1994 in British television

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List of years in British television (table)

This is a list of British television related events from 1994.

Events[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

  • 4 March – BBC2 shows the network television premiere of Laurel Avenue, the acclaimed US miniseries that tells the story of an eventful weekend in the lives of an extended African American family living in St. Paul, Minnesota.[19] The second part is aired on 6 March.[20]
  • 17 March – Robbie Williams and Mark Owen of Take That present an edition of Top of the Pops, becoming the first of a list of celebrities to guest present the show between 1994 and 1996 under the banner of the golden mic.
  • 18 March – Play Your Cards Right returns to ITV after a seven year break, once again with Bruce Forsyth as host.[21]
  • 25 March – Lynne Perrie makes her final appearance as Coronation Street battleaxe Ivy Tilsley. The press later speculates that Perrie's decision to have plastic surgery without consulting her bosses was the reason for her departure, though Perrie denied this, insisting that she felt that her character had simply run its course. Ivy's death occurs off screen the following year.

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

  • 3 June – Broadcast of an episode of Have I Got News for You in which panelist Ian Hislop was suffering from appendicitis during filming. Having spent most of that day in hospital awaiting treatment, he temporarily discharged himself to record the episode, before returning to undergo surgery.
  • 5–10 June – Sue Lawley presents News '44, a series of news bulletin-style programmes to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
  • 6 June – Due to a failed satellite link, BBC1 is unable to broadcast a remembrance concert marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Instead it is forced to show recorded highlights of D-Day commemoration events and a repeated Wildlife on One documentary about racoons. The concert, featuring Dame Vera Lynn and other stars, from the QE2 off the Normandy port of Cherbourg, is recorded and shown three days later.[31]
  • 12 June – The Independent on Sunday reports that Cable & Wireless are in the final stages of establishing a television service in the remote British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, a nation that has not previously had access to television. Because of this, the introduction of television to the island is to be the subject of a study by British psychologist Dr. Tony Charlton of Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education to determine its effects on the island's culture and way of life.[32]
  • 17 June–17 July – The BBC and ITV show live coverage of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. However many first round matches are only shown in highlight form with viewers having to tune to satellite channel Eurosport to see live coverage of those games.
  • 19 June – That's Life!, the long-running BBC magazine programme presented by Esther Rantzen, is broadcast for the last time following twenty one years on air.[33]
  • 20 June – The BBC's Arabic television service is launched, with funding from the Saudi Arabian Mawarid Group.
  • 21 June – BBC1 begins its Daily Detective season, a short season of episodes from 1980s US detective series. The first programme is an episode from Remington Steele with Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist.[34] The season includes episodes from Cagney & Lacey (aired on Mondays),[35] Remington Steele on Tuesdays,[36] Quincy on Wednesdays,[37] Charlie's Angels on Thursdays,[38] and Moonlighting on Fridays.[39] The season ends with Moonlighting on 30 September.[40]

July[edit]

  • 1 July – Launch of the BBC's Japanese News and Information Service.
  • 3 July – Gerry Goldwyre wins the 1994 series of MasterChef.
  • 6 July – Channel 4 moves into its new headquarters at 124 Horseferry Road, London.[41][42]
  • 9 July – Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's well known science-fiction electronic marionette puppet (known as Supermarionation) series Thunderbirds receives its premiere in the United States for the first time. The series airs on Fox Kids every Saturday morning however the voices and music have been redubbed and the timeslot for the episodes have been cut to 30 minutes rather than the original 60.
  • 11 July – Following the death of Dennis Potter in June, BBC1 begins re-showing his television play The Singing Detective.[43]
  • 12 July – To coincide with the 2,000th episode of Neighbours, BBC1 airs Ramsay Street Revisited, an omnibus of the first five episodes of the series from 1985.[44]
  • 14 July –
    • Stephen Dorrell, the Secretary of State for Heritage announces that Channel 35, one of the two frequencies planned for use by a fifth channel, will not be available. The ITC expresses concern over this, but still views Channel 5 as a viable option since 60% of the UK will still be covered by the remaining frequency.[18]
    • BBC1 airs Episode 1000 of EastEnders, and Episode 2000 of Neighbours.[45][46]
  • 16 July – John Finch, performing as Marti Pellow wins the fifth series of Stars in Their Eyes.

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

  • 1 November – A second attempt to licence the fifth terrestrial channel begins.[18][62]
  • 4 November – Leslie Crowther announces his retirement from show business.
  • 7 November – Barbara Windsor makes her EastEnders debut as Peggy Mitchell. The character had previously been briefly played by Jo Warne in 1991.
  • 10 November –
    • To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Lord Lucan following the murder of his children's nanny, ITV airs The Trial of Lord Lucan, a production by Granada Television which sees a fictional dramatisation of how a trial against the peer might proceed.[63]
    • The first episode of the Dawn French sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley airs on BBC1.[64]
  • 11 November – The BBC apologises after its Ceefax teletext service mistakenly reports the death of the Queen Mother. The item – described as a rehearsal script – is on screen for 30 seconds before being removed.[65] The Queen Mother died in 2002.
  • 13 November – Katie Targett-Adams wins the 1994 series of Junior MasterChef.
  • 16 November – Basic Instinct receives its terrestrial television premiere on ITV, where it is watched by 7.35 million viewers.[66]
  • 17 November – Final episode of the fourth season of Fireman Sam is broadcast on BBC1. It is also the very last episode animated by Bumper Films and narrated by John Alderton.
  • 18 November – Debut of The Trial, a series of documentaries aired on BBC2,[67] which were filmed largely inside Scottish courts in 1993 and early 1994. Filming of the series is possible because Criminal Justice Act 1925, the legislation banning photography in British courts does not apply in Scotland.
  • 19 November – BBC1 airs the first National Lottery draw, which is hosted by Noel Edmonds.[68]
  • 20 November –
    • Network television debut of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles on BBC1. Initially aired on Sunday afternoons, the series is switched to an early Saturday evening slot from January 1995.[69][70]
    • Airdate of the Everyman episode Portrait of a Serial Killer, in which Lionel Dahmer talks about discovering his son, Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer.[71]
  • 26 November – BBC1 shows the documentary Girl Friday, in which Joanna Lumley spends nine days on a desert island with just a basic survival kit and a film crew.[72]

December[edit]

  • 3 December – Comedian Larry Grayson makes his final television appearance at the Royal Variety Performance (recorded on 28 November). He had been absent from television for some years and made reference to this during his act, commenting to the audience, "They thought I was dead!". He died the following month.
  • 17 December – BBC2 begins a season of films starring Burt Lancaster following his death in October. The season opens with Elmer Gantry, a 1960 film in which Lancaster stars alongside Jean Simmons.[73]
  • 20 December – ITV airs the final episode of the long running animated children's television series The Raggy Dolls.
  • 21 December – The BBC subscription service BBC Select ends broadcasts after two years on air.[74]
  • 23 December – BBC1 airs Simply Red – Live, a concert given by Simply Red in their home town of Manchester.[75]
  • 24 December – Final edition of The Generation Game to be presented by Bruce Forsyth.[76]
  • 25 December –
  • 29 December –
    • BBC1 airs the final episode of Brum for now, but the show will return for brand new revamped series in 2001 and will continue being repeated on the BBC. It is also Toyah Willcox's final episode as narrator for the series.
    • British television premiere of In Bed with Madonna, a film following singer Madonna during her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, and broadcast by BBC2.[78]
  • 31 December –
    • New Year's Eve highlights on BBC1 include Barbra Streisand – The Concert, a performance given by Barbra Streisand at Ponds, California earlier in the year.[79]
    • BBC2's highlights for New Year's Eve include Plague and the Moonflower, a musical drama about the human race's abuse of the planet.[80] There is also a special end-of-year edition of TOTP2 featuring highlights of the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops.[81]

Unknown[edit]

  • The first BBC website is created for the BBC 2 series The Net.
  • Australian television series for preschoolers Bananas in Pyjamas debuts on British television, first airing on Nickelodeon and then later on ITV.
  • Michael Grade launches a campaign for an early review of Channel 4's funding arrangements with ITV.[41]

Debuts[edit]

BBC1[edit]

BBC2[edit]

ITV[edit]

Channel 4[edit]

Sky One[edit]

The Children's Channel[edit]

Cartoon Network UK[edit]

Nickelodeon UK[edit]

Channels[edit]

New channels[edit]

Date Channel
19 August Sky Sports 2
3 October Sky Soap
Sky Travel
10 October VH1

Television shows[edit]

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Shows Moved from Moved to
Blockbusters ITV Sky1
United States Jem The Children's Channel
Shadow of the Stone
Men Behaving Badly BBC1
This Is Your Life
France/United States/Canada Inspector Gadget Channel 4
United States Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures
United States Super Mario World The Children's Channel
Spain The Fruitties Cartoon Network
Canada/France The Smoggies Nickelodeon
Canada The Devil and Daniel Mouse BBC1 The Children's Channel
Australia The Adventures of Blinky Bill
United States/Canada Eek! The Cat
Teddy Trucks
Australia Bananas in Pyjamas Nickelodeon ITV
Canada Katie and Orbie Channel 4
United States Rocko's Modern Life
United States Pound Puppies Sky1 Cartoon Network
United States X-Men BBC1
Australia Burke's Backyard BBC2

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

1920s[edit]

  • BBC Wimbledon (1927–present)

1930s[edit]

  • BBC Cricket (1939–1999, 2020–2024)

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

Ending this year[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
10 January Michael Aldridge 73 actor (Last of the Summer Wine)
22 January Bill Podmore 62 television producer (Coronation Street)
7 June Dennis Potter 59 scriptwriter
26 July Terry Scott 67 actor[82]
2 September Roy Castle 62 dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter and musician
16 November Doris Speed 95 actress (Coronation Street)
27 December Fanny Cradock 85 Television cookery expert

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "James Bond On TV – Movies". MI6 – The Home Of James Bond 007. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. ^ Susan Gilchrist "Collapse of merger talks puts LWT under pressure", The Times, 7 January 1994, p.23
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  7. ^ Lewis, Caroline (1995). "Welsh soap: "Pobol Y Cwm" and Welsh national identity". Critical Survey. Berghahn Books. 7 (2): 152–157. JSTOR 41555909. (Subscription required (help)).
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  71. ^ "Everyman: Profile of a Serial Killer – BBC One London – 20 November 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  72. ^ "Girl Friday – BBC One London – 26 November 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
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  80. ^ "Plague and the Moonflower – BBC Two England – 31 December 1994 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
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