2008 in British television

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This is a list of events that took place in 2008 related to British television.

Events[edit]

Date Event
2 January ITV announces that it will move its Sunday episodes of Emmerdale and Coronation Street. From the week beginning 12 January Coronation Street will have an additional Friday episode while Emmerdale will air for an hour on Tuesdays.[1]
11 January ITV News at 10.30 is shown for the last time. News at Ten then replaces it from Mondays to Thursdays and ITV Late News on Fridays.
14 January News at Ten returns to ITV with Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham.[2] The programme will air four nights a week from Mondays to Thursdays, with an 11.00pm bulletin on Fridays.[3]
16 January Actress Leslie Ash wins a record £5 million out of court settlement from Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust after contracting a hospital acquired bug that left her partially paralysed while undergoing hospital treatment in 2004.[4]
22 January BBC Three has its identity relaunched, showcasing new shows such as Lily Allen and Friends.
23 January Konnie Huq presents her last episode of Blue Peter after over ten years, having become the longest-running female presenter and third longest-running overall in the shows' 50-year history.
31 January "Pretty Baby....", a unique episode of the soap opera EastEnders is broadcast, consisting of just one character (Dot Branning) with a single monologue in the form of a taped message to her husband. This 'one-hander' is a first in UK soap history.[5]
All the UKTV network channels such as UKTV Gold switch to widescreen.
6 February BBC announces that children's drama Grange Hill is to be axed after exactly 30 years on air.
7 February In an address to the Royal Television Society, the comedian Lenny Henry criticises the lack of ethnic diversity in the media.[6]
8 February After 22 years Neighbours is shown on BBC One for the last time.
11 February Australian soap opera Neighbours debuts in its new home on Five.
12 February The BBC Three "Blobs" are played out for the last time at 4 am. A new set of idents debuted the same day, this is the channels first ever rebrand since launching in early 2003.
18 February Natasha Kaplinsky makes her Five News debut as Britain's highest paid newsreader, on a reported annual salary of £1 million.[7]
20 February It is announced that music video channel The Hits will be replaced by 4Music later in the year.
25 February BBC One soap EastEnders is reprimanded by Ofcom for the level of violence in an episode aired in November 2007 which saw a gang attack on a pub. The scenes, which showed a sustained level of violence, were deemed to be inappropriate for a pre-watershed audience.[8]
27 February Launch of the black entertainment channel BET International.
7 March The MS Society criticises a recent The Bill plotline as "grossly irresponsible" after it featured a multiple sclerosis patient being told about a fictional treatment for the condition.[9]
10 March A blanket ban on filming in and around Stormont Castle is lifted when the restrictions on the presence of cameras in the building are lifted, thus allowing proceedings in the Northern Ireland Assembly to be televised.[10]
ITV2 signs a deal with social networking site Bebo, allowing some of the channel's content to be aired free online.[11]
12 March Overnight viewing figures indicate that the debut episode of the US TV series Bionic Woman, which aired on ITV2 on 11 March was watched by 2.2 million viewers, giving the channel its largest audience to date.[12]
15 March Launch of BBC One's I'd Do Anything, a search for actors to appear in the West End musical Oliver!. Three boys will be chosen to play Oliver Twist and an actress to play the role of Nancy.[13]
16 March Suzanne Shaw and skating partner Matt Evers win the third series of Dancing on Ice.[14]
19 March BBC Four attracts its highest ever ratings after broadcasting the one-off drama The Curse of Steptoe, with 1.41 million viewers.
21 March Dirty Sexy Money makes its debut airing in the UK and proves to be a popular hit for Channel 4.
24 March
(Easter Monday)
BBC Four broadcasts a revived, special two-hour long episode of the 1960s satire The Frost Report.[15]
26 March American Hit Dramedy, Desperate Housewives finally makes its Fourth season debut. The show was due to start in the first two weeks of January, but this was shelved due to the WGA Strike.
1 April Patsy Palmer returns to EastEnders as Bianca Jackson nine years after leaving the series.
15 April ITV has decided to drop the second episode of the nine-part US supernatural drama Pushing Daisies because it only has scheduling space to show eight episodes before the start of Euro 2008. The second episode was the only one considered not crucial to the storyline, but it will be shown when the series is repeated.[16]
21 April BBC News has a major relaunch with BBC News 24 becoming BBC News and BBC World becoming BBC World News. All the news programmes on BBC One and BBC Two have also had new looks including all regional news programmes.
26 April A report in The Sun suggests seven characters will be axed from Coronation Street over the coming months. Those departing include five members of the Morton family, who run the street's kebab shop, and Jack Ellis and Matthew Crompton, who play bookies Harry and Dan Mason.[17]
28 April Five Life is renamed to Fiver.
6 May Freesat officially launches. ITV HD launches its full service.
19 May Kix! was launched in the UK for the first time.
22 May Scotsport airs for the last time on Scottish television. By the time it ended it was recognised as the world's longest running sports television magazine.
24 May After Britain's entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest comes last, Sir Terry Wogan suggests he may step down as the BBC's Eurovision commentator because the contest is "no longer a music contest". Andy Abraham receives 14 points for the United Kingdom with "Even If", while the contest is won by Russia's Dima Bilan with "Believe", which scores 292 points. The result is partially due to the number of former Soviet states giving Russia the maximum 12 points, prompting Wogan to tell viewers that "Russia were going to be the political winners from the beginning" and to suggest "western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor".[18]
29 May It is announced that What the Papers Say, the second longest running programme on British television after Panorama, is to be axed by the BBC.
30 May Several newspapers report that George Galloway, MP has issued legal proceedings against The Bill for defamation after a storyline aired in November 2007 that featured a corrupt MP who smuggled antiques out of Iraq before the war, which Galloway alleges was a portrayal of him.[19][20][21]
31 May Jodie Prenger will play the role of Nancy in the West End musical Oliver! after winning BBC One's I'd Do Anything.[22]
Break dancer George Sampson wins the second series of Britain's Got Talent, netting a £100,000 prize and a chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance.[23]
3 June All Virgin Media channels including Bravo (also Bravo 2), Living (also Living2), Challenge, Trouble and Virgin 1 switch to widescreen.
4 June MTV UK and several other MTV Networks Europe channels are fined £255,000 by Ofcom for "widespread and persistent" breaches of the broadcasting code, including breaking the pre-watershed content ban.
5 June The Big Brother 9 launch night proves to be not as good as Channel 4 had hoped with the loss of around 1 million viewers who had watched the previous year's launch night
6 June Sharon Osbourne quits as a judge on the ITV series The X Factor shortly before filming is due to begin on a new series.[24]
7–29 June Euro 2008 are held in Austria and Switzerland.
9 June Channel 4 apologises after broadcasting an episode of The Simpsons that included the use of the word "wankers" at 6.00 pm on 15 April. The incident, blamed on an administrative error, led to 31 viewers complaining to Ofcom that such language was unacceptable at a time when children would be watching.[25]
10 June Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole is revealed as Sharon Osbourne's replacement as a judge on The X Factor.[26]
11 June Lee McQueen wins the fourth series of The Apprentice.[27]
17 June Comedian Joan Rivers is asked to leave the ITV afternoon talk show Loose Women after swearing live on air. She was removed during the commercial break, and said that she didn't realise the show was going out live and thought her comments would be bleeped.[28]
23 June An EastEnders storyline involving the live burial of a character that aired over Easter is criticised as "offensive" by Ofcom. The scenes, which saw Tanya Branning getting revenge against her unfaithful husband Max by drugging and burying him, attracted 116 complaints from viewers. Ofcom says the episodes had "a seriously disturbing element to them".[29]
5 July The finale of the fourth series of Doctor Who is watched by 9.4 million viewers, this is the first time since the series' revival in 2005 that Doctor Who has the largest audience share in its timeslot.
22 July BBC Two Controller Roly Keating is appointed as the BBC's first director of archive content. He will take up the role in the autumn.[30]
23 July Des O'Connor announces that he will step down as presenter of Countdown.[31]
Portland Enterprises, owners of Television X: The Fantasy Channel are fined £25,000 by Ofcom for broadcasting "highly explicit sex material" after showing an R18 rated adult film in June 2007, something that broke Ofcom rules on the broadcast of adult content.[32]
Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton is named as a temporary co-presenter of Richard & Judy, presenting the show alongside Richard Madeley for a few days while his wife, Judy Finnigan recovers from a knee operation.[33] Bunton is succeeded by Myleene Klass, who also takes on Finnegan's role for a few days.[34]
25 July Carol Vorderman announces that she will quit as host of Countdown, two days after Des O'Connor announced his intention to leave the programme. Vorderman's manager said that she did not think she could go through the process of bonding with another co-presenter.[35]
8–24 August 2008 Summer Olympics are held in China.
15 August The music video channel The Hits closes and is replaced by 4Music later the same day.
Griff Rhys Jones announced as the new presenter of It'll Be Alright on the Night for the first time since Denis Norden's retirement from the show in 2006 after almost 30 years.
22 August After seven years with Channel 4, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan present their last edition of Richard & Judy. They move to new subscription channel Watch in the Autumn.
31 August Sky One, Sky Two and Sky Three rebrands to Sky1, Sky2 and Sky3 respectively.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mayo, television writer Jimmy McGovern describes the BBC as "one of the most racist institutions in England" because of the lack of ethnic people in prominent positions. The BBC responds by saying it is "actively seeking and nurturing ethnic talents both on and off the air."[36]
1 September Selina Scott is suing Five for age discrimination, it is reported, after she was considered but overlooked as a temporary replacement for Five News presenter Natasha Kaplinsky during her maternity leave.[37]
5 September Rachel Rice wins series nine of Big Brother.[38]
8 September A report by the Scottish Broadcasting Commission recommends that up to £75 million of public funds should be used to create a high quality Scottish television channel.[39]
18 September BBC One screens its controversial documentary The Undercover Soldier that alleges instances of bullying in the British Army.[40][41] The show attracts relatively low ratings and the BBC is criticised by serving soldiers for the way the investigation was conducted.[42]
19 September BBC Alba, a Scottish Gaelic language digital television channel, is launched through a partnership between the BBC and MG Alba.
1 October BBC Four Controller Janice Hadlow is appointed Controller of BBC Two, replacing outgoing incumbent Roly Keating from November.[43]
6 October Five has its first major rebrand since 2002.
It is reported that an episode of Coronation Street in which the character Tony Gordon made a jibe about Glasgow Rangers was changed following complaints from fans of the football club.[44]
7 October UKTV launches a new general entertainment channel called Watch and UKTV Gold was relaunched as a comedy channel G.O.L.D. (Go on Laugh Daily) and UKTV Drama was relaunched as a crime drama channel Alibi.
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan begin presenting a new show Richard and Judy's New Position on Watch.
18 October Longest-running children's television programme Blue Peter celebrates its 50th birthday.
29 October During the live broadcast of the 2008 National Television Awards, David Tennant announces that he is leaving Doctor Who at the end of 2009.
30 October Following his involvement in the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row, Jonathan Ross is suspended for 12 weeks without pay from all BBC shows, including his television programmes such as Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. He also decided not to host the 2008 British Comedy Awards, broadcast on ITV.
4 November It is announced that an agreement has been struck for Sky's Basic channels – including Sky1, Sky2, Sky3, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 – to return to Virgin Media from 13 November 2008 until 12 June 2011. In exchange Sky will be provide continued carriage of Virgin Media Television's channels – Living, Living2, Bravo, Bravo +1, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin1 for the same period.[45] However, Trouble closed down on April 2009 and Sky brought Virgin Media Television (later Living TV Group) two years later. Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge Jackpot and Channel One closed down on 1 January and 1 February 2011 respectively, alongside with the rebrandings of Living (now Sky Living), Livingit (then Livingit, now Sky Livingit), Living Loves (now Sky Living Loves) and Challenge's new slot on Freeview on 1 February 2011, which finally ended Living TV Group and extended the agreement as a permanent deal.
6 November The digital switchover continues when the Scottish Borders region's analogue service is switched off. People served by the Selkirk transmitter will be the first substantial area to go fully digital.
12–13 November ITV airs Proof of Life, a two-part episode of The Bill to celebrate the series' 25th anniversary. The storyline features a crrossover with the German police procedural SOKO Leipzig, and is aired on both UK and German television.
13 November BSkyB basic channels such as Sky1 and Sky News return to Virgin Media TV.
14 November Children in Need 2008 is broadcast on BBC One, hosted by Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton. Raising £20,991,216 by the end of the broadcast.
19 November Journalist John Sergeant pulls out of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing contest following controversy over his participation in the show. Sergeant has been consistently supported by the public despite receiving the lowest scores from the programme's panel of judges. Announcing his decision, Sergeant says winning would be "a joke too far". The BBC says it will refund anyone who voted for Sergeant while he was taking part.[46]
20 November Sir Trevor McDonald presents his last News at Ten after only 11 months at helm. Mark Austin takes over as head anchor.
QI broadcasts its last episode to be originally shown on BBC Two, as part of Children in Need. The series moves to BBC One during Christmas.
21 November It is announced that Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling and Oxford graduate Rachel Riley will replace Des O'Connor and Carol Vorderman as hosts of the next series of Countdown. Riley beat 1,000 applicants to win the role.[47]
The BBC Trust criticises another incident involving Jonathan Ross and bad language. The Trust rules that a remark made by Ross on an edition of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross aired in May in which he told the actress Gwyneth Paltrow he "would fuck her" was "gratuitous and unnecessarily offensive".[48]
STV announces its intention to opt-out of ITV programmes they claim are not performing well in their broadcast region. These include series such as Sharpe's Peril, Al Murray's Happy Hour, Moving Wallpaper, Benidorm and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. ITV's coverage of the FA Cup is also dropped.
5 December Selina Scott has reached a settlement with Five after suing the channel for age discrimination, it is reported.[49]
Actor Joe Swash wins the eighth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[50]
It is announced that Graham Norton will take over from Terry Wogan as the presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest after Wogan, who has presented the BBC's coverage of the contest for 30 years, decided to relinquish the role.[51]
12 December Des O'Connor presents his last Countdown episode after over a year of presenting and Carol Vorderman also presents her last Countdown episode after 26 years of co-presenting.
13 December Alexandra Burke wins the fifth series of The X Factor.[52]
20 December Tom Chambers and dancing partner Camilla Dallerup win the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing.[53]
25 December The Royle Family returns for a Christmas Special, attracting an audience of 11 million. The most watched show of the day is a new Wallace and Gromit adventure, A Matter of Loaf and Death, which airs on BBC One, and is seen by 14.4 million viewers.[54]
30 December Shooting Stars returns with a Christmas special and a clip show, the first new episodes since 2002 and Rab C. Nesbitt returns with a Christmas special, the another new episode since 1999.[55]
31 December ITV airs Elton's New Year's Eve party, a live concert by Elton John from London's O2 Arena. Channel 5 airs an evening of programming dedicated to Bruce Forsyth, including An Audience with Bruce Forsyth.[56]

Debuts[edit]

BBC One[edit]

Date Programme
1 January Sense and Sensibility
5 January Basil's Swap Shop
The One and Only
8 January Mistresses
10 January Fairy Tales
13 January Lark Rise to Candleford
7 February Ashes to Ashes
10 March Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
15 March I'd Do Anything
28 March The Passion
12 April The Kids Are All Right
28 April Out of the Blue
1 May The Invisibles
30 June Criminal Justice
5 July Last Choir Standing
8 July Bonekickers
10 August Britain From Above
26 August Mutual Friends
11 September The Planners Are Coming
14 September Tess of the D'Urbervilles
18 September The Undercover Soldier
20 September Merlin
Hole in the Wall
7 October Sunshine
12 October Stephen Fry in America
19 October Ian Fleming: Where Bond Began
13 November Apparitions
23 November Wallander
Survivors
25 December A Matter of Loaf and Death

BBC Two[edit]

Date Programme
10 January Never Better
28 February Empty
10 March 10 Days to War
11 May Wild China
28 May Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story
10 July Lab Rats
30 July House of Saddam
12 August Maestro
2 October Beautiful People
10 October The American Future: A History
22 November Einstein and Eddington

BBC Three[edit]

Date Programme
12 February Lily Allen and Friends
Phoo Action
8 April The Wall
22 June MeeBOX
23 June Snog Marry Avoid?
10 August Spooks: Code 9
28 August The Wrong Door

BBC Four[edit]

Date Programme
31 January The Art of Spain
12 June The Long Walk to Finchley
2 November Consuming Passion

ITV (1/2/3/4/CITV)[edit]

Date Programme
9 January Honest
10 January Moving Wallpaper
Echo Beach
12 January Thank God You're Here
14 January The Palace
28 March Teenage Kicks
6 April Headcases
20 April Beat the Star
8 May Midnight Man
4 June Bingo Night Live
28 June Who Dares, Sings!
1 September The Children
3 September Lost in Austen
18 September No Heroics
26 October Britannia High

Channel 4[edit]

Date Programme
2 January The Triple Nipple Club
18 January Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live
22 January Supersize vs Superskinny
1 February Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong
22 February New Hero of Comedy
1 June Tony Robinson's Crime and Punishment
1 August The Kevin Bishop Show
Tonightly
25 August Wogan's Perfect Recall
17 September The Family
12 October Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice
19 November The Devil's Whore
24 November The Ascent of Money

Five[edit]

Date Programme
13 August Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure
5 September The What in the World? Quiz
8 October Paul Merton in India

E4[edit]

Date Programme
3 January Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack
1 May The Inbetweeners
27 October Dead Set
24 November Hollyoaks Later

Sky1[edit]

Date Programme
21 January Ross Kemp in Afghanistan
11 May Don't Forget the Lyrics!
31 August Hairspray: The School Musical

Watch[edit]

Date Programme
7 October Richard and Judy's New Position

Dave[edit]

Date Programme
27 October Argumental
30 October Batteries Not Included

FX[edit]

Date Programme
6 May The Colbert Report

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Programme Moved from Moved to
Gladiators ITV Sky One
Take Your Pick Challenge
Small Talk BBC One
Wipeout
FA Cup football and England Internationals ITV & Setanta Sports
Neighbours Five
Fireman Sam BBC One & BBC Two
Get 100 BBC Two BBC One & CBBC
The Weakest Link (Daytime version) BBC One
Out of the Blue
QI
Gavin & Stacey BBC Three
Torchwood BBC Two
Robot Wars Challenge Bravo
  • ^1 It later moved to CITV in early 2009 for brand newer series and then in late 2012 back to Channel 5.

Channels[edit]

New channels[edit]

Date Channel
1 February MTV One +1
17 March Sky Sports HD 3
20 March Sky Movies Premiere HD
28 April FX HD
19 May Kix!
15 August 4Music
7 October Watch
Watch +1
5 November Crime & Investigation Network HD
1 December Disney Cinemagic HD
16 December MTVNHD

Defunct channels[edit]

Date Channel
1 February MTV Flux
15 August The Hits

Rebranding channels[edit]

Date Old Name New Name
28 April Five Life Fiver
31 August Sky One Sky1
Sky Two Sky2
Sky Three Sky3
7 October UKTV Drama Alibi
UKTV Drama +1 Alibi +1
UKTV Gold G.O.L.D.
UKTV Gold +1 G.O.L.D. +1

Television shows[edit]

Returning this year after a break of one year or longer[edit]

Programme Date(s) of original removal Original channel Date(s) of return New channel(s)
ITV News at Ten 5 March 1999
30 January 2004
ITV 22 January 2001
14 January 2008
N/A (Same channel as original)
Mr. and Mrs. as All Star Mr & Mrs 1999 12 April 2008
Gladiators 1 January 2000 11 May 2008 Sky1
Superstars 2005 BBC One July 2008 Five
It'll Be Alright on the Night 18 March 2006 ITV 20 September 2008 N/A (Same channel as original)
Going for Gold 9 July 1996 BBC One 13 October 2008 Five
Rab C. Nesbitt 18 June 1999 BBC Two 23 December 2008 N/A (Same channel as original)

1950s[edit]

Programme Date
Panorama (1953–present)
The Sky at Night (1957–present)
Blue Peter (1958–present)

1960s[edit]

Programme Date
Coronation Street (1960–present).
Songs of Praise (1961–present)
Doctor Who (1963–1989, 1996, 2005–present)
Match of the Day (1964–present)
Top of the Pops (1964–present).
The Frost Report (1966–1967, 2008)
The Money Programme (1966–present)

1970s[edit]

Programme Date
Emmerdale (1972–present).
Newsround (1972–present)
Last of the Summer Wine (1973–2010)
Arena (1975–present)
One Man and His Dog (1976–present)
Top Gear (1977–2001, 2002–present)
Antiques Roadshow (1979–present)
Question Time (1979–present)

1980s[edit]

Programme Date
Children in Need (1980–present)
Postman Pat (1981, 1991, 1994, 1996, 2004–2008)
Timewatch (1982–present)
The Bill (1984–2010)
Thomas & Friends (1984–present)
EastEnders (1985–present)
Comic Relief (1985–present)
Casualty (1986–present)
Fireman Sam (1987–1994, 2005–2013)
ChuckleVision (1987–2009)
This Morning (1988–present)
Rab C Nesbitt (1988–1999, 2008–present)
The Simpsons (1989–present)

1990s[edit]

Programme Date
Have I Got News for You (1990–present)
Shooting Stars (1995–2002, 2008–2011)
Hollyoaks (1995–present)
Silent Witness (1996–present)
Artur (1996–present)
King of the Hill (1997–2010)
South Park (1997–present)
Midsomer Murders (1997–present)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1998–2014)
Bob the Builder (1998–present)
Bremner, Bird and Fortune (1999–2010)
Family Guy (1999–2002, 2005–present)
Spongebob Squarepants (1999–present)

2000s[edit]

Programme Date
The Weakest Link (2000–2012)
Real Crime (2001–present)
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2002–present)
Harry Hill's TV Burp (2002–2012)
Spooks (2002–2011)
Comedy Connections (2003–2008)
Daily Politics (2003–present)
Peep Show (2003–2014)
Politics Show (2003–2011)
QI (2003–present)
The Royal (2003–2011)
This Week (2003–present)
Doc Martin (2004–present)
Shameless (2004–2013)
Strictly Come Dancing (2004–present)
The X Factor (2004–present)
Love Soup (2005–2008)
More4 News (2005–2009)
The Andrew Marr Show (2005–present)
Come Dine with Me (2005–present)
Deal or No Deal (2005–present)
Dancing on Ice (2006–2014)
Hotel Babylon (2006–2009)
Numberjacks (2006–2009)
Robin Hood (2006–2009)
That Mitchell and Webb Look (2006–2010)
Ugly Betty (2006–2010)
Torchwood (2006–2011)
Waterloo Road (2006–present)
Star Stories (2006–2008)
The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–2011)
After You've Gone (2007–2008)
In the Night Garden (2007–2009, 2012–2015)
Golden Balls (2007–2009)
Gavin & Stacey (2007–2010)
Would I Lie to You? (2007–present)
M.I.High (2007–present)
The Tudors (2007–2010)
Trapped (2007–2010)
Skins (2007–2013)
Britain's Got Talent (2007–present)

Ending this year[edit]

Date Programme Channel(s) Debut
21 March The Palace ITV 2008
Echo Beach
22 May Scotsport ITV Scotland 1957
What the Papers Say BBC 1956
5 June HolbyBlue 2007
15 June Headcases ITV 2008
17 August All Grown Up! Nickelodeon 2003
22 August Richard & Judy Channel 4 2001
30 August Last Choir Standing BBC 2008
15 September Grange Hill 1978
8 October Supernanny Channel 4 2004
21 December After You've Gone BBC 2007
25 December Out of the Blue 2008

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
3 January Natasha Collins 31 Presenter
Jack Aranson 83 Actor
5 January Rowan Ayers 85 Television Producer (Late Night Line-Up, Old Grey Whistle Test, Points of View)
17 January Carole Lynne 89 Actress, widow of Baron Delfont
22 January Kevin Stoney 86 Actor
26 January John Ardagh 79 journalist and author
30 January Jeremy Beadle 59 Presenter (Game for a Laugh, Beadle's About, Chain Letters, You've Been Framed)
2 February Barry Morse 89 Actor (The Fugitive, Space: 1999)
Edward Wilson 60 Actor (When the Boat Comes In) director of the National Youth Theatre
19 February David Watkin 82 Cinematographer
Emily Perry 100 Actress
8 March Carol Barnes 63 Former ITN newscaster
16 March John Hewer 86 Actor
19 March Paul Scofield
20 March Brian Wilde 80 Actor (Last of the Summer Wine, Porridge)
25 March Tony Church 77 Actor
27 March Ronnie Letham 58
2 April Sir Geoffrey Cox 97 Founder of ITN News at Ten
7 April Mark Speight 42 Presenter (SMart, Scratchy & Co)
10 April Francis Coleman 84 Canadian-born British conductor, television producer and director
11 April Willoughby Goddard 81 Actor
15 April Hazel Court 82 Actress (The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven)
24 April Tristram Cary 82 Film and television composer
25 April Humphrey Lyttelton 86 Jazz musician, broadcaster (Host of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue)
1 May Bernard Archard 91 Actor
13 May Jill Adams 77 Actress
14 May Frith Banbury 96 Stage director and actor
16 May David Mitton 69 British TV animator/producer and director (Thomas & Friends)
17 May Wilfrid Mellers 94 Composer and author
John Fitzsimmons 68 Roman Catholic priest and broadcaster
20 May Iona Banks 87 Actress
Margot Boyd 94 Actress (Marjorie Antrobus on The Archers)
23 May Alan Brien 83 Journalist and critic
24 May Rob Knox 18 Actor
30 May Chris Morgan 55 Journalist
Mike Scott 75 Television Producer, Presenter (The Time, The Place)
4 June Jonathan Routh 80 Co-star (Candid Camera)
5 June Angus Calder 66 Historian and writer
10 June David Brierly 73 Actor (Voice of K-9 on Doctor Who)
26 June Tony Melody 85 Actor
2 July Elizabeth Spriggs 78 Stage, Television and Film Actress (Sense and Sensibility, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
3 July Clive Hornby 63 Actor (Emmerdale)
4 July Charles Wheeler 85 Journalist, longest serving BBC foreign correspondent
7 July Hugh Mendl 88 Record producer
14 July Hugh Lloyd 85 Actor (Hancock's Half Hour)
Bryan Cowgill 81 Executive
27 July Bob Crampsey 78 Sportscaster
30 July Peter Coke 95 Actor and Playwright (Paul Temple)
Jon Miller 87 Television presenter
6 August Jennifer Hilary 65 Actress
7 August Simon Gray 71 Playwright
10 August Terence Rigby Actor
Esmonde and Larbey British scriptwriter (The Good Life)
11 August Bill Cotton 80 BBC Television executive
18 August Bob Humphrys 56 Sports presenter (BBC Wales), Brother of John Humphrys
29 August Geoffrey Perkins 55 Producer
31 August Ken Campbell 66 Actor
8 September Celia Gregory 58 Actress
19 September David Jones 74 Theatre and Film director
20 September William Fox 97 Actor
1 October Ian Collier 87 Actor and Singer
4 October Peter Vansittart 88 Writer
7 October Peter Copley 93 Actor
8 October Bob Friend 70 Sky News presenter
11 October Mark Shivas Film and television producer
Russ Hamilton 76 Singer
18 October Peter Gordeno 69 Actor, Singer and Dancer
20 October John Ringham 80 Actor
22 October David Lloyd Meredith 74
25 October John Axon 48
31 October John Daly 71 Film producer
11 November Jack Scott 85 BBC Weatherman
16 November Reg Varney 92 Actor (On the Buses, The Rag Trade)
25 November Dudley Savage 88 Radio Presenter
8 December Bob Spiers 63 Television director
Oliver Postgate 83 Animator
13 December Kathy Staff 80 Actress (Last of the Summer Wine, Crossroads)
18 December Jack Douglas 81 Actor
Unknown Diane Chenery-Wickens 48 Television make-up artist

Top 10 highest viewed programmes[edit]

Rank Programme Rating Channel Date
1 Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death 16.15m BBC One 25 December 2008
2 The X Factor Results 14.06m ITV 13 December 2008
3 Britain's Got Talent: Final Result 13.88m ITV 31 May 2008
4 The X Factor 13.77m ITV 13 December 2008
5 Doctor Who 13.10m BBC One 25 December 2008
6 Coronation Street 13.02m ITV 18 January 2008
7 Strictly Come Dancing 12.97m BBC One 20 December 2008
8 Dancing on Ice 12.02m ITV 16 March 2008
9 Britain's Got Talent 11.86m ITV 30 May 2008
10 EastEnders 11.73m BBC One 24 March 2008

Notes[edit]

  • A Matter of Loath and Death is the highest viewed non-sporting event since an episode of Coronation Street in 2004 had 16.33 million.
  • Coronation Street's audience was boosted due to the death of long running and popular character Vera Duckworth.
  • The results shows of The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent are counted as separate programmes.

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