1984 in British television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
List of years in British television (table)

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.
  • 22 March – Colin Baker makes his first full appearance as the Sixth Doctor in the Doctor Who serial "The Twin Dilemma".
  • 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 original launched on satellite television.
  • 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.
  • 9 October – The television series based on the children's books by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry and narrated by Ringo Starr, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is first broadcast on ITV, becoming one of the most successful children's TV programmes of all time.
  • 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 7 million 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]





Channel 4[edit]


New channels[edit]

Date Channel
29 March Music Box, Screensport, The Entertainment Network
1 September The Children's Channel

Rebranded channels[edit]

Date Old Name New Name
16 January Satellite Television Sky Channel

Television shows[edit]






Ending this year[edit]



Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
11 February John Comer 59 actor (Sid in Last of the Summer Wine)
4 March Geoffrey Lumsden 69 actor (Captain Square in Dad's Army)
12 March Arnold Ridley 88 actor (Private Charles Godfrey in Dad's Army)
31 March Jack Howarth actor (Albert Tatlock in Coronation Street)
15 April Tommy Cooper 63 comedian and magician
4 May Diana Dors 52 actress
27 May Reginald Bosanquet 51 journalist and newsreader, presented News at Ten during the 1970s
28 May Eric Morecambe 58 comedian (Morecambe and Wise)
12 August Christine Hargreaves 45 actress (Christine Appleby in Coronation Street)
27 August Bernard Youens 69 actor (Stan Ogden in Coronation Street)
27 September Toke Townley 71 actor (Sam Pearson in Emmerdale)
6 October Leonard Rossiter 57 actor (Rising Damp, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin)
10 October Alan Lake 43 actor
15 December Lennard Pearce 69 actor (Grandad in Only Fools and Horses)


  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.