1984 in British television

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This is a list of British television related events from 1984.


  • 4 January – Pat Phoenix leaves Coronation Street for the second and final time as Elsie Tanner goes to live with old flame Bill Gregory in Portugal, having been in the show since its inception in 1960.
  • 16 January – "The Satellite Channel" is renamed "Sky Channel".
  • 30 January – The BBC's Panorama documentary strand broadcasts "Maggie's Militant Tendency" which claims links between several Conservative MPs and far-right organisations both in Britain and Europe. Two of the MPs named, Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth subsequently sue the BBC for slander. In 1986 after the BBC withdraws from the case Hamilton is awarded £20,000 damages.[1]
  • 14 February – An estimated 24 million viewers watch Torvill and Dean win Gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics skating to Ravel's Boléro.
  • 16 March – Peter Davison's last serial as the Fifth Doctor in Doctor Who, 'The Caves of Androzani', finished; Colin Baker became the Sixth Doctor in the same episode.
  • 15 April – Comedian Tommy Cooper dies from a heart attack on live television at the age of 63 during Live From Her Majesty's.
  • 7 June – BBC1 airs the first edition of Crimewatch. The first case to be featured on the show is the murder of Colette Aram, which had occurred the previous year. A man is finally charged with the murder in 2009,[2] and sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2010 after pleading guilty.[3]
  • 23 June – ITV broadcasts the rock concert New Brighton Rock recorded at the event staged in the seaside resort of New Brighton, Merseyside over two days on 21 and 22 May.
  • 28 July – The 1984 Summer Olympics begin in Los Angeles.
  • 27 August – Technicians at Thames Television walk out on strike over the use of new cameras and editing equipment along with overtime payments for transmission staff. The strike lasts for two weeks but the station is off the air for just one day over the August Bank Holiday weekend.[4] Management and administration staff take over their roles, broadcasting a skeleton service.[5]
  • 1 September – The Children's Channel launched on satellite television.
  • 4 September – The Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends television series is first broadcast on ITV.
  • 23 September – British single TV drama play Threads premiered on BBC2.
  • 8 October – The Australian soap Prisoner: Cell Block H makes its British television debut when Yorkshire Television becomes the first ITV region to begin airing the programme in a late night slot. It is followed by most other ITV regions in 1987.
  • 15 October – Channel 4's output increases by 25%. The weekday schedules now begin at 2.30pm instead of 5:00pm, while weekend airtime starts at 1:00pm rather than 2:00pm.
  • 16 October – The Bill, a police TV drama, airs for the first time on ITV. It debuted last year as a pilot show Wooden Top.[6] When the last episode is shown in 2010 it will be the longest-running police procedural in British television history.
  • 23 October – BBC News newsreader Michael Buerk gives powerful commentary of the famine in Ethiopia which has already claimed thousands of lives and reportedly has the potential to kill as many as 7million people.
  • Unknown – Telstar TV, the UK's first pirate television station goes on air in Birmingham. The channel broadcasts for about eight weeks on the BBC2 transmitter in the Northfield and Rubery areas of the city, showing a mixture of films and pop videos after BBC2 closes at weekends. It goes unnoticed by the authorities for several weeks much to their embarrassment.[7]





Television shows[edit]






Ending this year[edit]




  1. ^ Wilson, Jamie (22 December 1999). "Who will listen to his story now?". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Man remanded in 1983 death case". BBC News. 9 April 2009. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Man sentenced to life for 1983 murder of Colette Aramref". BBC News. 25 January 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Thames strike caption (27 August 1984)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  5. ^ Cherry, S. ITV: The People's Channel, Reynolds and Hearn, 2005, p196
  6. ^ "The Bill". tv.com. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  7. ^ Minto, Veronica (19 February 1984). "Britain's First Pirate TV Station". West Indian World (650) (Freespace.virgin.net). Retrieved 19 February 2012.