THE National Media Museum is to close its Experience TV attraction and transform the space into a new £1.8 million gallery exploring the science of light and sound.

Called Wonderlab, the gallery is due to open in spring, 2017, housing around 20 state-of-the-art interactive exhibits.

A museum spokesman said: "At its heart will be intriguing scientific principles that can be directly experienced, leading visitors to observe, question, experiment and see the world they live in a little bit differently."

Experience TV will close on August 30, for work on the new facility to begin. The museum is offering ‘last chance to see’ tours of Experience TV, which has been telling the story of the past, present and future of television since 2006.

The gallery's exhibits include John Logie Baird’s apparatus, which successfully transmitted the first television picture in 1925; cameras from the birth of the television studio at Alexandra Palace; television receivers spanning the history of TV; and groundbreaking recording technologies like the Phonovision, the Ampex VR1000 and early video recorders. The TV Production Zone includes a newsreader desk, where visitors can 'read the news', a TV studio set and vision mixer.

All the historic objects currently on display in Experience TV will be retained in the Museum’s collection, and there are plans for a selection to be displayed elsewhere in the building. Key objects will be permanently included in the £5m ‘Treasures Galleries’ - the second stage of the museum’s masterplan for refurbishing its galleries, after Wonderlab. Treasures Galleries will showcase the world-firsts and other significant items from the museum’s photography, cinematography and television collections.

Guided tours of Experience TV begin on Monday, running daily until the end of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, director of the National Media Museum, said: “Experience TV has been a fantastic gallery so I urge as many people as possible to come along to these tours before it closes. From September we will be focusing our energy on its imminent transformation into the new Wonderlab gallery, and beyond that, how our museum will continue to tell television’s amazing story as part of our mission to bring to life the science and culture of light and sound technologies.”

Ellie Groom, Curator of Television and Broadcast added: “Before we start work on the new £1.8m gallery we will be paying tribute to the wonderful job Experience TV has done over the past 10 years.

“The gallery will be open as usual until August 30, and we’ve also organised a series of guided tours inviting visitors to find out more about the stories behind some of the amazing television technology we have, as well as giving the buttons, cameras and screens in our TV Production Zone one last workout. The tours are drop-in, so no need to book.”

Curator-led collections tours focusing on historic TV technology take place Monday to Friday, at 12noon from August 15-26 August and are suitable for visitors aged 10-plus. TV Production Zone tours, focusing on the hands-on studio displays, take place daily, including weekends, from August 15-29, at 3pm, for visitors aged seven-plus.

Following the immediate closure of Experience TV, most objects on display will be available to see in Insight, the museum’s collections and research centre. Visits are free but should be booked in advance on 0844 856 3797.