One of the places we visited when we went to London for my birthday last year was BBC Broadcasting House. I didn't even know they did tours of the iconic building until Jane wrote all about her trip there last year but it looked like a really interesting and fun thing to do so I booked tickets for the Saturday of our trip (which was my birthday itself). We're big fans of the BBC2 programme W1A as well (the one which sends up the Beeb) so half of me was fully expecting to see the whole place looking exactly like it does on the show.
The tour isn't too expensive, £13.75 for an adult tickets and the tours last about an hour and a half. The first thing we had to do was find our way there, I had initially planned to get a bus to Piccadilly and walk up Regent Street but what with still being on crutches, that wasn't really an option. Luckily I worked out a bus route that took us directly alongside Broadcasting House and then all we had to do was find our way in (which was actually harder than we thought, the entrance for the tours was a bit hidden with no signs).
One we'd checked in, the waiting area was on the same floor as the news studio and weather presenting area. Being a Saturday in December, it was fairly quiet and there wasn't anything particularly newsworthy happening although we did get to see presenter Stav Danaos doing the weather forecast (cold and chilly was the prediction).
The tour is quite good, you get to see inside The One Show's studio (it's tiny!) and the BBC Radio Theatre (I now want to go and watch a show there) plus there's a couple of audience participation bits: you get to put together your own news and weather broadcast and take part in a radio show.
Our favourite bit though was being taken in through what used to be the main entrance, full of art deco lights and fittings and heaps of history. Me and Andrew even got to see behind the scenes a bit as at one point in the tour you have to go up a flight of steps to get to the next floor; with crutches it was far easier to use the lift and the very helpful lady running the tour took us up in that, except she stopped at the wrong floor and we ended up trawling through offices (which looked no different to any other office elsewhere in the UK).
What was also interesting was all the little titbits and anecdotes about the building, for example the coffee shop opposite The One Show studio is actually owned by Costa but they're not allowed to have any branding on display (due to product placement rules) and when they were installed, the lifts inside the main entrance to the building were the fastest lifts in London.
All in all, an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. Other BBC buildings around the UK also do tours so if it's something you fancy, it's worth checking out their website. I noticed that BBC Bristol do tours so I think me and Andrew will have to investigate that at some point!
Update 26/7/16: I've been informed that as of 30th April 2016, the Broadcasting House tour is no longer running. There's lots of other tours around other BBC buildings though so pop over to the BBC Tours page to take a look.