Click (TV programme)

(Redirected from BBC Click)

Click (formerly Click Online) is a weekly BBC television programme covering technology news and recent developments in the world of technology and the Internet, presented by Spencer Kelly and Lara Lewington. It was created by then BBC presenter Stephen Cole.

BBC Click logo.png
Also known asClick Online (2000–05)
GenreReview show
Presented bySpencer Kelly and Lara Lewington
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes1,000 (as of 6 July 2019)
Production locationsBBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow
Running time30 minutes (approx.)
Production companyBBC News
Original networkBBC News
BBC World News
Picture formatDVB-T 576i
HDTV 1080i
Original release6 April 2000 (2000-04-06) –
Related showsDigital Planet

Since its debut in April 2000, it has broadcast a new episode every week, marking its 1,000th episode on 6 July 2019.[1]


Each episode is introduced by the hosts, Spencer Kelly and Lara Lewington, and features reports about technology developments all over the world by a group of BBC contributors. Reports cover a variety of 'tech' subjects, including consumer technologies and issues, social impact of emerging technologies, video games, and innovations in mobile technology.

The show currently features a "Week in Tech" segment, compiling the week's biggest news in the technology area.

The programme previously included Webscape, a closing segment hosted by Kate Russell recommending new and useful websites. This segment was dropped but Russell continued doing general reporting for the show.

There are different editions of the programme, two 30-minute programmes: (shown on BBC News), a global edition (BBC World News), and a 15-minute version (BBC One and BBC News during BBC Breakfast). A four-minute version also appears on BBC World News at varying times of the week.

BBC World Service broadcasts a weekly sister radio show, Digital Planet, which, for a time, shared the same name. It is presented by Gareth Mitchell and contributors Bill Thompson, Ghislaine Boddington and Angelica Mari.

Local versionsEdit

Persian-speakers can also watch BBC Persian Click online and on BBC Persian TV presented by Nima Akbarpour.[2] Further local versions are due to launch from Autumn 2018, including Click Tamil in October 2018, with the aim of having the show broadcast in up to 20 languages.[3]


The show started as Click Online in April 2000, hosted by Stephen Cole, and featured reports focused on the rise of the Internet and related technologies.[1] Thursday, 29 December 2005 marked the last edition of Click Online, as the show was previously known, coinciding with the departure of Stephen Cole after 295 shows. The programme was thereafter renamed Click, with new music and titles, and with Spencer Kelly, an existing reporter and producer on the show who also compiled reports for The Gadget Show on Channel 5, as the new host. Since then it has expanded its "online" focus, now featuring reports on technology developments from all over the world. Since April 2020, existing reporter Lara Lewington has become co-host.

Episode 774 was the world's first programme to be shot and edited entirely on mobile devices.[1]

The 12 March 2016 programme (#827) was broadcast in 360 degrees, and is the first entire episode of a TV programme to be broadcast as such.[4]

On 6 July 2019 the show's 1000th episode was broadcast. It consisted of an interactive episode where viewers could decide what to watch next.[1]

In March 2021, the BBC announced that the technology department, including Click, would be relocating to Pacific Quay in Glasgow.[5] The show stopped producing new episodes during April 2022 to facilitate the move, with repeats shown, and aired the first episode produced on Glasgow on 7 May 2022.[6]

Botnet controversyEdit

In 2009 the show and the BBC created some controversy when it aired a special episode highlighting the dangers of botnets and how easy it was to get caught in one. The show bought control of a botnet of some 22,000 infected computers (for "a few thousand dollars")[7] from a Russian hacker, and used it to send spam to an email address set up for the experiment and to perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a website set up by Prev-X (an internet security company that provided technical support for the show).[8] After the programme was made the computers on the botnet were sent a piece of software to remove the malware and a warning was sent to them telling the users what had happened and that they were vulnerable.

The response was mixed with the show receiving many emails both for and against the programme along with some negative press.[9][10] The BBC was criticized by some legal consulting organisations as well as computer security companies. Computer security expert and senior technology consultant at Sophos, Graham Cluley, asked in his blog whether the BBC was breaking the Computer Misuse Act - which makes it an offence in the UK to access or modify a third-party computer without the owner's consent.[11] However internet security commentator Melih Abdulhayoğlu, founder of international computer security company Comodo Group, made a video in support of the BBC.[12] Click rebutted criticisms by stating in its Twitter posts that:

We would not put out a show like this one without having taken legal advice.

Presenters and reportersEdit

In addition to presenters Kelly and Lewington, reporters include Dan Simmons, Omar Mehtab, LJ Rich, Paul Carter, Jen Copestake, Marc Cieslak, Nick Kwek, Chris Fox, Shiona McCallum[13] and Kitty Knowles.[14]

Previous presenters of the show have included Stephen Cole who left the BBC to work for Al Jazeera International. Kate Russell left in August 2020 after 14 years being part of the Click team.[15]

Other BBC journalists occasionally present segments of the programme.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d Click 1000 - The Future of Television, retrieved 8 July 2019
  2. ^ "About the programme". BBC News. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ Click - Live in India, retrieved 22 September 2018
  4. ^ "Click: Watch a full show in 360 degrees". BBC News.
  5. ^ "BBC set to move jobs to Glasgow in biggest change in decades". Glasgow Times. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  6. ^ Twitter Retrieved 7 May 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Gaining access to a hacker's world". BBC News. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  8. ^ Mills, Elinor (12 March 2009). "BBC buys, uses botnet to show dangers to PCs". CNET News. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  9. ^ Leyden, John (16 March 2009). "BBC Click paid cybercrooks to buy botnet". The Register. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ "BBC cybercrime probe backfires". 16 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Did BBC break the law by using a botnet to send spam?". Naked Security. Sophos. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Well Done, BBC". 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2013 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Shiona McCallum Makes the move to BBC Click". Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  14. ^ "The week in tech". Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Thread". Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  16. ^ "About Click". BBC News. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2013.

External linksEdit