Click (TV programme)

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.

BBC Click logo.png
Also known asClick Online (2000–2005)
Presented bySpencer Kelly
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes1000 (as of 6 July 2019)
Running time30 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s)BBC News
Original networkBBC News
BBC World News
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
(Downscaled to 576i for SDTV)
Original release2000 –
Related showsClick (radio programme)
External links

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


Each episode is introduced by the host Spencer Kelly and features reports about technology developments all over the world by its 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 tech.

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

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

There are different editions of the programme broadcast, 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 4-minute version also appears on BBC World News at selected times of the week.

BBC World Service broadcasts a weekly sister radio show, also called Click, presented by Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson.

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 on April of 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 as new host. Since then it has expanded its "online" focus, now featuring reports on technology developments from all over the world.

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 premiered. It consisted of an interactive episode where viewers could decide what to watch next.[1]

Botnet controversyEdit

In 2009 the show and the BBC produced 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")[5] 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).[6] 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.[7][8] The BBC was criticized by some legal consulting organizations 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 offense in the UK to access or modify a third-party computer without the owner's consent.[9] However internet security commentator Melih Abdulhayoğlu, founder of international computer security company Comodo Group, made a video in support of the BBC.[10] Click rebutted criticisms by stating in its Twitter posts that:

State interference in WikipediaEdit

A programme episode released on 6 October 2019 discussed Wikipedia and the manipulation of articles by state actors that would show their state in a better light. The main subject of the episode was the relationship between the controlling states of China (PRC) and Taiwan (ROC) and how bad actors from China had manipulated Wikipedia with hundreds of thousands of edits. The episode showed that although these edits had occurred, they could not be proven to be from the PRC;[12]:7:58 similarly it was stated that many of the edits were either undone, reverted or corrected "back to their original state actually quite quickly".[12]:10:40


The presenter of Click is Spencer Kelly, who had already been a reporter and producer on the show, and also compiled reports for The Gadget Show on Channel 5. Kate Russell introduced featured websites in the weekly Webscape segment and now does general reporting. Other reporters include Dan Simmons, Lara Lewington, LJ Rich, Paul Carter, Jen Copestake, Marc Cieslak, Nick Kwek, Sumi Das,[13] and Kate Russell.[14]

Previous presenters of the show include Stephen Cole who left the BBC to work for Al Jazeera International.

Other BBC journalists occasionally present segments of the programme as well.[15]


  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. ^
  5. ^ "Gaining access to a hacker's world". BBC News. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b Mills, Elinor (12 March 2009). "BBC buys, uses botnet to show dangers to PCs". CNET News. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  7. ^ Leyden, John (16 March 2009). "BBC Click paid cybercrooks to buy botnet". The Register. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  8. ^ "BBC cybercrime probe backfires". 16 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Did BBC break the law by using a botnet to send spam?". Naked Security. Sophos. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Well Done, BBC". YouTube. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  11. ^ "BBC Click". Twitter. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Click - short edition" (Video (online)). Click (2019-10-05). BBC. BBC News. Retrieved 11 October 2019. and do in fact return many of the edits we saw, at least, back to their original state actually quite quickly
  13. ^ "Sumi Das | BBC Journalist | Muck Rack". Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Inspirational Woman: Kate Russell | TV Presenter | BBC Click - WeAreTheCity | Information, Networking, jobs & events for women". 2 February 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  15. ^ "About Click". BBC News. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2013.

External linksEdit