1984 in British television

This is a list of British television related events from 1984.

List of years in British television (table)



  • 4 January – Pat Phoenix leaves Coronation Street for the second and final time as Elsie Tanner goes to live with old flame Bill Gregory in Portugal, having been in the show since its inception in 1960.
  • 7 January –
  • 9 January – Children's animated series Towser premieres on ABC in Australia several months before airing in its country of origin.
  • 16 January – "The Satellite Channel" is renamed "Sky Channel".
  • 30 January – The BBC's Panorama documentary strand broadcasts "Maggie's Militant Tendency" which claims links between several Conservative MPs and far-right organisations both in Britain and Europe. Two of the MPs named, Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth subsequently sue the BBC for slander. In 1986 after the BBC withdraws from the case Hamilton is awarded £20,000 damages.[2]





  • 10 May–14 June – First run of the five-part BBC Schools French language adventure series La Marée et ses Secrets (The Tide and its Secrets), which is repeated each year until 1993.[4]


  • 4 June – The hit animated series Danger Mouse is broadcast on children's cable network Nickelodeon in the US. It also became the first British cartoon to air on that channel as well as becoming one of the earliest British cartoons to be in syndication in America.
  • 7 June – BBC1 airs the first edition of Crimewatch. The first case to be featured on the show is the murder of Colette Aram, which had occurred the previous year. A man is finally charged with the murder in 2009,[5] and sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2010 after pleading guilty.[6]
  • 23 June – ITV broadcasts the rock concert New Brighton Rock recorded at the event staged in the seaside resort of New Brighton, Merseyside over two days on 21 and 22 May.


  • 28–29 July – BBC2 hosts Jazz on a Summer's Day, a weekend of programmes devoted to jazz music.[7]
  • 28 July–12 August – BBC Television broadcasts the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Due to the Games taking place in Los Angeles, the BBC stays on air into the night to provide live coverage of the major events.


  • 25–26 August – For the second time, BBC2 Rocks Around the Clock.[8]
  • 27 August – Technicians at Thames Television walk out on strike over the use of new cameras and editing equipment along with overtime payments for transmission staff. The strike lasts for two weeks but the station is off the air for just one day over the August Bank Holiday weekend.[9] Management and administration staff take over their roles, broadcasting a skeleton service.[10]


  • 1 September – The Children's Channel original launched on satellite television.
  • 2 September – British television premiere of the two-part US mini-series Lace on ITV.
  • 3 September –
  • 11 September – After making its debut in Australia, Towser finally premieres in the UK on ITV.
  • 23 September – British single TV drama play Threads premiered on BBC2.[11]


  • 5 October –
    • The very first television programme produced by Maddocks Cartoon Productions The Family-Ness begins on BBC1.
    • BBC2 broadcasts an Open University programme at teatime for the final time.
  • 6 October – TVTimes Magazine is rebranded back to its original TVTimes name.
  • 8 October –
    • BBC2 launches a full afternoon service, consisting primarily of repeats of Dallas and old feature films.
    • The Australian soap Prisoner: Cell Block H makes its British television debut when Yorkshire Television becomes the first ITV region to begin airing the programme in a late night slot. It is followed by all other ITV regions over the following five years.
    • Scottish Television relaunches its regional news programme Scotland Today as a features-led magazine format with the news relegated to brief summaries before and after the programme.[12]
  • 9 October – The television series based on the children's books by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry and narrated by Ringo Starr, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is first broadcast on ITV, becoming one of the most successful children's TV programmes of all time since Postman Pat on the BBC three years prior. The programme would move to one future station Cartoon Network in the mid 90s, before returning to terrestrial television in 2003 and moving to its new permanent future station Channel 5 three years later.
  • 15 October – Channel 4's output increases by 25%. The weekday schedules now begin at 2.30pm instead of 5:00pm, while weekend airtime starts at 1:00pm rather than 2:00pm.[13]
  • 16 October – The Bill, a police TV drama, airs for the first time on ITV. It debuted last year as a pilot show Wooden Top.[14] When the last episode is shown in 2010 it will be the longest-running police procedural in British television history.
  • 19 October – Yorkshire Television broadcasts a special documentary on the birth of Prince Harry.
  • 23 October – BBC News newsreader Michael Buerk gives a powerful commentary of the famine in Ethiopia which has already claimed thousands of lives and reportedly has the potential to kill as many as 7 million people.




  • Telstar TV, the UK's first pirate television station goes on air in Birmingham. The channel broadcasts for about eight weeks on the BBC2 transmitter in the Northfield and Rubery areas of the city, showing a mixture of films and pop videos after BBC2 closes at weekends. It goes unnoticed by the authorities for several weeks much to their embarrassment.[21]





Channel 4Edit


New channelsEdit

Date Channel
29 March Music Box
The Entertainment Network
1 September The Children's Channel

Rebranded channelsEdit

Date Old Name New Name
16 January Satellite Television Sky Channel

Television showsEdit

Returning this year after a break of one year or longerEdit

Continuing television showsEdit


  • BBC Wimbledon (1927–1939, 1946–2019, 2021–present)


  • The Boat Race (1938–1939, 1946–2019)
  • BBC Cricket (1939, 1946–1999, 2020–2024)






Ending this yearEdit



Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
11 February John Comer 59 actor (Sid in Last of the Summer Wine)
4 March Geoffrey Lumsden 69 actor (Captain Square in Dad's Army)
12 March Arnold Ridley 88 actor (Private Charles Godfrey in Dad's Army)
31 March Jack Howarth actor (Albert Tatlock in Coronation Street)
15 April Tommy Cooper 63 comedian and magician
4 May Diana Dors 52 actress (Queenie's Castle,Just William, The Two Ronnies.)
27 May Reginald Bosanquet 51 journalist and newsreader, presented News at Ten during the 1970s
28 May Eric Morecambe 58 comedian (Morecambe and Wise)
12 August Christine Hargreaves 45 actress (Christine Appleby in Coronation Street)
27 August Bernard Youens 69 actor (Stan Ogden in Coronation Street)
27 September Toke Townley 71 actor (Sam Pearson in Emmerdale)
6 October Leonard Rossiter 57 actor (Rising Damp, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin)
10 October Alan Lake 43 actor
15 December Lennard Pearce 69 actor (Grandad in Only Fools and Horses)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "BBC Two England – 7 January 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  2. ^ Wilson, Jamie (22 December 1999). "Who will listen to his story now?". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  3. ^ "The Price is Right". UKGameshows. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  4. ^ "La Marée et ses Secrets". BroadcastForSchools.co.uk. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Man remanded in 1983 death case". BBC News. 9 April 2009. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Man sentenced to life for 1983 murder of Colette Aramref". BBC News. 25 January 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  7. ^ "BBC Two England – 28 July 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  8. ^ "BBC Two England – 25 August 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Thames strike caption (27 August 1984)". Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  10. ^ Cherry, S. ITV: The People's Channel, Reynolds and Hearn, 2005, p196
  11. ^ "Threads – BBC Two England – 23 September 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  12. ^ Kelly gets his eye in, Gavin Docherty, Evening Times, 8 October 1984
  13. ^ a b c "1984 : Off The Telly". Retrieved 23 January 2019.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "The Bill". tv.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  15. ^ "The Box of Delights – BBC One London – 21 November 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  16. ^ "The Box of Delights – BBC One London – 24 December 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Miss Marple: The Body in the Library: Part 1 – BBC One London – 26 December 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Miss Marple: The Body in the Library: Part 2 – BBC One London – 27 December 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Miss Marple: The Body in the Library: Part 3 – BBC One London – 28 December 1984 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Kramer vs Kramer – BBC One London – 30 December 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  21. ^ Minto, Veronica (19 February 1984). "Britain's First Pirate TV Station". West Indian World (650). Freespace.virgin.net. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.