19 items from 2014
Happy Birthday BBC Two: BBC Two, 10pm
As part of the channel's celebrations for its 50th birthday, BBC Two intends to commemorate some of its finest programming over the next few weeks. Here, they begin to repeat a 2004 series celebrating the channel's 40th anniversary, with the first episode focusing on the early days of the channel. A disastrous powercut on the opening night aside, long-running favourites Playschool, Match of the Day, and Horizon made their debuts.
It features comments from people in front of, and behind the camera for valuable insight on the channel behind the scenes, while the Dead Ringers team make their own unique contribution.
Party House: E4, 10pm
New reality show where groups of friends are given 24 hours and an empty luxury mansion to host the best party possible. Laura and her London mates throw the first party, with a plan to sort out their convoluted love-lives. »
Have I Got News For You was Friday's (April 4) highest rated primetime show outside of soaps.
The returning comedy panel show, which was hosted by Jennifer Saunders, entertained an average of 4.76 million viewers (22.5%) at 9pm.
A repeat of Outnumbered attracted 2.98m (14.7%) immediately after, while the new series of The Graham Norton Show rounded off the evening with 3.57m (27.4%) at 10.35pm.
Over on ITV, Martin Clunes & a Lion Called Mugie was seen by 2.99m (14.5%) at 9pm. Previous ratings topper Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages interested 2.72m (13.4%) at 8pm.
Mastermind was BBC Two's highest-rated show of the evening with 2.09m (10.2%) at 8pm. Gardeners' World was seen by 1.95m (8.9%) immediately after.
The evening continued with A Very British Renaissance and The Trip to Italy, »
MasterChef continued its ratings success for BBC One last night (April 2) with the highest ratings of the series so far, according to overnight data.
The cooking competition attracted 4.7m viewers (21.8%) when it aired at 8pm, bringing in 1.31m more than last Friday's (March 28) episode.
Earlier, The One Show entertained 3.77m (17.7%), while new series Monkey Planet informed 3.36m (15.9%) at 9pm.
Channel 5's documentary Killing Spree informed 586k (2.72%) at 8pm, followed by the latest »
The list of celebrities taking part in the latest Pointless specials has been announced.
The first special will have a 1970s theme, with Wizzard and Yes stars Roy Wood and Rick Wakeman facing actors Paul Henry and Madeleine Smith, and Sally Thomsett and Anna Karen, and children's television stars Ed Stewart and Sally James.
Elsewhere, Sir Geoff Hurst and George Cohen MBE will team up in the World Cup special, facing Peter Shilton and Steve Bull, Hope Powell and Casey Stoney, and Graeme Le Saux and commentator Jonathan Pearce.
The Eurovision Pointless special is a thing to behold, with Bucks Fizz's Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan trying to prove their wits against Martin Lee and Sonia Evans, Dana and Johnny Logan, and Jemini's Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey. »
Monkey Planet: BBC One, 9pm
There's a huge variety of monkeys on show - from orangutans that use soap and pens, Japanese macaques, which wear their own fluorescent battle paint, and a baboon seeking a flamingo for dinner.
Law & Order: UK: ITV, 9pm
A mum prepares for her son's birthday party, and while the kids are having fun, she finds her husband murdered in his study.
The eighth series continues, as Ronnie is faced with a challenge when the father of his former boss becomes a suspect in an investigation. Ronnie is driven to so many professional risks in an effort to help his friend, but how far will he go?
Bates Motel: Universal, 9pm
Season two of the prequel »
MasterChef suffered a dip on Friday evening (March 28), after topping the ratings outside soaps on Thursday, according to overnight data.
The cooking show was still popular with 3.39 million viewers (15.4%) at 8.30pm on BBC One.
Earlier, The One Show was the highest-rated primetime programme outside soaps with 3.86m (20.5%) at 7pm.
On BBC Two, Lambing Live's last episode of the series delivered 2.22m (10.3%) at 8pm, while Gardeners' World managed 2.5m (12.3%) at 9pm, making these the two highest-rated shows on the channel.
ITV's Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages dipped from last week to 2.57m (11.4%) at 8pm, while Edge of Heaven ended its run with an increased viewership of 1.26m (5.9%) at 9pm.
The BBC has outlined plans for its upcoming arts coverage.
Director General Tony Hall stated that the corporation aims to increase its art output with its "strongest commitment to the arts in a generation".
"The arts are for everyone, and from now on BBC Arts will be at the very heart of what we do," he added.
The BBC Arts... strand will be used on TV, radio and online via the BBC's iPlayer service.
Forget shiny-floored entertainment - the way to the public's wallet is to put a celebrity in peril, says Stuart Heritage
Decca Aitkenhead's interview with Davina McCall
Like most other charity telethons, Sport Relief usually persuades you to part with your money the traditional way - offering up all manner of shiny-floored entertainment and intermittently studding it with heartbreaking documentaries. After a few hours spent pinging between several wildly conflicting emotions, you'll eventually become discombobulated enough to relent and donate a tenner.
But unlike other telethons, this year, Sport Relief is really going in hard on its secondary formula: conjuring a lineup that mixes more imperilled celebrities with brazen nostalgia. An Only Fools and Horses reunion. Davina McCall crying in a frozen lake. A Boyzone performance. Alex Jones from The One Show scaling a sheer rock face over the course of three days. Then there's Kylie Minogue singing Especially For You »
- Stuart Heritage
BBC One's Beyond Breaking Point achieved an audience share of 17.3% at 9pm on a quiet Thursday night.
The One Show was the most-watched programme outside of news and soaps with 4.44m (21.8%) at 7pm. Later, Holiday Hit Squad brought in 3.10m (14.6%), and Question Time was seen by 2.35m (21.8%) at 10.35pm.
On ITV, Ade Edmondson's new series Ade at Sea interested 2.63m (12.4%) at 8.30pm, followed by documentary Dangerous Dogs with 1.97m (9.3%) at 9pm (269,000/1.7% on +1).
Channel 4's Hoarder Next Door fascinated 1.47m (6.9%) at 8pm (166k/0.8%). Inside Rolls-Royce gathered 2.13m (10.1%) at 9pm (361k/2.3%) and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown amused 982k (6.1%) at 10pm (221k »
More sitcom than satire: the BBC proves a bit of a struggle for Twenty Twelve's Olympic Deliverance man
The right have always grumbled that the BBC is full of pinkos. The left seem equally certain that Broadcasting House is run by closet Tories. In W1A (BBC2), the follow-up to the brilliant Twenty Twelve, the Beeb is stuffed full of comedians, either dead – the meeting-rooms are named after Frankie Howerd and Norman Wisdom – or unintentional. If some of the BBC's output over recent years is any benchmark, it's a view worth considering.
W1A does also have its comedic moments. The idea that the BBC might actually employ Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), Twenty Twelve's fictional head of Olympic Deliverance, to be head of values as the corporation's ineffectual response to the post-Savile era is all too plausible. As is the thought that commissioning editors waste hours dreaming up »
- John Crace
Jonathan Creek was Friday's (March 14) highest-rated TV show outside of soaps for the third week running.
Down slightly from last week's 5.57m rating, the third and final episode of the mystery series was seen by 5.41 million viewers (25.2%) at 9pm on BBC One.
BBC One started the evening with 3.91m (20.1%) for The One Show at 7pm, followed by 2.98m (14.4%) for The Question of Sport at 8.30pm.
Over on ITV, Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages was the highest-rated show outside of soaps with 2.62m (11.9%) at 8pm. The fourth episode of Edge of Heaven suffered a slight dip in viewers, picking up 1.51m (6.8%) at 9pm.
Mastermind was once again BBC Two's highest-rated show of the evening, attracting 2.31m (10.5%) at 8pm. The evening continued with a strong »
Jonathan Creek was Friday's (February 28) highest-rated TV show outside of soaps.
For the second week running, Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages was ITV's highest-rated show outside of soaps, picking up an average of 2.75m (12.4%) at 8pm.
After the evening's second visit to Weatherfield at 8.30, the latest episode of Edge of Heaven was viewed by 1.75m (8.3%) from 9pm.
Over on BBC Two, Permission Impossible attracted 1.26m (6%) at 7pm, Mastermind secured an evening high of 2.17 (9.8%) viewers at 8pm, »
Live Six Nations Rugby Union was Friday's (February 21) highest-rated show outside of soaps.
An average of 4.57 million viewers (20.8%) tuned in to watch Wales take on France at 7.55pm on BBC One. The match peaked with 4.83 million viewers during the second half.
The rugby narrowly outperformed ITV's Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages, which was seen by 4.32 million (20.3%) at 8pm.
Brand new comedy/drama Edge of Heaven was ITV's second highest-rated show of the night, securing 2.56m (11.7%) viewers from 9.
BBC Two's evening kicked off with Winter Olympics: Today at the Games at 7pm. Approximately 1.88 million (8.8%) watched highlights of Team Gb picking up a silver »
Broadcaster reported to be courting BBC1 Breakfast presenter following a review that could result in Daybreak being axed
ITV has held talks with BBC presenter Susanna Reid in a bid to revive its fortunes in the TV breakfast wars.
The BBC1 Breakfast presenter's stock has risen since her turn on Strictly Come Dancing in the autumn and ITV is understood to want Reid to front a revamped rival early morning show.
Reid is reported to have been offered £1m by ITV to change channels, but sources said the estimates were excessive. However, she is sure to earn far more than the £250,000 she is currently believed to be paid at the BBC is she moves to ITV.
ITV has just completed a review of its ill-starred breakfast show Daybreak, which has stumbled through various incarnations and presenter line-ups since replacing GMTV three-and-a-half years ago, but still trails far behind its BBC1 rival in the ratings. »
- John Plunkett
The BBC's director of television talks about sending executives back to the floor, the fallout from the Savile scandal, the 'joy' of Mrs Brown's Boys and his startling new rule about panel shows
Danny Cohen might have a big job – he is director of television at the BBC, and so responsible for every TV channel plus iPlayer and BBC Films – but his office is about the size of a garden shed. Yes, it's high in the new Broadcasting House, and in a corner, so it comes with plenty of light and lovely rooftop views. But, were you to swing a cat in it (something that would obviously contravene the BBC's no doubt extensive health and safety rules), things would rapidly become very messy. There are three of us here today – me, him and the inevitable minder – and it's, well, cosy. It's also, from my point of view, disappointing. The »
- Rachel Cooke
Silent Witness was once again the highest-rated TV show outside of soaps on Friday night (January 31).
The final episode of the BBC drama series drew an average of 5.08 million viewers, representing a 22.9% audience share.
The Graham Norton Show, which featured guests such as Dallas Buyers Club actor Matthew McConaughey, was seen by an average of 3.5 million viewers (25.4%) at 10.35pm, while a transfer deadline day edition of Football Focus picked up 1.19m (13%) at 11.25pm.
Silent Witness once again topped Friday night's primetime ratings, as the crime drama put BBC One ahead of its rivals.
With 5.2m (22.1%) tuning in at 9pm, the crime drama was the most popular show outside of the soaps, despite shedding 500k viewers from last week's figures.
BBC One remained on top throughout the evening, starting with The One Show drawing 4.27m (20.5%) at 7pm.
Room 101, featuring Labour peer Joan Bakewell, Pointless co-presenter Richard Osman and comedian Roisin Conaty, saw 3.41m (14.7%) tune in at 8.30pm, while The Graham Norton Show attracted 3.73m viewers at 10.45pm.
ITV held a steady audience share of around 12.6% for its primetime offerings. The Martin Lewis Money Show dropped more than 300k from last week, with 2.81m watching at 8pm (+1: 105k).
BBC Two's Mastermind boosted its audience to 2.21m (9.9%) at 8pm. An Island Parish, »
1973's The Sting took it global, but there's more to ragtime music than that film's Keystone Kops crazy-chase soundtrack
Reading on mobile? Click here to listen to The Maple Leaf Rag played by Scott Joplin
One album was all it took to herald a revival. In 1970, the year of Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Beatles' Let It Be, a record of arcane late 19th-century American piano music, released on a label that was otherwise building its reputation as a chronicler of the hardcore American avant-garde, began to sell in implausible quantities. Audiences ordinarily enamoured of piano miniatures by Chopin, Brahms and Liszt were suddenly taking pleasure in the compositions of Scott Joplin, the Texas-born "King of Ragtime" whose über-catchy 1899 Maple Leaf Rag brought him immediate popularity, but who died in 1917 with two typically embarrassing composerly problems hanging over him: syphilis and a terminally unproduced opera, Treemonisha, »
Silent Witness was last night's (January 17) highest-rated show outside of soaps.
The BBC One crime drama continues to dominate Friday night ratings, this week drawing an average of 5.73m (24.1%) viewers - an additional 230k on last week's figures.
Sitcom Miranda grew the channel's audience to 3.73m at 8.30pm. The Graham Norton Show, featuring Girls star Lena Dunham, actress Olivia Colman, Idris Elba and Keane, attracted 3.63m (25.3%) at 10.45pm.
The Martin Lewis Money Show provided ITV's best non-soap ratings at 8pm, with an audience of 3.05m (13.7%). An additional 154.4k tuned in on +1.
On BBC Two, Mastermind took a 9.3% audience share, with 2.08m tuning in. »
19 items from 2014
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