KYTV (TV series)

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This article is about the British television comedy show. For the NBC affiliate in Springfield, Missouri, see KYTV (TV).
KyTV CarLtON StYle.jpg
Genre Comedy
Written by Angus Deayton
Geoffrey Perkins
Directed by John Kilby
John Stroud
Starring Helen Atkinson-Wood
Angus Deayton
Michael Fenton Stevens
Geoffrey Perkins
Philip Pope
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 19 (list of episodes)
Original network BBC Two
Original release 12 May 1989 (1989-05-12) – 22 October 1993 (1993-10-22)

KYTV is a British television comedy show about a fictional television station that ran on BBC2 from 1989 to 1993, which satirised satellite television in the UK at the time.


The show was effectively the TV version of Radio Active, which spoofed local radio stations, and was developed by the same team.

It was written by Angus Deayton and Geoffrey Perkins, produced by Jamie Rix, directed by John Kilby and John Stroud, and with music by Philip Pope. The majority of the programme's scripts had already aired on Radio Active.

The five key actors all performed various roles, some multiple, others on a single occasion. Their main characters as presenters were:

The pilot show was broadcast on 12 May 1989, and a series of 6 programmes began on 3 May 1990. A second series of 6 began on 17 March 1992, and a final 6 episodes were broadcast between 17 September and 22 October 1993, plus an additional Children in Need special, for a total of 19 episodes.

In 1992 the series won the Silver Rose and the Special Prize of the City of Montreux at the Festival Rose d'Or for the "Good Morning Calais" episode. Also, in the DVD commentary for The Micallef Programme, lead writer and performer Shaun Micallef cites this series as an inspiration for his show's format.


KYTV combined irreverent sketches and variety elements (such as song and dance routines) with a broad-based satire of the public perception of UK satellite television - that of opportunistic entrepreneurs producing cheap, low quality television in order to exploit viewers.

KYTV was supposedly a low-budget satellite television station named after its alleged owner Sir Kenneth Yellowhammer, and bore a suspicious similarity to Sky Television.

In the second series KYTV merged with the fictional "BSE Television", just as Sky merged with BSB. The channel's new name was also KYTV, composed from the first two letters of KYTV and the last two of BSETV. The third series featured parodies of Carlton Television's early logos.

Each episode featured a central theme (for example, a terrorist siege, the Channel Tunnel, or a costume drama) which sketches could revolve around.

Comedic elements included:

  • malfunctioning equipment
  • rolling news channels with little content or analysis (a similar technique to that later used in Brass Eye)
  • sensationalist and dumbed down shows ("Murder. Gruesome, bloody murder. Coming right up, after the break. Tell your neighbours.")
  • underpaid, incompetent and amateurish staff
  • lavish "showcase sequences" compared to shoddy, makeshift visuals or unfinished sets
  • endless repeats of imported or old (and therefore cheap) programmes as an attempt to fill yawning gulfs of airtime
  • relentless commercial intrusions, including plugs for shopping channels ("By the way Mike, that's a very smart tie you have on!" "Yes, and it's only £18.99 at Sofa Shop!")

A regular feature was "Mike Flex's Master Quiz", in which contestants typically had to answer one question correctly to win "a château in the Loire". Mike Flex always managed to arrange the questions in such a way that nobody's answer was ever quite right. (Name that Tune: "Beatles, Yellow Submarine!" "Sorry, it was The Beatles, Yellow Submarine. Bad luck.")



Siege Side Special (12 May 1989)

Series 1[edit]

  • 1 - Launch (3 May 1990)
  • 2 - Big Fight Special (10 May 1990)
  • 3 - The Green Green Show (17 May 1990)
  • 4 - Those Fabulous War Years (24 May 1990)
  • 5 - It's a Royal Wedding (31 May 1990)
  • 6 - Challenge Anna (7 June 1990)

Series 1 was released on DVD in 2006.

Series 2[edit]

  • 1 - KY Tellython (17 March 1992)
  • 2 - God Alone Knows (24 March 1992)
  • 3 - Good Morning Calais (31 March 1992)
  • 4 - Crisis Special (7 April 1992)
  • 5 - Speak For Yourself (14 April 1992)
  • 6 - Talking Heads (21 April 1992)

Series 2 was released on DVD in 2006.

Series 3[edit]

  • 1 - The Making of David Chizzlenut (17 September 1993)
  • 2 - Those Sexciting Sixties (24 September 1993)
  • 3 - Fly on the Walls (1 October 1993)
  • 4 - 2000 and Whither? (8 October 1993)
  • 5 - Hot Crimes (15 October 1993)
  • 6 - Get Away With You (22 October 1993)

Series 3 was due to be released in January 2007 but it was pulled.

External links[edit]