years later AR has moved on.


    I was able to create a 3D model of the Southeast wing, covert it into a Virtual Reality tour complete with embedded video content.

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    2020 October 31

    Final Reminder

    Today is the last full day on which you can purchase the hardback first edition.


    Sometime tomorrow the second edition will go live and be available to purchase replacing the first edition.


    As soon as the book goes live, I will post pricing details along with a link to the book's page on Blurb.


    I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

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    2020 November 1

    Launch Announcement - Trick or Treat?

    I know it isn't November 2 yet, nor is it actually November.


    However, if you read this update sometime between now and Monday, the good news is that Restoration - Expanded second edition - is now available for ordering from the following link:




    Published Price: £28.19


    For the moment, as previously stated, the hardback first edition will remain available until sometime tomorrow - Sunday - afternoon.

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, images, updates...

    October 31, 2020
    The first edition had one major part of the project missing - the work on The Historic BBC Studios. At the time, it was felt that as the work on the studios had been halted at the end of the enabling works - the images might give a misleading impression - showing little more than what looked...
    October 29, 2020
    I will admit that the cost of the first edition was solely down to the choices I made to ensure it was the best format for the book - originally things wouldn't have been so bad if only there hadn't been the overheads of publishing in e-book format.   So, the second edition was always going to be...
    As announced last night, the second edition of Restoration will be published on Monday 2 November 2020 to coincide with the anniversary of the start of the world's first regular television service. If anyone wishes to purchase a copy of the hardback first edition, you have until Sunday evening...
  • The author

    Keith Armstrong


    Business Intelligence



    History of Television

    Science Fiction


    Born: Sunderland

    Lives: Borehamwood

  • reach out

    If you have questions regarding the book, the author or the restoration