Cutting Edge (TV series)

Cutting Edge was a British TV documentary series broadcast by Channel 4. It had been Channel 4's flagship documentary series between 1990 and 2017 that focused on political and social issues.

Cutting Edge
Cutting Edge logo.png
Cutting Edge logo
Narrated byVarious
ComposerMatthew Cracknell
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Running time49 minutes
Original networkChannel 4
Picture formatPAL (576i, 16:9)
Audio formatStereo
Original release19 February 1990 (1990-02-19) –
2017 (2017)


There have been numerous episodes from 1990 to 2017 and some of the highlights include:

Shops and RobbersEdit

Original airdate: 1994

Received some of Channel 4's highest ratings.

Graham Taylor: An Impossible JobEdit

Original airdate: 24 January 1994

About England national football team's unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Manager Graham Taylor was harshly criticised by the tabloid press during these two years (1992–93), and the fly-on-the-wall documentary revealed a stressed team camp. It also gave birth to Taylor's catchphrase, "Do I not like that" (a statement rather than a question) and Phil Neal's touchline comment "Can we not knock it, boss ?"[1]

Anti-Social Old BuggersEdit

Original airdate: 22 June 2005

Run of episodes in 2005, about "Anti-Social Old Buggers" which included elderly recipients of Asbos, "The Black Widow", "Gridlock" and "The House Clearers".

The Black WidowEdit

Original airdate: 29 June 2005

Documentary on Dena Thompson, a woman who murdered her second husband but who was also found to have had a 20-year career of fraud, deception and bigamy. She was acquitted of murdering her third husband. 4.5 million people watched the documentary, a 22% share of that evening's TV audience.[2]

Blind Young ThingsEdit

Original airdate: 30 April 2007

A 2007 documentary following students at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. The film won a Royal Television Society award for Channel Four and the Cutting Edge team in 2008.[3]

A Boy Called AlexEdit

Original airdate: 24 January 2008

This documentary follows 16-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer Alex Stobbs as he attempts to conduct Bach's Magnifcat at Eton College.[4] This was followed by a second documentary in October 2009 called "Alex: A Passion for Life", which examines Alex's life as a music student at King's College, Cambridge.[5]

The Human SpiderEdit

Original airdate: 15 April 2008

Cutting Edge covered Alain Robert, one of the most daring climbers in the world, on some amazing free climbs around the globe.[6]

Madeleine Was HereEdit

Original airdate: 7 May 2009

Aired two years after the disappearance of missing child Madeleine McCann.[7]

Captive for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee StoryEdit

Original airdate: 1 October 2009

About the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard with interviews with people close to Jaycee when she was young, including family members, classmates and her headmistress.[8]

Katie: My Beautiful FaceEdit

Original airdate: 29 October 2009

Followed the recovery of former model Katie Piper from a brutal acid attack,[9] and which with 3.3 million viewers was the most-watched edition of the Cutting Edge strand in 2009; Piper's case has been subject to a large international response, and following the success of the original documentary Piper was invited to give Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message for 2009.

The documentary was nominated for "Best Single Documentary" at the BAFTA Television Awards in June 2010, but did not win - the trophy was awarded to BBC One's Wounded.[10] The previous month, director Jessie Versluys had won the Breakthrough Talent prize at the 2010 Craft BAFTA ceremony, for her credits including Katie: My Beautiful Face and The Hospital.[11]

Octomom: Me and My 14 KidsEdit

Original airdate: 12 November 2009

Follows single unemployed mother Nadya Suleman from California, who in January 2009 gave birth to eight children.[12]

The Men Who Jump Off BuildingsEdit

Original airdate: 28 July 2010

About Dan Witchalls and Ian Richardson, who participate in the adrenaline sport, base jumping.[13]

My Big Fat Gypsy WeddingEdit

Original airdate: 18 February 2010

Follows four Gypsy and Traveller brides as they plan their wedding day.[14] Screened in February 2010, drew 4.5 million viewers[15] and was subsequently commissioned for a spinoff series called Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.[16] This proved to be successful, with the second episode getting 7.4m viewers at its peak.[17]

Production company(s): Firecracker Films

Raoul Moat: Inside the Mind of a KillerEdit

Original airdate: 18 August 2010

Looks at the 2010 Northumbria Police manhunt and the following investigation.[18]

My New BrainEdit

Original airdate: 25 August 2010

Follows 20-year-old Simon Hales as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury.[19]

Ian Brady: Endgames of a PsychopathEdit

Original airdate: 20 August 2012


The Fried Chicken Shop: Life in a DayEdit

Original airdate: 19 February 2013


Production company(s): Mentorn


  1. ^ Rostance, Tom. "BBC Sport - Do I not like that: 20 years since Graham Taylor's World Cup failure". Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Black Widow traps 4.5m for Channel 4". The Guardian. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Hereford students' key role for Blind Young Things". Hereford Times. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  4. ^ "A Boy Called Alex". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Alex: A Passion for Life". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Cutting Edge". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Madeleine Was Here". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Captive for 18 Years: Jaycee Lee". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Katie: My Beautiful Face". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2010 - TV Awards - Television - The BAFTA site". Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Television Craft Awards Winners in 2011 - Craft Awards - Television - The BAFTA site". 8 May 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Octomom: Me and My 14 Kids". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  13. ^ "The Men Who Jump Off Buildings". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  14. ^ "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding". Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  15. ^ Jason Deans (19 February 2010). "TV ratings: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding presents Channel 4 with 4.5m viewers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Orange Swapables | Mobile TV". Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  17. ^ "BBC News - My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding: Why is it a hit?". 28 January 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  18. ^ "The Raoul Moat Tapes:..." Channel 4. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  19. ^ "My New Brain". Retrieved 8 October 2013.

External linksEdit