Weaver's Week 2008-12-28

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Welcome to the Week's review of 2008, covering all the news that's been fit to print this year.



We have to begin somewhere, and the daytime shows were first out of the hat. Or, as they seem to have become, gambling and/or cookery shows. ITV put out the Daily Cooks Challenge and House Guest, shows that really did what they said on the tin. School for Cooks returned for another series, and the overlong shoutfest Golden Balls proved remarkably popular for a show where nothing happens. ITV also offered the gambling show Spin Star, where hundreds of pounds could be lost by sheer luck.

Things were a little better on the BBC; Ready Steady Cook and Bargain Hunt continued to appear most weeks, assisted by such fodder as Eating With the Enemy (cooking), Recipe for Success (restauranting), Murder Most Famous (writing), What Are You Like? (magazine quizzes), and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (antiques). Eggheads continued to clog up the 6pm slot, and spawned Are You an Egghead?, a 31-episode spin-off to find a sixth brainbox to add a little variety.

Channel 4 continued to plough its traditional furrow, with Deal or No Deal settling down to 2.5 million viewers, and Countdown suffering from its inferior slot at 3.30. It felt as though Countdown was going through the motions in the later part of this year: off air for a month so as not to clash with the Olympics, finishing for Christmas very early, and all overshadowed by the acrimonious departure of Carol Vorderman from the show. The contestants were still top notch, showing that practice makes perfect. Terry Wogan presented Perfect Recall, a show that made things far too easy for the viewers, and Channel 5 revived One To Win under the original Going for Gold moniker. The best part isn't the call-and-lose contest, but John Suchet's wonderful voice.

In February, Australian soap opera Neighbours moved from BBC1 to Channel 5. In an effort to shore up ratings, the Controller persuaded Anne Robinson and Jon Briggs to bring The Weakest Link over from BBC2. It's not been a particularly fruitful move – BBC2 hasn't used the space for anything compelling, and the net result was to shunt BBC1's children's block back half-an-hour. No chance of stripping Raven at 5.30 on the main channel, not when the founding member of the Poddington Peas Fan Club and his woman in black are refusing to budge.

Save the children

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In proper children's shows, the BBC has again had the field to itself. ITV began to see the merit in producing a few shows for young people, but this only amounts to a few hours in the year. Mark Byford, the BBC's director-general, said this year that the success of Raven had helped to improve confidence in the whole children's department. This column doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the DG, but we fully agree that Raven is brilliant, and that the rest of the BBC's children's output is pretty good. Oftentimes, better than the grown-up equivalent: would Adrian Chiles ever dare lower himself down a crack in a glacier?

Here's what the BBC's been doing with its monopoly. Brain-Jitsu was an entertaining idea that didn't quite happen for us, while Hot Rods was a valiant attempt to marry The Crystal Maze and Deal or No Deal. There's merit in both shows. Basil's Game Show was loud and glossy and even the offer of a gorilla ride home couldn't save it. Kerwhizz was a show pitched at the under-fours, so was far too advanced and confusing for us simpletons. At the other end of the scale, Scene Stealers invited teenagers to swap lifestyles, proving that people are entirely adaptable. Old favourite Raven returned for two more series, moved to Aviemore, and was recorded in high-definition, as was entertainment show The Slammer. We were particularly impressed by Stake Out, the best hidden camera show since the heyday of Beadle. Hardeep Singh Kohli took the helm of Get 100, and even after seeing the series, we're not sure whether this was a stroke of genius or a disaster.

The most improved show this year, and this is across all genres, was Escape from Scorpion Island. The original looked like it had a decent game somewhere, but there were too many layers of confusion to leave us anything other than frustrated. This year, JK and Joel have fronted a series with a logical and coherent structure, fewer dei ex machinae, and it's become riveting viewing as a result. We were also hooked by Election, which took ten youngsters and gave them various challenges to find a leader. Comparisons were made to The Apprentice, with Jonathan Dimbleby proving less self-aggrandising than Alan Sugar, and the contenders being uniformly likeable.

It's Entertainment, and It's Light

Light entertainment series have continued to shore up the schedules, particularly in their traditional Saturday night home. ITV ran an experimental Saturday line-up early in the year, including the partly-improvised Thank God You're Here, which met with critical plaudits but few viewers. Antan Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Your Money also went out early in the year, and included some team games and a mouse game that really didn't work. By the summer, the third button was playing it more safe: a revival of All-Star Mr and Mrs, Miss, or Mister reflected the paucity of married couples and the chemistry of Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton. Who Dares Sings! was a televised karaoke session, conducted at tremendous volume and with Denise Van Outen putting everyone off. The best light entertainment show of the year was ITV's Beat the Star, in which members of the public challenged famous faces to silly games.

Over on the BBC, there was a near-continuous run of voting shows: The One and Only found celebrity impersonators, I'd Do Anything was the latest conveyor-belt casting show for Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Last Choir Standing found the most popular choir in Wales. We're still hoping for a sing-off between winners Only Men Aloud and Codi Canu's champions from North Wales. Eurovision took over three Saturday nights, with the UK choosing the least-bad of six woeful options from its national final, then Terry Wogan bitterly criticising everyone involved except himself when the song finished in a tie for 23rd. The Dance Contest lost some of its sparkle this year, with the judges' vote at odds with the public preferences.

The Beeb's only light entertainment show not to involve voting was the very silly Hole in the Wall, another show that does exactly what it says on the tin. Channel 4's new series was the late-night Celebrity Ding Dong, an affable post-pub entertainment hosted by Alan Carr; 8 Out of 10 Cats and The Friday Night Project also returned.

The autumn season turned, almost inevitably, to the traditional clash. ITV offered the fifth run of The X Factor, complete with its badly-staged rows, insincere panelists, and risible singing. The BBC retaliated with a sixth spin around Strictly Come Dancing, complete with badly-staged rows, insincere panelists, and risible dancing. ITV wasted Dermot O'Leary's considerable presenting talents, the BBC used Bruce Forsyth well, the commercial channel won out in the ratings. Strictly was let down by some nonsense involving John Sergeant, and an entirely-predictable tie in the semi-final added to the air of chaos. After spending almost half the series on the audition process, X Factor let its best singer leave very early in proceedings, but cultivated the tabloid press far better than the Beeb.

Peter Kay neatly skewered The X Factor with his October special for Channel 4, Britain's Got the Pop Factor. It was an incredibly detailed spoof, right down to the impossibility of getting through on the telephone lines. The winner's song, "The winners song", artfully addressed the blatant nonsense spouted by every winner of The X Factor. Viewers could see Simon Cowell's show addressing some of the implicit criticism, though not in its choice of final song. By Christmas, Kay was back with a follow-up programme and single, this time addressing the very limited number of festive songs played on the radio. And The X Factor was stealing ideas for its winner's song from bonus rounds on University Challenge. "Hallelujah" was the audio interlude when King's Cambridge met Surrey in October, and was belted out by this week's winner, whoever he was.

Quiz Me Quick

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The world of serious quizzing has had a relatively good year. Another part of ITV's experimental Saturday nights was Duel, a general knowledge quiz with an entertaining twist. It didn't do the business and won't be returning, which is a shame. BBC1's Saturday evenings featured a John Barrowman promotional vehicle The Kids Are All Right, which we're hoping won't be coming back. The lottery shows continued to have quizzes attached – chance show In It to Win It ran through the spring, One Versus One Hundred swapped O'Leary for Ben Shephard, and Who Dares Wins continued to impress us with its simple brilliance. The one new format was This Time Tomorrow; it may have worked on paper, but it really didn't happen on screen.

BBC2 doesn't feel it has to make everything accessible to all viewers, and had a slew of tough quizzes. In the teatime slot, Brainbox Challenge was a sequence of games to exercise the grey matter, and Battle of the Brains was a quiz to sort out the best from the even better. University Challenge continued to test the nation's students with tough but fair questions, and Mastermind gained a sports spin-off, hosted by that old smoothie Des Lynam. The parent show suffered from its usual bugbear of awkward scheduling: nine episodes concluded the last series in the spring, and we broke with fourteen episodes of the new run under our belts, and no chance of more until late January. A more stable time-slot is one of the things needed to help Mastermind establish its credentials again.

We were somewhat surprised to see Channel 5 enter this particular fray: The What in the World? Quiz had many things going for it (a funky graphics package, Marcus Brigstocke, blowing up the studio) but only three episodes to enjoy. Please, Mr. Channel 5, may we have some more?

Real, Real, Real

Reality television has continued to devour the schedules like a hungry thing. Perhaps the genre is finally becoming less popular, as witnessed by the gradual decline of Big Brother. January's Celebrity Hijack series had unknown contestants being given silly things to do by minor celebrities, with the winner's top prize being to hear the Election candidates perform their favourite songs from High School Musical. The Celeb Hijack series went out entirely on digital channel E4. The summer's main series also received less coverage than previously. Big Brother still occupied the 10pm slot for thirteen weeks, but E4 found more interesting things to show than wall-to-wall BB. It's clear that Big Brother is no longer the success it once was, and we wonder if the series is nearing the end of its natural life, as has happened in Australia.

The replacement is cookery: to be precise, Come Dine with Me, the competitive cookery show that's been fighting for airtime since 2005. It made a foray into prime-time this year, with Dave Lamb's witty commentary ensuring that even non-cooks could find something interesting to see. A related show, Personal Services Required, invited chefs and housekeepers to audition on air.

ITV finally got round to airing two shows it recorded in 2007: The Baron was a popularity contest to find a new laird of the manor, and shown as a tribute to the winner Mike Reid. Natural Born Dealers asked its participants to sell sell sell. Both shows were deftly executed, and surprised us for their high entertainment values. If only we could say the same about BBC1's The Apprentice, which continued to uncritically promote Alan Sugar and his view of the world. The man doesn't like liars and hypocrites, which explains why he employed someone who faked their CV. Far more appealing was the travelling build-a-business show The Last Millionaire, where failure meant more camera time, and more embarrassment.

IMG revived Superstars for Channel 5, and now we know why Austin Healey pulled out late in the day: he'd signed up for Strictly Come Dancing. While it's always welcome to see recently-retired stars put through their paces, the team-based format had a certain something missing. ITV2's CelebAir brought terror to the skies over Europe, entertained no-one, and was seen by fewer people.

Best reality show of the year would be Maestro, where eight celebrities learned the tricky art of conducting. Peter Snow won headlines for his unusual approach to the task, Bradley Walsh was little better, but Sue Perkins and Goldie proved remarkably adept. Goldie might have done slightly better in the grand final, but Perkins had already wowed the audience with a definitive performance of Elfman's Theme from 'The Simpsons'.

Digital channels

SKY television spent the year trying to prove that it was more than a two-bit operation broadcasting to an audience measured in tens. It commissioned new game shows including Don't Forget the Lyrics (a copy of Sing It Back: Lyric Champion 2007, only worse), Gladiators (a copy of Gladiators, only worse), and What the Dickens? (a copy of The Book Quiz, only worse). Not that BBC4's second series of The Book Quiz was much better, swapping the cosy chats of David Baddiel for Kirsty Wark's harsh questioning. But more on that story later.

Over on the Flextech channels (which may have been renamed, but we can't for the life of us remember what to), the big prize was offered by Chris Tarrant on Challenge's It's Not What You Know, a guessing game involving minor celebrities and always Sarah Cawood. Challenge also offered the import Unbeatable Banzuke (which spawned Channel 5's Under Pressure many moons ago) and the frankly bizarre BingoLotto commercial presentation, in which Joe Pasquale and Suzanne Shaw got people's names wrong for an hour. Dave spiced up its endless re-runs of QI and Buzzcocks with new show Argumental, a debating show that we might get round to reviewing in the new year. No promises, mind.

As ever, BBC4 was the only place to see the Eurovision Young Musicians final, a far more entertaining night than the domestic contest a few days earlier – that was all personality and no music. The Book Quiz came back for a second series, turning from a literary discussion show with a quiz somewhere in there into a fierce battle. BBC4 also developed Only Connect, the best serious quiz of this year, asking contestants to link things by all sorts of non-obvious connections. A simple conceit, but an entirely effective one, and by testing deduction as much as knowledge, it's harder than the book-learning quizzes such as Mastermind. Repeats of the 1980 series of Mastermind on Artsworld have been the only redeeming feature of that channel.

BBC3 had Upstaged, a performance arts show from some boxes in Bristol docks; and Britain's Missing Top Model, a response to Living's show Britain's Next Top Model. Living also took The Underdog Show from BBC2. Sci-Fi began showing Who Wants to be a Superhero? at the friendly time of 8pm, but bunged the last half of the series out past midnight. We don't expect BBC2's version to make the same mistake when it begins next week.

Radio Times

The question-setters for Only Connect may disagree, but we reckon the toughest quiz in the country remains Round Britain Quiz, perplexing listeners of Radio 4 during the summer. Also in the Monday afternoon quiz spot were Brain of Britain, restored to normal service under Robert Robinson's acerbic chairmanship; Counterpoint, and we had to pinch ourselves in March to remember that Paul Gambaccini had only hosted one episode and hadn't been doing it all his life; and The Garden Quiz, another show that does what it says on the tin.

For reasons we'll come to shortly, Radio 4 didn't get to air new episodes of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue this year, but two series of Just a Minute ran, as did Quote... Unquote in a Wednesday slot that's now unavailable. The Unbelievable Truth finally proved its worth in the Monday evening slot, and Thursday gained the generation gap game Act Your Age. Digital station BBC7 had its first rare game show commission, No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition, but Radio Wales's Jest a Minute was a vastly superior comedy game about comedy. Radio Scotland had a gentle nostalgia quiz, Step Back in Time.


On television, English-language regional game shows were few and far between. BBC2 Wales offered Funny Business, a competitive comedy show. STV had lifestyle programme Conquer the Castle, and the neighbourhood game Postcode Challenge. Northern Ireland came up with the best regional show of the year, Panic Attack was Family Fortunes against the clock, with jeopardy and elements of Duel and Poker Face.

BBC Northern Ireland also offered Gaisce Gnó, an Irish-language version of Beat the Boss. The new BBC Alba has begun a cookery show. For non-English shows, the Welsh-language S4C remains the one to watch. Highlights included choir-singing contest Codi Canu, which climaxed in a live final before Wales's grand slam, and was not understood by radio commentator John Inverdale. We have a perfectly good briefing on the game, sir. S4C has also been investing in its output for young people – sports quiz Pen Campau is in a second series, Concro'r Cwm introduced outdoor adventuring. There are many other shows we're not fully familiar with, including expat show 0 Ond 1. Why is there this hole in our knowledge? Very simply, the UK's monopoly cable company doesn't offer S4C, either live or on catch-up; it's one of the very few channels we wish they would make available, compared to the many we wish they wouldn't.

Ireland Douze Point

Celebrity Bainisteoir was RTE's big success this year, asking eight minor celebrities to take over the running of an intermediate GAA football side, with performance on the pitch determining the winning manager. The tournament captured the nation's interest during the spring, and Maryland of Westmeath won the contest, under split management: Mary O'Rourke for the first few weeks, then Eurovision and Millionaire host Marty Whelan.

Colm and Jim-Jim's Home Run played to less favourable notices, with untaxing questions (name the members of Boyzone) and boring scientific experiments (eat a chocolate with two strands of uncooked spaghetti), presented by two fading DJs who can't hold a candle to JK and Joel.

Winning Streak suffered its annual re-launch, but did at least lose Derek Mooney. Failte Towers invited celebs to run a hotel, with radio presenter John Creedon beating such stars as Brian Dowling and Michelle From Popstars, while host Baz Ashmawy shouted so loud that Ian Paisley asked if he could be a little quieter. You're a Star continued to prove that Ireland has some talent.

TG4's Irish-language show Nollaig No 1 tried to find a song for the Christmas number one, but reckoned without the draw of Britain's X Factor; winner Mary Lee failed to make the top 50. Independent channel TV3 invested €10m in new programmes, such as The Apprentice and, er, that's about it.

0898 Million Quid Fines

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It's almost two years since the bottom fell out of the call-and-lose telephone contests, and this year was one where the regulators slapped fines onto almost everyone involved.

  • To ITV: £5.475m
  • For Antan Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Your Money: £3 million.
  • For Antan Dec's Gameshow Marathon: £1.2 million.
  • For Soapstar Superstar: £1.2 million.
  • For not blocking out call-in lines on ITV2+1: £275,000.
  • To BBC: £495,000
  • For faking a winner on Sports Relief (15 July 2006): £45,000.
  • For faking a winner on Children in Need (18 November 2005): £35,000.
  • For faking a winner on Comic Relief (17 March 2007): £45,000.
  • For faking a winner on TMI (16 September 2006): £50,000.
  • For faking a winner on Russell Brand (9 April 2006), £17,500.
  • For faking winners on the Clare McDonnell show (from September 2006): £17,500.
  • For faking winners on the Jo Whiley show (20 April and 12 May 2006): £75,000.
  • For faking winners on the Liz Kershaw Show (on up to 17 dates between 25 July 2005 and 6 January 2007): £115,000.
  • For faking winners on the Tony Blackburn Show (between July 2005 and December 2006): £25,000.
  • For faking winners on the Dermot O'Leary Show (between June and December 2006): £70,000.
  • To GCap, for deliberately selecting losing entrants to a contest, and for trying to conceal this fact: £1.11m
  • Mercury Radio was separately fined £20,000 over this matter.

In other events, OFCOM introduced new rules to make the broadcaster liable for failures of their premium-rate operators, and limited their use to "editorial" purposes (as in, the prime reason for using a premium-rate number can't be to raise money.)

The Serious Fraud Office declined to investigate the deliberate deceptions made by ITV and GMTV. We're still at a loss to understand this decision: the cases were partly motivated by financial gain, the viewing public was deliberately misled, and the effect was to convince people that these promotions were entirely crooked. No-one at ITV seemed sufficiently bothered to ensure that the shows were operating in a legal, decent, honest, or truthful manner. Was it a fraud within the narrow legal definition of the term? Maybe, maybe not. We are still waiting for ITV chairman Michael Grade to appear on his network to deliver a grovelling apology direct to camera. Was it serious enough to demand that one or more heads roll? Almost certainly. Heads rolled at the BBC for far less, heads rolled at GMTV. Curiously, we didn't see the Daily Mail calling for heads to roll at ITV, or at GCap. That couldn't be because the Mail's parent group has significant stakes in both companies, could it?

On screen, we've noted the huge number of disclaimers provided around every single opportunity to call and vote or compete. "Don't call now." "Your call won't count and may be charged." Perhaps the longest disclaimer was provided by the BingoLotto programme, it went on almost as long as the game itself.

The abiding memory of the show

In Memoriam

We lost a number of game show stars during 2008.

The Year's Most Popular Shows

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The top ten most-viewed game shows on all channels this year were:

1The X Factor (final)ITV13/1214.06
2Britain's Got Talent (final)ITV31/0513.88
3Strictly Come Dancing (final)BBC120/1212.97
4Dancing on Ice (final)ITV16/0312.08
5I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (final)ITV29/1110.19
6The Apprentice (final)BBC111/069.29
7In It to Win ItBBC12/027.8
8Saturday Night TakeawayITV15/037.76
9Have I Got News For YouBBC124/127.65
10I'd Do Anything (final)BBC131/057.18

The multichannel top five was:

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1Britain's Got More Talent (final night)ITV231/052.172
2Xtra FactorITV26/122.106
3The X Factor (rpt)ITV230/111.336
4BB Big Mouth (final night)E45/091.185
5BB Celeb Hijack (first night)E44/011.011

Those were the five shows to record a million viewers; Come Dine With Me on More4 had 991,000 on 16 November, and comfortably passed the million mark if viewers to the time-shift More4+1 were included.

The full list of the shows to make their channel's weekly top 30 is as follows. This should also act as an approximate list for all game shows aired in primetime during 2008.


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Strictly Come DancingBBC120/1212.97
The ApprenticeBBC111/069.29
In It to Win ItBBC12/027.80
Have I Got News For YouBBC124/127.65
I'd Do AnythingBBC131/057.18
Eurovision Song ContestBBC124/057.15
Happy Birthday, Brucie!BBC124/026.79
The One and OnlyBBC117/026.52
One Versus One HundredBBC117/056.34
Celebrity MastermindBBC11/015.76
The Apprentice You're HiredBBC111/065.69
Last Choir StandingBBC130/085.56
Who Dares WinsBBC14/105.35
This Time TomorrowBBC19/085.28
Celebrity MasterchefBBC118/075.26
Sport Relief The ApprenticeBBC112/035.16
The Weakest Link - EastendersBBC126/065.09
Eurovision Your DecisionBBC11/035.03
Hole in the WallBBC129/114.98
Eurovision Dance ContestBBC16/094.83

Last Choir Standing peaked on its final episode.


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The Apprentice - You're FiredBBC211/064.83
Dragons' DenBBC21/093.95
Mock the WeekBBC211/093.80
Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes TwoBBC219/113.59
University ChallengeBBC27/013.56
Dragons' Den - Outside the DenBBC29/113.47
All-New Shooting StarsBBC230/123.40
Weakest LinkBBC24/013.20
The RestaurantBBC229/103.13
University Challenge - The ProfessionalsBBC221/042.95
Comic Relief Does University ChallengeBBC227/122.92
Never Mind the BuzzcocksBBC210/012.84
Celebrity Masterchef (unbilled transfer from BBC1)BBC22/072.81
Have I Got a Little Bit More News For YouBBC23/052.71
Eggheads Celebrity SpecialBBC216/122.70
Great British MenuBBC225/042.61
Have I Got Old News For YouBBC212/012.57
Shooting Stars - The Inside StoryBBC230/122.42
Masterchef The ProfessionalsBBC219/092.31
Outtake TV - Weakest LinkBBC22/012.16
Have I Got News For You (narrative repeat)BBC29/062.08
The Apprentice - Worst Decisions EverBBC23/042.07
Bruce Forsyth and The Generation GameBBC226/122.05
University Challenge - The Story So FarBBC227/121.95
Are You an Egghead?BBC22/121.93
Ready Steady CookBBC210/011.9
Recipe for SuccessBBC221/031.71
Mock the Week - Again!BBC21/101.68
Battle of the BrainsBBC219/081.62
Would I Lie to You?BBC221/071.48
Sport MastermindBBC215/071.46
Weakest Link - The Apprentice (not Scotland)BBC215/061.4

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two peaked with the news of John Sergeant's departure. Mastermind, Masterchef The Professionals, and Are You an Egghead? all peaked with their finales.


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The X FactorITV13/1214.06
Britain's Got TalentITV31/0513.88
Dancing on IceITV16/0312.08
I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of HereITV29/1110.19
Saturday Night TakeawayITV15/037.76
All Star Mr & Mrs, Miss, Or MrITV19/046.90
All Star Family FortunesITV8/116.89
Who Wants to be a MillionaireITV16/086.48
I'm a Celebrity - Coming OutITV7/126.36
Beat the StarITV20/045.25
When Britain First Had TalentITV5/015.08
The World's Got TalentITV6/044.89
Dancing on Ice: Make Me a StarITV26/014.74
Who Dares Sings!ITV5/074.14
An Audience Without Jeremy BeadleITV16/053.45

Beat the Star scored its best ratings on its first show.

Channel 4

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Britain's Got the Pop Factor...C412/106.25
Big BrotherC45/065.59
Come Dine With Me (primetime)C413/113.51
8 Out of 10 CatsC418/073.23
BB Celeb HijackC43/013.21
Deal or No DealC424/123.20
Big Fat Quiz of the YearC428/123.10
Britain's Got the Pop Factor... 2C419/122.91
Come Dine With Me (daytime)C44/012.78
Alan Carr's Celeb Ding DongC41/022.40
Big Brother: What the Housemates Did NextC412/092.23
Personal Services RequiredC423/071.72
Wogan's Perfect RecallC425/081.67
Scrapheap ChallengeC46/071.52

Only the first episode of Big Brother Celebrity Hijack aired on Channel 4. Countdown peaked with its last episode, Wogan's Perfect Recall with its first, over a bank holiday.

Channel 5

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World's Strongest ManC54/011.88
An Audience with Bruce ForsythC531/121.45
Breaking Into A Well Known Grocery StoreC524/031.24
Britain's Strongest ManC53/091.02


Last Man StandingBBC311/110.526


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How to Solve a Cryptic CrosswordBBC410/110.408
I'm Sorry I Haven't a ClueBBC416/120.401
Only ConnectBBC429/090.285
BBC Young MusicianBBC49/050.283
The Top of the Form StoryBBC425/030.215


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Gimme a BreakCBBC4/110.281
Get Your Own BackCBBC13/120.246
Stake OutCBBC22/020.239
Best of FriendsCBBC16/040.207
Escape from Scorpion IslandCBBC8/080.202
The SlammerCBBC7/060.198
Hider in the HouseCBBC25/070.186
Clutter NuttersCBBC21/060.185
Basil's Game ShowCBBC16/050.176
Raven: The Secret TempleCBBC25/070.164


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Jungle RunCITV23/050.282
Scary SleepoverCITV26/110.203


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Britain's Got More TalentITV231/052.172
Xtra FactorITV26/122.106
The X Factor (narrative repeat)ITV230/111.336
Britain's Got Talent (narrative repeat)ITV227/041.187
I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here NowITV216/111.038
America's Got TalentITV26/060.992
Pop Idle USITV225/010.948
Xtra Factor One Year OnITV29/080.875
Hell's Kitchen USAITV210/110.817
Xtra Factor Best and Worst AuditionsITV213/080.762
Dancing on Ice (narrative repeat)ITV213/010.528
Britain's Got More Talent: Best and WorstITV24/060.453


Bad Lads' ArmyITV419/060.203


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BB Big MouthE45/091.185
BB Celeb HijackE44/011.011
BB Celeb Hijack Big MouthE43/010.587
BB Audition TapesE41/060.508
BB Little BrotherE411/060.431

Big Mouth peaked immediately after the winner was announced; the Celebrity Hijack scores were on the first transmission night.

More 4

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Come Dine With MeMore416/110.991
Deal or No DealMore411/010.293


Image:Square Challenge.jpg

Take It or Leave ItChal19/080.145
8 Out of 10 CatsChal4/010.139
Small TalkChal12/020.125
One Versus One HundredChal24/100.122
Strike it RichChal9/120.11
Millionaire CelebChal11/020.103


Mock the WeekDAVE31/010.576
Have I Got News For YouDAVE9/090.491
Never Mind the BuzzcocksDAVE16/060.469
Dragons' DenDAVE21/030.353
Would I Lie to You?DAVE21/060.233


Dancing With the StarsGOLD2/050.149


Image:Square Living TV.jpg

America's Next Top ModelLiving14/040.696
Britain's Next Top ModelLiving7/070.417
Diet on the DancefloorLiving16/070.200
Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your LifeLiving15/100.189
So You Think You Can Dance?Living5/030.179
Make Me a Supermodel USA S01Living1/090.151


Strictly Come DancingWatch12/120.203
Dancing With the StarsWatch28/110.176
Story Strictly Come DancingWatch5/120.161

Cartoon Network



University Challenge: The Boat RaceEurospt29/030.103

Five Life

World's Strongest ManFive Life30/110.196
Britain's Strongest ManFive Life30/010.114

This section was revised after its original publication to include all figures for 2008.

The Roll of Honour

Big Brother Celebrity Hijack — John
Big Brother — Rachel

The One and Only — Katy Setterfield (as Dusty Springfield)

University Challenge — Christ Church Oxford (Max Kaufman, Alex Bubb, Susannah Darby, Charles Markland)
University Challenge The Professionals — Ministry of Justice (George Godyn, Andrew Frazer, Rob Linham, Nigel Black)

Can i Gymru — Aled Myrddin, performing Atgofion

Codi Canu — North Wales

Dancing on Ice — Suzanne Shaw

Raven (Seventh Tournament, March) — Versad
(Eighth Tournament, December) — Pargan

Pen Campau — Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen, Caernarfon

The Garden Quiz — Alan Ruff

Just a Minute (winter) — Gyles Brandreth
(summer) — Paul Merton
(overall) — Gyles Brandreth

Mastermind — David Clark
Sport Mastermind — Chris Bell

Eurovision Young Musicians — ERT (Greece), represented by Dionysios Grammenos (clarinet; jury vote)
NRK (Norway), represented by Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin; viewers' vote)

Eurovision Song Contest — RTR (Russia), represented by Dima Bilan and Jim Beanz, "Believe" (performer: Dima Bilan)
Junior Eurovision Song Contest — GPB (Georgia), represented by Bzikebi, "Bzz..." (performer: Bzikebi)

Royal Television Society Awards:
Entertainment — QI (BBC2)
Daytime — Come Dine With Me (Channel 4)

I'd Do Anything — Jodie Prenger

Counterpoint — Brian Davies

The Apprentice — Lee McQueen and Alan Sugar

Britain's Got Talent — George Sampson and Simon Cowell

Countdown (June) — David O'Donnell
(December) — Junaid Mubeen

Scrapheap Challenge — Rusty Regiment
(Woof Justice retain the Challenge Trophy)

Eurovision Dance Contest — DR (Denmark), represented by Patrick Spiegelberg and Katja Svensson (judges' vote)
TVP (Poland), represented by Marcin Mroczek and Edyta Herbus (viewer vote)

Rostrum Camera — Ken Morse

Round Britain Quiz — Midlands (Rosalind Miles and Stephen Maddock)

Brain of Brains — Mark Bytheway
Top Brain — Mark Bytheway
Brain of Britain — to be awarded 19 January 2009

Are You an Egghead? — Barry Simmons

I'm a Celebrity — Joe Swash

X Factor — Alexandra Burke and Simon Cowell

The Last Millionaire (loser) — Natalie Haywood

Election — Quincy

Strictly Come Dancing — Camilla Dallerup and Tom Chambers

Only Connect — Crossworders (David Stainer, Mark Grant, Ian Bayley)

And that ends our whistle-stop review of 2008. We shall be moving amongst you again on 11 January, pondering if The Krypton Factor has still got the krypton factor. Until then, may we wish all our readers a very happy and successful new year, and good questions to you.

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