2006 in British television

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List of years in British television (table)

The following is a list of British television related events from the year 2006.



Date Event
1 January BBC One airs The Queen by Rolf, a documentary following artist Rolf Harris as he paints a portrait of the Queen.[1]
3 January Channel 4 quiz show Countdown celebrates its 4000th edition.[2]
6 January ITV debuts Soapstar Superstar, a singing talent contest in which soap actors compete to become series champion.[3]
9 January Debut of the offbeat police drama Life on Mars on BBC One.[4]
14 January Coronation Street actor Richard Fleeshman wins the first series of ITV's Soapstar Superstar.[5]
Debut of ITV's Dancing on Ice.[6]
15 January The BBC announces details of Just the Two of Us, a singing contest following the Strictly Come Dancing format that will air in February and March. Vernon Kay and Tess Daly will present the series which will pair celebrities with professional singers, who will then compete to become series champion.[7]
16 January To coincide with the introduction of a new identity across ITV plc stations, UTV replaces its 2003 idents with a brand new set.[8] The new idents featured newly recorded films shot across Northern Ireland, again in the form of panoramas.[8] The landscape films used in these idents are updated in July 2007 and October 2008.
27 January Chantelle Houghton, a model from Essex wins the fourth series of Celebrity Big Brother after entering the series as a "fake" celebrity. In order to remain as a contestant she was required to convince the other participants that she was a famous singer.[9]


Date Event
8 February Channel 4 confirms that its pay-per-view movie channel FilmFour will go Free-to-air from July, when it will launch on Freeview.[10]
14 February Coronation Street bosses defend their decision to film a storyline involving a car breaking down on Saddleworth Moor, scene of the 1960s Moors murders, saying the plot has nothing to do with the events that occurred there.[11]
15 February BBC One debuts Davina, a chat show presented by Davina McCall. Guests on the first edition include Charlotte Church, Tess Daly and Vernon Kay.[12] The show proves to be a disaster, with The Guardian's Gareth Maclean noting that McCall "found herself floundering and foundering, struggling through [interviews], and exposing herself in a way from which even the hardiest flasher would recoil", while Jonathan Ross blames a poor guest line up. The 8 March edition gives BBC One its worst ever peak time ratings of 2.75 million.[13][14] By the time the show ends on 12 April ratings have fallen to below 2.5 million. It is axed shortly afterwards.[15][16]
23 February Just the Two of Us debuts on BBC One.[17]
28 February L!VE TV is moved to the adult section of Sky's EPG, and is rebranded as "Babeworld" two days later. This is because the channel has moved to broadcasting an increasingly adult themed content.


Date Event
4 March BBC Two shows the network television premiere of Anita and Me, a coming of age drama based on the book of the same name by Meera Syal.[18]
Actress Gaynor Faye and professional skating partner Daniel Whiston win the first series of Dancing on ice.[19]
Tony Blair becomes the first serving Prime Minister to be interviewed by Michael Parkinson on his chat show. Blair volunteers the information that he believes he will be judged by God for the Iraq War.[20]
5 March Siân Reeves and Russell Watson win the first series of Just the Two of Us.[21]
11 March ITV launches a CITV channel, which broadcasts during the downtime hours of ITV4, replacing the ITV News Channel.[22]
18 March Christopher Napier, performing as George Formby wins the fourth and final junior series of Stars in Their Eyes. The programme continues with a number of special editions during 2006, before a final celebrity special on 23 December.
23 March Coronation Street bosses dismiss as untrue media reports that the child actress who plays the soap's Amy Barlow is being replaced because her parents felt her storylines were "too harrowing", and her workload too heavy.[23]
24 March ITV announces plans to air World of Chat, a show on ITV2 featuring the best from chatshows around the world.[24]
25–26 March UKTV Gold presents its Mitchells Weekend to coincide with the return of Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) to EastEnders. The weekend includes The Mitchells – The Full Story, a documentary about the soap family presented by actress Kim Medcalf.[25]


Date Event
3 April Graham Norton will present How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, a TV talent search for an actress to play Maria in a stage production of The Sound of Music, it is announced.[26]
7 April 12.6 million viewers watch long-running Coronation Street character Mike Baldwin die in the arms of his long-time rival, Ken Barlow. Baldwin, played by Johnny Briggs, had been in the show for 30 years.[27]
17 April Peter Bayless wins the 2006 series of MasterChef Goes Large.
19 April ITV launch ITV Play, a new 24/7 participation TV channel, on Freeview in the United Kingdom. It will launch on other platforms later in the year.
21 April The Queen celebrates her 80th birthday at Windsor. The Prince of Wales makes a televised address in tribute.
Denis Norden announces his retirement from his two ongoing ITV shows It'll Be Alright on the Night and spin-off show Denis Norden's Laughter File, after 30 years with ITV.
ITV secures the terrestrial television screening rights to Casino Royale, the new James Bond film that will be released in November.[28] The film receives its terrestrial television premiere on 19 September 2009.[29]
24 April Cartoon Network Too and Nick Jr. 2 are launched in the UK.
25 April The BBC announces that Grandstand, its flagship sports TV programme, will be phased out within the next year after nearly 50 years on air.[30]


Date Event
5 May The BBC's local election coverage goes off air shortly before 3:00 am, due to a power failure at their Millbank studios. For the next hour coverage relocates to The Counting House pub, with results being read out using handwritten pieces of paper.
8 May Guy Goma, a graduate from the Congo who went to the BBC to attend a job interview, appears on BBC News 24 in place of an IT expert after a mix-up. Guy Kewney had been scheduled to comment on the subject of Apple Computer's court case with The Beatles' record label, Apple Corps, but a producer collected the wrong man from the wrong reception at BBC Television Centre.[31]
10 May Former supermarket cashier Michelle Dewberry wins the second series of The Apprentice and a £100,000 a year job working for Sir Alan Sugar.[32]
14 May Producers of Coronation Street confirm that Debra Stephenson, who plays Frankie Baldwin, will be leaving the soap at the end of the year.[33]
15 May BBC High Definition Television Trial commences.
The University of Manchester wins the 2005–06 series of University Challenge, beating Trinity Hall, Cambridge 160–150.
20 May Just minutes before the live Eurovision Song Contest final begins, BBC One's live National Lottery draw is invaded by Fathers 4 Justice protestors. The show is temporarily taken off air, leaving just a programme logo and announcer Alan Dedicoat's voice until the problems are resolved.[34]
Finland's Lordi win the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with "Hard Rock Hallelujah".
22 May BSkyB launch High-definition television in the UK under the brand Sky HD.
26 May UTV changes its registered company name from 'Ulster Television plc' to 'UTV plc', the company's belief being that the existing name no longer reflected the full scope of the company's business.[35]
27 May The BBC's first scheduled HDTV broadcast on BBC HD.
30 May Scottish and Grampian are rebranded as STV Central and STV North respectively.


Date Event
4 June Coronation Street confirms that Richard Fleeshman, who plays Craig Harris, will be leaving the soap to follow a singing career.[36]
5 June Actress Lucy Benjamin wins The X Factor: Battle of the Stars, a celebrity version of the ITV music talent contest.[37]
6 June ITV announces that Central News South's existence as a news region will end after 17 years when the eastern half of the region (the area served by the Oxford transmitter) merges its operations with Meridian West's output, forming a new news region named ITV Thames Valley.
9 June–9 July Live coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup is aired by the BBC and ITV.
15 June The BBC announces that Billie Piper will leave her role as Rose Tyler on Doctor Who at the end of the second series the following month.[38]
19 June BBC One Controller Peter Fincham announces that They Think It's All Over will not be recommissioned for a new series, ending a run of eleven years on air.[39]
20 June The BBC announces that Top of the Pops will be axed, the final show airing on 30 July.[40]
18.46 million watch England vs Sweden in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the highest rated programme of the year.
23 June An interview with Conservative leader David Cameron on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross causes controversy when presenter Ross asks Cameron whether he ever had sexual fantasies about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a teenager.[41] The BBC later bans repeats of the interview.[42]


Date Event
1 July CITV broadcasts its last Saturday morning regular-based show Holly and Stephens Saturday Showdown for the last time after 40 years of broadcasting Saturday morning shows on ITV until Scrambled was broadcast in 2014.
5 July Actress Freema Agyeman is announced as the new Doctor Who companion Martha Jones replacing Billie Piper's Rose Tyler.[43][44]
11 July It is announced that actress Wendy Richard will leave EastEnders at Christmas. She is one of the only remaining cast members from the show's 1985 launch.[45]
16 July Sarah Lang wins one million pounds in the final of the ITV1 gameshow PokerFace.[46] As she had also won £32,500 on the BBC One gameshow In It to Win It the previous year, this makes her the biggest known female gameshow winner in UK television history, and second overall behind Ian Woodley.
21 July James Dreyfus takes over from Ardal O'Hanlon as George Sunday AKA Thermoman in the sixth and final series of My Hero the series ended in September due to low viewing figures.
23 July FilmFour is relaunched as a free-to-air channel. It had originally been a subscription service, but this had ended four days previously.
29 July Debut of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? on BBC One.[47]
30 July Top of the Pops airs its final regular edition after being axed earlier in the year.[48] However, the show returns for a Christmas special.[49]


Date Event
6 August While anchoring from Israel during the Israel-Lebanon war, Sky News presenter Anna Botting famously interviews the British MP, George Galloway about the conflict.[50] During the nine-minute heated discussion Galloway criticises Sky News, News Corporation, and even Botting herself for being biased towards Israel.[51]
14 August The One Show first broadcasts on BBC One.
18 August Pete Bennett wins series seven of Big Brother.[52]
23 August ITV secures a deal to sell its 45% stake in Ireland's TV3 for £70m.[53]
Central Tonight presenter Joanne Malin apologises after swearing during a live broadcast from Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent. Central subsequently claims to have received no viewer complaints as a result of her description of the inclement weather, but Trentham says several people contact them offering the presenter their support.[54]
28 August Bianca Gascoigne and model Calum Best win the second and final series of Love Island.


Date Event
1 September BBC Entertainment replaces BBC Prime in global markets.
4 September ITV Lunchtime News now moves to 1.30pm and now returns to run for 30 minutes.
13 September Ingram Wilcox, a civil servant and quiz show fanatic, has become the fifth person to win the £1 million prize on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, it is reported. The episode showing his win, the first in two and a half years, is aired on 16 September.[55]
16 September Connie Fisher wins BBC One's How Do You Solve a Problems Like Maria?. She will make her debut in the role in a revival of The Sound of Music at London's Palladium Theatre on 14 November.[56]
18 September Loose Women now broadcasts weekdays at 12.30pm.
20 September Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is seriously injured after crashing a jet-powered car at 280 mph.[57]
BBC One's daytime soap Doctors celebrates its 1000th episode with a one-hour special.[58]
22 September BBC One airs Episode 5000 of Neighbours.[59]
25 September Lianna Fowler wins Cycle 2 of Britain's Next Top Model.
29 September Matt Dawson wins the 2006 series of Celebrity MasterChef.
30 September It is announced that Des Lynam will leave Countdown at the end of 2006.[60]


Date Event
5 October QI publishes its first book: The Book of General Ignorance. The book becomes a No. 1 best-seller for amazon.co.uk.
6 October The BBC defends presenter Graham Norton after he admits to having taken recreational drugs, including ecstasy in an interview for Marie Claire magazine. Of Norton's revelation the broadcaster says: "The issues that Graham discusses in this interview are aimed at an adult audience and reflect the frank and open nature of his personality".[61]
7 October After four and a half years, the BBC 'Rhythm & Movement' idents are shown for the final time on BBC One at 1:10 am, as part of a special montage (2:55 am on BBC One Northern Ireland). Their replacements, the 'Circle' idents, debut at 10 am.
12 October ITV announce that Where the Heart Is will not be commissioned for a new series.[62]
15 October Five Life is launched.[63]
16 October Five US is launched.[63]
26 October ITV confirms the axing of its prison drama, Bad Girls after eight series.[64]
29 October After a six-year absence from television, The Royle Family returns for what is billed as its final episode, an hour-long show titled "The Queen of Sheba".[65]
31 October Pop star Madonna appears on Newsnight, where she gives her first British television interview about her controversial adoption of an African baby.[66]
Long running animated series for children Horrid Henry begins on CITV.


Date Event
1 November Granada Plus ceases broadcasting, it not ceased in 2004.
8 November Virgin Media comes into being when NTL Telewest does a deal to licence the Virgin name.[67]
10 November Lorraine Chase makes her final appearance in Emmerdale as Steph Stokes.
13 November BBC Parliament broadcasts in full screen format for the first time on the Freeview service, having previously only been available in quarter screen format.[68] The BBC eventually found the bandwidth to make the channel full-screen after receiving "thousands of angry and perplexed e-mails and letters",[69] not to mention questions asked by MPs in the Houses of Parliament itself.
14 November Cadbury announces its intention to end its £10m a year sponsorship deal with Coronation Street after a decade. The current sponsorship contract is due to expire at the end of 2007, but Cadbury says it would end the deal earlier if another sponsor is found.[70]
17 November Episode eight of Series D of QI is a Children in Need special with Alan Davies, Rich Hall, Jonathan Ross and Phil Jupitus, who discuss the topic of Descendants with presenter Stephen Fry.[71]
24 November ITV summer tropical reality series Love Island is axed after 2 series, due to poor ratings. The programme would see a successful return in 2015 on ITV2.
27 November The BBC confirms that the long-running Holiday Programme is being axed after 37 years on air.[72]
28 November ITV confirms that BBC chairman Michael Grade is to become its chief executive in early 2007.[73]
Launch of 4 on demand, a service which allows some internet, Virgin Media Television, Tiscali TV and BT Vision users to view programming recently shown on Channel 4, E4 or More4, or from their archives.


Date Event
1 December Matt Willis, a former member of boy band Busted wins the sixth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[74]
3 December The last edition of Central News South is aired. From tomorrow the Central South region will cease to exist. The east of the region including Oxford becomes part of ITV Thames Valley, the west half of the region, covering Cheltenham and Gloucester is absorbed into the ITV West region, while Herefordshire rejoins the Central West region.
4 December The ITV Thames Valley region, a composite of the old Meridian West and eastern part of the Central South regions, goes on air with a new regional news programme Thames Valley Tonight.
10 December Equestrian Zara Phillips is named as this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year, following her mother, Anne, Princess Royal, who won the title in 1971.[75]
13 December The Berwick-upon-Tweed transmitter transfers from Border to Tyne Tees as part of the preparations for the digital switchover of the Border region in 2008.[76]
16 December At 5.30am BBC Two airs the final Open University course-related television broadcast. With Open University course content now available through media such as podcasts and DVDs it is no longer necessary for the programmes to be aired on television and radio. However, the Open University continues to make programming for a broader audience, with series including Coast, Child of Our Time and Battle of the Geeks.[77][78]
Leona Lewis wins the third series of The X Factor, becoming the ITV show's first female winner.[79]
19 December Following the success of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, BBC One announces plans for Any Dream Will Do, a follow up series that will search for someone to play Joseph in the West End musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.[80]
23 December Cricketer Mark Ramprakash and his dancing partner Karen Hardy win the fourth series of Strictly Come Dancing.[81]
Stars in Their Eyes is axed after the last special episode.
24 December Christmas Eve highlights on BBC One include Calendar Girls, a film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters along with an ensemble cast.[82]
25 December Actress Wendy Richard makes her final appearance in EastEnders after her character, Pauline Fowler, is killed off in a dramatic storyline. She had been in the show since its inception in 1985.[83]
Launch of Emmerdale's whodunit storyline involving the murder of Tom King (played by Ken Farrington). Tom is hit over the head and falls through a window to his death on his wedding day.[84][85]
26 December ITV airs a one-off dramatisation of After Thomas, with Keeley Hawes, Ben Miles, Sheila Hancock, Asa Butterfield and Andrew Byrne. It was produced by Beryl Vertue and Elaine Cameron, directed by Simon Shore, and written by Lindsey Hill. The film centres on the severely autistic child Kyle Graham and the progress he makes when his parents adopt a golden retriever named Thomas. It is based on the true story of Scottish child Dale Gardner and his dog Henry.


BBC One[edit]

Date Debut
9 January Life on Mars
19 January Hotel Babylon
22 January The Virgin Queen
9 March Waterloo Road
23 March The Family Man
13 April Totally Doctor Who
5 May Home Again
12 June Don't Get Done, Get Dom
1 July The Likeaballs
16 July The Chase
16 September TMi
24 September Jane Eyre
7 October Robin Hood, a new family drama series made by Tiger Aspect Productions.
2 November The State Within

BBC Two[edit]

Date Debut
11 January Hyperdrive
12 February Petrolheads
17 May The Line of Beauty
16 September The Secret Show
8 October Something for the Weekend
16 October Numberjacks

BBC Three[edit]

Date Debut
22 October Torchwood, the first full series spin-off from Doctor Who

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

Date Debut
14 January Dancing on Ice
23 January Northern Lights
29 January Lewis, a spin-off from Inspector Morse.
27 February Love Lies Bleeding
9 April Ghostboat
7 May If I Had You
14 May See No Evil: The Moors Murders
10 July PokerFace
31 October Horrid Henry
6 November Dickinson's Real Deal
9 December Extinct
10 December Housewife, 49
18 December Losing Gemma

Channel 4[edit]

Date Debut
3 February The IT Crowd
27 June How to Look Good Naked
26 October Longford


Date Debut
27 April Suburban Shootout

Disney Channel UK[edit]

Date Debut
6 May United States Hannah Montana

Cartoon Network UK[edit]

Date Debut
20 February United States My Gym Partner's A Monkey
4 March United States Ben 10


New channels[edit]

Date Channel
6 March Boomerang +1
11 March CITV
16 March Disney Cinemagic
Disney Cinemagic +1
19 April ITV Play
24 April Cartoon Network Too
|Nick Jr. 2
2 May TCM 2
UKTV Drama +1
15 May BBC HD
22 May Artsworld HD
Discovery HD
National Geographic Channel HD
Sky Box Office HD 1
Sky Box Office HD 2
Sky Movies 9 HD
Sky Movies 10 HD
Sky Sports HD
Sky One HD
31 July Sky Sports HD 2
15 October Five Life
16 October Five US

Defunct channels[edit]

Date Channel
6 March Cartoon Network +
16 March Toon Disney
18 April UKTV People +1
19 July FilmFour Weekly
1 August VH2
1 November Granada Plus

Rebranded channels[edit]

Date Old Name New Name
23 July FilmFour Film4
FilmFour +1 Film4 +1
31 July Sky Sports HD Sky Sports HD 1

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
United States Lost Channel 4 Sky One
Bagpuss Five
The Clangers
Ivor the Engine
Noggin the Nog
World's Strongest Man BBC One
Thomas & Friends ITV
The Paul O'Grady Show Channel 4
United States Family Guy BBC Two (first run rights) BBC Three
United States Little Einsteins Playhouse Disney CITV

Television shows[edit]

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

Programme Date(s) of original removal Original channel(s) Date(s) of return New channel(s)
Finders Keepers 1 March 1985
6 August 1996
CITV 6 January 2006 N/A (Same channel as original)
Jackanory 24 March 1996 BBC One 27 November 2006 CBBC
Words and Pictures 2001 BBC One & BBC Two 2006 CBeebies


  • BBC Wimbledon (1927–present)







Ending this year[edit]

Date(s) Show Channel(s) Debut(s)
13 January Muffin the Mule CBeebies 1946 & 2005
ITV Day ITV 2005
28 February Love Lies Bleeding 2006
3 March Pingu CBeebies/BBC One 1986 & 2004
11 March Dick and Dom in da Bungalow CBBC 2002
1 April CD:UK ITV 1998
6 April The Family Man BBC One 2006
14 April Footballers' Wives ITV 2002
Finders Keepers CITV 1991 & 2006
9 June They Think It's All Over BBC One 1995
29 June Cash Cab ITV 2005
30 June Coach Trip Channel 4
30 July & 25 December Top of the Pops BBC One 1964
18 August The Kumars 2001
23 August Love Island (returned in 2015) ITV 2005
10 September Where the Heart Is 1997
My Hero BBC One 2000
22 September Bullseye Challenge 1981 & 2006
15 October Jane Eyre BBC One 2006
22 October Prime Suspect ITV 1991
6 November Vincent 2005
22 November Afterlife
7 December The State Within BBC One 2006
10 December Byker Grove 1989
16 December Extinct ITV 2006
19 December Losing Gemma
23 December Stars in Their Eyes 1990
27 December The Biggest Loser Sky 2005


Date Name Age Broadcast credibility
2 January John Woodnutt 81 Actor (Jeeves and Wooster, Doctor Who)
28 January Henry McGee 76 Actor (The Benny Hill Show)
7 March John Junkin 76 Actor and screenwriter
24 March Lynne Perrie 74 Actress (Coronation Street)
25 June Kenneth Griffith 84 Actor and documentary film-maker
8 July Peter Hawkins 82 Actor and voice artist (Doctor Who, Rainbow, Captain Pugwash)
13 August Tony Jay 73 Actor, voice actor and singer (Mighty Ducks, ReBoot, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Beauty and the Beast)
5 September Hilary Mason 89 Actress (Maid Marian and her Merry Men)
Anne Gregg 66 Travel writer and television presenter[86]
8 September Frank Middlemass 87 Actor
5 October Jennifer Moss 61 Actress (Lucille Hewitt in Coronation Street)
16 October Ross Davidson 57 Actor (Andy O'Brien in EastEnders)
14 November John Hallam 65 Actor
27 November Alan Freeman 79 Radio DJ and presenter (Top of the Pops)

See also[edit]


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