Tomorrows World Essay Competition

Formed in 2006, the Center for Future Global Leaders (CFGL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow through educational attainment and character development. 

CFGL believes that providing access to quality educational opportunities to young people of all economic and social backgrounds and fostering good character development are the key means to shaping the youth of today to become future leaders who will make lasting contributions to all sectors of society from business to government, from law to medicine, from politics to religion, from public service to the arts.

CFGL strives to achieve its stated goal by providing educational opportunities, including the sponsorship of educational programs and scholarships. More specifically, CFGL provides support to educational and leadership organizations and programs around the world, sponsors international academic competitions, funds academic scholarships, and provides mentoring programs to students and their families.

For other uses, see Tomorrow's World (disambiguation).

Tomorrow's World
GenreFactual, Science & Technology
Created byGlyn Jones
Directed byStuart McDonald
Presented byNumerous (see Presenters)
Theme music composerJohn Dankworth
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes1,399
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Max Morgan-Witts
  • Michael Latham
  • Michael Blakstad
  • Richard Reisz
  • Dana Purvis
  • Saul Nasse
Producer(s)
Release
Original networkBBC1
Original release7 July 1965 (1965-07-07) – 16 July 2003 (2003-07-16)
Chronology
Related showsThe Tomorrow's World Roadshow
External links
Website

Tomorrow's World was a long-running BBC television series on new developments in science and technology. First transmitted on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. The Tomorrow's World title was revived in 2017 as an umbrella brand for BBC science programming.[1][2]

Content[edit]

Tomorrow's World was created by Glyn Jones to fill a half-hour slot in the 1965 BBC summer schedule. Jones and his wife conceived the show's name the night before the Radio Times went to press.[3] In its early days the show was edited by Max Morgan-Witts and hosted by veteran broadcaster and former Spitfire pilot Raymond Baxter. For some years it had an instrumental theme tune composed and performed by John Dankworth. During the 1970s the programme attracted 10 million viewers per week.

The programme was usually broadcast live, and as a result saw the occasional failure of its technology demonstrations. For example, during a demonstration of a new kind of car jack that required much less effort to operate, the jack disintegrated. Pressing on in the face of such adversity became a rite of passage, both for new presenters on the show and for the young assistant producers whose job it was to find the stories and make sure this kind of setback did not happen.

Sometimes, however, the liveness gave an added dimension of immediacy to the technology, such as inventors personally demonstrating flame-proof clothing and bullet-proof vests while the presenters looked on. Sometimes it was the presenter who acted as test dummy.

Tomorrow's World also frequently ran exhibitions, called "Tomorrow's World Live", often based in Earls Court, London. These offered the general public the chance to see at first hand a variety of brand new, pioneering inventions, as well as a selection from that year's show. The presenters, by this time Peter Snow and Philippa Forrester, also ran an hour-long interactive presentation within.

The show was also occasionally parodied, for example by Not The Nine O'Clock News, which featured demonstrations of such inventions as a telephone ring notification device for the deaf – powered by a microprocessor looking like a "Shreddie", and later by the second series of Look Around You.

Presenters[edit]

Raymond Baxter was noted for pointing out features of the inventions with military precision using his Parker pen ("as you will see: here, here and here"). He left the show in 1977 after a difference of opinion with new young editor Michael Blakstad, who referred to him in a press interview as "the last of the dinosaurs".[4]

Other presenters included:

The idiosyncratic Bob Symes showcased smaller inventions in dramatised vignettes with themes such as Bob Goes Golfing. These often presented challenges for film directors with which he worked when a close-up was required as Symes's own invention-related exploits in the workshop had resulted in him losing parts of several fingers. It was hard to find a finger that did not look too gruesome to show on screen. Other regular features included Whatever Happened To ..., picking up on the oft-levelled criticism of the show that a significant number of inventions seemingly were never heard of again.[citation needed]

Technologies introduced[edit]

In many cases the show offered the British public its first chance to see key technologies that subsequently became commonplace, notably:

Perhaps the best-remembered item in the programme's history was the introduction of the compact disc in 1981, when presenter Kieran Prendiville demonstrated the disc's supposed indestructibility by scratching the surface of a Bee Gees CD with a stone. The show also gave the first British TV exposure to the group Kraftwerk, who performed their then-forthcoming single "Autobahn" as part of an item about the use of technology in musicmaking. Another programme concerning new technology for television and stage lighting featured The Tremeloes and the Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd.

Offbeat aspects[edit]

Featured inventions that did not change our lives included a fold-up car that fitted into a suitcase, numerous gadgets such as a miracle chopping board for the kitchen, and collapsible knives and forks. Members of the public frequently sent in their ideas.[citation needed]

Final years[edit]

By the late 1990s, the live studio demonstrations were dropped in favour of purely pre-recorded items. The final series, presented by Adam Hart-Davis, Kate Humble and Roger Black, attempted to revert to the original live format of the show, even using a remix of one of the theme tunes used during its more successful years, but ratings continued to fall, and with only three million viewers in the last series the BBC decided to axe the show. At the time they said that they would produce a number of science special editions under the Tomorrow's World "brand" from time to time. The "Tomorrow's World Roadshow" appeared in 2004 with Gareth Jones (co-host of CITV's How 2) and Katie Knapman taking the helm as the last presenters of a show bearing the Tomorrow's World name, before a partial return to television in 2007.

Virtually all the 1970s and early 1980s episodes only survive in their complete form because a viewer recorded many episodes on an early video recorder (a Philips N1500) and made his tapes available for copying during the early 1990s.[citation needed]

For the 1000th episode, a commemorative CD was produced by Nimbus Records. It contained four audio tracks of the various theme tunes from the 60s, 70s, 80s and the 90s. 1000 copies were made and were given away in a competition. The CD was notable as being the first holographic audio compact disc ever made.

On Monday 14 September 2009 the BBC made some clips and episodes available online.[6][7]

In the United States, episodes of the series aired on the cable channelTechTV between 2001–2003.

The Prince of Wales Award for Industrial Innovation and Production[edit]

At the end of each series, the Prince of Wales gave an award or awards for superlative inventions.

Revival of the brand[edit]

At the start of 2007 the BBC announced that the Tomorrow's World brand would be used on science and technology news reports across the BBC's TV, radio and internet services, including a blog. The Tomorrow's World name returned to television screens on 8 January 2007 as part of the BBC's news coverage on BBC Breakfast, hosted by Maggie Philbin and as a blog on the BBC News website.[8] In August 2007, it was reported that Michael Mosley, director of development at the BBC's science wing, had pitched the concept of resurrecting the format to BBC commissioners.[9]

In May 2017, the BBC announced it was launching a year of science and technology under the Tomorrow's World banner. Its purpose is to "seek to address how science is changing peoples' lives, reshaping the world, and rewriting the future of healthcare".[1]

Science Channel Reboot[edit]

In May, 2018, Science Channel will premiere a new version of the show called Tomorrow's World Today[10]. The show will explore sustainability, technology, new ideas and worldwide concepts around innovation. Julian Taylor serves as executive producer and the program will feature Tamara Krinsky as co-host and discovery reporter.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

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