1983 in British television

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List of years in British television (table)

This is a list of British television related events from 1983.


  • 3 January – Children's ITV premieres on ITV.
  • 17 January – Breakfast Time, Britain's first breakfast show, launches on BBC1.
  • 1 February – TV-am launches, with Good Morning Britain
  • 6 February – The Australian soap opera Sons and Daughters makes its British television debut when Central becomes the first ITV region to begin screening the programme. All other ITV regions soon follow suit.
  • 8 February – Minipops premieres on Channel 4. Though a ratings success, it is axed after only one series due to heavy media criticism.
  • 23 February – After months of "will she or won't she?" drama, Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) makes the choice to break up with Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) and reunite with her estranged husband Ken (William Roache) on Coronation Street. The episode was one of the highest-rated in the soap's history.
  • 5 May – Top of the Pops celebrates its 1000th edition.[1]
  • 11 May – Peter Adamson makes his last appearance as Len Fairclough on Coronation Street.
  • 9 June–10 June – BBC1 and ITV broadcast coverage of the 1983 general election.
  • 15 June – The first episode of The Black Adder, the first in the successful Blackadder series of sitcoms, debuts on BBC One.
  • 27 June – The shareholders of Satellite Television agree a £5 million offer to give News International 65% of the company.[2][3]
  • 16 August – ITV broadcasts Woodentop as part of its Storyboard series. It would later be turned into a series and re-titled The Bill, commencing in October 1984 and lasting until August 2010.
  • 29 August – Blockbusters is launched on ITV, hosted by Bob Holness and features sixth-formers as contestants.
  • 6 September – ITV broadcasts Killer. It would later be turned into a series and re-titled Taggart.
  • 17 September – The BBC's schools programming strand is moved to BBC2 and is renamed Daytime on Two.
  • 12 October – Doris Speed makes her last appearance as Annie Walker on Coronation Street.
  • 23 November – 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who.
  • 25 November – The BBC airs "The Five Doctors", a 90-minute episode of Doctor Who made to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
  • ITV's animated series Danger Mouse viewing figures reach 21.59 million,[4] an all-time high for a British children's programme.





Channel 4[edit]

Television shows[edit]

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Shows Moved from Moved to
Des O'Connor Tonight BBC1 ITV
BBC Schools and Colleges programmes BBC2






Ending this year[edit]



Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
2 January Dick Emery 67 comedian and actor
20 October Peter Dudley 48 actor (Coronation Street)
15 November John Le Mesurier 71 actor (Dad's Army)
26 December Violet Carson 85 actress (Coronation Street)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top of the Pops – BBC One London – 5 May 1983". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  2. ^ News International buys 65% of satellite group. By Bill Johnstone, Electronics Correspondent. The Times, Wednesday, 29 June 1983; pg. 13
  3. ^ Title The franchise affair: creating fortunes and failures in independent televisionAuthors Asa Briggs, Joanna SpicerEdition illustratedPublisher century, 1986Original from the University of MichiganDigitized 9 Oct 2006 ISBN 9780712612012
  4. ^ "Cosgrove Hall: 30 years". BBC Manchester. June 2006. Retrieved 2013-10-12.