1979 in British television




  • 25 February – The first episode of the children's television series Worzel Gummidge begins on ITV.



  • No events.




  • No events.


  • 6 August – Technicians at Thames Television go on strike following a long-running dispute.[4]
  • 10 August – The whole of the ITV network except the Channel Islands is affected by a technicians' strike for eleven weeks.
  • 27 August – Lord Mountbatten was murdered by IRA bombers. His death set a record audience for a news bulletin, as 26 million viewers watched the coverage on BBC1. Strike action at ITN led to the record viewing figures.


  • 2 September – Subtitling of television programmes on Ceefax begins.
  • 25 September – Robin Day presents the first edition of the long-running political debate programme Question Time on BBC1. The programme continues to air to the present day.
  • September – Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw outlines plans for a fourth channel.[5] However, he backs away from establishing a Welsh language channel for Wales, instead favouring a continuation of the status quo whereby Welsh language content is aired by BBC Wales and HTV.[3]



  • 11 November – The last episode of the first series of the sitcom To the Manor Born is broadcast on BBC1.[6] It is watched by 23.95 million viewers, the all-time highest figure for a recorded programme in the UK.[7]







BBC Scotland

Television shows

Changes of network affiliation

Shows Moved from Moved to
Noggin the Nog BBC One BBC Two

Returning this year after a break of one year or longer


  • BBC Wimbledon (1927–present)


  • BBC Cricket (1939–1999, 2020–2024)





Ending this year



DateNameAgeCinematic Credibility
28 February Jane Hylton 51 actress (The Adventures of Sir Lancelot)
6 March John Robinson 70 actor (Quatermass II)
19 March Richard Beckinsale 31 actor
24 March Yvonne Mitchell 63 actress (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
30 May Jack Raine 82 actor
4 July Marjorie Rhodes 82 actress
6 July Malcolm Hulke[9] 54 screenwriter (Doctor Who)
7 July Ian Mackintosh[10] 39 TV writer (air crash; disappeared, presumed dead)
24 July Archie Duncan 65 actor (Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hood)
23 August Richard Hearne 71 comic performer ("Mr Pastry")
7 September Alan Browning 53 actor (Coronation Street)
23 September Catherine Lacey[11] 75 actress
20 November Michael Darbyshire 62 actor (Rentaghost)
30 November Joyce Grenfell 69 actress, comedian and singer-songwriter

See also


  1. ""Election victory for Margaret Thatcher" BBC On This Day". BBC News. 1979-05-04. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  2. Hastings, David (18 November 2007). "Launch of a Revolution – C4/S4C". Transdiffusion Broadcasting System. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. Hancock, Dafydd. "A channel for Wales". EMC Seefour. Transdiffusion Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009.
  4. Aylett, Glenn. "Talk of Thames: Strike Out". Transdiffusion Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  5. "Channel 4's 25 year Anniversary" (PDF). Channel 4. 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  6. "To the Manor Born – BBC One London – 11 November 1979 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  7. "Britain's Most Watched TV – the 1980s". British Film Institute. 2006-09-04. Archived from the original on 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  8. "The Tuesday Film: Gawain and the Green Knight – BBC One London – 18 December 1979 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  9. "Malcolm Hulke". randomhouse.co.uk. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  10. "Did spy writer's disappearance mirror his fiction?", John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier, 3 January 2013. Accessed 2 April 2015
  11. John Parker (ed), Who's Who in the Theatre 15th edition, Pitman Publishing 1972.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.