Cover Story: The Radio Times at 90

The outbreaks of war and peace, man landing on the Moon and royal coronations have all graced the cover of TV and radio listings magazine The Radio Times.

07.05.1937 Coronation issue
07.05.1937 Coronation issue

And so have much anticipated episodes of Only Fools and Horses and Eastenders.

Cover Story: Radio Times at 90 is a free exhibition at the Museum of London, which will celebrate some of the most poignant covers published by the magazine.

07.07.1966 World Cup Issue
07.07.1966 World Cup Issue

It’s a chance to see the evolution of the title’s art direction and the changing styles of commissioned work by artists, illustrators and photographers.

07.04.1973 Mick Jagger
07.04.1973 Mick Jagger

Moreover it’s a great barometer of social history, in terms of the popularity of different programmes.

23.10.26 Television Number
23.10.26 Television Number

If visitors have the inclination they can have their photo taken with ‘a genuine life-size Dalek’ according to The Museum of London, which wants to give people the chance to re-create the ‘Vote Dalek’ Radio Times cover of 2005.

This was voted the most iconic cover of all time in the Periodical Publishers Association’s Great Cover Debate of 2008.

30.04.05 Vote Dalek edition
30.04.05 Vote Dalek edition

You can also discover the eerie original1941 Luftwaffe Stadtplan von London, which is as sinister as it sounds, and orders the bombing of Radio Times’ Water Towers printing plant in Park Royal London alongside other landmarks.

28.9.23 The very first edition
28.9.23 The very first edition

Radio Times staff had been moved there at the start of WWII alongside staff from BBC magazine The Listener. It became a Nazi air-raid target in the war on propaganda.

17.12.88 Christmas edition - the best selling in the title's history
17.12.88 Christmas edition – the best selling in the title’s history

The Radio Times was first published in 1923 and is now owned by Immediate Media Co and claims 900,000 weekly sales. Most people buy a copy during that great festival of lethargy, Christmas.

21.12.23 Christmas edition. The Christmas edition is consistently the best selling every year
21.12.23 Christmas edition. The Christmas edition is consistently the best selling every year

Cover Story: Radio Times at 90 is free and runs from 2 August – 3 November 2013 at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2

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