1999 in British television

This is a list of British television related events from 1999.

List of years in British television (table)

EventsEdit

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

  • 1 February –
  • 2 February – As Glenn Hoddle is sacked as England Manager following the controversy over comments he made during a recent interview it is revealed his 13-year-old daughter, Zara, wrote to the BBC's Ceefax asking people to leave Hoddle alone to get on with his job.[37][38]
  • 3 February –
    • It is reported that Martini is to sign a £1 million contract with ITV to sponsor a season of James Bond films. The channel is planning to screen all 18 Bond films, beginning with GoldenEye in March, then broadcasting them in chronological order, from Dr. No to Tomorrow Never Dies.[39] GoldenEye airs at 8.30 pm on 10 March.[40] Dr. No is screened on 29 May.[41] Tomorrow Never Dies makes its television debut on 13 October.[42][43]
    • The US romantic comedy-drama Sex and the City makes its British television debut on Channel 4.[44]
  • 8 February – Following a five-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, former Central News reporter John Caine is convicted of sexually abusing under-age boys over a period of two decades, and jailed for five and a half years.[45]
  • 11 February – Three members of production staff are suspended from BBC One's The Vanessa Show following reports in The Mirror that fake guests appeared on the programme.[46] They are later sacked following an internal inquiry.[47]
  • 12 February – ITV's Trisha show is caught up in a fake guests controversy after it emerges that the agent who supplied guests to the rival Vanessa Show did the same for Trisha, but the show's editor, Sally-Ann Howard, denies any of her team were aware that the guests were fakes.[48]
  • 13 February – BBC One airs "Face Value", the 250th episode of Casualty.[49]
  • 18 February – ITV screens the Granada Television film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, a dramatisation of the aftermath of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence told from the point of view of his parents.[50]
  • 21 February – US/Canadian animated television series for preschoolers Salty's Lighthouse which uses footage taken from the children's model animated series that was originally broadcast on ITV TUGS is shown on Channel 4 for the first time in the UK. This was also the second time to show TUGS in its homeland.
  • 23 February – Channel 4 debuts Russell T. Davies's groundbreaking series Queer as Folk.[51][52]
  • 25 February –
    • The BBC announces that Noel's House Party will be axed after eight years. The most recent edition of the show drew an audience of less than six million, and it will finish when its current run ends on 20 March.[53]
    • The Broadcasting Standards Commission upholds a complaint about a feature in the Teletext games magazine, Digitiser from 26 October 1998. The gossip column, Gossi the Dog had alluded to Gossi's master thrashing the talking cartoon dog with a belt.[54]
  • 26 February –

MarchEdit

  • 4 March – BBC Prime is launched for the first time in South Africa.
  • 5 March – After 32 years, what is billed as the last ever News at Ten is broadcast on ITV, hosted as usual by Trevor McDonald.[40] It is replaced with a 6.30pm bulletin, the ITV Evening News and an 11.00pm programme, ITV Nightly News from the following Monday (8 March).[59][60] In the event, News at Ten returns in 2001,[61] is axed again in 2004,[62] and resurrected in 2008.[63] It is restored as a five-nights-a-week programme from March 2009.[64] 5 March 1999 also sees the final broadcast of the ITV Evening News in its long running 5.40pm slot.[65] The changes at ITV also prompt other broadcasters to review their news scheduling. Sky News and BBC News 24 both launch 10.00pm bulletins to fill the gap left by News at Ten, while Channel 5 reschedules its evening news bulletin to 6.00pm. Channel 4 News is also relaunched.[60][66]
  • 7 March – BBC Two airs the final episode of the 1993 series of Grange Hill, concluding a Sunday morning rerun of the first 16 series of the school drama which began in April 1993.[67][68]
  • 8–12 March – ITV's first week without News at Ten includes the television premieres of two films, GoldenEye and The Specialist, an episode of Kavanagh QC, and a series of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.[69]
  • 8 March – Following the introduction of the ITV Evening News, UTV's evening news programme, UTV Live is brought forward by half an hour to start at 17:30. The first half-hour sees feature reports, light-hearted stories and the weather forecast branded as part of a separate programme, UTV Life, which runs before the main evening news, started at 18:00 and that keeps the UTV Live name.
  • 9 March – A contestant who won £125,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? despite answering a question incorrectly will be allowed to keep his prize money, it is reported. The error occurred after researchers matched the wrong answer with a question about tennis, but the mistake was quickly spotted by viewers. Celador, which produces the show, says it will review its checking procedure.[70]
  • 10 March –
    • Carlton Television buys Bob Geldof's production company, Planet 24, in a deal City analysts believe to be worth £15 million.[71]
    • The Vanessa Show is interrupted by a male streaker. The lads' magazine Front later claims responsibility for the stunt.[72]
  • 11 March – Reports that new Big Breakfast presenter Kelly Brook is struggling with her presenting role are laughed off by the programme after an email from its assistant producer suggested the number of big words in her script should be limited was leaked to the media.[73]
  • 12 March – This year's Comic Relief telethon includes a Doctor Who parody featuring Rowan Atkinson as The Doctor, Julia Sawalha as his sidekick, and Jonathan Pryce as The Master.[74] The 29 minute sketch, written by Stephen Moffatt, also includes the first female version of The Doctor, portrayed by Joanna Lumley.[75] A special episode of The Vicar of Dibley includes cameo appearances by Johnny Depp and Sarah, Duchess of York.[76]
  • 15 March –
    • Debut of the BBC One prison documentary series Jailbirds, a ten-part series that looks at life inside New Hall women's prison in West Yorkshire.[77]
    • Provisional viewing figures released for the first week of ITV's schedule changes indicate the channel enjoyed a 5% increase in ratings. ITV says it is pleased with the results, but expects the figures to drop again following the initial interest in its new lineup.[78]
    • The BBC children's programme Teletubbies is launched in Japan.[79]
  • 17 March –
  • 20 March – British television premiere of Species airs on ITV, starring Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Forest Whitaker, Ben Kingsley and Natasha Henstridge.
  • 21 March – Ernie Wise, the surviving half of UK comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise dies of a heart attack, aged 73, following ongoing heart trouble.[84]
  • 22 March –
    • It is announced that The Jack Docherty Show will end after two years as host Jack Docherty is to leave Channel 5. He says the show has "burned out" and is running out of guests. The final edition airs on 23 June.[85]
    • A November 1998 episode of children's series Sooty & Co. about fragrances in which the characters were seen sniffing medicine bottles is criticised by the Independent Television Commission amid concerns it could prompt copycat behaviour.[86]
  • 24 March –
  • 26 March – Debut of As the Crow Flies, a seven-part BBC Two series in which Janet Street-Porter sets out to walk the 350 miles between the Edinburgh and Greenwich observatories.[89]
  • 28 March – Lloyd Burgess wins the 1999 series of MasterChef.
  • 29 March – Pokémon makes its British television premiere on Sky One.
  • 30 March –
    • UKTV announces plans to rebrand UK Gold Classics as UK Gold 2.[90] The changes will take place from the coming weekend.[91]
    • In its annual review of UK commercial television, the Independent Television Commission criticises ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 for showing too much sex.[92]
  • 31 March –
    • ITV announce that Mary Nightingale will take over as presenter of its holiday show, Wish You Were Here...?, succeeding Anthea Turner, who is stepping down from the role.[93]
    • ITV and Channel 5 are heavily criticised in the Independent Television Commission's annual report. ITV is criticised for its low amount of current affairs coverage, particularly in relation to the NATO campaign in Yugoslavia, while Channel 5 is branded as "tacky" for its reliance on low-budget erotic dramas and factual programmes about sex for its late-night schedule.[94]

AprilEdit

  • 1 April –
  • 2 April –
    • After just two and a half years, Channel 4 is given another whole new look replacing the previous circles idents with all new squares idents.
    • UK Gold launches new fireworks idents, and UK Gold Classics is renamed UK Gold 2. It operates as a time shift service of UK Gold by broadcasting the channel's daytime output during the evening.
    • The final television adaptation of Minette Walters' 1995 crime novel The Dark Room airs on BBC One, starring Dervla Kirwan as the shaven-headed Jane "Jinx" Kingsley and James Wilby as Dr. Protheroe. The serial concludes on 3 April.
    • BBC One airs Parkinson Meets Woody Allen, a 50-minute programme in which film director Woody Allen gives his first British television interview for 35 years.[96] Allen is questioned extensively about his private life by host Michael Parkinson, but is reluctant to speak on some topics. The BBC subsequently rejects reports that Allen had asked producers to edit out parts of the interview in which he discusses his marriage to his stepdaughter.[97]
  • 5 April –
  • 8 April –
    • Debut of the BBC children's series Miami 7 featuring the manufactured pop group S Club 7. The series combines drama and musical performance, and is intended as a vehicle to launch the group's music career, with their debut single being released on 7 June.[101][102]
    • ITV launches its new news and current affairs programme, Tonight with Trevor McDonald. Based on the format of US shows such as 60 Minutes and featuring a team of high-profile journalists, the first edition features an interview with the five individuals suspected of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The launch comes amid reports that ITV news coverage has lost as many as a million viewers since News at Ten was axed in March.[103] The edition prompts fifteen complaints to the Independent Television Commission from viewers who felt it was wrong to give the men a platform to defend themselves, but the Commission rules in August that Martin Bashir's questioning had meant the programme was "anything but a platform" for the suspects.[104]
  • 9 April – Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers announces that BSkyB's £626m bid to buy Manchester United will not be allowed to go ahead.[105][106]
  • 12 April – Long running children's animated television series Bob the Builder premieres on BBC1.
  • 13 April – Past and present stars of Coronation Street attend a memorial service for Bryan Mosley at Salford Cathedral.[107]
  • 14 April – ITV airs the British television premiere of Girls' Night, a film that was produced by Granada Television as part of the ITV Film Initiative, a scheme established in 1996 aimed at boosting the British film industry and increasing the number of home grown films.[108]
  • 15 April – A fire breaks out at the headquarters of MTV Europe (the former TV-am Breakfast Television Centre) in Camden, London, forcing MTV off air while the fire is tackled.[109]
  • 19 April – US talk show presenter Jerry Springer makes his UK television debut presenting the first of two editions of This Morning alongside Judy Finnigan while her husband Richard Madeley is busy working on another television project.[110]
  • 20 April – It emerges that Channel 4 have asked the producers of Brookside to tone down an attempted rape scene due to air the following evening because the content may be too graphic to air before the 9.00 pm watershed.[111]
  • 21 April – A week after the Government announces new targets for the proportion of ethnic police officers, ITV's The Bill announces two new black characters will join the series—Police Constable Di Worrell (played by Jane Wall) and Detective Constable Danny Glaze (Karl Collins), who will become the show's first black male CID officer. The Bill's producers say the announcement is not a response to the government initiative, but had been planned for several months.[112]
  • 26 April –
    • Television presenter Jill Dando is assassinated outside her home in west London.[113] Her death sparks a huge manhunt by the Metropolitan Police and leads to the trial of Barry George. Initially convicted of the murder, after a successful appeal and retrial, George is acquitted on 1 August 2008, thus leaving the crime unsolved.[114]
    • BSkyB Chief Executive Mark Booth announces his resignation after 18 months in the position.[115]
  • 27 April –
  • 29 April –
  • 30 April –
    • The BBC is reviewing whether or not to air the remaining episodes of Antiques Inspectors following Jill Dando's murder, Broadcast magazine reports. The series had made its debut with Dando as presenter on 25 April, with filming of the final episode completed two days before that.[120] The programme is subsequently cancelled,[121] but it is decided later in the year that it should be aired as a tribute to the presenter, with the series beginning its run from 5 September.[122][123]
    • Sky Soap closes due to poor viewing figures.
    • Scottish Television launches S2.

MayEdit

  • 1 May –
  • 2 May – Sheena McDonald is released from hospital two months after she received severe head injuries when she was hit by a police van.[125]
  • 5 May – An inquest into the death of Rod Hull records a verdict of accidental death.[126]
  • 6–7 May – BBC One provides coverage of the first elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, as well as the year's local elections.[127]
  • 9 May – Michael Parkinson presents the 1999 British Television Academy Awards, in which the UK television industry pays tribute to the late Jill Dando. She had been due to host the ceremony alongside Parkinson, but following her death the BBC had decided not to replace her.[128]
  • 10 May – BBC network news is relaunched with new music, titles and a red and ivory set. This design is used for the 25 October relaunch of News 24, enhancing cross-channel promotion of the service.
  • 11 May –
  • 14 May – Helen Rollason presents the first Friday sport bulletin on BBC's Six O'Clock News.[131]
  • 17 May – The Independent Television Commission rejects a number of viewer complaints about editions of The Jerry Springer Show featuring a gay marriage and amateur strippers that aired on weekday afternoons as not being inappropriate viewing. The Commission finds that the subject of same-sex marriage was dealt with sensitively, while the episode featuring the strippers was "not explicit" because they had only removed some of their clothes. However, a complaint is upheld against Sky One's Bloody Foreigners that aired on 2 March which featured an interview with a female member of a wife-swapping club while an explicit pornographic film played on a television in the background.[132]
  • 18 May – The BBC's Crimewatch programme broadcasts a reconstruction of presenter Jill Dando's murder. The show opens without its usual titles and music.[133]
  • 19 May – ITV airs the first British Soap Awards, which are presented by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. The Awards ceremony had been recorded the previous weekend.[134]
  • 20 May –
    • The first Pride of Britain Awards, an annual event launched by The Mirror newspaper to honour ordinary people who have acted bravely or extraordinarily in challenging situations, are presented by Carol Vorderman at London's Dorchester Hotel.[135][136] The Awards are such a success that ITV agrees to screen the second event in 2000.[137]
    • The broadcasters union BECTU condemns plans to air a Party election broadcast by the far right British National Party due to be shown on 21 May and says it will support any of its members who refuse to work on the broadcast.[138] The BNP was allocated a party political broadcast slot for the forthcoming European election after fielding enough candidates to qualify for free airtime during the election campaign.[138] The Independent Television Commission receives seven complaints from viewers that the BNP should not have been allowed to air their views, but the Commission later rules that none of its rules were breached because the broadcast did not mention race or immigration, and to ban the BNP from television on principle would be undemocratic.[104]
  • 21 May – The funeral of Jill Dando is held in her home town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. Although the service itself is private, footage is relayed to a crowd gathered in the town's Ellensborough Park East.[139]
  • 24 May – The Digital Spy website reports that UK Gold 2 is to have its broadcasting hours extended from 1 June. The channel has operated on a limited basis, airing on Fridays to Sundays from 6.00pm to 2.00am, but will become a daily service.[140]
  • 25 May – Bostock's Cup a single comedy drama about a fictional football team winning the 1974 FA Cup Final airs on ITV.[141][142][143]
  • 26 May –
    • Following a ten-day trial at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court, former London's Burning actor John Alford is jailed for nine months after he was convicted of supplying cocaine and cannabis resin to an undercover reporter. Alford had been the victim of a sting by a tabloid newspaper, a factor taken into account in his sentencing.[144] He is released from prison six weeks later.[145]
    • 19 million viewers witness Manchester United complete The Treble by beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in Injury time in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.[146]
  • 27 May – The Broadcasting Standards Commission upholds several viewer complaints about an episode of EastEnders aired on Valentine's Day that featured the killing of the character Saskia Duncan, which the watchdog rules was too graphic to be shown before the watershed, when the content could be seen by children.[147]
  • 28 May – The BBC have signed a deal to air the British terrestrial television premiere of Titanic.
  • 29 May – Sweden's Charlotte Nilsson wins the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with "Take Me to Your Heaven".

JuneEdit

  • 1 June –
  • 4 June – ITV airs the final edition of the 1999 series of Play Your Cards Right, the last of the current run since the series was revived in 1994.[151]
  • 5 June – Ian Moor wins the tenth series of Stars in Their Eyes, performing as Chris De Burgh.[152]
  • 6 June – Six TV, Britain's sixth and last analogue local channel launches in both Oxfordshire and Southampton as the Oxford channel in Oxfordshire and the Southampton channel in Hampshire.[153]
  • 7 June – A study by the Broadcasting Standards Commission finds an increase in the number of viewer complaints about the amount of sex on television. Among those surveyed, the number feeling there was too much sex on television rose from 32% in 1997 to 38% in 1998.[154]
  • 8 June – The BBC axes the Hale and Pace entertainment series h&p@bbc due to poor ratings. The due had planned to "hilariously interact" with the public.[155]
  • 10 June – BBC One announces that the short-lived The Vanessa Show, which was at the centre of a fake guests controversy earlier in the year, will be axed. The final edition will air on 23 July.[156]
  • 13 June –
    • S Club 7, stars of the BBC children's television series Miami 7, reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their debut single "Bring It All Back".[157]
    • Changing Places, the Heartbeat spin-off starring Nick Berry that took his character, PC Nick Rowan to Canada after Berry left the series, receives its British television debut on ITV.[158]
  • 19 June – The marriage of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones takes place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.[159]
  • 22 June – The Independent Television Commission criticises Channel 4 for failing to warn viewers about the level of explicit sex scenes in its controversial gay drama, Queer as Folk. Concern is also expressed about the series' first episode, which included a scene portraying the seduction of a teenager below the age of consent by an older gay male, but says the content did not breach broadcasting regulations.[160]
  • 24 June – The Broadcasting Standards Commission rejects viewer complaints about the second series of BBC One drama The Lakes, which had featured sexual violence, rape, and a relationship between a Roman Catholic priest and a member of his congregation, saying the programme "had not exceeded acceptable boundaries". However, the watchdog does uphold complaints and expresses its concerns about the first episode of Channel 4's Queer as Folk.[161]
  • 25 June – It is announced that Pearson TV chairman Greg Dyke will succeed John Birt as Director General of the BBC from April 2000.[162]
  • 28 June –
    • BBC One airs the last episode in the original run of its time-travelling comedy series Goodnight Sweetheart.[163] It returned in 2016 for a one-off special as part of the BBC's 60th anniversary of comedy celebrations.[164]
    • Ulster Television launches TV You (later UTV2).
  • 30 June – Janet Street-Porter, pioneer of "yoof" television at the BBC, is appointed as editor of The Independent on Sunday, her first major role in print journalism.[165]

JulyEdit

  • 1 July –
  • 3 July – FilmFour will launch an interactive service similar to Digital Teletext, the website Digital Spy reports.[168]
  • 5 July – BBC One Controller Peter Salmon has commissioned a World in Action-style investigative series to air as part of the autumn schedule. The as yet untitled programme is being developed by several members of the team who formerly worked for the now defunct ITV programme.[169]
  • 6 July –
    • BBC Director-General John Birt warns that the increase in paid for digital television could lead to a "knowledge underclass" if public service broadcasters such as the BBC do not remain universally available.[170]
    • ITV unveils its first autumn schedule since moving News at Ten to a later time slot. Highlights include a new adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist written by Alan Bleasdale that will attempt to update the character of Fagin, moving him away from the Ron Moody interpretation that is often associated with the story.[171]
  • 8 July –
  • 9 July – Carlton Cinema has signed a deal with MGM.
  • 14 July – Debut of BBC One's groundbreaking series The Secret Life of Twins.[174]
  • 15 July – US crime drama The Sopranos makes its British television debut on Channel 4.[175][176]
  • 16 July –
    • BBC One airs Two Ronnies Night, an evening of programmes paying tribute to The Two RonniesRonnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker. The evening sees the two comedians reunited on screen for the first time since Christmas Day 1987.[177]
    • Channel 4 announces the axing of the highly acclaimed Trial and Error, a series that investigates miscarriages of justice, which it feels is outdated. The final edition, looking at the murder of Billie-Jo Jenkins airs on 26 July.[178]
    • Channel 4 launches its Over the Moon season to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing. The season includes Real Time Apollo, a five-day broadcast of footage of the moon mission, airing at roughly the same time events happened in 1969. The programme also features interviews with Buzz Aldrin, who took part in the mission.[179]
  • 17 July – Debut of Channel 4's Late Night Poker,[180] a series which helped to popularise poker in the 2000s and developed a cult following.[181] The programme includes under table cameras allowing viewers to view players' cards that are hidden from the others taking part in the game, and is unique in that participants are allowed to smoke on air.[182]
  • 19 July – Channel 4 airs an evening of programmes about space ahead of the moon landing anniversary.[183]
  • 22 July – Test cricket coverage debuts on Channel 4, with an updated format and new presenters.[184]
  • 23 July –
  • 24 July – Goodness Gracious Me Night, an evening of programming dedicated to the Asian comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me airs on BBC Two.[188]
  • 27 July – Cable TV operator NTL buys its largest rival, Cable & Wireless Communications, for £8.2bn ($13bn).[189]
  • 30 July –

AugustEdit

  • 1 August –
  • 2 August – It is announced that ITV has signed BBC sports presenter Des Lynam on a four-year contract. He is to become the company's main football presenter.[194]
  • 3 August – Liza Tarbuck is chosen to replace Kelly Brook as co-presenter of The Big Breakfast.[195][196]
  • 5 August –
  • 6 August – ITV axes two programmes from its prime time Monday night slot because of falling ratings. Tested to Destruction, presented by Carol Vorderman, and documentary series The Sexual Century debuted at 9.00 pm and 9.30 pm respectively on 26 July, but will be replaced from 9 August and aired elsewhere in the schedule.[199]
  • 8 August –
    • The Sunday Telegraph reports that Gary Lineker has signed a £500,000 five-year contract to become the BBC's new face of football coverage following the departure of Des Lynam.[200]
    • Noel Edmonds announces he is leaving the BBC because its programmes are "too boring". His contract with the Corporation expires in March 2000, and he will present two further shows before his departure, an August Bank Holiday special and Noel's Christmas Presents Unwrapped.[201]
  • 9 August – Helen Rollason, who in 1990 became the first female presenter on BBC One's Grandstand, dies aged 43, following a two-year battle with cancer.[202][203]
  • 11 August – BBC One and Channel 5 show live coverage of the 1999 solar eclipse. It is not shown live on the ITV network, but in the only region where the eclipse was total, Westcountry Television (just weeks away from losing its on-screen identity) opts out and provides its own coverage.[204]
  • 12 August – The BBC programme complaints unit rules that jokes about speech impediments made by comedian Frank Skinner on an edition of his BBC One chat show on 20 May were "insensitive".[205]
  • 13 August – Following a successful month-long trial, Cable & Wireless Communications begins offering its customers email and internet services through their television sets.[206]
  • 16 August – The US version of ITV's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? debuts on ABC with Regis Philbin as host. The show's success leads to an increase in interest in UK game shows from American producers.[207][208]
  • 19 August – Claims by The Sun that it has obtained a document detailing EastEnders plotlines for the forthcoming year have been dismissed by the show's producers.[209]
  • 22 August – Sky Sports Xtra launches, initially primarily as an interactive service.[210]
  • 24 August – BBC One airs Helen Rollason: The Bravest Fight, a 30-minute documentary presented by Peter Sissons in which friends and colleagues pay tribute to Rollason.[211][212]
  • 27 August – The BBC names Gordon Brewer and Anne Mackenzie as the presenters of Newsnight Scotland, BBC Two's forthcoming Newsnight opt-out for Scottish viewers.[213]
  • 31 August – The BBC unveils plans to create separate television, radio, and online news services for four new regions in London and the South East.[214]

SeptemberEdit

  • 1 September – Launch of Nick Jr., the UK's first television channel dedicated to viewers under the age of seven.[215]
  • 2 September –
    • Comedian Frank Skinner has been dropped by the BBC after demanding a reported £20 million to stay with the network.[216]
    • ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald, launched earlier in the year, is to be cut from an hour to 45 minutes, and moved from Thursdays to Wednesdays. ITV says this is to make way for documentaries and drama in the Thursday slot.[217]
  • 3 September – An updated version of the 1970s slapstick game show It's a Knockout makes its Channel 5 debut, with Keith Chegwin taking on the presenting role. He is joined by Frank Bruno, Lucy Alexander and Nell McAndrew.[218][219] Two series are aired over the following 18 months, before Channel 5 announce in April 2001 that they have no plans to commission more series.[220]
  • 5 September – ITV debuts Springer on Sunday, a one-off David Letterman-style chat show presented by Jerry Springer. Guests include Robbie Coltrane, Glenda Jackson and Tom Jones.[221][222]
  • 6 September –
  • 7 September –
    • A man is arrested by police after using a coffee table to smash his way through a plate glass window into the BBC newsroom at White City as journalists prepare for the 11.00am bulletin. The intruder also hurled computers and furniture in what is reported to be a protest against the BBC's coverage of a story. The broadcaster launches an inquiry into the incident, after security was tightened at the BBC in the wake of Jill Dando's murder.[227][228][229][230]
    • Channel 5 airs the UK terrestrial television premiere of Independence Day, giving the broadcaster an average audience of 4.98 million (24%) and peaking at 5.5 million (25%) at 10.00pm, its largest to date.[231]
  • 9 September – Debut of the ITV documentary series The Second World War in Colour, showing rare colour footage of World War II and which took ten years to collate together. The series is narrated by the actor John Thaw.[232][233]
  • 11 September – The first of Channel 4's '100 Greatest' programmes air, 100 Greatest TV Moments.
  • 13 September – Blackadder Back and Forth, a new installment of the Blackadder comedy series will be part of the exhibition at the Millennium Dome from January 2000. The episode will receive its television debut on Sky in 2001, with the BBC also planning to show it.[234] The episode is part of "Skyscape", the Sky-sponsored entertainment venue at the Dome, something which had led to some confusion over who owns the broadcasting rights to the series that made its debut on the BBC.[235]
  • 15 September –
  • 16 September – The first regular episode of the British-Canadian children's stop motion animated series Rotten Ralph begins on BBC1 with Happy Birthday Rotten Ralph.
  • 19 September – ITV airs Clive James's Postcard from... Havana, a documentary in which Clive James visits Cuba and investigates the impact Communism has on the ordinary lives of Cubans forty years after the Cuban Revolution.[241][242][243]
  • 20 September –
  • 21 September – US animated science-fiction sitcom Futurama, created by Matt Groening (The Simpsons), and Family Guy both debuts in the UK on Sky One.
  • 23 September – Launch of BBC Text, the service which was renamed BBCi in 2001, and BBC Red Button in 2008.[245]
  • 25 September – Addressing clergy at a conference in Lancashire, The Right Reverend Allan Chesters, Bishop of Blackburn, criticises soaps such as Coronation Street for their high divorce rates.[246]
  • 26 September - Channel 4 broadcasts the movie premiere of Mary Reilly starring Julia Roberts.
  • 27 September –
  • 28 September – A service of thanksgiving is held for Jill Dando at All Soul's Church in Langham Place, London, which is attended by family, friends and colleagues.[248] The service includes a special address from BBC Director-General John Birt.[249]
  • 29 September – The European Commission rejects a complaint from BSkyB that the licence fee funding of BBC News 24 is illegal under EU law because it amounts to state funding.[250]
  • 30 September –
    • The BBC announces details of 2000 to 1, a unique quiz for the millennium that will give one person the chance to win a year off work with prize money equivalent to double their annual salary. The show, launched by Gary Lineker, will air through December, with the winner being decided on New Year's Eve.[251][252]
    • The Broadcasting Standards Commission upholds 28 complaints about Channel 4's drama Psychos which aired in May, finding that the series reinforced stereotypes and prejudice towards people involved in mental health.[253]

OctoberEdit

  • 1 October – Sky MovieMax 5 is launched.[254]
  • 1 October–6 November – ITV provides coverage of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, hosted for the second time by several countries. Wales are the principle host, but many matches are played in England, Scotland, Ireland and France.
  • 2 October – The Mirror's Matthew Wright reports that a recent Coronation Street storyline involving the death of the character Judy Mallett (played by Gaynor Faye) has helped to save the life of a woman who sought medical help after watching the episode in which Judy died of a blood clot in her leg following a car crash. The unnamed woman had recently been involved in a motoring accident herself and was experiencing leg pain that she had attributed to bruising. She subsequently attended hospital where doctors diagnosed a blood clot.[255]
  • 4 October –
    • Launch of Newsnight Scotland, the BBC Scotland opt-out of the main Newsnight programme on BBC Two.[256][257]
    • BBC Wales unveils a new look for its news programmes, with new sets and titles.[258]
    • The BBC have agreed a deal with Welsh broadcaster S4C to screen Welsh language episodes of Teletubbies.[259]
    • HTV Wales launches the soap Nuts and Bolts, a series set in the South Wales Valleys which airs at 7.00pm. The Independent Television Commission later upholds nine viewer complaints against the programme because some of its content was inappropriate for airing before the watershed. HTV subsequently airs a later episode of the series containing similar content at 10.00pm.[260]
  • 4 October–8 November – The six-part documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs airs on BBC One, using computer-generated imagery and animatronics to show life in the Mesozoic Era.[261][262][263]
  • 6 October – ITV airs the terrestrial television premiere of the 1996 disaster film Twister, starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt.
  • 7 October – Gimme Some Truth, a 56-minute documentary featuring unseen footage of John Lennon is set to be aired on British television. Work was recently completed on the project, but a deal to broadcast it is yet to be agreed.[264] The film is ultimately shown on BBC Two on 13 February 2000.[265]
  • 8 October – The BBC prepares itself for a backlash from EastEnders viewers after a murder trial in the soap ends in a wrongful conviction. The character Matthew Rose is found guilty of the manslaughter of Saskia Duncan, but the killing was actually carried out by Steve Owen, who walks free.[266] The episode prompts a tabloid newspaper campaign to free Rose, who is dubbed "The Walford One". Joe Absolom, who plays the character, announces a few days later his intention to leave the show at the end of the year, although he will be seen on screen until February 2000.[267]
  • 11 October – Debut of BBC One's The Major Years, a three-part documentary about the premiership of former Prime Minister John Major.[268][269]
  • 12 October – Launch of Open, the UK's first interactive television shopping channel, available to Sky Digital subscribers. Viewers can access services from several high street retailers, including W H Smith, Dixons and HSBC.[270]
  • 14 October – BBC One airs a special edition of Question Time recorded in Sydney, Australia, ahead of the country's republic referendum.[271]
  • 15 October – TNT Classic Movies is replaced with TCM. Also, on 15 October, is launched the short-lived analogue version of TNT.
  • 18 October – Sheena McDonald presents the 1999 Gramophone Awards, her first public appearance since her accident in February.[272]
  • 19 October – At a hearing at London's Horseferry Road Magistrates Court, a media studies student who went on the rampage in the BBC newsroom in September pleads guilty to affray and common assault.[273] At a subsequent hearing in March 2000, the man, who was protesting against TV licence charges and planned to tackle Greg Dyke on the issue, is ordered to be detained indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital because of ongoing mental health problems.[274]
  • 20 October – Figures from Broadcasters' Audience Research Board indicate that the first episode of Walking with Dinosaurs was watched by 18.9 million viewers, making it the all-time most watched science programme in the UK, and the BBC's 19th most watched programme of all time. 15 million saw the episode on 4 October, while a further 3.91 million watched the repeat on 10 October.[275]
  • 21 October – L!VE TV is expected to close after emerges that Mirror Group Newspapers are in negotiations with NTL to sell the channel.[276]
  • 24 October – Debut of the BBC Two documentary series, Playing the Race Card, which looks at the history of race and immigration in the United Kingdom.[277]
  • 25 October –
  • 27 October – BBC Two airs the 150th edition of TOTP2.[280]
  • 29 October –
    • ITV chief executive Richard Eyre is named as the new head of Pearson TV, replacing Greg Dyke in the new year.[281]
    • A racism storyline in Brookside reaches a dramatic conclusion when a thug is shown being engulfed in flames as his attempt to petrol bomb the house of a black family goes wrong.[282]
  • 31 October – TeleG is established as the first daily digital Gaelic TV channel in Scotland.[283]

NovemberEdit

  • 1 November –
    • ITV has commissioned a further four editions of Springer on Sunday following the success of a pilot edition that aired earlier in the year.[222][284]
    • Channel 4 launches FilmFour magazine to accompany its subscription film channel, FilmFour.[285]
    • FilmFour celebrates its first anniversary with a night of simulcast programmes with Channel 4, including the premiere of Caligula.[286]
  • 4 November –
  • 5 November – Trinity Mirror announces the closure of L!VE TV, which goes off air on the same day.[290]
  • 6 November – Investigative reporter and documentary maker Graham Hall, who made the 1998 film Inside The ALF for Channel 4's Dispatches, gives an account of how he was recently kidnapped and branded with a hot iron by people claiming to be members of the Animal Liberation Front after meeting someone who told him they had information about an illegal dog fighting ring.[291]
  • 8 November –
  • 9 November –
  • 10 November – MacIntyre Uncovered, a series in which investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre goes undercover to examine issues such as football hooliganism, the fashion photography industry and private healthcare, debuts on BBC One. The programme begins on the same day that MacIntyre announces he is ending his undercover work because the job is becoming increasingly dangerous for him.[296]
  • 11 November –
    • Bob the Builder, the popular children's stop motion series has been sold for broadcasting in South Africa. The series will premiere on SABC2 on Thursdays at 8:40 am.
    • Former Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent is to join the cast of ITV soap Emmerdale as a vet, and will be seen on screen from March 2000.[297]
  • 12 November –
  • 13 November –
  • 14 November – On Remembrance Sunday, BBC One airs the World War I drama All the King's Men about volunteers from George V's Sandringham Estate in the 5th Norfolk Regiment which suffered heavy losses at Gallipoli in 1915. The film stars David Jason as Captain Frank Beck.[305]
  • 16 November – BBC Two begins rerunning episodes of Doctor Who, beginning with the first episode of the 1970 adventure Spearhead from Space.[304]
  • 17 November – To coincide with the release of the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, a special edition of BBC One's Tomorrow's World looks at the high tech gadgets that might be used by Bond.[306]
  • 23 November –
    • BBC One airs an edition of MacIntyre Uncovered looking at the exploitation of young girls in the fashion industry, something that leads to a row between the BBC and the Elite model agency, which claims the programme was "rigged", biassed and unfair. Two executives seen making sexist and racist comments in the programme resign amid public anger, but are reinstated by the agency, although they elect to remain on gardening leave while an investigation into the matter takes place.[307][308]
    • ITV unveils its Christmas schedule, which includes an episode of Heartbeat that will see singer Charlotte Church make her acting debut.[309]
  • 24 November – BBC One unveils its winter lineup of programming, which will include a remake of the 1960s television series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), featuring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer in the eponymous roles.[310]
  • 25 November – Sarah Lancashire is to briefly reprise her role as Coronation Street's Raquel Watts in early 2000, it is confirmed.[311]
  • 28 November –
    • Debut of Wives and Daughters on BBC One and Oliver Twist on ITV, two costume dramas that compete head-to-head for viewers. Provisional figures released the following day indicate ITV had the larger audience with 8.4 million watching Oliver Twist compared to 7.2 million who saw Wives and Daughters.[312]
    • BBC One airs Ruth Ellis: a Life for a Life, a drama documentary presented by Kirsty Wark that reveals new evidence that could have prevented Ruth Ellis from being the last woman to be hanged in Britain.[313]
  • 29 November – From today, children's programming is broadcast all day on BBC Choice. Branded CBBC on Choice, children's programming is broadcast on the channel every day from 6am until 7pm.
  • November – Test Card J and Test Card W debut on the BBC, replacing Test Card F which is retired after 32 years.

DecemberEdit

  • 2 December – Comedian Frank Skinner has signed a three-year deal with ITV and will take his chat show to the network.[314]
  • 3 December – Channel 5 has signed a deal with Warner Bros. International Television to show WBIT's 1999 titles from 2002. Among the films included in the deal are The Matrix, Deep Blue Sea, Message in a Bottle, Eyes Wide Shut, Wild Wild West, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Payback and Analyze This.[315]
  • 4 December – The millennium quiz 2000 to 1 debuts on BBC One, with Michael Parkinson and Katy Hill presenting.[316][317]
  • 6 December – BBC One airs "Stephen King Shining in the Dark", an edition of Omnibus in which the author Stephen King talks about his life and work.[318] The programme is followed by the first part of a TV adaptation of his story The Langoliers,[319] with part two airing on 8 December.[320] The documentary is repeated on BBC Choice on 12 December.[321]
  • 7 December –
    • A report published by the Broadcasting Standards Commission says that television is failing to reflect the multicultural nature of Britain, with few ethnic characters seen on screen in drama and soap, and viewers feeling that many that do appear are portrayed as two-dimensional and negatively stereotyped.[322][323]
    • Channel 5 broadcasts the TV movie Winter Angel, a revival of the popular 1970s BBC science-fiction series Doomwatch.[324][325]
  • 8 December –
    • It is announced that Michael Starke, who plays Sinbad in Brookside will leave the soap after more than a decade. He is due to exit the show in September 2000.[326]
    • BBC Two airs a special edition of TOTP2 featuring performances by US country singer Shania Twain.[327]
  • 11 December – "Flying Without Wings" by boy band Westlife wins the 1999 Record of the Year.[328]
  • 12 December –
  • 13 December –
    • The Independent Television Commission rules that an episode of Jerry Springer UK featuring rubber fetishists that aired on 27 September was unsuitable for its 8.00pm timeslot.[332]
    • ITV says it has unearthed colour footage of World War I, and plans to make a follow-up documentary to its popular series The Second World War in Colour. The channel has also commissioned a raft of historical documentaries for the 10.00pm slot.[333]
    • Campaign Live reports that Carlton Communications plc have decided to close their general entertainment channel Carlton Select, which airs old terrestrial TV content.[334]
  • 16 December – Channel 4 signs a £100 million deal to regain the rights to show US TV series Friends and ER, which it has shared with Sky One since 1996. The deal means new episodes of both series will make their British television debut on Channel 4 from 2001, instead of the current arrangement where Sky is allowed to show them first.[335]
  • 19 December – Charlotte Church makes her acting debut in an episode of Heartbeat.[336]
  • 22 December –
  • 24 December – Ian Woodley becomes the first person on British television to win a million pounds, on a segment of the Channel 4 show TFI Friday called Someone's Going to be a Millionaire (a reference to ITV's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which at the time had not had a million pound winner).[342]
  • 25 December –
    • Christmas Day highlights on BBC One include the British television premiere of the adventure fantasy Jumanji.[343] "Hooves of Fire", the first Robbie the Reindeer adventure, also premieres on the channel.[344]
    • ITV beats BBC One in the Christmas Day ratings for the first time since 1984, airing a mixture of soaps, the drama A Touch of Frost and three episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Coronation Street is the most viewed programme with an audience of 14.74 million. However, although ITV had the largest number of viewers for peak viewing, in terms of figures for the overall day, BBC One had the larger percentage of audience share.[345]
    • Channel 4 airs the controversial modern opera Powder Her Face based on the life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. The work, which includes a scene depicting oral sex, is broadcast from 8.40 pm in order to time the explicit content to appear after the 9.00 pm watershed.[346]
  • 26 December – Boxing Day highlights on BBC One include Mission: Impossible, a 1996 film produced by and starring Tom Cruise.[347]
  • 27 December –
    • Network television debut of Spice World on BBC One.[348]
    • ITV bosses have decided to air a documentary about the Krays in which former gangster Freddie Foreman confesses to a murder he committed for the gang in 1966. The Krays – Unfinished Business is scheduled to air on 10 January 2000.[349]
  • 29 December – Along with other terrestrial and satellite networks, the BBC simulcasts the "What is it like to lose someone?" ad campaign, featuring the parents of a young woman killed by a drink driver. The commercial, which explores the couple's grief over the loss of their daughter is part of a new Millennium Drink-Drive campaign.
  • 31 December –
    • Over 60 countries take part in 2000 Today, a program seeing in the start of the new millennium. In the UK the 28-hour marathon show is shown on BBC One and hosted by Michael Parkinson, Gaby Roslin and David Dimbleby.[350]
    • Motivation expert John Mitchell wins the BBC One quiz 2000 to 1 after a tie-breaker in which his opponent answered a question incorrectly. He wins £70,000 and a year off work.[351][352]
    • On ITV, Sir Trevor McDonald and Dermot Murnaghan present Countdown 2000, a programme showing key events from around the UK and the rest of the world as nations welcome in the new millennium.[353]

DebutsEdit

BBC OneEdit

BBC TwoEdit

ITV (Including ITV and ITV2)Edit

Channel 4Edit

Channel 5Edit

Disney Channel UKEdit

Nickelodeon UKEdit

ChallengeEdit

Cartoon Network UKEdit

Sky OneEdit

VH1Edit

  • 8 October – Emma (1999)

UK PlayEdit

Sky NewsEdit

S4CEdit

CNBC EuropeEdit

Sky SportsEdit

LivingEdit

  • 12 July – Charmed (1999–2007)
  • Unknown – Petals (1998–1999)

ChannelsEdit

New channelsEdit

Date Channel
1 June BBC Knowledge
6 June Six TV (Oxford & Southampton)
1 July VH1 Classic
MTV Base
MTV Extra
1 September Nick Jr.
15 September S4C2
15 October TCM
18 October The Hallmark Channel
31 October TeleG (Scotland)

Defunct channelsEdit

Date Channel
30 April Sky Soap
1 May Home Video Channel
15 October TNT Classic Movies
5 November L!VE TV

Television showsEdit

Changes of network affiliationEdit

Shows Moved from Moved to
It's a Knockout BBC One & ITV Channel 5
CatDog Nickelodeon Channel 4
The Wild Thornberrys BBC One
Pocket Dragon Adventures Disney Channel
The Toothbrush Family ITV2
Pokémon Sky1 ITV
Dexter's Laboratory Cartoon Network
Astro Farm The Children's Channel Nick Jr.
Budgie the Little Helicopter Nickelodeon
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Cartoon Network
Bananas in Pyjamas ITV
Magic Adventures of Mumfie
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines BBC Two
Tiny Toon Adventures Cartoon Network

Returning this year after a break of one year or longerEdit

Continuing television showsEdit

1920sEdit

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

1930sEdit

1950sEdit

1960sEdit

1970sEdit

1980sEdit

1990sEdit

Ending this yearEdit

BirthsEdit

DeathsEdit

Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
9 February Bryan Mosley[3] 67 actor (Alf Roberts in Coronation Street)
24 February Derek Nimmo[356] 68 character actor
17 March Rod Hull[357] 63 entertainer
21 March Ernie Wise[84] 73 surviving half of UK comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise
2 April Andrew Gardner[358] 66 newsreader
4 April Bob Peck[359] 53 actor (Ronald Craven in Edge of Darkness)
14 April Anthony Newley[360] 67 actor, singer and songwriter
26 April Jill Dando[113][361] 37 presenter (co-host of Crimewatch)
6 May Johnny Morris[362] 82 presenter (Animal Magic)
23 June Buster Merryfield[363] 78 actor (Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses)
25 June Fred Feast[364] 69 actor (Fred Gee in Coronation Street)
4 July Jack Watson[365] 78 actor
12 July Bill Owen[366] 85 actor (Compo Simmonite in Last of the Summer Wine)
9 August Helen Rollason[367] 43 sports journalist and television presenter
10 August Jennifer Paterson[368] 70 celebrity chef and television presenter, one half of the Two Fat Ladies
1 October Lena Zavaroni[369] 35 child singer and television presenter
7 October Deryck Guyler[370] 85 actor (Please Sir!, Sykes)
21 November Quentin Crisp[371] 90 writer and raconteur
24 November Hilary Minster 55 actor (General Von Klinkerhoffen in 'Allo 'Allo!)
19 December Robert Dougall[372] 86 newsreader
Desmond Llewelyn[373] 85 actor
Unknown Jim Wiggins[374] 76–77 actor

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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