2021 in British television

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List of years in British television

This is a list of events taking place in 2021 relating to Television in the United Kingdom.

Events[edit source | edit]

January[edit source | edit]

Date Event
1 BBC One airs Alicia Keys Rocks New Year's Eve to see in 2021,[1] as well as the fireworks display from London. This year's display includes a light show created by 300 drones that pays tribute to NHS staff and notable figures of 2020. Overnight figures indicate the display is watched by 10.75 million viewers.[2]
BBC One airs "Revolution of the Daleks", the New Year's Day special of Doctor Who. The episode sees John Barrowman return as Captain Jack Harkness, as well as the departure of Graham and Ryan, played by Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole. Following its broadcast, comedian John Bishop is revealed as the character Dan, who will be The Doctor's companion in the next series.[3][4]
3 The Mirror reports that Jodie Whittaker will leave her role as the Thirteenth Doctor at the end of the next series of Doctor Who. In response the BBC says it will not comment on the matter.[5]
4 In a televised address, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a third lockdown for England, with rules similar to those in March 2020.[6]
5 The BBC announces that programming for schools will air on BBC Two and CBBC, as well as online, during the latest lockdown, starting from Monday 11 January.[7]
6 Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announces that Richard Sharp, former chair of the Royal Academy of Arts, is the government's preferred choice for the next Chairman of the BBC.[8]
Sky Cinema Disney ceases broadcasting making it the last Disney related channel to close and now all of Disney’s content are available exclusively on Disney+.
7 ITV announces that filming for Series 15 of Britain's Got Talent has been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]
Visitors to Gwrych Castle, near Abergele, used for filming I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2020, will be able to see some of the sets used for the series when the castle reopens, it has been confirmed.[10]
8 Graham Norton, who presents the Eurovision Song Contest, has said the 2021 contest, scheduled for May, will definitely go ahead as planned.[11]
11 The BBC announces that from the end of January, anyone using BT Mobile, EE, and Plusnet Mobile can access BBC Bitesize content without it counting towards their monthly data allowance.[12]
14 Richard Sharp, the BBC's incoming chairman, says that the licence fee is the "least worst" way of funding the BBC.[13]
Maya Jama is announced as the new presenter of Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star, replacing Stacey Dooley.[14]
18 Steven Knight, creator of the BBC television series Peaky Blinders, confirms the upcoming sixth series will be the last. The following day he announces that a film will follow the final series.[15]
20 A National Audit Office report concludes the BBC faces "significant" uncertainty over its financial future due to changes in viewing habits.[16]

February[edit source | edit]

Date Event
23 Disney+ UK adds their new hub, Star, and will feature more adult-aimed content from 20th Century Studios and ABC Signature including Lost, 24, Family Guy, Prison Break, The X Files, Desperate Housewives and How I Met Your Mother. Big Sky and Love, Victor will also feature as examples of Star's original programming.[17]

March[edit source | edit]

Date Event

April[edit source | edit]

Date Event

May[edit source | edit]

Date Event

June[edit source | edit]

Date Event

July[edit source | edit]

Date Event

August[edit source | edit]

Date Event

September[edit source | edit]

Date Event

October[edit source | edit]

Date Event

November[edit source | edit]

Date Event

December[edit source | edit]

Date Event

Debuts[edit source | edit]

BBC[edit source | edit]

Date Debut Channel
1 January The Serpent[18] BBC One
3 January A Perfect Planet
A Teacher[19] BBC Two
4 January Rick Stein's Cornwall
7 January Pooch Perfect BBC One
12 January Bamous BBC Three
25 January Lightning BBC Two
Unknown I Can See Your Voice BBC One

ITV[edit source | edit]

Date Debut Channel
1 January Lingo ITV
3 January And Finally… with Trevor McDonald
4 January The Cabins ITV2
6 January Cornwall and Devon Walks with Julia Bradbury ITV
9 January Paul Sinha's TV Showdown
11 January The Pembrokeshire Murders
17 January Finding Alice[20]
Unknown Because the Night
How to Spend It Well on Holiday

Channel 4[edit source | edit]

Date Debut Channel
22 January It's a Sin Channel 4

Channel 5[edit source | edit]

Date Debut Channel
2 January Secrets of the Royal Palaces Channel 5
7 January Natural History Museum: World of Wonder
8 January Susan Calman's Grand Day Out
14 January Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green

Other channels[edit source | edit]

Date Debut Channel
Unknown Elliott from Earth Cartoon Network

Channels[edit source | edit]

New channels/streaming services[edit source | edit]

Date Channel
6 January Sky Cinema Premiere +1 (relaunch)
23 February Star[21]
Unknown GB News[22]

Defunct channels/streaming services[edit source | edit]

Date Channel
6 January Sky Cinema Disney/Five Star Movies

Rebranding channels[edit source | edit]

Date Old Name New Name

Television programmes[edit source | edit]

Changes of network affiliation[edit source | edit]

Programme Moved from Moved to

Returning this year after a break of one year or longer[edit source | edit]

Programme Date(s) of original removal Original channel(s) Date of return New channel(s)
RuPaul's Drag Race UK 21 November 2019 BBC One
BBC Three
14 January 2021 (same as original)
Back 11 October 2017 Channel 4 21 January 2021
Dead Pixels 2 May 2019 E4 26 January 2021
The Boat Race 7 April 2019 BBC One
BBC World News
March/April 2021
BBC Wimbledon 14 July 2019 BBC One
June 2021
Ackley Bridge[23] 6 August 2019 Channel 4 Unknown
Stars in Their Eyes[24] 23 December 2006
14 February 2015
ITV Unknown

Continuing television programmes[edit source | edit]

1930s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
BBC Cricket (1939, 1946–1999, 2020–present)

1950s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Panorama (1953–present)
The Sky at Night (1957–present)
Final Score (1958–present)
(part of Grandstand 1958–2001)
Blue Peter (1958–present)

1960s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Coronation Street (1960–present)
Points of View (1961–present)
Songs of Praise
University Challenge (1962–1987, 1994–present)
Doctor Who (1963–1989, 1996, 2005–present)
Horizon (1964–present)
Match of the Day
Top of the Pops (1964–present)
(only at Christmas 2006–present)
Gardeners' World (1968–present)
A Question of Sport (1968, 1970–present)

1970s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Emmerdale (1972–present)
Mastermind (including Celebrity Mastermind) (1972–1997, 2003–present)
Newsround (1972–present)
Football Focus (1974–present)
Arena (1975–present)
One Man and His Dog (1976–present)
Top Gear (1977–2001, 2002–present)
Antiques Roadshow (1979–present)
Question Time

1980s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Children in Need (1980–present)
Countdown (1982–present)
ITV Breakfast (1983–present)
Thomas & Friends (1984–present)
EastEnders (1985–present)
Comic Relief
Catchphrase (1986–2002, 2013–present)
Casualty (1986–present)
Red Dwarf (1988–1999, 2009, 2012–present)
This Morning (1988–present)

1990s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
The Crystal Maze (1990–1995, 2016–present)
Have I Got News for You (1990–present)
MasterChef (1990–2001, 2005–present)
ITV News Meridian (1993–present)
Top of the Pops 2 (1994–present)
Hollyoaks (1995–present)
Soccer AM
Silent Witness (1996–present)
Midsomer Murders (1997–present)
Teletubbies (1997–2001, 2007–2009, 2015–present)
Y Clwb Rygbi (1997–present)
Cold Feet (1998–2003, 2016–present)
Classic Emmerdale (1998–2004, 2019–present)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1998–2014, 2018–present)
Holby City (1999–present)
Loose Women

2000s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Bargain Hunt (2000–present)
BBC Breakfast
A Place in the Sun
The Unforgettable (2000–2002, 2010–present)
Unreported World (2000–present)
BBC South East Today (2001–present)
Rogue Traders (2001–present)
(part of Watchdog 2009–2020)
Escape to the Country (2002–present)
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Inside Out
Most Haunted (2002–2010, 2014–present)
River City (2002–present)
Saturday Kitchen
QI (2003–present)
Extraordinary People
Homes Under the Hammer
Traffic Cops
Match of the Day 2 (2004–present)
Strictly Come Dancing
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year
The Culture Show
Football First
The Gadget Show
Live at the Apollo
Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two
Who Do You Think You Are?
8 Out of 10 Cats (2005–present)
Coach Trip (2005–2006, 2009–2012, 2013–present)
The Andrew Marr Show (2005–present)
The Adventure Show
The Apprentice
Dragons' Den
The Hotel Inspector
Mock the Week
The Album Chart Show (2006–present)
Animal Spies!
The Apprentice: You're Fired!
Banged Up Abroad
Cricket AM
Dickinson's Real Deal
Don't Get Done, Get Dom
Horrid Henry
Monkey Life
Not Going Out
The One Show
People & Power
Peschardt's People
The Secret Millionaire (2006–2008, 2010–present)
Britain's Got Talent (2007–present)
Would I Lie to You?
The Big Questions
Don't Tell the Bride
The Graham Norton Show
Heir Hunters
Helicopter Heroes
London Ink
Shaun the Sheep
Real Rescues
The Hot Desk
An Là (2008–present)
Big & Small
Celebrity Juice
Only Connect
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Police Interceptors
Seachd Là
Pointless (2009–present)
The Chase
Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Cowboy Trap
Piers Morgan's Life Stories
Rip Off Britain

2010s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Dinner Date (2010–present)
The Great British Bake Off
Great British Railway Journeys
A League of Their Own
Little Crackers
The Only Way Is Essex
Sunday Morning Live
All Over the Place (2011–present)
Black Mirror
Four Rooms
Junior Bake Off
Made in Chelsea
Match of the Day Kickabout
Sam & Mark's Big Friday Wind-Up
Show Me What You're Made Of
24 Hours in A&E
4 O'Clock Club (2012–present)
Call the Midwife
Great Continental Railway Journeys
Stand Up To Cancer
The Voice UK
Tipping Point
Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
Operation Ouch!
Claimed and Shamed
The Dog Rescuers (2013–present)
The Dumping Ground
Still Open All Hours
Agatha Raisin (2014–present)
The Dog Ate My Homework
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice
Happy Valley
In the Club
Judge Rinder
The Next Step
Who's Doing the Dishes?
24 Hours in Police Custody
The Dengineers (2015–present)
Doctor Foster
Eat Well for Less?
Michael McIntyre's Big Show
Ninja Warrior UK
Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords
Safe House
SAS: Who Dares Wins
So Awkward
10,000 BC
The A Word (2016–present)
Bake Off: The Professionals
Cash Trapped (2016–2017, 2019–present)
Celebs Go Dating (2016–present)
Class Dismissed (2016–2017, 2019–present)
The Crown (2016–present)
The Cruise
Got What It Takes?
The Level
Naked Attraction
No Such Thing as the News
The Premier League Show
Top Class
Upstart Crow
The Windsors
Ackley Bridge (2017–present)
All Round to Mrs. Brown's
Beyond 100 Days
The Good Karma Hospital
The Voice Kids
The Mash Report
The Playlist
Remotely Funny
The Repair Shop
Bodyguard (2018–present)
The Circle
Defending the Guilty
Derry Girls
A Discovery of Witches
Gemma Collins: Diva
I'll Get This
In My Skin
Killing Eve
Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema
The Real Football Fan Show
Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators
The Split
Stath Lets Flats
There She Goes
Almost Never (2019–present)
Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star
The Hit List
RuPaul's Drag Race UK

2020s[edit source | edit]

Programme Date
Feel Good (2020–2021)
It's Pony (2020–present)
The Masked Singer

Ending this year[edit source | edit]

Date(s) Programme Channel(s) Debut(s)
7 January A Teacher BBC Two 2021
10 January Last Woman on Earth with Sara Pascoe 2020
13 January The Pembrokeshire Murders ITV 2021
Unknown Feel Good[25] Channel 4/Netflix 2020

Deaths[edit source | edit]

Date Name Age Broadcast credibility
1 January Mark Eden[26] 92 Actor (Coronation Street)
Barry Austin[27][28] 52 Reported to be Britain's fattest man (The Fattest Man in Britain)
4 January Barbara Shelley[29] 88 Actress (Doctor Who, EastEnders)
7 January Michael Apted[30] 79 Director, producer, writer and actor (Up, Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World Is Not Enough, Enigma)
18 January Andy Gray[31] 61 Actor and comedy writer (River City)

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Stuck at home on New Year's Eve? Here's what to watch on TV". the Guardian. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  2. "New Year fireworks watched by 10 million viewers on BBC One". 1 January 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. "Doctor Who confirms return of bronze Daleks in new special". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  4. "Comedian John Bishop joins Doctor Who cast". 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  5. "Jodie Whittaker: speculation rife after reports she is to quit Doctor Who". the Guardian. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  6. "Covid: New lockdowns for England and Scotland ahead of 'hardest weeks'". 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  7. "BBC to put lessons on TV during lockdown". 5 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  8. "Richard Sharp set to become the next BBC Chair". 6 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  9. "Britain's Got Talent: Filming postponed due to coronavirus concerns". 7 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  10. "I'm a Celebrity: Gwrych Castle visitors will get film set tour". 7 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  11. "Eurovision Song Contest 2021 to 'definitely' go ahead, Graham Norton says". 8 January 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  12. "BBC Bitesize to be free for BT and EE customers". 11 January 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  13. "BBC licence fee is 'least worst' option, says new chairman Richard Sharp". 14 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  14. "Maya Jama To Host BBC's Glow Up: Britain's Next Make Up Star As Stacey Dooley Steps Down". Tyla. 14 January 2021.
  15. "Peaky Blinders film confirmed following final TV outing". 19 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-55731099
  17. "What is Star on Disney+ and how do I get it?". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  18. McLennon, Patrick (17 December 2020). "See first look trailer for BBC One serial killer drama The Serpent starring Jenna Coleman". Radio Times. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  19. "When is A Teacher on BBC Two? Cast, trailer, plot and more". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  20. "Finding Alice: How Keeley Hawes drama offers 'authentic' image of grief". 15 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  21. "Mature content coming to Disney+ with Star includes 'Die Hard', 'Lost', '24', 'The X-Files' and more". uk.movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  22. "Andrew Neil's right-leaning GB News channel is set to launch next year - everything you should know". www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  23. "Filming for Ackley Bridge series four postponed amid coronavirus". Halifax Courier. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  24. Darvill, Josh (25 November 2020). "Stars In Their Eyes is set to return (again) with a new name". TellyMix.
  25. Petski, Denise (7 December 2020). "'Feel Good' Renewed For Second & Final Season By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  26. "Coronation Street actor Mark Eden dies aged 92". 1 January 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  27. Preece, Ashley (2 January 2021). "Tributes paid to Birmingham City fan Barry Austin known as 'Britain's fattest man' after tragic death". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  28. Wheeler, Sophie; Bazaraa, Danya (2 January 2021). "Britain's ex-fattest man who once weighed 65-stone dies aged 52 as family pay tribute". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  29. "Horror film icon Barbara Shelley dies aged 88". 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  30. Lee, Benjamin (8 January 2021). "Michael Apted, director and Seven Up documentarian, dies at 79". Retrieved 10 January 2021 – via www.theguardian.com.
  31. "Tributes to Andy Gray after legendary Scottish actor and comedy star passes away". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 18 January 2021.

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