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In his first Christmas Message (1932), King George V characterised the service as intended for "men and women, so cut off by the snow, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them"."Don't expect too much in the early days; for some time we shall transmit comparatively simple programmes, to give the best chance of intelligible reception and provide evidence as to the type of material most suitable for the service in each zone.The programmes will neither be very interesting nor very good." This address was read out five times as the BBC broadcast it live to different parts of the world.The building also contains an integrated newsroom used by the international World Service, the international television channel BBC World News, the domestic television and radio BBC News bulletins, the BBC News Channel and BBC Online.
Broadcasts in Dutch, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese and Malay stopped for similar reasons.
On 25 October 2005, the BBC announced that broadcasts in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai would end by March 2006, to finance the launch in 2007 of television news-services in Arabic and Persian.
The controller of BBC World Service English is Mary Hockaday.
and aimed principally at English-speakers across the British Empire.
George Orwell broadcast many news bulletins on the Eastern Service during World War II.
By the end of the 1940s the number of broadcast languages had expanded and reception had improved, following the opening of a relay in modern-day Malaysia and of the Limassol relay in Cyprus in 1957.
On 3 January 1938 the first foreign-language service was launched - in Arabic.
Programmes in German started on 29 March 1938, and by the end of 1942 the BBC had started broadcasts in all major European languages.
However, following the explosion of a parachute mine nearby on 8 December 1940, it relocated to premises away from the likely target of Broadcasting House.
The BBC World Service encompasses an English 24-hour global radio network and separate services in 27 other languages.