The sound of the apocalypse would be soothing.
Whereas prophets and novelists tend to imagine Armageddon as noisy - earthquakes, looting and whatnot - for the BBC, it would sound like Peter Donaldson.
As documents declassified a few years ago revealed, he was the newsreader chosen to usher in the end of the world.
"This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons," he says, with velvet voice and perfect diction.
"Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house."
The broadcast adds a few more details.
Food must be conserved.
Water must be rationed ("It must not be used for flushing lavatories").
Even in the end times, the BBC would not countenance the word "toilet".
For many, this felt less unnerving than apposite.
The organisation, which turns 100 this month, had announced the start of the second world war and its end.
It had covered the liberation of Belsen and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Suez crisis and the Falklands war.
For 100 years, the BBC has parcelled up disaster and defeat, then distributed them, after the pips and before the weather forecast, to the British.
If Armageddon was to come, it felt right the BBC would announce it, probably after "The Archers", certainly in an rp accent.
It was not, in the beginning, obvious that this would be so.
The BBC was founded a century ago from pragmatism rather than idealism, the result of a lacklustre compromise to satisfy new radio companies (which thought they would flog more sets if people had programmes to listen to on them) and the General Post Office (which wanted to stop anyone from gaining a monopoly over the airwaves, but couldn't be bothered to oversee programmes itself).
So it was that on October 18th 1922, to the interest of almost no one, the British Broadcasting Company was born.
"Company" became "Corporation" in 1927.
Today the BBC tends to offer news as its main mission, spending ￡314m ($346m) a year on it.
But as David Hendy, a historian, explains in a new book, it was at first far less interested.
As one early BBC boss put it: "I didn't really care what was happening in Abyssinia."
By agreement with the newspapers, the BBC broadcast no bulletins before 7pm, to avoid competition.
But the BBC - which in its early days employed no journalists—hardly tried anyway.
"There is no news," ran one crisply conclusive bulletin in 1930, before returning to a broadcast of Wagner's "Parsifal".
Wagner wasn't mere filler.
Cultural betterment, not bulletins, was seen as the BBC's main mission.
William Haley, an early BBC chief, envisaged radio as a pyramid with popular programmes at its base and high culture at its apex.
The common man would be drawn in low and then, in a sort of audio purgatory, be purified by BBC programming until he achieved the blessed state of voluntarily enjoying Buxtehude.
Presenters in dinner jackets, their speech a lesson in itself, carefully followed strict pronunciation guides: "quad-rille" was to be pronounced with the accent on its last syllable; "phil-istine" on its first.