100 Greatest British Television Programmes

100 Greatest British Television Programmes was a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI) chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened.

Initially, a 'big list' of 650 programmes was drawn up by BFI personnel, and this provisional list was then distributed to a range of television industry professionals in the UK, who were each given 30 votes. The listing was split into six categories: Single Dramas, Drama Series and Serials, Comedy and Variety, Factual, Children's / Youth, and Lifestyle & Light Entertainment. Each voter was required to cast a minimum of three votes in every category. News stories were mostly excluded – with exceptions such as the coverage of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales – on the basis that it would be impossible to determine whether it was the coverage or the news itself that made them important. Sports were excluded for similar reasons, and also because many events such as the 1966 World Cup, while important to those in England, would not matter to those in other areas of Britain.

Some programmes were represented on the list as an entire series, while for some series such as the anthology The Wednesday Play and current affairs show This Week, individual episodes were singled out. Early television programmes no longer existing in the archives were excluded from consideration.

Although obviously not including any programmes made in 2000 or later, the list is useful as an indication of what were generally regarded as the most successful British programmes of the 20th century.

The full list ran as follows:

  1. Fawlty Towers
  2. Cathy Come Home (The Wednesday Play)
  3. Doctor Who
  4. The Naked Civil Servant
  5. Monty Python's Flying Circus
  6. Blue Peter
  7. Boys from the Blackstuff
  8. Parkinson
  9. Yes, Minister / Yes, Prime Minister
  10. Brideshead Revisited
  11. Abigail's Party (Play for Today)
  12. I, Claudius
  13. Dad's Army
  14. The Morecambe & Wise Show
  15. Edge of Darkness
  16. Blackadder Goes Forth
  17. Absolutely Fabulous
  18. The Wrong Trousers
  19. The World at War
  20. The Singing Detective
  21. Pennies From Heaven
  22. The Jewel in the Crown
  23. Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
  24. Hancock's Half Hour
  25. Our Friends in the North
  26. 28 Up
  27. The War Game (The Wednesday Play)
  28. The Magic Roundabout
  29. That Was The Week That Was
  30. An Englishman Abroad
  31. The Royle Family
  32. Life On Earth
  33. The Old Grey Whistle Test
  34. University Challenge
  35. Porridge
  36. Blue Remembered Hills (Play for Today)
  37. Mastermind
  38. I'm Alan Partridge
  39. Cracker
  40. Coronation Street
  41. Top of the Pops
  42. Inspector Morse
  43. Grange Hill
  44. Steptoe and Son
  45. Only Fools and Horses
  46. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (series 1)
  47. Tiswas
  48. Elgar (Monitor)
  49. Nuts in May (Play for Today)
  50. Father Ted
  51. The Avengers
  52. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  53. The Forsyte Saga
  54. Hillsborough
  55. Dennis Potter: The Last Interview (Without Walls Special)
  56. Bar Mitzvah Boy (Play for Today)
  57. Edna, The Inebriate Woman (Play for Today)
  58. Live Aid for Africa
  59. World In Action
  60. Thunderbirds
  61. Talking Heads/Talking Heads 2
  62. Ready Steady Go!
  63. Z-Cars
  64. Culloden
  65. The Ascent of Man
  66. A Very British Coup
  67. Civilisation
  68. Prime Suspect
  69. The Likely Lads / Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?
  70. Have I Got News for You
  71. The Snowman
  72. Walking with Dinosaurs
  73. Nineteen Eighty-Four
  74. The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
  75. Quatermass and the Pit
  76. Between The Lines
  77. Blind Date
  78. Talking to a Stranger (Theatre 625)
  79. The Borrowers
  80. One Foot in the Grave
  81. Later with Jools Holland
  82. Tutti Frutti
  83. The Knowledge
  84. House of Cards
  85. This is Your Life
  86. The Tube
  87. The Death of Yugoslavia
  88. Till Death Us Do Part
  89. A Very Peculiar Practice
  90. Michael Moore's TV Nation
  91. This Life
  92. Death on the Rock (This Week)
  93. The Nazis - A Warning From History
  94. Drop the Dead Donkey
  95. Arena
  96. The Railway Children
  97. Teletubbies
  98. Spitting Image
  99. Pride and Prejudice
  100. Made In Britain

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