1994 in British television

This is a list of British television related events from 1994.

List of years in British television (table)
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Events

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January

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  • 1 January – In the early hours of the morning, BBC2 airs the first Hootenanny which began late the previous evening. The annual New Year's Eve music show is hosted by Jools Holland and the first edition includes performances from Sting, the Gipsy Kings and Sly and Robbie.[1]
  • 2 January – BBC2 begins a repeat run of the 1960s US series The Fugitive.[2]
  • 3 January
    • TCI acquires a 60.4% stake in Flextech.[3] This gives the company a 25% stake in UK Gold.[4]
    • The network television premiere on ITV of the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill, starring Timothy Dalton.[5]
  • 4 January
  • 5 January – The Empath, an episode of the US sci-fi series Star Trek, is shown for the first time in the UK on BBC2, having not been seen on British television since the series original run on BBC1.[7][8]
  • 7 January
    • The Times reports that merger talks between Yorkshire Television and Tyne Tees have collapsed because it has proved impossible to reach an agreement on a suitable structure for the new company. Also, Anglia have withdrawn from the proposed alliance with London Weekend Television, making an LWT take over of YTV impossible.[9]
    • ZZZap! returns for a new series on ITV with a new character called Daisy Dares You, played by Deborah McCallum; the part of Tricky Dicky and Smart Arty's segments have been updated with him using a magic pen to draw pictures that come to life.
  • 8 January – The US sci-fi series The New Adventures of Superman makes its UK debut on BBC1, starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher.[10]
  • 10 January
    • The Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm makes its debut in the rest of the UK when BBC2 begins airing episodes daily from Mondays to Thursdays.[11] The series, shown with English subtitles, airs on BBC2 for three months,[12] and on an experimental basis.[13]
    • The classic children's series Rainbow is relaunched with a new format, made by Tetra Films by for HTV. However, the new series is not well received and is axed a year later.
  • 13 January – David Dimbleby takes over as host of Question Time on BBC1.[14]
  • 14 January – An episode of the Channel 4 soap Brookside shows a lesbian kiss between two of its characters.[15][16]
  • 15 January – Debut of the US police procedural series NYPD Blue on Channel 4, starring Dennis Franz, James McDaniel, Amy Brenneman and Nicholas Turturro.
  • 16 January – The first episode of the archaeology series Time Team is broadcast on Channel 4, presented by Tony Robinson.
  • 19 January
  • 20 January – BBC1 airs an edition of Question Time from Birmingham which includes a confrontation between Jeffrey Archer and David Starkey over the age of homosexual consent.
  • 27 January – The popular sitcom Absolutely Fabulous returns for a second series, now being shown on BBC1.

February

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  • 4 February – Following a review of the broadcasting ban on Irish terrorist-related organizations conducted by Heritage Secretary Peter Brooke, the Major government decides to maintain the status quo.[18]
  • 7 February – Granada Television increases its takeover bid for London Weekend Television to £774 million. However, the LWT board once again rejects the offer.[19]
  • 12 February
  • 12–27 February – The BBC provides live and recorded coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. The majority of the coverage is shown on BBC2.
  • 18 February – Flextech buys a 20% stake in HTV, thereby clearing the company's debts.[21]
  • 19 February – The Independent reports that Anglia has been bought by MAI (owners of Meridian).[22] MAI subsequently merges with United Newspapers to form United News and Media.
  • 20 February
  • 25 February – LWT accepts a £770 million takeover bid from Granada, resulting in the departure of Greg Dyke and Sir Christopher Bland from the broadcaster.[23]
  • 28 February
  • February
    • The ITC decides to readvertise the Channel 5 broadcasting licence, but must first seek confirmation that the frequencies it planned to allocate to the channel are still available.[24]
    • Pages from Ceefax broadcasts adopt the Level 2 teletext graphics. The change sees a significant expansion to the number of pages shown and title pages for each section return. However, the new expanded Pages from Ceefax broadcasts are confined to the 15 minutes prior to the start of programmes which often is insufficient time to show the entire sequence which is now between 40 and 50 pages in length.

March

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April

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June

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  • 2 June – BBC1 airs a special D-Day edition of Blue Peter in which Anthea Turner travels to France to tell the story of the Normandy landings during World War II.[46]
  • 3 June – The original airdate of an episode of Have I Got News for You in which panellist Ian Hislop is suffering from appendicitis during recording. Having spent most of that day in hospital awaiting treatment, he had temporarily discharged himself to record the episode, before returning to undergo surgery.
  • 5–10 June – Sue Lawley presents News '44, a series of news bulletin-style programmes to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
  • 6 June
    • Due to a failed satellite link, BBC1 is unable to broadcast a remembrance concert marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Instead, it is forced to show recorded highlights of D-Day commemoration events and a repeated Wildlife on One documentary about racoons. The concert, featuring Dame Vera Lynn and other stars from the QE2 off the Normandy port of Cherbourg, is recorded and shown three days later.[47]
    • The Scottish actor Mark McManus, best known for his portrayal of Glaswegian detective Jim Taggart, dies aged 59.[48] The Taggart series continues under this name following his death.
  • 9 June – Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer guest present an edition of Top of the Pops.[49]
  • 12 June – The Independent on Sunday reports that Cable & Wireless are in the final stages of establishing a television service in the remote British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, a nation that has not previously had access to television. Because of this, the introduction of television to the island is to be the subject of a study by British psychologist Dr. Tony Charlton of Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education to determine its effects on the island's culture and way of life.[50]
  • 16 June – Angus Deayton guest presents an edition of Top of the Pops.[51]
  • 17 June–17 July – The 1994 FIFA World Cup takes place but the BBC and ITV only show the majority of group stage matches in highlight form with viewers having to tune in to satellite channel Eurosport to see live coverage of those games.
  • 18 June – The final episode of The Paul Daniels Magic Show is broadcast on BBC1 after fifteen years on the air.[52]
  • 19 June – The final episode of the long-running magazine programme That's Life!, presented by Esther Rantzen, is broadcast on BBC1 after twenty one years on the air.[53]
  • 20 June – The BBC's Arabic television service is launched with funding from the Saudi Arabian Mawarid Group.
  • 21 June – BBC1 begins its Daily Detective season, a short season of episodes from 1980s US detective series. The first programme is an episode from Remington Steele with Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist.[54] The season also includes episodes from Cagney & Lacey, aired on Mondays,[55] Remington Steele on Tuesdays,[56] Quincy on Wednesdays,[57] Charlie's Angels on Thursdays[58] and Moonlighting on Fridays.[59] The season ends with Moonlighting on 30 September.[60]
  • 26–27 June – ITV airs the network television premiere of Kevin Costner's 1990 American western epic Dances with Wolves, which is showing over two consecutive nights.
  • 29 June – ITV airs the 150-minute documentary Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role about Prince Charles, and presented by Jonathan Dimbleby.[61][62]

July

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August

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September

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October

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November

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December

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  • December – The final encrypted BBC Select broadcasts take place although the service will continue broadcasting unencrypted programmes for the next ten months.[131]
  • 1 December – Lily Savage guest presents an edition of Top of the Pops.[132]
  • 3 December – Comedian Larry Grayson makes his final television appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, recorded on 28 November. He had been absent from television for some years and made a reference to this during his act, commenting to the audience, "They thought I was dead!". He died a month later.[133][134]
  • 8 December – Neneh Cherry guest presents an edition of Top of the Pops.[135]
  • 15 December – Damon Albarn of Blur guest presents an edition of Top of the Pops.[136]
  • 17 December
  • 20 December
  • 22 December – Gary Glitter guest presents an edition of Top of the Pops.[140]
  • 23 December – BBC1 airs Simply Red – Live, a concert given by the band in their home town of Manchester.[141]
  • 24 December – The final episode of The Generation Game presented by Bruce Forsyth is broadcast on BBC1; Jim Davidson would succeed him the following year.[142]
  • 25 December
  • 26 December – Boxing Day highlights on BBC1 include the network television premieres of Ivan Reitman's 1990 action comedy Kindergarten Cop and Barry Sonnenfeld's 1991 spooky comedy The Addams Family.
  • 27 December – The network television premiere on BBC1 of the 1990 American action crime comedy Dick Tracy, starring Warren Beatty, Madonna and Al Pacino.
  • 29 December
    • The final episode in the original run of the children's series Brum is broadcast on BBC1, but the show will return with a revamped series in 2001 and will continue being repeated on the BBC. It is also Toyah Willcox's final episode as the narrator for the series.
    • The network television premiere of In Bed with Madonna, a film following the singer Madonna during her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, which was broadcast on BBC2.[145]
    • The final episode of the game show Strike It Lucky is broadcast on ITV; it would be relaunched in 1996 under the name of Michael Barrymore's Strike It Rich.
  • 30 December
  • 31 December
    • New Year's Eve highlights on BBC1 include Barbra Streisand – The Concert, a performance given by the singer at Ponds, California earlier in the year.[147]
    • New Year's Eve highlights on BBC2 include Plague and the Moonflower, a musical drama about the human race's abuse of the planet.[148] There is also a special end-of-year edition of TOTP2 featuring highlights of the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops.[149]

Debuts

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BBC1

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BBC2

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Channel 4

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Sky One

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Sky Sports (1/2)

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Channels

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New channels

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Date Channel
February Travel
19 August Sky Sports 2
3 October Sky Soap
Sky Travel
10 October VH1

Television shows

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Changes of network affiliation

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Shows Moved from Moved to
Blockbusters ITV Sky1
Men Behaving Badly BBC1
This Is Your Life

Returning this year after a break of one year or longer

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Continuing television shows

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1920s

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

1930s

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  • The Boat Race (1938–1939, 1946–2019, 2021–present)
  • BBC Cricket (1939, 1946–1999, 2020–2024)

1940s

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1950s

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1960s

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1970s

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1980s

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1990s

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Ending this year

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Births

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Deaths

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Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
3 January Heather Sears 58 actress
5 January Brian Johnston 81 sports commentator and television presenter
7 January Llewellyn Rees 92 actor
10 January Michael Aldridge 73 actor (Last of the Summer Wine)
22 January Bill Podmore 62 television producer (Coronation Street)
15 March Jack Hargreaves 82 television presenter (How)
18 March Andrew Crawford 76 actor
29 March Bill Travers 72 actor (Lovejoy) and scriptwriter
25 April David Langton 82 actor (Upstairs, Downstairs)
27 April Lynne Frederick 39 actress
6 June Mark McManus 59 actor (Taggart)
7 June Dennis Potter 59 scriptwriter
16 June Eileen Way 82 actress
6 July Geoff McQueen 46 scriptwriter
26 July Terry Scott 67 actor[153]
7 August Larry Martyn 60 actor (Are You Being Served?, The Dick Emery Show, Whoops Baghdad)
11 August Peter Cushing 81 actor (Sherlock Holmes)
15 August Syd Dale 70 theme tune composer
2 September Roy Castle 62 dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter and musician
7 October James Hill 75 television producer (Worzel Gummidge)
9 November Ralph Michael 87 actor
16 November Doris Speed 95 actress (Coronation Street)
13 December Norman Beaton 60 actor (Desmond's)
23 December Sebastian Shaw 89 actor (The Old Curiosity Shop, Crown Court)
27 December Fanny Cradock 85 Television cookery expert

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Jools Holland's Hootenanny – BBC Two England – 1 January 1994". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  2. ^ "The Fugitive – BBC Two England – 2 January 1994". BBC Genome. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Merger Plans For Flextech". The New York Times. 3 January 1994. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Flextech Set To Acquire TCI Programming". Telecompaper. 21 December 1993. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  5. ^ "James Bond On TV – Movies". MI6 – The Home Of James Bond 007. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  6. ^ "All Quiet on the Preston Front – BBC One – 4 January 1994". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Star Trek – BBC Two England – 5 January 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  8. ^ a b "Star Trek: Looking Back at the BBC's Ban and Censorship". 6 December 2016.
  9. ^ Susan Gilchrist "Collapse of merger talks puts LWT under pressure", The Times, 7 January 1994, p.23
  10. ^ "The New Adventures of Superman – BBC One London – 8 January 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  11. ^ "BBC Two England – 10 January 1994". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  12. ^ Lewis, Caroline (1995). "Welsh soap: "Pobol Y Cwm" and Welsh national identity". Critical Survey. 7 (2). Berghahn Books: 152–157. JSTOR 41555909.
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  15. ^ "Brookside Guide.....Season Thirty Four..." Brookside Guide. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  16. ^ Roffey, Monique (2 October 1994). "When Anna and Beth kissed Margaret: Anna Friel plays Brookside's lesbian pin-up. Monique Roffey met her". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
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  18. ^ Brown, Colin (5 February 1994). "Sinn Fein broadcast ban to be maintained: Right wing urges tougher line on IRA". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on 2022-05-01. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
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  45. ^ "Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  46. ^ "D-Day Blue Peter – BBC One – 2 June 1994". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
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  50. ^ Cooper, Glenda (12 June 1994). "Napoleon island to end TV exile: As St Helena prepares to switch on, a researcher asks how programmes will alter the remote community's life". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on 2022-05-01. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
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  53. ^ "That's Life All Over! – BBC One London – 19 June 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  54. ^ "Remington Steele – BBC One London – 21 June 1994 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  55. ^ "Cagney and Lacey – BBC One London – 27 June 1994 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
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  129. ^ "Everyman: Profile of a Serial Killer – BBC One London – 20 November 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  130. ^ "Girl Friday – BBC One London – 26 November 1994 – BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  131. ^ BBC Select: A Failed Subscription Service
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