2008 in British television
This is a list of events that took place in 2008 related to British television.
||BBC announces that children's drama Grange Hill is to be axed after exactly 30 years on air.|
||In an address to the Royal Television Society, the comedian Lenny Henry criticises the lack of ethnic diversity in the media.|
||After 22 years Neighbours is shown on BBC One for the last time.|
||Australian soap opera Neighbours debuts in its new home on Five.|
||The BBC Three "Blobs" are played out for the last time at 4 am. A new set of idents debuted the same day, this is the channels first ever rebrand since launching in early 2003.|
||Natasha Kaplinsky makes her Five News debut as Britain's highest paid newsreader, on a reported annual salary of £1 million.|
||It is announced that music video channel The Hits will be replaced by 4Music later in the year.|
||BBC One soap EastEnders is reprimanded by Ofcom for the level of violence in an episode aired in November 2007 which saw a gang attack on a pub. The scenes, which showed a sustained level of violence, were deemed to be inappropriate for a pre-watershed audience.|
||Launch of the black entertainment channel BET International.|
||James Nathan wins the 2008 series of MasterChef.|
||Freesat officially launches. ITV HD launches its full service.|
||Kix! was launched in the UK for the first time.|
||Scotsport airs for the last time on Scottish television. By the time it ended it was recognised as the world's longest running sports television magazine.|
||After Britain's entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest comes last, Sir Terry Wogan suggests he may step down as the BBC's Eurovision commentator because the contest is "no longer a music contest". Andy Abraham receives 14 points for the United Kingdom with "Even If", while the contest is won by Russia's Dima Bilan with "Believe", which scores 292 points. The result is partially due to the number of former Soviet states giving Russia the maximum 12 points, prompting Wogan to tell viewers that "Russia were going to be the political winners from the beginning" and to suggest "western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor".|
||It is announced that What the Papers Say, the second longest running programme on British television after Panorama, is to be axed by the BBC.|
||Several newspapers report that George Galloway, MP has issued legal proceedings against The Bill for defamation after a storyline aired in November 2007 that featured a corrupt MP who smuggled antiques out of Iraq before the war, which Galloway alleges was a portrayal of him.|
|ITV airs the 5000th episode of Emmerdale.|
||Jodie Prenger will play the role of Nancy in the West End musical Oliver! after winning BBC One's I'd Do Anything.|
|Break dancer George Sampson wins the second series of Britain's Got Talent, netting a £100,000 prize and a chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance.|
||All Virgin Media channels including Bravo (also Bravo 2), Living (also Living2), Challenge, Trouble and Virgin 1 switch to widescreen.|
||MTV UK and several other MTV Networks Europe channels are fined £255,000 by Ofcom for "widespread and persistent" breaches of the broadcasting code, including breaking the pre-watershed content ban.|
||The Big Brother 9 launch night proves to be not as good as Channel 4 had hoped with the loss of around 1 million viewers who had watched the previous year's launch night|
||Sharon Osbourne quits as a judge on the ITV series The X Factor shortly before filming is due to begin on a new series.|
||Euro 2008 are held in Austria and Switzerland.|
||Channel 4 apologises after broadcasting an episode of The Simpsons that included the use of the word "wankers" at 6.00 pm on 15 April. The incident, blamed on an administrative error, led to 31 viewers complaining to Ofcom that such language was unacceptable at a time when children would be watching.|
||Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole is revealed as Sharon Osbourne's replacement as a judge on The X Factor.|
||Lee McQueen wins the fourth series of The Apprentice.|
|| Comedian Joan Rivers is asked to leave the ITV afternoon talk show Loose Women after swearing live on air. She was removed during the commercial break, and said that she didn't realise the show was going out live and thought her comments would be bleeped.|
||An EastEnders storyline involving the live burial of a character that aired over Easter is criticised as "offensive" by Ofcom. The scenes, which saw Tanya Branning getting revenge against her unfaithful husband Max by drugging and burying him, attracted 116 complaints from viewers. Ofcom says the episodes had "a seriously disturbing element to them".|
||The finale of the fourth series of Doctor Who is watched by 9.4 million viewers, this is the first time since the series' revival in 2005 that Doctor Who has the largest audience share in its timeslot.|
||BBC Two Controller Roly Keating is appointed as the BBC's first director of archive content. He will take up the role in the autumn.|
||Des O'Connor announces that he will step down as presenter of Countdown.|
|Portland Enterprises, owners of Television X: The Fantasy Channel are fined £25,000 by Ofcom for broadcasting "highly explicit sex material" after showing an R18 rated adult film in June 2007, something that broke Ofcom rules on the broadcast of adult content.|
|Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton is named as a temporary co-presenter of Richard & Judy, presenting the show alongside Richard Madeley for a few days while his wife, Judy Finnigan recovers from a knee operation. Bunton is succeeded by Myleene Klass, who also takes on Finnegan's role for a few days.|
||Carol Vorderman announces that she will quit as host of Countdown, two days after Des O'Connor announced his intention to leave the programme. Vorderman's manager said that she did not think she could go through the process of bonding with another co-presenter.|
|Liz McClarnon wins the 2008 series of Celebrity MasterChef.|
||Selina Scott is suing Five for age discrimination, it is reported, after she was considered but overlooked as a temporary replacement for Five News presenter Natasha Kaplinsky during her maternity leave.|
||Rachel Rice wins series nine of Big Brother.|
||A report by the Scottish Broadcasting Commission recommends that up to £75 million of public funds should be used to create a high quality Scottish television channel.|
||BBC One screens its controversial documentary The Undercover Soldier that alleges instances of bullying in the British Army. The show attracts relatively low ratings and the BBC is criticised by serving soldiers for the way the investigation was conducted.|
||BBC Alba, a Scottish Gaelic language digital television channel, is launched through a partnership between the BBC and MG Alba.|
||It is announced that an agreement has been struck for Sky's Basic channels – including Sky1, Sky2, Sky3, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 – to return to Virgin Media from 13 November 2008 until 12 June 2011. In exchange Sky will be provide continued carriage of Virgin Media Television's channels – Living, Living2, Bravo, Bravo +1, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin1 for the same period. However, Trouble closed down on April 2009 and Sky brought Virgin Media Television (later Living TV Group) two years later. Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge Jackpot and Channel One closed down on 1 January and 1 February 2011 respectively, along with the rebrandings of Living (now Sky Living), Livingit (then Livingit, now Sky Livingit), Living Loves (now Sky Living Loves) and Challenge's new slot on Freeview on 1 February 2011, which finally ended Living TV Group and extended the agreement as a permanent deal.|
||A BBC Two Newsnight special on the election of Barack Obama in which presenter Jeremy Paxman famously addresses the rapper Dizzee Rascal as "Mr Rascal".|
||The digital switchover continues when the Scottish Borders region's analogue service is switched off. People served by the Selkirk transmitter will be the first substantial area to go fully digital.|
||ITV airs Proof of Life, a two-part episode of The Bill to celebrate the series' 25th anniversary. The storyline features a crrossover with the German police procedural SOKO Leipzig, and is aired on both UK and German television.|
||BSkyB basic channels such as Sky 1 and Sky News return to Virgin Media TV.|
||Children in Need 2008 is broadcast on BBC One, hosted by Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton. Raising £20,991,216 by the end of the broadcast.|
||Journalist John Sergeant pulls out of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing contest following controversy over his participation in the show. Sergeant has been consistently supported by the public despite receiving the lowest scores from the programme's panel of judges. Announcing his decision, Sergeant says winning would be "a joke too far". The BBC says it will refund anyone who voted for Sergeant while he was taking part.|
||Sir Trevor McDonald presents his last News at Ten after only 11 months at helm. Mark Austin takes over as head anchor.|
|QI broadcasts its last episode to be originally shown on BBC Two, as part of Children in Need. The series moves to BBC One during Christmas.|
||It is announced that Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling and Oxford graduate Rachel Riley will replace Des O'Connor and Carol Vorderman as hosts of the next series of Countdown. Riley beat 1,000 applicants to win the role.|
|The BBC Trust criticises another incident involving Jonathan Ross and bad language. The Trust rules that a remark made by Ross on an edition of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross aired in May in which he told the actress Gwyneth Paltrow he "would fuck her" was "gratuitous and unnecessarily offensive".|
|STV announces its intention to opt out of ITV programmes they claim are not performing well in their broadcast region. These include series such as Sharpe's Peril, Al Murray's Happy Hour, Moving Wallpaper, Benidorm and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. ITV's coverage of the FA Cup is also dropped.|
||Selina Scott has reached a settlement with Five after suing the channel for age discrimination, it is reported.|
|Actor Joe Swash wins the eighth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.|
|It is announced that Graham Norton will take over from Terry Wogan as the presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest after Wogan, who has presented the BBC's coverage of the contest for 30 years, decided to relinquish the role.|
||Des O'Connor presents his last Countdown episode after over a year of presenting and Carol Vorderman also presents her last Countdown episode after 26 years of co-presenting.|
||Alexandra Burke wins the fifth series of The X Factor.|
||Cyclist Chris Hoy is named as this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year.|
||Tom Chambers and dancing partner Camilla Dallerup win the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing.|
||The Royle Family returns for a Christmas Special, attracting an audience of 11 million. The most watched show of the day is a new Wallace and Gromit adventure, A Matter of Loaf and Death, which airs on BBC One, and is seen by 14.4 million viewers.|
||Shooting Stars returns with a Christmas special and a clip show, the first new episodes since 2002 and Rab C. Nesbitt returns with a Christmas special, another new episode since 1999.|
||ITV airs Elton's New Year's Eve party, a live concert by Elton John from London's O2 Arena. Channel 5 airs an evening of programming dedicated to Bruce Forsyth, including An Audience with Bruce Forsyth.|
Changes of network affiliation
- ^1 It later moved to CITV in early 2009 for brand newer series and then in late 2012 back to Channel 5.
|UKTV Drama +1
|UKTV Gold +1
Returning this year after a break of one year or longer
Ending this year
|Date || Name || Age || Cinematic Credibility|
||Television producer (Late Night Line-Up, Old Grey Whistle Test, Points of View)|
||Actress, widow of Baron Delfont|
||Television make-up artist|
||Journalist and author|
||Presenter (Game for a Laugh, Beadle's About, Chain Letters, Beadle's Hotshots, You've Been Framed!)|
||Actor (The Fugitive, Space: 1999)|
||Actor (When the Boat Comes In) director of the National Youth Theatre|
||Former ITN newscaster|
||Actor (Last of the Summer Wine, Porridge)|
||Sir Geoffrey Cox
||Founder of ITN News at Ten|
||Presenter (SMart, Scratchy & Co.)|
||Canadian-born British conductor, television producer and director|
||Actress (The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven)|
||Film and television composer|
||Jazz musician, broadcaster (Host of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue)|
||Comedian and actor|
||Stage director and actor|
||British TV animator/producer and director (Thomas & Friends)|
||Composer and author|
||Roman Catholic priest and broadcaster|
||Actress (Marjorie Antrobus on The Archers)|
||Journalist and critic|
||Journalist and television presenter (Midlands Today)|
||Television producer and presenter (The Time, The Place)|
||Co-star (Candid Camera)|
||Historian and writer|
||Actor (Voice of K-9 on Doctor Who)|
||Stage, television and film actress (Sense and Sensibility, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)|
||Journalist and longest serving BBC foreign correspondent|
||Actor (Hancock's Half Hour)|
||Actor and playwright (Paul Temple)|
||British scriptwriter (The Good Life)|
||BBC Television executive|
||Sports presenter (BBC Cymru Wales), brother of John Humphrys|
||Theatre and film director|
||Actor and singer|
||Sky News presenter|
||Film and television producer|
||Actor, singer and dancer|
||David Lloyd Meredith
||Actor (On the Buses, The Rag Trade)|
||Actress (Last of the Summer Wine, Crossroads)|
Top 10 highest viewed programmes
- A Matter of Loaf and Death is the highest viewed non-sporting event since an episode of Coronation Street in 2004 had 16.33 million.
- Coronation Street's audience was boosted due to the death of long running and popular character Vera Duckworth.
- The results shows of The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent are counted as separate programmes.
- ↑ Holmwood, Leigh (2 January 2008). "ITV drops soaps from Sunday lineup". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- ↑ Martin, Nicole (15 January 2008). "ITV's revamped News at Ten fails to dent BBC". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- ↑ Conlan, Tara (10 January 2008). "We won't dumb down 10 O'Clock News, says BBC". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- ↑ "£5m hospital bug payout for Ash". BBC News. BBC. 16 January 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
- ↑ Banks-Smith, Nancy (1 February 2008). "Last night's TV: EastEnders". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- ↑ "TV is too white, Lenny Henry says". BBC News. BBC. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- ↑ Plunkett, John (5 February 2008). "Natasha Kaplinsky gears up for Channel Five News debut". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ↑ "Ofcom raps EastEnders fight scene". BBC News. BBC. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- ↑ Hilton, Beth (29 February 2008). "'MasterChef 2008' winner crowned". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- ↑ "The Bill criticised over MS plot". BBC News. London: BBC. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- ↑ "Assembly broadcasting ban lifted". BBC News. BBC. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- ↑ "ITV2 signs online deal with Bebo". BBC News. BBC. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- ↑ "Bionic gives ITV2 record ratings". BBC News. BBC. 12 March 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- ↑ Savage, Mark (14 March 2008). "Doing Anything for West End fame". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- ↑ "Suzanne Shaw wins Dancing On Ice". BBC News. BBC. 16 March 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- ↑ Walton, James (25 March 2008). "Last night on television: Alternative Therapies (BBC2) – The Frost Report Is Back (BBC4)". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- ↑ "ITV drops Pushing Daisies episode". BBC News. BBC. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- ↑ "Seven 'Coronation Street' characters axed". Digital Spy. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- ↑ "Wogan 'may quit Eurovision role'". BBC News. BBC. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- ↑ "George Gallaway sues The Bill over "corrupt" politician he claims is based on him". London: Daily Mail. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- ↑ Kiss, Jemima (30 May 2008). "George Galloway in libel complaint over The Bill storyline". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- ↑ Spencer, Ben (30 May 2008). "MP George Galloway to sue The Bill". Edinburgh: The Daily Record. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- ↑ Thompson, Jody (2 June 2008). "Emmerdale – What's been your favourite moment in the soap?". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- ↑ "Jodie takes West End Nancy role". BBC News. BBC. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- ↑ "George Sampson wins Britain's Got Talent". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- ↑ Holman, Leigh (7 June 2008). "Osbourne quits X Factor days before filming". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
- ↑ Dowell, Ben (9 June 2008). "The Simpsons: Channel 4 apologises for pre-watershed swearing". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- ↑ "Cheryl Cole is new X Factor judge". BBC News. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
- ↑ "McQueen named as The Apprentice". BBC News. BBC. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- ↑ Coleman, Mark; Revoir, Paul (18 June 2008). "Yes, I swore and I'm so ******* sorry: Joan Rivers shows no remorse for her four-letter outburst on TV's Loose Women". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- ↑ "EastEnders burial was 'offensive'". BBC News. BBC. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- ↑ "New role for BBC Two controller". BBC News. BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- ↑ "Des O'Connor to leave Countdown". BBC News. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- ↑ "Channel fined over 'explicit' sex". BBC News. BBC. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- ↑ "Bunton steps in for Judy Finnegan". Digital Spy. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- ↑ "Richard's touch of Klass". Sunday People. Trinity Mirror. 3 August 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- ↑ "Carol Vorderman quits Countdown". BBC News. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- ↑ "Celebrity MasterChef: Liz McClarnon is the Atomic Kitchen queen". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- ↑ "TV's McGovern calls BBC 'racist'". BBC News. BBC. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- ↑ "Scott sues for age discrimination". BBC News. BBC. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- ↑ "Big Brother win for Rachel Rice". BBC News. BBC. 6 September 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ↑ "Scotland 'needs national channel'". BBC News. BBC. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- ↑ Hutchinson, Sophie (18 September 2008). "Army trainers suspended from role". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- ↑ Jenkins, Russell (19 September 2008). "Five Army instructors suspended over bullying claims at Catterick". The Times. London: News International. Retrieved 25 October 2008. (subscription required (help)).
- ↑ "Soldiers hit back at BBC investigation into base". Northern Echo. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- ↑ "Hadlow announced as BBC Two boss". BBC News. BBC. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- ↑ "Rangers fans unhappy with Corrie comment". RTÉ Ten. RTÉ. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- ↑ "BSkyB and Virgin Media Sign New Channel Carriage Agreements". skyuser.co.uk. 4 November 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
- ↑ Moody, Paul (6 November 2008). "Paul Moody: Jeremy Paxman should have shown Dizzee Rascal more respect". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- ↑ Smith, Eliot (8 November 2008). "When Jeremy Paxman met Dizzee Rascal". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- ↑ "Sergeant quits Strictly contest". BBC News. BBC. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- ↑ "Sky host Stelling joins Countdown". BBC News. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- ↑ Conlan, Tara; Holmwood, Leigh (21 November 2008). "BBC Trust criticises Jonathan Ross over lewd comment to Gwyneth Paltrow". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- ↑ "Scott settles Five legal action". BBC News. BBC. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- ↑ Holmwood, Leigh (8 December 2008). "9.7m watch Joe Swash win I'm a Celebrity". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- ↑ "Eurovision: Norton to replace Wogan". BBC Press Office. BBC. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- ↑ "Alexandra crowned X Factor winner". BBC News. BBC. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- ↑ Gibson, Owen (15 December 2008). "Cyclist Chris Hoy wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 2008". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- ↑ Nikkah, Roya; Lusher, Adam (20 December 2008). "Tom Chambers beats Rachel Stevens to win Strictly Come Dancing final". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- ↑ "Wallace and Gromit top TV ratings". BBC News. BBC. 26 December 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- ↑ "Christmas crackers; Settle back in the best seat in the house and check out our guide to this year's festive film and TV". Western Mail. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- ↑ "BBC wins New Year's Eve ratings". Digital Spy. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- ↑ "TV presenter Alan Towers dies". BBC News. BBC. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2015.