The last voice you’d hear in a nuclear war

The BBC Wartime Broadcasting Service (WTBS) is a  little-known piece of Cold War history that would have been for many the last human voice they heard after a nuclear attack on the UK.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron!

Iain started work for the BBC in 1988 and due to the pressure on training space, was trained in the nuclear bunker at BBC Wood Norton.

After training he went to Broadcasting House in London where he first encountered some of the technical infrastructure the WTBS would use. Iain did a spell in the main control room and recalls the red phone which was the link from Whitehall to initiate the BBC War Book.

Over time Iain has collected knowledge on all aspects of the WTBS and he shares details of where it would have been broadcast from, what would have been heard, and who, in the event of an attack, would have descended into the bunkers to broadcast it.

Iain also delivers a talk on the subject. There are more details on this link.

Hack Green Nuclear bunker that has a preserved BBC studio (as seen in our episode cover)

The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.

Just go to

If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, We also welcome one-off donations via the same link.

Cover photo taken at

Previous UK Civil Defence episodes

How Cold War Britain Prepared for Nuclear War

Cold War leaflets and documents

Assigned to a government bunker

Visit to a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post and interview with the Chief Observer who served in the post

Alistair McCann who has preserved a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post as a museum in Northern Ireland.

Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to

Support the project!

Follow us on Twitter