The British Broadcasting Corporation, almost always referred to by its abbreviation "the BBC", is the world's largest broadcaster.Incorporated in the United Kingdom by government charter, it employs 28,500 people in the country alone and has an annual budget of more than £4 billion.The BBC is a quasi-autonomous statutory corporation as a public service broadcaster and is run by the BBC Trust; it is, per its charter, supposed to "be free from both political and commercial influence and answer only to its viewers and listeners". In addition to being the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, BBC Newsgathering is the largest news system through its regional offices, foreign correspondents and agreements with other news services.
The BBC reaches more than 200 countries and is available to more than 274 million households, significantly more than CNN's (its nearest competitor) estimated 200 million. Its radio services broadcast on a wide variety of wavelengths, making them available to many regions of the world. It broadcasts news - by radio or over the Internet - in some 33 languages.
The BBC was the first national broadcasting organisation and was founded on 18 October 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd; It was subsequently granted a Royal Charter and was made a publicly funded corporation in 1927. The corporation produces programmes and information services, broadcasting globally on television, radio, and the Internet. The stated mission of the BBC is "to inform, educate and entertain" (as laid down by Parliament in the BBC Charter) its motto is "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation".
The BBC's domestic programming is primarily funded by levying television licence fees (under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949), although money is also raised through commercial activities such as sale of merchandise and programming. The BBC World Service, however, is funded through a grant-in-aid by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As part of the BBC Charter, the Corporation cannot show commercial advertising on any services in the United Kingdom (television, radio, or internet). Outside the United Kingdom the BBC broadcasts commercially funded channels such as BBC America, BBC Canada, and BBC World News. In order to justify the licence fee, the BBC is expected to produce a number of high-rating shows in addition to programmes that commercial broadcasters would not normally broadcast.
Older domestic UK audiences often refer to the BBC as "the Beeb", a nickname originally dubbed by Peter Sellers in The Goon Show in the 1950s, when he referred to the "Beeb Beeb Ceeb". It was then borrowed, shortened and popularised by Kenny Everett. Another nickname, now less commonly used, is "Auntie", said to originate from the old-fashioned "Auntie knows best" attitude, (but possibly a sly reference to the 'aunties' and 'uncles' who were presenters of children's programmes in early days) in the days when John Reith, the BBC's founder, was in charge. The two nicknames have also been used together as "Auntie Beeb" and Auntie has been used in outtakes programmes such as Auntie's Bloomers.