BBC bosses denied a young David Attenborough a job and branded rocker David Bowie “devoid of personality”.
They turned down Sir David — now 95 and an iconic Beeb broadcaster — as a radio producer in 1952.
The naturalist’s handwritten application, stamped “rejected”, is to be shown next week in an exhibition of 100 objects to mark the BBC’s centenary.
Sir David did join the BBC full-time later that year, when in his mid-20s, and rose to become controller of BBC Two in 1965 before moving on to champion environmental causes through documentaries.
Among the other objects is a verdict from the “bespectacled men” of the Beeb’s Talent Selection Group on the late Bowie.
He auditioned to be on its radio playlist in 1965.
But they claimed the Ziggy Stardust legend, then aged 18, was “amateur-sounding” with a “not particularly exciting” voice.
Bowie, who died in 2016 at 69, performed a cover of Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins with his Lower Third band.
He went on to create 11 UK No 1 albums.
The exhibition is live on the Beeb site on Monday.
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