1993 in British television
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This is a list of British television related events from 1993.
- 1 January – Carlton Television takes over the ITV based in London of weekday franchise at 00:00 GMT replacing Thames Television after 25-years such: Meridian Broadcasting takes over the South of England franchise from Television South, Westcountry Television takes over the South West England franchise from Television South West, Good Morning Television takes over the breakfast television franchise from TV-am and Teletext Ltd takes over the teletext franchises from ORACLE.
- 1 January – The ITC removes the limit on the value of prizes which can be given away on ITV game shows in the UK (set at £6000 per episode since 1981), paving the way for the big money game shows of the late 1990s and 2000s.
- 4 January – John Birt succeeds Sir Michael Checkland as Director-General of the BBC.
- 27 February – "Boiling Point", an episode of the BBC medical drama series Casualty, is met with great controversy and outrage after it depicts rioting youths setting fire to a hospital's accident and emergency department. The Corporation receives over 700 complaints about the violent nature of the episode, despite showing it after the watershed (at 9:30pm) and warning viewers accordingly. However, the episode achieves viewing figures of 17.02 million - the highest for the show at the time.
- 6 March – An IRA bomb scare at BBC Television Centre means that the live Saturday night programme Noel's House Party cannot be shown. Instead, after a repeat of the previous year's Noel's Christmas Presents, host Noel Edmonds is forced to introduce a Tom and Jerry cartoon in its place, The Zoot Cat.
- 3 April – The 1993 Grand National is declared void after 30 of the 39 runners begin the race, and carry on despite there having been a false start.
- 4 April - Children's BBC begin to repeat the children's drama series Grange Hill from its first series in 1978, on Sunday mornings on BBC2, as part of the show's 15th anniversary celebrations. These repeats end in 1999 with series 16.
- 13 April - A new look is introduced across all of the BBC's television news bulletins, with a studio that is almost entirely computer-generated and features a cut-glass model of the Corporation's coat of arms.
- 17 April - Arena presents a new 4 part series "Tales of Rock 'N' Roll" on BBC2 looking at the story of 4 rock songs of how they came about and the history behind them and who and what they involved. Starting with Peggy Sue who was tracked down in Sacramento, California to be found running her own drain-clearing company Rapid Rooter and then to be taken back to Lubbock, Texas to recall how she knew Buddy Holly and how her marriage to drummer Jerry Allison turned out. Heartbreak Hotel where the song came to be written after the 2 songwriters discovered an article about a suicide in a hotel in Miami after reading about it in the Miami Herald. Walk On The Wild Side looks at all the characters that were involved in the song and how Lou Reed used to spend time at Andy Warhol's studio where they all did (Holly Woodlawn & Joe Dallesandro were the only ones still around to tell the tale) and Highway 61 Revisited which looked at Bob Dylan's roots and everything that was connected with U.S. Route 61. The series ran for 4 weeks on Saturday nights on 17, 24 April & 1 May, 8 May.
- 16 May – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone appear as guests on the ITV chat show Aspel & Company. The edition is later censured by the Independent Television Commission because the actors were promoting their joint business venture Planet Hollywood.
- 22 May – Stars in Their Eyes returns with a new presenter. Matthew Kelly takes on the role from Leslie Crowther, who is still recovering from head injuries received in a car crash the previous year.
- 4 June – When Roy Hattersley fails to appear for that day's edition of Have I Got News for You — the third time he has cancelled at the last minute — he is replaced with a tub of lard (credited as "The Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP"), as it is "imbued with much the same qualities and liable to give a similar performance".
- 28 June – Channel 4 airs the last programmes produced for the ITV Schools strand. However, the channel continues to produce its own schools programming for several years afterwards.
- 9 July – BBC1 airs the final episode of Eldorado. The soap was axed due to poor ratings.
- 24 July – The fourth series of ITV's Stars in Their Eyes concludes with the programme's first live Grand Final, enabling viewers to vote for their favourite act. The series is won by Jacquii Cann, performing as Alison Moyet.
- July - Rugrats begins airing on Children's BBC on Sunday mornings on BBC2.
- 1 September – Sky Multichannels launches in the UK. CMT UK, Challenge TV, Nickelodeon UK, and UK Living launch.
- 17 September - TNT and Cartoon Network launches in the UK.
- 1 October – QVC UK launches in the United Kingdom, becoming the UK's first home shopping channel. The channel had originally launched in the United States in 1986.
- 20 October – Kirsty Wark debuts as anchor on BBC2's Newsnight.
- 20 October – The ITC issues Channel 4 with a formal warning for an episode of the soap Brookside aired on 7 and 8 May, which depicted a wife stabbing her abusive husband to death.
- 2 November – Prime Minister John Major announces a review of the 1988 broadcasting ban, telling the House of Commons that broadcasters are stretching it "to the limit and perhaps beyond".
- 8 November – The first TV advert for an undertaker's is broadcast during an early evening episode of Scottish soap opera Take the High Road on ITV.
- 16 November – Patsy Palmer makes her EastEnders debut as long-running character Bianca Jackson.
- 20 November – Leslie Crowther makes his first television appearance since his accident on The Royal Variety Performance, appearing alongside Cilla Black.
- 23 November – 30th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who in the UK.
- 26–27 November – BBC 1 airs the two-part Doctor Who special Dimensions in Time, a crossover with EastEnders. The episode is part of the 1993 Children in Need telethon, and the first Doctor Who episode to be televised since the series ended in December 1989.
- 9 December – Peter Sissons hosts his last edition of Question Time, having chaired the political debate programme since 1989.
- 23 December – BBC 2 broadcasts the Arena special "Radio Night", an ambitious simulcast with BBC Radio 4.
- 25 December – Channel 4 airs its first "Alternative Christmas message". The broadcast features a contemporary, often controversial celebrity, delivering a message in the manner of The Queen. The first alternative message is delivered by Quentin Crisp.
- 30 December – Episodes of Emmerdale featuring the controversial plane crash storyline begin airing on ITV. The storyline was developed to win higher ratings for the series, which was threatened with cancellation due to low viewing figures. However, although it succeeded in turning around the fortunes of the series, ITV received many complaints about the timing of the story which came shortly after the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie Disaster.
- 31 December – BBC2 airs the first Hootenanny, an annual New Year's Eve music show hosted by Jools Holland.
- December – The Marcopolo 1 satellite is sold to Sweden's Nordic Satellite AB and renamed Sirius 1.
- 3 January – Breakfast with Frost (1993–2005)
- 6 January – The Animals of Farthing Wood (1993–1995)
- 27 January – The Detectives (1993–1997)
- 11 March – Chef! (1993–1996)
- Run the Risk (1993–1998)
- 2 October – Live & Kicking (1993–2001)
- 19 October - Children's Hospital (1993-2003)
- 18 November – Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–1999)
- 4 June – One Foot in the Past (1993–2000)
- 26 December - The Wrong Trousers (1993)
- 27 December – Shooting Stars (1993–1997, 2002, 2008–2011)
- 1 January – GMTV (1993–2010)
- 3 January – Tots TV (1993–1998)
- 5 January – Doctor Finlay (1993–1996)
- 8 January – ZZZap! (1993–2001)
- 23 January – Saturday Disney (1993–1998)
- 17 February - Mr. Bean in Room 426
- 10 May – Peak Practice (1993–2002)
- 6 September –
- 27 September – Cracker (1993–1996, 2006)
- 30 December – Jo Brand Through the Cakehole (1993–1996)
Changes of network affiliation
|Shows||Moved from||Moved to|
|Ulysses 31||BBC1||Channel 4|
Returning this year after a break of one year or longer
- Watch with Mother (1946–1973) (1987, 1989, 1993 VHS Only)
- Celebrity Squares (1975–1979, 1993–1996, 2003)
- Come Dancing (1949–1998)
- Panorama (1953–present)
- Take Your Pick (1955–1968, 1992–1998)
- What the Papers Say (1956–2008)
- The Sky at Night (1957–present)
- Blue Peter (1958–present)
- Grandstand (1958–2007)
- Coronation Street (1960–present)
- Songs of Praise (1961–present)
- World in Action (1963–1998)
- Top of the Pops (1964–2006)
- Match of the Day (1964–present)
- Mr. and Mrs. (1964–1999)
- Call My Bluff (1965–2005)
- Jackanory (1965–1996, 2006–present)
- The Money Programme (1966–present)
- Emmerdale (1972–present)
- Newsround (1972–present)
- Last of the Summer Wine (1973–2010)
- That's Life! (1973–1994)
- Wish You Were Here...? (1974–2003)
- Arena (1975–present)
- Jim'll Fix It (1975–1994)
- One Man and His Dog (1976–present)
- Grange Hill (1978–2008)
- The Paul Daniels Magic Show (1979–1994)
- Antiques Roadshow (1979–present).
- Question Time (1979–present)
- Children in Need (1980–present)
- Timewatch (1982–present)
- Brookside (1982–2003)
- Countdown (1982–present)
- Right to Reply (1982–2001)
- Spitting Image (1984–1996)
- The Bill (1984–2010)
- EastEnders (1985–present)
- The Cook Report (1985–1998)
- Crosswits (1985–1998)
- Telly Addicts (1985–1998)
- Comic Relief (1985–present)
- Beadle's About (1986–1996)
- The Chart Show (1986–1998, 2008–2009)
- Casualty (1986–present)
- Lovejoy (1986–1994)
- Allsorts (1987–1995)
- Going for Gold (1987–1996, 2008–2009)
- The Time, The Place (1987–1996)
- Chain Letters (1987–1997)
- ChuckleVision (1987–2009)
- You Bet! (1988–1997)
- Playdays (1988–1997)
- London's Burning (1988–2002)
- On the Record (1988–2002)
- Fifteen to One (1988–2003)
- This Morning (1988–present)
- Birds of a Feather (1989–1998, 2014–present)
- A Bit of Fry & Laurie (1989–1995)
- Desmond's (1989–1994)
- The Simpsons (1989–present)
- Waiting for God (1990–1994)
- Mr. Bean (1990–1995)
- The Crystal Maze (1990–1995)
- Keeping Up Appearances (1990–1995)
- Turnabout (1990–1996)
- The Upper Hand (1990–1996)
- Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–1998)
- Stars in Their Eyes (1990–2006)
- Big Break (1991–2002)
- 2point4 Children (1991–1999)
- The House of Eliott (1991–1994)
- Clarissa Explains It All (1991–1994)
- Doug (1991–1994, 1996–1999)
- Rugrats (1991–2004)
- The Ren and Stimpy Show (1991–1996)
- The Brittas Empire (1991–1997)
- Bottom (1991–1995)
- Soldier Soldier (1991–1997)
- Noel's House Party (1991–1999)
- GamesMaster (1992–1998)
- Heartbeat (1992–2010)
- Men Behaving Badly (1992–1998)
- The Big Breakfast (1992–2002)
- 999 (1992–2003)
Ending this year
- Blockbusters (1983–1993, 1994–95, 1997, 2000–01, 2012)
- TV-am (1983–1993)
- First Tuesday (1983–1993)
- Highway (1983–1993)
- Busman's Holiday (1985–1993)
- Every Second Counts (1986–1993)
- Going Live! (1987–1993)
- Watching (1987–1993)
- Count Duckula (1988–1993)
- You Rang, M'Lord? (1988–1993)
- I, Lovett (1989–1993)
- Absolutely (1989–1993)
- KYTV (1989–1993)
- Press Gang (1989–1993)
- The $64,000 Question (1990–1993)
- Jeeves and Wooster (1990–1993)
- Families (1990–1993)
- The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993)
- Spider (1991–1993)
- Spender (1991–1993)
- Eldorado (1992–1993)
- Funnybones (1992–1993)
- Grace & Favour (1992–1993)
- The Good Guys (1992–1993)
- Joshua Jones (1992–1993)
- 18 February – Jacqueline Hill, 63, actress
- 10 June – Les Dawson, 62, comedian
- 20 September – Leonard Parkin, 64, newsreader
- "Aspel & Company [16/05/93]". British Film Institute. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- "Michael Aspel's revenge on the autocuties". Daily Mail (Daily Mail and General Trust). 17 September 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- "UK Game Shows entry on HIGNFY". Ukgameshows.com. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Channel 4 is given formal warning over murder scene". The Independent. 21 October 1993. Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- Borrill, Rachel; Foley, Michael (3 November 1993). "Major seeks review of ban on NI terror group interviews". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Trust). p. 6.