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What is BBC?
The British Broadcasting Corporation, almost always referred to by its abbreviation "the BBC", is the world's largest broadcaster. Unlike other broadcasters, it is a public service based quasi-autonomous statutory corporation run by the BBC Trust, which in turn is funded yearly by what is termed a "licence fee" from all UK residents (essentially a tax, but separate from the UK tax system), rather than being underwritten by the Government of the United Kingdom.
Today, it has bases or correspondents in more than 200 countries and, as officially surveyed, is available to more than 274 million households, though also possibly far more individual persons and groups than surveys can gather, and it is the oldest surviving entity of its kind and is more widely known internationally than any other news organization. The BBC's reach is significantly more than CNN's estimated 200 million.
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.