Holiday (TV series)

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Presented byCliff Michelmore
Desmond Lynam
Anne Gregg
John Carter
Kathy Tayler
Anneka Rice
Jill Dando
Craig Doyle
Riz Lateef
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes622
Running time29 minutes
Original release
NetworkBBC One
Release2 January 1969 (1969-01-02)[1] –
19 March 2007 (2007-03-19)[2]

Holiday is a British television programme, which aired mainly on BBC One, and sometimes on BBC Two. It is the longest running travel review series on UK television, showing every year from 1969 until its demise in 2007.[3]


The programme began in 1969 as Holiday 69, and until the early 2000s the year was included in the title in this way. The first presenter was Cliff Michelmore, who remained with the series until 1986. In 1974, competitor network ITV launched its own travel show, Wish You Were Here...?, which ran until 2003.

Each week the programme consisted of reports made by presenters visiting holiday resorts and destinations in both the UK or overseas. The locations would be reviewed based on criteria such as amenities, attractions, and hospitality. Despite the programme's interesting locations and resorts, it garnered a reputation for featuring destinations that the majority of viewers would be unable to afford.

The programme spawned several short-lived offshoot programmes, including:

  • Summer Holiday (1994–2002)
  • Holidays Out (1995–1998)
  • Holiday: Fasten Your Seatbelt (1996–98), in which presenters tried out holiday-related jobs)
  • Holiday on a Shoestring (1999)
  • Holiday Snaps (1999–2002)
  • Holiday: You Call the Shots – in which viewers advised the presenters which sites to visit in a particular destination prior to filming (2001–03)

It was announced by the BBC in November 2006 that after 37 years and 40 series, Holiday would end in March 2007 at the conclusion of its current run.


Many presenters appeared in the programme, including Cliff Michelmore, Ginny Buckley, Joan Bakewell, Anne Gregg, Frank Bough, Desmond Lynam, Eamonn Holmes, Anneka Rice, Jill Dando, Rizwana Lateef, Craig Doyle[4] and Nana Akua.[5]

In addition, the teams of reporters who provided regular reviews from holiday destinations included Sarah Kennedy, Bill Buckley, Kieran Prendiville, Fyfe Robertson, Kathy Tayler, Monty Don, Rowland Rivron, John Cole and Carol Smillie. The final presenter was Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.[citation needed]

Theme tunes[edit]

The original theme tune for the series was Love's "The Castle".

Subsequent theme tunes in the mid-1970s included Hugo Montenegro's arrangement of Lalo Schifrin's theme to the 1968 movie The Fox, a cover of the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun", and Part Five of Jean Michel Jarre's Équinoxe.

Gordon Giltrap's "Heartsong" was used as a theme tune from 1978 until the end of the 1985 series. In 1986 it was replaced with "The Holiday Suite" written by Simon May, who also composed the EastEnders theme. This proved unpopular, and was replaced on Holiday '87 by a further Giltrap composition "Breaking Free" which also only lasted one year. For Holiday '88-'91 they used a third Giltrap composition "Holiday Romance".

In 1992 Paul Hardcastle composed a new theme, titled "Voyager". This theme was used throughout the 1990s and 2000s until the programme came to an end after 37 years in 2007.



  1. ^ "Holiday 69 - BBC One London - 2 January 1969". BBC Genome Project. 2 January 1969. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Holiday - BBC One London - 19 March 2007". BBC Genome Project. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. ^ West, Dave (27 November 2006). "BBC axes 'Holiday' after 37 years". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. ^ "'Holiday' programme axed after 37 years". Evening Standard. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Nana Akua". Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Vets on Holiday - BBC One London - 27 August 1998 - BBC Genome". 27 August 1998. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Holiday Down Under - BBC One London - 5 January 1999 - BBC Genome". 5 January 1999. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Holiday - Round-the-World Special - BBC One London - 15 October 2000 - BBC Genome". 15 October 2000. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Holiday - EastEnders Special - BBC One London - 22 December 2002 - BBC Genome". 22 December 2002. Retrieved 6 July 2018.

External links[edit]