1 January – Channel 4 airs One in Five, a late-night profile of homosexual lifestyles. This programme and The Eleventh Hour: Veronica 4 Rose, featuring two schoolgirls discussing lesbianism, lead to extreme criticism for the channel and an attempt by Conservative MP John Carlisle to have the channel banned.
3 January – Children's ITV premieres as a new branding for the late afternoon programming block on the ITV network, replacing Watch It!.
4 February – American sitcom Cheers makes its British television debut on Channel 4 for the first time.
6 February – The Australian soap opera Sons and Daughters makes its British television debut when Central becomes the first ITV region to begin screening the programme. All other ITV regions soon follow suit.
8 February – Minipops premieres on Channel 4. Though a ratings success, it is axed after only one series due to heavy media criticism.
Channel 4 broadcasts in-vision teletext pages for the first time. Two magazines are shown – 4-Tel on View and Oracle on View – and in fifteen minute bursts which are repeated several times each day prior to the start of each day's transmissions. Teletext pages are only shown on weekdays.
1 April – Roland Rat makes his first appearance on TV-am. Created by David Claridge and launched by TV-am children's editor Anne Wood to entertain younger viewers during the Easter holidays, Roland is generally regarded as TV-am's saviour, being described as "the only rat to join a sinking ship".
2 and 9 April – Two issues of Radio Times fail to be published, due to industrial action.
5 April – Debut of First Tuesday on ITV, the subject matter was mainly social issues and current affairs stories from around the world, with programmes being shown on the first Tuesday of the month.
7 April – ITV airs an evening of programmes under the banner of ITV's Channel Four Showcase. It includes both current and upcoming Channel 4 programmes.
12 April – Timothy Aitken succeeds his cousin Jonathan as chief executive of TV-am due to the IBA rules regarding MPs operating a television station.
2 May – From today, Ceefax pages are broadcast during all daytime downtime although BBC2 continues to fully close down for four hours after Play School. Teletext transmissions also begin on Channel 4 at around this time.
London-based listings magazine Time Out is not allowed to publish full day's television listings for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 programmes together, for some reasons that the Radio Times (BBC television/radio) and TVTimes (ITV/Channel 4) has brought the rights to publish other magazines such as newspapers, before the deregulation of television listings from 1 March 1991.
Top of the Pops celebrates its 1000th edition. The programme is also broadcast on BBC Radio 1 to allow viewers to listen to the programme in stereo.
23 May – TV-am's new look starts.Daybreak is axed, with Good Morning Britain extending to start at 6:25 am. Commander David Philpott is moved to present the weather at the weekends only, with Wincey Willis becoming the new weekday weather presenter.
12 September – Animated series for children Henry's Cat created by veteran British animators Stan Hayward and Bob Godfrey begins its screening on BBC1.
16 September – BBC2 closes down during the day for the final time – all future daytime downtime is filled by Pages from Ceefax.
19 September – Daytime on Two launches on BBC2. Broadcasting during term time from just after 9:00am until 3:00pm, the strand encompasses the BBC Schools programming previously shown on BBC1 and the BBC's adult educational programmes which are shown at lunchtime. A special version of the BBC Two 'Computer Generated 2' ident is launched to introduce the programmes and a special sequence of Ceefax pages, called the Daytime on Two information Service, is broadcast during the longer gaps between programmes.
September – Central finally launches its East Midlands service. An industrial dispute had prevented Central from launching its East Midlands service when it first went on air at the start of 1982.
October – Ceefax in Vision is seen through the morning and into the afternoon on BBC2 at the weekend for the first time during the Open University’s off-season. They continue to be shown on weekend mornings until the end of January when the OU reopens for the new term.
2 October – ITV shows a live top flight football match for the first time since 1960. This marks the start of English football being shown on a national basis rather than on a regional basis, resulting in The Big Match becoming a fully national programme.
BBC1 broadcasts the Welsh children's animated series SuperTed which was based on a series of stories written by Welsh writer, producer and animator Mike Young to help his son overcome his fear of the dark. The series had been so popular it was spawned into merchandising and was broadcast in many countries worldwide.
16 October – Satellite Television begins officially broadcasting in the UK. The channel had launched the previous year on cable in various European countries but to view the channel in the UK, a satellite dish approximately 10 feet (3 meters) wide had been required due to the channel being broadcast via the Orbital Test Satellite.
28 October – The famous "turkey" incident on Family Fortunes, in which one contestant (Bob Johnson) while playing the Big Money round, offered the answer to the first three questions, the answer scored zero for the first two questions and 21 points for the third question.
^News International buys 65% of satellite group. By Bill Johnstone, Electronics Correspondent. The Times, Wednesday, 29 June 1983; pg. 13
^Title The franchise affair: creating fortunes and failures in independent televisionAuthors Asa Briggs, Joanna SpicerEdition illustratedPublisher century, 1986Original from the University of MichiganDigitized 9 Oct 2006 ISBN9780712612012