70 YEARS MOST WATCHED TV PROGRAMMES
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 28th August 2019
Over the 7 decades I have experience of life I have been aware of a lot of TV. The technology has changed unbelievably over that time, but so have the TV programmes.
As an enthusiast of all media and 20th/21st social history, earlier in the year, I produced a list of the most watched programmes in each year for my three score years and ten. But last week I found a similar list on the internet. Here’s a combination of the two.
The results show the changes in culture and taste.
1952: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (BBC) 8m
1949-51, 1953-54 Only BBC TV no figures available.
1955: Sunday Palladium (ITV)
1956: The Gang Show (ITV)
1957: Take Your Pick (ITV), 3.2m It was ITV’s flagship show and the first British TV game show to offer cash prizes.
1958: Dotto (ITV), 4.9m A hugely successful game show – but it only ran for two years.
1959: Wagon Train (ITV), 6.1m The story of America’s mass migration in the 19th century
1960: The Cupboard (ITV), 7.7m An episode of Armchair Theatre
1961: The Royal Variety Show (ITV), 8.4m Dame Shirley Bassey or plain Shirley Bassey starred.
1962: Labour Party Broadcast (BBC/ITV), 8.2m Though Coronation Street actually pipped it with 8.4m
1963: The Royal Variety Show (ITV) with the Beatles, 10.4m.
1964: Steptoe And Son (BBC), 9.7m
1965: Take Your Pick (ITV), 8.4m
1966: Secombe And Friends (ITV), 9.4m That’s Harry Secombe, formerly of The Goon Show.
1967: Sunday Night At The London Palladium (ITV) With Rolling Stones 9.1m but technically Corrie again, with 9.4m.
1968: Eurovision Song Contest (BBC), 9.4m Massiel won for Spain with ‘La, La, La’, beating Cliff Richard’s ‘Congratulations’ by one point.
1969: In Loving Memory (ITV), 8.6m Sitcom set in an undertakers, with Thora Hird.
1970: Miss World (ITV), 24m
1971: Benny Hill Show (ITV) The king of slapstick.
1972: Eurovision Song Contest (BBC) Greek singer Vicky Leandros, representing Luxembourg, won with ‘Après
1973: Eurovision Song Contest (BBC) Another win for Luxembourg, with Anne-Marie David’s ‘Tu Te Reconnaîtras’. Cliff came third this time (with ‘Power to All Our Friends’.)
1974: This is Your Life (ITV), 9.4m The show ran from 1955 (with a five-year break after ’64) with Eamonn Andrews as host, though Michael Aspel took over in 1987. It continued till 2003 and came back briefly in 2007.
1975: Love Thy Neighbour (ITV), 9.2m Sitcom about race relations in Twickenham. Very much “of its time”… You could not get away with it now – you would not want to get away with it now, it was distasteful to put it very mildly. Times have changed for the good.
1976: Goldfinger (the movie) (ITV), 9.8m
1977: The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC), 21.4m Impressions were big business in those days. No.2 was Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show
1978: This is Your Life (ITV), 19.6m Actually Coronation Street again, with 20.2m.
1979: BBC News – Murder of Lord Mountbatten (BBC), 26m
1980: This is Your Life (ITV), 18.8m Coronation Street, actually – with 19m
1981: Jaws (Movie) (ITV), 23.3m.
1982: The Spy Who Loved Me (Movie) (ITV), 22.9m
1983: Superman (Movie) (ITV), 16.75m
1984: The Royal Variety Performance with Keith Harris & Orville(BBC), 20.6m
1985: Wish You Were Here (ITV), 18.9m Actually the winner was the new soap EastEnders, 23.6m viewers.
1986: Just Good Friends (BBC), 20.75m (Sit Com) Actually it was EastEnders again, with 30.15m.
1987: A Question of Sport (BBC), 26.65m EastEnders, really – 28m viewers. But QoS did so well because Princess Anne was a guest.
1988: Bread (BBC), 20.95m EastEnders was the actual biggest, with 28m
1989: Crocodile Dundee (Movie) (BBC1), 21.77m I love the quip written with this: “This would be a reality show today, right?”
1990: Only Fools And Horses (BBC1), 17.97m Neighbours was the most popular show of the year, with 21.16m
1991: London’s Burning (ITV), 18.86m Coronation Street actually got the top spot: 20.45m viewers.
1992: Only Fools And Horses (BBC1), 20.14m Coronation Street, technically – 20.45m viewers
1993: One Foot in The Algarve (BBC1), 20.01m Coronation Street took the crown, with 20.73m viewers.
1994: Torvill and Dean – Olympic Ice Dance Championship (BBC1), 23.95m
1995: Panorama Special: Princess Diana (BBC1), 22.78m
1996: Only Fools and Horses (BBC1), 24.35m The final ever episode (before it returned five years later).
1997: Funeral of Diana Princess of Wales (BBC1), 19.29m
1998: World Cup: England v Argentina (ITV), 23.78m
1999: Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (ITV), 19.21m Though Coronation Street won out with 19.82m viewers.
2000: Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (ITV), 15.88m Coronation Street again – 18.96m viewers.
2001: Only Fools And Horses (BBC1), 21.35m
2002: Only Fools And Horses (BBC1), 17.40m
2003: Only Fools And Horses (BBC1), 16.37m Coronation Street actually did better, with 19.43m viewers.
2004: Euro 04: England vs Portugal (BBC1), 20.66m
2005: I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV), 12.35m Coronation Street was bigger14.36m viewers.
2006: World Cup: England vs Sweden (ITV1), 18.46m
2007: Doctor Who (BBC1), 13.31m EastEnders did better – 14.38m viewers
2008: Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (BBC1), 16.15m
2009: Britain’s Got Talent (ITV), 18.29m
2010: X Factor Results (ITV), 16.55m This is One Direction “not winning” The X Factor
2011: The Royal Wedding (BBC1), 13.59m His Royal Cambridgeness and the Duchess of Kate.
2012: Olympics 2012: Closing Ceremony (BBC1), 24.46m Even though the opening ceremony was a billion times better than the closing, everyone was much more excited by the end than at the beginning.
2013: New Year’s Eve Fireworks (BBC1), 13.53m
2014: World Cup 2014: Germany vs Argentina (BBC1), 14.96m
2015: The Great British Bakeoff (BBC1), 15.05m Go Nadia!
2016: The Great British Bake Off (BBC1), 15.9m Go Candice!
2017: Blue Planet II (BBC1), 14.01m
2018: World Cup 2018: Croatia vs England (ITV), 20.7m – Regular TV top rated include Bodyguard 14.3 million (BBC 1) I’m A Celebrity 13.7 million (ITV), Strictly Come Dancing 12.9 million (BBC 1)
2019: (So far) Line of Duty – 12.1 million (BBC 1)
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – Terry Pratchett
Happiness is…classic TV (usually comedy or documentary).
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Disneyland. The world’s biggest people trap, built by a mouse.
Love is…when just being together is enough
TRACK OF THE DAY
Yesterday Man – Chris Andrews
Highest Chart Position: No.3 11th November 1965
WHAT DAY IS IT?
Wednesday 28th August 2019
Bow Tie Day
Race Your Mouse Around The Icons Day
Radio Commercials Day
Crackers Over The Keyboard Day
Cherry Turnover Day
©2019 Phil M Robinson & jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk