1978 would be the first of 20 UK Championship competitions to be played in Preston's Guildhall. For the first time the event was sponsored by Coral and they would continue doing so until 1985.
The most dramatic match came in the qualifying rounds when Terry Griffiths, a newly turned professional was beaten 8–9 by Rex Williams after leading 8–2. The championship proper also provided plenty of surprises. Patsy Fagan, the defending UK champion went out 7–9 in the first round to David Taylor who, after a decade in the professional ranks, reached his first major final by beating Alex Higgins 9–5 in the semi-final. In the other half, Roy Andrewartha beat John Spencer 9–8 and Willie Thorne beat Ray Reardon 9–6 only to collapse 1–9 against Graham Miles, whose 139 break set a tournament record. In the semi-finals it was Miles' turn to collapse 1–9 to Doug Mountjoy who, keeping his best till last, clinched his final victory over Taylor with a break of 120. The BBC televised the final again shown on Grandstand and with Ted Lowe commentating the match. The highest break of the tournament was 139 made by Graham Miles.