BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting
Corporation in the United Kingdom,
Isle of Man
Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It
was launched on 2 November 1936 as the
BBC Television Service, and was
the world's first regular television service with a high level of
image resolution. It was renamed
BBC TV in 1960, using this name
until the launch of sister channel BBC2 in 1964, whereupon the
channel became known as BBC1, with the current spelling adopted in
The channel's annual budget for 2012–13 is £1.14 billion. The
channel is funded by the television licence fee together with the
BBC's other domestic television stations, and therefore shows
uninterrupted programming without commercial advertising. It is
currently the most watched television channel in the United Kingdom,
ahead of its traditional rival for ratings leadership, ITV.
As of June 2013[update] the channel controller for
BBC One is
Charlotte Moore, who succeeded Danny Cohen initially as an Acting
Controller from May 2013.
1.1 Early years and launching
1.2 Creation of
Michael Grade era (1984–1987)
1.6 The One to Watch campaign
2 Other services
BBC One +1
BBC One HD
3 Contemporary programming
4.1 Regional variations
5 Availability outside the UK
7 Controllers of
8 See also
9 Notes and references
10 External links
Early years and launching
Replica of an Emitron camera used to make the earliest 405-line
programmes broadcast on the channel
BBC began its own regular television programming from the basement
of Broadcasting House, London, on 22 August 1932. The
Service officially began regular broadcasts on 2 November 1936 from a
converted wing of the
Alexandra Palace in London. On 1 September
1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany, the station was
taken off air with little warning, with one of the last programmes to
be shown before the suspension of the service being a Mickey Mouse
cartoon; the government was concerned that the VHF transmissions
would act as a beacon to enemy aircraft homing in on London. BBC
Television returned on 7 June 1946 at 15:00. Jasmine Bligh, one of the
original announcers, made the first announcement, saying, "Good
afternoon everybody. How are you? Do you remember me, Jasmine Bligh?".
Mickey Mouse cartoon of 1939 was repeated twenty minutes later.
BBC held a statutory monopoly on television broadcasting in the
United Kingdom until the first Independent
Television station began to
broadcast on 22 September 1955, when ITV started broadcasting. The
competition quickly forced the channel to change its identity and
priorities following a large reduction in its audience.
The 1962 Pilkington Report on the future of broadcasting noticed this,
and that ITV lacked any serious programming. It therefore decided that
Britain's third television station should be awarded to the BBC.
The station, renamed
BBC TV in 1960, became BBC1 when BBC2 was
launched on 20 April 1964 transmitting an incompatible 625-line image
on UHF. The only way to receive all channels was to use a complex
"dual-standard" 405- and 625-line, VHF and UHF, receiver, with both a
VHF and a UHF aerial. Old 405-line-only sets became obsolete in 1985,
when transmission in the standard ended, although standards converters
have become available for enthusiasts who collect and restore such
BBC1 was based at the purpose-built
BBC Television Centre at White
City, London between 1960 and 2013. Television News continued to use
Alexandra Palace as its base—by early 1968 it had even converted one
of its studios to colour—before moving to new purpose-built
facilities at Television Centre on 20 September 1969.
In the weeks leading up to 15 November 1969, BBC1 unofficially
transmitted the occasional programme in its new colour system, to test
it. At midnight on 15 November, simultaneously with ITV and two years
after BBC2, BBC1 officially began 625-line
PAL colour programming on
UHF with a broadcast of a concert by Petula Clark. Colour
transmissions could be received (in monochrome) on monochrome 625-line
sets until the end of analogue broadcasting.
In terms of audience share, the most successful period for BBC1 was
Bryan Cowgill between 1973 and 1977, when the channel achieved
an average audience share of 45%. This period is still regarded by
many as a golden age of the BBC's output, with the
BBC achieving a
very high standard across its entire range of series, serials, plays,
light entertainment and documentaries.[original research?]
On 30 December 1980, the
BBC announced their intention to introduce a
new breakfast television service to compete with TV-am. The
it would start broadcasting before TV-am, but made clear their hands
were tied until November 1981 when the new licence fee income became
available, to help finance extending broadcast hours, with the hope of
starting in 1982. On 17 January 1983, the first edition of Breakfast
Time was shown on
BBC One, becoming the first UK wide breakfast
television service and continued to lead in the ratings until
Michael Grade era (1984–1987)
Bill Cotton become managing director of Television at the
BBC, and set about overhauling BBC1, which had been slated for poor
home grown shows, its heavy reliance on US imports, with Dallas and
The Thorn Birds being BBC1's highest rated programmes and ratings
being over 20% behind ITV. Cotton recruited
Michael Grade to become
BBC One, the first time the Corporation had recruited
someone outside of the BBC, replacing Alan Hart, who has been
criticised for his lack of knowledge in general entertainment, as he
was head of
BBC Sport prior to 1981.
The first major overhaul was to axe the deeply unpopular Sixty Minutes
current affairs programme: this was a replacement for the news and
magazine show Nationwide. Its replacement was the
BBC Six O'Clock
News, a straight new programme in a bid to shore up its
failing early evening slot. It was believed the
BBC were planning to
cut short the evening news and move more light entertainment
programming in from the 18:20 slot, but this was dismissed. The Miss
Great Britain contest was dropped, being described as verging on the
too offensive after the January 1985 contest, with Worlds Strongest
Man and International Superstar also being axed.
BBC1 was relaunched on 18 February 1985 with a new look, new
programming including Wogan,
EastEnders and a revised schedule to help
streamline and maintain viewers throughout the course of the evening.
Grade started to gear most programmes to either on the hour or half
past the hour, while Panorama and Omnibus were both moved after the
Nine O'Clock News. Grade was also determined to end the dated and
inept BBC1 scheduling which was hampering the network and which was
holding back good programmes. Grade stated "When I took over BBC1, I
discovered there were wonderful things, it was just a case of where to
Wogan had been scheduled for a 10 pm slot, but Grade
moved it to a 7 pm slot as he believed the show had
potential. From February to August 1985, a high amount of American
mini series were broadcast while filming took place of a number of new
home grown programmes, including 'Allo 'Allo!, In Sickness and in
Health, and Open All Hours. Further improvement come about when the
corporation strengthened its drama output costing £30 million, with
eight new series, including Howards' Way, All Creatures Great and
Small, Hold the Back Page, and Bluebill, along with the return of
Bergerac and Big Deal. The increase in the drama department was
achieved by switching the money away from the administrative service
over a three-year period, after BBC1 was criticised, for failing in
matching ITV's output in drama.
EastEnders was moved to a 19:30
slot, where it managed to soar to 20 million, helping the BBC1
audience share increase to nearly 50% for the first time since 1982.
On 27 February 1985
Doctor Who was placed on an 18-month hiatus. The
BBC originally planned to axe the series as they wished to spend its
budgets on new programming for the channel, but was forced to back
down from public pressure and
Doctor Who returned in September 1986.
At the time
Michael Grade and Jonathan Powell were blamed for the
decision (Grade was the target of death threats) but it was later
revealed that the decision was taken due to the series running out of
creative inspiration, making it impossible to find anyone (at the
time) who knew what to do with the series.
On 9 September 1985, the long-standing children's programming block
was overhauled and rebranded as Children's BBC, which gave it
dedicated idents for the first time and had a live in-vision presenter
unlike Children's ITV. Previously the
BBC had broadcast children's
programming using BBC1's team of regular duty announcers. The launch
presenter for this block, and thus the first Children's
of the current format, was Phillip Schofield.
On 23 May 1986, long-running lunchtime magazine show Pebble Mill at
One was broadcast for the last time after 14 years on the air. Monday
27 October 1986 saw BBC1 launch its daytime television schedules.
In a statement,
BBC Daytime head Roger Laughton said:
It was the natural extension of the corporation's commitment to public
service broadcasting, since half the population had access to
television during the day mainly the retired, unemployed and
Logo of BBC1 from 16 February 1991 to 4 October 1997
Stereo audio transmissions, using the
NICAM digital stereo sound
format began on BBC1 at some point in autumn 1987, to coincide with
the sale of the first consumer NICAM-enabled equipment, a year after
BBC2, and were gradually phased in across
BBC TV output, although it
took until 31 August 1991 for the service to begin officially on both
channels. During this time, both commercial analogue broadcasters, ITV
Channel 4 had officially begun stereo transmissions using the
NICAM system. Widescreen programming was introduced on
digital platforms in 1998.
For the first fifty years of its existence, with the exception of
films and purchased programmes from the United States and elsewhere,
almost all the channel's output was produced by the BBC's in-house
production departments. This changed following the Broadcasting Act
1990, which required that 25% of the BBC's television output be
out-sourced to independent production companies. By 2004 many
BBC One shows were made for the channel by independents, but
the in-house production departments continued to contribute heavily to
In March 1991, as part of the £63 million programme package for
spring and summer line up on BBC1, it was announced an extra £20
million was to be spent on rejuvenating the channels drama and comedy
output during peak times, which meant the channel would be in a
healthy state once the new Channel 3 licences were awarded.
In December 1991
Wogan was to be cancelled, due to falling ratings
against a number of ITV shows, in which
Wogan only managed six million
viewers compared to double for This Is Your Life, The Krypton Factor
and The $64,000 Question. Additionally an extra £40 million a year
was spent on narrowing the gap on ITV's ratings lead, since a few
months prior to this the channel had been criticised for its Autumn
schedule, having tired formats, uninspiring scheduling of new
programmes and poor scripts.
Wogan was replaced with Eldorado, in
early July 1992, but this was itself cancelled a year later.
Alan Yentob launched the 1993 Autumn schedule calling it "My first try
with a lot of help from my friends", with the channel still under
criticism, following the start of new programming Alan introduced a
year earlier and the amount of summer repeats. £175 million was spent
on 80 hours of original drama produced, enchantment to the arts with
an extended 26-week run for Omnibus, and documentaries with The
Downing Street Years, new wildlife series and an eight-month look at
Sheffield's Children's hospital, while Goodnight Sweetheart, Grace
& Favour and The Danny Baker Show were new comedy series. The
New Adventures of Superman was brought in to give the Saturday night
line up a bit of variety.
Following the public disapproval of filling its schedule with 25% of
repeats during the summer months in 1993, BBC1 agreed to broadcast an
extra 110 hours worth of original programming over the same period
during the summer in 1994, which included giving
additional episode per week. Efficiency savings of £25 million were
found which were redeployed on the new productions. The savings were
seen as a vindication so for the producer choice, the controversial
market-oriented drive introduced in April 1993.
By March 1999, the channel admitted defeat in its ratings war with
ITV, with its Spring line up with a stronger emphasis on serious
factual programmes, educations and drama. This change in strategy came
about after continuing complaints that the channel was appealing to
the lowest common denominator to win viewers, which has left it
chastened by the hoax guests on Vanessa, over reliance on docusoaps
and the dropping of the vilified Noel's House Party.
Alan Yentob said
"The spring package is to remind people of what the
BBC is here for,
Range and ambition you won't find anywhere else at peak time". The
changes help the channel distinguish itself from (as one
said) its downmarket rival and would not compete for viewers on ITV's
Lorraine Heggessey became Controller of
BBC One, a post she took up on
1 November 2000. She had previously been sounded out about the
job in 1997 after Michael Jackson's departure, but had turned down the
opportunity as she felt she was then not yet experienced enough.
During Heggessey's five years in charge,
BBC One's audience share fell
by 19.9%, to 23%, although this was in the context of declining
audience figures across all British television channels due to
increased competition from multichannel digital television.
However, in 2001
BBC One overtook its main rival ITV in terms of
annual audience share for the first time since the rival channel had
launched in 1955, although much of this was down to the success of
the channel's daytime television line-up, which had its own
Controller: Jane Lush.
When Heggessey arrived at the channel in November 2000, she inherited
two controversial schedule changes which had been implemented the
previous month, at the behest of Director-General of the
Dyke; the Nine O'Clock News had been moved to the later time of 22:00
and Panorama moved from a Monday night prime time slot to a later slot
on Sunday nights. The moving of Panorama attracted criticism that
BBC One was sidelining serious programming in favour of more populist
output. Heggessey publicly defended the decision, despite it not
being hers, claiming that Panorama's ratings would have "dwindled" in
its previous slot.
Heggessey and the BBC's Controller of Drama Commissioning, Jane
Tranter, took advantage of the weekday 21:00 slot opened up by the
moving of the news to commission new popular drama output, such as the
successful Waking the Dead (2000–2011) and Spooks (2002–2011).
Celebrity dancing show
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing (2004–present) was also
a popular success on Saturday nights, although another Saturday
night entertainment series, Fame Academy, faced accusations of being
too derivative of the output of commercial rivals, and during
Heggessey's era the channel frequently came under attack for being too
populist and not providing enough serious programming.
In 2002, Heggessey took the decision to abandon the traditional
"Globe" idents the channel had used in a variety of forms for its
between-programme idents since 1963. They were replaced by a new style
of on-air identity for the channel, the "Rhythm & Movement"
idents. The new idents attracted criticism for going against the
traditions of the channel and pandering to political correctness,
as they featured activities performed by people of various
ethnicities. The abandonment of a station clock, and perceived
lack of a 'serious ident', also put the
BBC in an embarrassing
situation just one day into the new look with the death of the Queen
One of Heggessey's most notable decisions and last major success at
the channel was the re-commissioning of the science-fiction drama
series Doctor Who, which had been a popular hit in previous decades
but ceased production in 1989. Heggessey and Jane Tranter
recommissioned the series in September 2003, after Heggessey had spent
two years persuading the BBC's commercial arm,
BBC Worldwide, to
abandon their attempts to make a feature film version of the programme
and allow it instead to return to
BBC One. The new version of
Doctor Who (2005–present) debuted on 26 March 2005 and became a
critical and popular hit, with
Paul Hoggart of
The Times newspaper
describing the series as "a joyful, exuberant reinvention and a fine
legacy from Ms Heggessey."
Heggessey did later concede in a 2005 interview with The Independent
newspaper that arts programming had suffered a cutback under her
BBC One. However, she did respond to this omission
following criticism from the Board of Governors of the
commissioning programmes such as the arts documentary series
Imagine... (2003–present) and
A Picture of Britain (2005).
On 14 February 2005 it was announced that
Lorraine Heggessey was to
BBC to take up the post of Chief Executive at production
company Talkback Thames. She left on 15 April. Five months after
BBC One was named "Channel of the Year" at the
Edinburgh Television Festival, primarily on the strength of Heggessey
commissions such as
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.
Joining the channel as Controller in 2005,
Peter Fincham oversaw the
commissioning of several successful
BBC One programmes including Robin
Hood (2006–2009), Jane Eyre (2006) and How Do You Solve a Problem
Like Maria?, which was followed by similar shows Any Dream Will Do and
I'd Do Anything because of its success. His first full year in
charge of the channel saw a year-on-year growth in the audience share,
with a rise from 22.2% in August 2005 to 23.6% in August 2006.
Fincham also directly initiated the creation of both The One Show
(2006–present), an early evening, current-affairs and lifestyle
magazine programme, which now runs all but two weeks of the year, and
Davina (2006), a prime time chat show, the latter hosted by Davina
McCall, who presented Big Brother. However, Davina was a critical
and ratings disaster, which Fincham subsequently admitted was
personally his fault, although he defended the strategy of
experimenting with the
BBC One schedule. This he continued in January
2007, when he moved the current affairs series Panorama from its
Sunday night slot back to the prime time Monday evening slot from
which it had been removed in 2000, most likely in response to a demand
from the Board of Governors of the
BBC for the channel to show more
current affairs programming in prime time.
BBC One from 29 March 2002 to 7 October 2006
Fincham's judgement was again called into question, this time by The
Telegraph, for his decision to spend £1.2 million replacing the
channel's 'Rhythm and Movement' idents, which had been introduced by
Lorraine Heggessey several years earlier, with the
'Circle' idents, a set of eight ten-second films, some of which were
shot abroad in locations such as Mexico and Croatia. Fincham later
found himself having to publicly defend the £18 million salary that
BBC paid Jonathan Ross in 2006, although Ross's
work—primarily consisting of Friday Night with Jonathan
Ross—formed only part of his overall
The channel was named Channel of the Year at the 2007 Broadcast
The One to Watch campaign
Following its rebrand in March 2002,
BBC One launched The One to Watch
campaign, during which animated blocks created the word "The" and
moved into the
BBC logo. Each new campaign incorporating the theme
retained the same animated sequence.
In May 2007, Fincham took the decision to drop Neighbours, an
Australian soap opera, from
BBC One after 21 years on the channel,
when its producers significantly raised the price they wanted the BBC
to pay for it in a bidding war. Fincham commented that it was 'a
big loss', but that
BBC One would not pay 'the best part of
Neighbours left the channel in spring 2008 to
move to Channel 5. The Weakest Link was moved from
BBC Two to fill
the gap, with the afternoon C
BBC slot moving 20 minutes earlier.
There was further controversy in July 2007 when Fincham was accused of
BBC One viewers. The incident involved a clip from
A Year with the Queen
A Year with the Queen which was shown to
journalists during a press conference. It apparently showed the Queen
storming out of a session with American photographer Annie Leibovitz
over a disagreement about what she should wear, but the BBC
subsequently admitted that the scenes used in the trailer had been
edited out of their correct order, meaning that a false impression was
given. Fincham admitted the error, but rejected calls that he
should resign from his position as a result. His future was deemed
uncertain following critical comments from Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman
BBC Trust and he resigned on 5 October 2007.
In 2009, a report published by the
BBC Trust found said scheduling
changes had led to a decrease in viewers. This was especially
Blue Peter and Newsround, two of CBBC's flagship
Blue Peter which recorded its lowest viewing numbers since
it started in 1958, and
Newsround with fewer than 100,000 viewers
compared to 225,000 in 2007.
As part of the Delivering Quality First proposals submitted by the BBC
in October 2011 and approved by the
BBC Trust in May 2012, all
children's programming on
BBC One and Two would be moved permanently
to the C
CBeebies channels following the digital
switchover. It was found that the majority of child viewers
watched the programmes on these channels already and that only 7% of
these children watched C
BBC programmes on
BBC One and Two only, it was
made clear "Children's programmes are absolutely fundamental to the
BBC and that is why we have protected investment in them in the light
of cuts elsewhere." Children's programming on
BBC One ended on 21
December 2012. The move was criticised by Teletubbies co-creator
Anne Wood, who described the changes as "ghettoising children's
programmes" and believe it was merely a cost-cutting measure. Wood
said "On the one hand it is inevitable. But it is dismissive of
children. There is a certain amount of overlooking of the fact that
children's programmes do get a wider audience than people are aware
of ... I have frequently had letters from older people who have
enjoyed my programmes as much as children do. A lot of the reason
older people like to watch children's programming is because it is
life-enhancing." Head of
BBC Children's, Joe Godwin said: "Our young
viewers are our priority and the vast majority of children in the UK
already tune in to
CBeebies and C
BBC to find their favourite BBC
children's programmes. Far from being a 'cynical' move, we're just
following where our audience has already gone."
As part of the review in 2012 other changes were brought in,
BBC One is reducing the minimum hours of arts and music from 45 to 40,
achieved through cutting episodes of shows, in particular Film
BBC One and Two will "largely be protected from making significant
BBC One will increase, but remain under 10% of all output
(the current rate is 8.4%).
Expenditure on sports rights will be cut by 15%. This had largely been
achieved already by sharing rights to Formula 1 coverage from 2012 (it
was later dropped entirely from 2016).
In 2012, the
BBC out-bid ITV for the rights to The Voice UK, which had
already proved to be popular in other countries. The
BBC paid £22
million for the rights to broadcast the show in the UK for two years.
The Voice UK
The Voice UK achieved good ratings for the
BBC but ratings dropped
towards the end of the first series and the second series. In 2013,
The Voice was rescheduled to avoid a clash, and as a result, ratings
have improved. In November 2015, it was announced that The Voice would
be moving to ITV from 2017.
BBC One +1
On 8 October 2013, the
BBC announced plans to launch a one-hour
timeshift of the channel, named
BBC One +1. The channel would have
BBC Three in 2016. However, On 30 June 2015, the
rejected the plans for a
BBC One +1 channel as they stated that it
would be at the expense of commercial rivals.
BBC One HD
BBC One HD logo
BBC One HD, a simulcast of
BBC One in 720p high-definition (HD),
launched on 3 November 2010 at 19:00 with The One Show. The
channel simulcasts a network version of
BBC One in High Definition,
with HD versions of programmes including Doctor Who, Holby City, The
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice.
also made available in HD from Christmas Day 2010. All programmes
still made in standard-definition were upscaled on the channel, with
the intention that by 2012 the vast majority of the channel's output
would be in high-definition. On 30 May 2012, the satellite and
terrestrial resolution was increased to full HD.[original research?]
BBC One HD at launch did not offer regional variations, and therefore
the channel could not broadcast during regional programming slots,
most noticeably the local news programmes. The
BBC Trust admitted that
this was due to technical and financial constraints, but the BBC
announced on 6 June 2011 that the national variations of
BBC One Wales, would become
available from 2012. On 24 October 2012, Northern Ireland
received the first variation. A Scottish variation launched on 14
January 2013, followed by a Welsh variation on 29 January 2013.
BBC One HD, which is capable of broadcasting audio content in
full 5.1 DTS,
Wales HD and
Northern Ireland HD are
both currently only broadcasting audio in PCM stereo, even when
programming is otherwise identical to that of
BBC One HD. On 16 July
BBC indicated that it also wants to launch regional variants
BBC One HD across England, however this would require the approval
BBC Trust, with a proposal due to be presented within six
months. On 18 November 2013, the Northern Irish regional variant
BBC One HD was swapped with the SD channel on Sky's EPG for HD
subscribers. This was followed by the Welsh and Scottish variants on
10 December. On 24 March 2014,
BBC One Scotland,
Northern Ireland HD launched on Freesat, Sky and
Virgin Media outside
the regions they were originally seen in.
On 31 March 2016,
BBC One HD in
England moved from channel 141 on the
Sky electronic programme guide to channel 115, a position vacated by
BBC Three, which had been switched to internet-only six weeks earlier.
Changes in Scotland,
Northern Ireland were also scheduled
but delayed for 'technical reasons'.
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Main article: List of television programmes broadcast by the BBC
BBC One's remit is to be the BBC's most popular mixed-genre television
service across the UK, offering a wide range of high quality
programmes. It should be the BBC's primary outlet for major UK and
international events and it should reflect the whole of the UK in its
output. A very high proportion of its programmes should be original
BBC One remit
Excluding sporting events and news coverage, the top five most watched
programmes at their peak viewing points (according to BARB) were:
Number of viewers
Den divorces Angie.
000000001986-12-25-000025 December 1986*
New Year Episode - Sharon is stalked.
000000001987-01-01-00001 January 1987*
Only Fools and Horses
"Time on Our Hands"
000000001996-12-29-000029 December 1996
Everyone is telling Mark to tell Michelle about his illness.
000000001992-01-02-00002 January 1992*
Michelle tells Den that she is pregnant.
000000001988-01-07-00007 January 1988*
With a mission to provide programmes for all licence-fee payers, it
has sport, news, current affairs, and documentaries. It has
historically broadcast children's programmes (now taken from C
CBeebies). The channel remains one of the principal television
channels in the
United Kingdom and provides 2,508 annual hours of news
and weather, 1,880 hours of factual and learning, 1,036 hours of
drama, 672 hours of children's, 670 hours of sport, 654 hours of film,
433 hours of entertainment, 159 hours of current affairs, 92 hours of
religion and 82 hours of music and arts.
Since 1990 the
BBC has had to commission output from other domestic
suppliers. Although the statutory target remains 25% for independent
production companies to contribute programming for
BBC One, 33% of
output was made by them in 2010–11. The quota of original
programming in peak times is set at 90%, however 100% of peak
programming was original in 2010–11. Over the whole day, the
total for the same year was 89%, against a quota of 70%.
2,508 annual hours of news and weather (293 in peak, 1,049 of
simulcasts) are provided by regular news programmes
BBC Breakfast, the
BBC News at One,
BBC News at Six and the
BBC News at Ten each
BBC regional news programmes. All three main news bulletins
have a lead over their rival programmes on ITV and other terrestrial
or cable channels. During the weekend period, three separate bulletins
around these three time periods are broadcast and vary in length from
BBC One has broadcast overnight simulcasts from the
BBC News Channel since 1997; the latter in turn simulcasts the
majority of all regular
BBC One bulletins.
Each year 159 hours of current affairs programmes are broadcast on BBC
One, including Panorama and Watchdog. Politics is also covered, with
programmes including Question Time and This Week shown. Crimewatch, a
programme appealing for help in unsolved crimes, is broadcast monthly.
BBC One shows 1,880 hours of factual and learning programming
annually. This includes a wide range of shows such as nature
documentaries such as Planet Earth as well as lifestyle-format daytime
programmes and a number of reality television formats and the One Life
BBC One broadcasts 1,036 hours of drama each year, more than any other
BBC channel. There are four half-hour episodes of
EastEnders each week
(not shown on Wednesdays), with an omnibus episode at the weekend,
plus hospital dramas Casualty and Holby City. Other popular dramas on
BBC One include crime dramas such as New Tricks, a programme of which
even episode repeats have beaten ITV ratings on numerous
BBC One has traditionally been the home of children's television: Blue
Peter had been broadcast on the channel prior to the Children's BBC
strand, and sections such as the pre-school
Watch with Mother being
transmitted on the channel for several decades. This became more
pronounced with the launch of Children's BBC, later renamed "CBBC".
This new strand was broadcast primarily on
BBC One in the late
afternoons, as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings also such as Going
Live! and Live & Kicking, each lasting two to three hours. The
launch in 2002 of dedicated digital channels for this content —the
BBC Channel and CBeebies—did not affect this provision. Combined
BBC Two, the channel broadcast 2,195 hours of children's
programmes in 2010, mostly in the late afternoons on weekdays.
Saturday morning children's programming moved to
BBC Two in 2006
following a three-month trial.
Sports coverage on
BBC One includes
Premier League football highlights
on Match of the Day, The Championships, Wimbledon, the London
Marathon, and other international athletics and swimming events, the
Olympic Games, Rugby League, Rugby Union,
Snooker tournaments and
BBC showed the 2010 FIFA World Cup, splitting the group stage
matches with ITV. The
BBC had first pick of matches from the second
round. Repeats made up 8.4% of peak programming in 2010–11, up from
8.0% for 2008–09. Programming on this channel costs an average
of £162,900 per hour.
British and international films are broadcast for 654 hours each year
BBC One. This is mainly late-night fillers with some box office
hits at Christmas and holiday periods. Sometimes on a Saturday
afternoon there is a film on to fill the gap between entertainment
shows but very rarely has there been one in that slot.
Entertainment programming on
BBC One includes game shows such as the
National Lottery, Total Wipeout,
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing and chat shows
such as The Graham Norton Show.
The annual 92 hours of religious programming comprise weekly editions
of live Songs of Praise,
Christian services and other shows from
independent production companies. Mentorn Oxford produces Heart and
Soul, described as "a new multi-faith programme featuring a panel and
a studio audience", followed by Life from the Loft which is made by
the Leeds-based company True North. In 2005
BBC One was criticised
for reducing the amount of religious programming, previously 101 hours
BBC One broadcasts many comedy programmes, often on Friday nights.
These have included the stand-up comedy show Live at the Apollo,
sitcom Outnumbered, and satirical quiz show Have I Got News for
You. Saturday evening is also a popular slot for a comedy show
Michael McIntyre's Big Show and The Armstrong and Miller Show.
As the weekly popular music chart programme
Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops was
dropped in 2006 (except for the Christmas Day edition),
broadcast 49 hours of music and arts programming in 2010. The
majority of this was Imagine, presented by Alan Yentob, and classical
music concerts, in particular some of the
BBC One's daytime line-up was a major factor in it overtaking ITV as
the most popular channel in 2000, a position it has retained, even
though ITV achieves a higher audience share during the daytime.
The morning daytime line-up consists of lifestyle shows, such as Homes
Under the Hammer and Bargain Hunt, the afternoons contain drama with
daily soap Doctors and classic US drama, such as Diagnosis: Murder.
Sometimes a drama such as Land Girls is shown in the afternoons.
Between 15:05 and 17:05 was the CBeebies/C
BBC broadcasting strand,
with its own visual identity. Historically,
BBC One's most popular
daytime programme was Neighbours, with audience figures approaching
five million. On 11 February 2008,
BBC One dropped
Neighbours and the
programme has since been broadcast on Channel 5. In its place the
quiz show The Weakest Link, moved from
BBC Two, later replaced in 2011
On 16 May 2012, the
BBC announced the children's block of shows would
be moved permanently to C
CBeebies upon the completion of the
Digital switchover. In its place appear the game show Perfection,
Escape to the Country
Escape to the Country and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.
Main article: History of
BBC television idents
BBC One 'Hippos' ident (2006-16)
BBC One's identity has been symbolised by a globe shown on its idents
for much of its existence. The first
BBC One ident was shown on 2
December 1953, known as the Bat's Wings. In 1962 this was replaced by
a map of the UK shown between programmes, and in 1963 the globe
appeared, changing in style and appearance over the next 39 years.
Most notably, on 18 February 1985, the "Computer Originated World" was
introduced. This was a computer-animated globe with the land coloured
gold and the sea a transparent blue, giving the impression of a glass
globe. This was replaced by the "Virtual Globe" on 16 February 1991.
On 4 October 1997, the globe became a red, orange and yellow hot-air
balloon, coloured to resemble a globe. It was filmed flying around
various places in the UK.
BBC One 'Exercise Class' ident (2017-present)
On 29 March 2002 the globe was replaced by a series of visual
identities, "idents", consisting of people dancing in various styles.
These were replaced on 7 October 2006 by the 'circle' idents.
According to the BBC, the circle symbol both represents togetherness
(unity) and acts as a link to the classic globe icon used for 39
years. They ran until 4 December 2016, when that year's Christmas
idents launched. On 1 January 2017, a new ident set launched, based on
the theme of "oneness".
BBC One has individual continuity and opt-outs for Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland. Each variant maintains the BBC
One logo with the addition of the country name beneath it.
In England, each region has an individual regional news and
current affairs programme opt-out as well as a limited amount of
continuity. During these opt-outs, the region name is displayed as
with the national variations, beneath the main channel logo. UK Today,
a news programme, was shown nationally to digital viewers in place of
regional programmes when they were unavailable to broadcast on
analogue television. The programme was discontinued in 2002 and
replaced by a transmission of
BBC London News until all
were made available digitally.
Scotland has the greatest level of variation from the generic
network, owing to
Scotland scheduling Scottish programming on the
Scotland channel, rather than on
BBC One Scotland
variations include the soap opera
River City and the football
programme Sportscene, the inclusion of which causes network
programming to be displaced or replaced.
Wales was considered a separate channel by the
BBC as early as
its launch in the mid-1960s, appearing as
Availability outside the UK
BBC One (Northern Ireland) is widely available in the Republic of
Ireland on cable and satellite television.
BBC One is also available
on cable and
IPTV in the Netherlands, Belgium,
Liechtenstein. On 27 March 2013 it was offered by British Forces
Broadcasting Service (BFBS) to members of HM Forces and their families
around the world, replacing the BFBS1 TV channel, which already
carried a selection of
BBC One programmes.
BBC announced in May 2008 that it had achieved its aim for all
programming to have subtitles for viewers with hearing
BBC also offers audio description on some
BBC One programmes for visually impaired-viewers. The
percentage of the BBC's total television output with audio description
available is 10%, having been increased from 8% in 2008.
1963–1965: Donald Baverstock
1965–1967: Michael Peacock
1967–1973: Paul Fox
1973–1977: Bryan Cowgill
1977–1981: Bill Cotton
1981–1984: Alan Hart
1984–1987: Michael Grade
1987–1993: Jonathan Powell
1993–1996: Alan Yentob
1996–1997: Michael Jackson
1997–2000: Peter Salmon
2000–2005: Lorraine Heggessey
2005–2007: Peter Fincham
Roly Keating (acting)
2008–2010: Jay Hunt
2010–2013: Danny Cohen
2013–present: Charlotte Moore
BBC Channels (UK)
Prewar television stations
List of television programmes broadcast by the BBC
List of television stations in the United Kingdom
Notes and references
^ Hiatus: 1939–1946
^ It used the Marconi-EMI
405-line all-electronic television service
and, for the first three months, the Baird 240-line intermediate film
system. Germany introduced television with a medium level of image
resolution (180 lines) in 1935, initially based on intermediate film,
but fully electronic by 1936.
BBC One Service Licence" (PDF).
BBC Trust. November 2012. Retrieved
17 May 2013.
^ Burns, R.W. (1998). Television: An International History of the
Formative Years. London: The Institution of Electrical Engineers.
pp. ix. ISBN 0-85296-914-7.
^ "The edit that rewrote history – Baird". Transdiffusion
Broadcasting System. 31 October 2005. Archived from the original on 25
January 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
^ Rohrer, Finlo (7 June 2006). "Back after the break". Magazine. BBC
News. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 25 April
^ "British Television up to the end of the Sixties". Sixtiescity.com.
Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 12 September
^ 50 still watch black and white TV in Calderdale Halifax Courier, 12
^ "BRYAN COWGILL". transdiffusion.org. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
^ "Programmes Breakfast Presenters The Evolution of Breakfast".
BBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
TV-am takes peak breakfast ratings lead". The Times. 27 August
BBC regains lead in breakfast TV ratings". The Times. 17 September
^ "Top job for Grade at
BBC 1". The Times. 31 May 1984.
The Times (61850). 6 June 1984. p. 3. Missing or empty
^ Chorlton, Penny (9 June 1984). "
BBC goes for news to replace Sixty
Minutes flop". The Guardian.
BBC drops beauty show". The Times. 17 November 1984.
^ Fiddick, Peter (4 February 1985). "Battle plan that opens a new
panorama". The Guardian.
^ a b "
Michael Grade - Television - Transdiffusion Broadcasting
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BBC unveils £30m drama season with films galore". The Times. 9
August 1985. p. 2.
^ Michael Grade: On the Box - episode 5: Dishing the Dirt
^ "Trials and Tribulations" - from the DVD of The Ultimate Foe (Trial
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^ Wells, Matt (19 October 2000). "Heggessey defends
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quits to go commercial". The Independent. Retrieved 20 January
^ a b Brown, Maggie (19 November 2001). "Getting One over" (Requires
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^ a b Wells, Matt (17 October 2000). "1m viewers lost as
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^ Wells, Matt (2 January 2002). "
BBC scores a Homer in ratings race".
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^ a b Gibson, Owen (29 August 2005). "BBC1 boss promises drama, not
docusoaps". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2007.
^ Wells, Matt (10 December 2002). "
BBC gets serious in defence of
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^ Sherwin, Adam (27 March 2002). "End of the world is nigh for BBC".
The Times. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "End of the world for
BBC branding". The Observer. 31 March 2002.
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^ Leonard, Tom (26 September 2003). "
Doctor Who ready to come out of
the Tardis for Saturday TV series". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20
^ Wells, Matt (16 June 2005). "
Doctor Who fights on ... and on"
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Times. Retrieved 20 January 2007.
^ a b Gibson, Owen (15 February 2005). "BBC1 controller switches to
the independent sector". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January
BBC wins channel of year awards".
BBC News Online. 27 August 2005.
Retrieved 20 January 2007.
^ Snoddy, Raymond (23 October 2006). "Back the
BBC to hang on to its
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original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
^ "Channel 4's Big Brother hangover". The Guardian. 18 September 2006.
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^ Wells, Matt (6 September 2006). "
The One Show
The One Show gets another go".
MediaGuardian. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
^ Sutcliffe, Thomas (14 March 2006). "Do not blame Davina for this
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^ Sherwin, Adam (19 January 2006). "Panorama to take on ITV soap". The
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^ Alleyne, Richard (27 September 2006). "
BBC splashes out £1.2 m
on circle of life TV links". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January
^ Sherwin, Adam (10 June 2006). "BBC's £18 m deal makes Ross
best-paid presenter". The Times. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
BBC One named Channel Of The Year at Broadcast Awards
Office, 25 January 2007
BBC pulls out of
BBC News. 18 May 2007. Archived
from the original on 28 May 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
^ Bidding war sees
Neighbours move house from
BBC to Five The
Guardian, 19 May 2007
BBC apologises over Queen clips".
BBC News. 12 July 2007. Archived
from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
^ "I stay, says royal row
BBC News. 13 July 2007. Archived
from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
BBC may 'close channels to cut costs' The Times, 9 August 2007
BBC 'must stop kids' TV decline'".
BBC News Online. 10 February
2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
^ Sabbagh, Dan (10 February 2009). "
Blue Peter at 50-year low after
being sidelined by The Weakest Link". The Times. London. Retrieved 10
^ Shaw, Vicky (10 February 2009). "Changes hit
BBC children's viewing
figures". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
^ "Children's shows to leave
BBC One". BBC. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 1
^ "Delivering Quality First Final Conclusions" (PDF).
Retrieved 18 May 2012.
^ "Children's programming comes to an end on
BBC News (BBC).
21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
^ Press Association (8 January 2013). "Teletubbies co-creator says BBC
move to digital is 'ghettoising' children's TV". The Guardian.
Retrieved 1 February 2014.
^ Sweney, Mark (16 May 2012). "
Blue Peter and other children's shows
to be ditched from BBC1". The Guardian.
BBC News - Children's shows to leave
BBC One". BBC. 16 May 2012.
Retrieved 1 February 2014.
BBC plans to launch
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BBC News. 8 October 2013.
Retrieved 8 October 2013.
BBC Three online move approved by
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^ Pryde, Alix. "
BBC – Blogs – About the
BBC – Satellite
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Scotland HD and
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BBC to launch five new subscription-free HD channels".
Center. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
^ Pryde, Alix (9 December 2013). "C
BBC Three HD,
BBC Four HD &
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^ "Top 10 1986 -
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^ "Top 10 1987". BARB. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012.
Retrieved 13 August 2012.
^ "Top 10 1981". BARB. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012.
Retrieved 13 August 2012.
^ "Features Britain's Most Watched TV |". 4 September 2006.
Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 4 May
^ "Top 10 1988". BARB. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012.
Retrieved 13 August 2012.
^ Selected programmes are produced in high definition and simulcast on
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p. 144. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
^ a b c d e f "Performance against public commitments" (PDF). BBC
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BBC mulls Saturday morning switch
BBC News, 21 December 2005
^ "New shows to replace Heaven and Earth". Church Times. 27 April
2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
BBC criticised for reducing amount of religious programmes".
Christian Today. 9 May 2005.
^ Have I Got News For You to return to Friday nights Daily Mirror, 8
^ "BBC1 daytime revamp hits BBC2 and
Channel 4 ratings". The
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Neighbours soap fight".
BBC News. 18 May 2007. Retrieved
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^ "Children's shows to leave
BBC News. 16 May 2012.
Retrieved 16 May 2012.
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^ Brooks, Richard. "A new look as bathers oust hippos at the BBC". The
Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
^ About the
BBC – Statements of Programme Policy 2007/2008
^ About the
BBC – Statements of Programme Policy 2007/2008
^ About the
BBC – Statements of Programme Policy 2007/2008
^ "... a separate service –
Wales – available to the
greater part of the people in the Principality ..."
1967, p25; British Broadcasting Corporation, London: 1966
BFBS TV SET FOR A MAKEOVER ON 27TH MARCH -
BFBS Radio". 3 June
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original-url status unknown (link)
BBC Vision celebrates 100% subtitling
BBC Press Office, 7 May 2008
^ About the
BBC – Policy on subtitles
BBC Archived 19 January 2010
at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Freeview Audio Description TV Schedule". TV Help.
^ About the
Audio description on TV
BBC Archived 25 January
2010 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Charlotte Moore appointed new controller of
BBC News. 26
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BBC One at
BBC One Service Licence
BBC Trust, July 2009
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