BFI TV 100

The BFI TV 100 is a list of 100 television programmes or series that was compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI), as chosen by a poll of industry professionals, with the aim to determine the best British television programmes of any genre that had been screened up to that time.

Selection and criteria

The British Film Institute television programme poll was conducted in the year 2000, and its results are reflected in the list that appears in a following section. Initially, a 'big list' of 650 programmes was drawn up by BFI personnel.[1] Television programmes no longer extant in the archives were excluded from consideration. The provisional list was split into six categories: Single Dramas, Drama Series and Serials, Comedy and Variety, Factual, Children's/Youth, and Lifestyle & Light Entertainment. Some programmes were represented in the list by an entire series; however, for some series—e.g., the anthology The Wednesday Play and the current affairs programme This Week—individual episodes were listed. 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). Sport was excluded for similar reasons, and also because many events such as the 1966 World Cup, while important to those in England, would not necessarily matter to those in other areas of the United Kingdom.

The provisional list of 650 was then distributed to 1,600 television industry professionals in the UK, who were each given 30 votes.[1] Each voter was required to cast a minimum of three votes in every category. The judges were also asked to name their top overseas programme (where the U.S. sitcom, Frasier, was chosen).[1]

Full list

The following are the results of the poll, as reported by the BFI and other sources. Because the list reports decisions made in the year 2000, programmes and series are presented as they were perceived in that year; as such, ones not yet having concluded by the year 2000 are presented as having an open-ended date span in the "Year(s)" column, even if they have subsequently ended.

No.Title[2]Broadcast onYear(s)
1Fawlty TowersBBC21975-1979
2Cathy Come Home (The Wednesday Play)BBC11966
3Doctor WhoBBC11963–1989, 1996–
4The Naked Civil ServantITV (Thames Television)1975
5Monty Python's Flying CircusBBC1 / BBC21969–1974
6Blue PeterBBC11958–
7Boys from the BlackstuffBBC21982
8ParkinsonBBC11971–1982, 1987–1988, 1998–
9Yes Minister / Yes, Prime MinisterBBC21980–1988
10Brideshead RevisitedITV (Granada)1981
11Abigail's Party  (Play for Today)BBC11977
12I, ClaudiusBBC21976
13Dad's ArmyBBC11968–1977
14The Morecambe & Wise ShowBBC2 / BBC1 / ITV (Thames)1961–1983
15Edge of DarknessBBC21985
16Blackadder Goes ForthBBC11989
17Absolutely FabulousBBC2 / BBC11992–1996
18The Wrong TrousersBBC21993
19The World at WarITV (Thames)1973–1974
20The Singing DetectiveBBC11986
21Pennies from HeavenBBC11978
22The Jewel in the CrownITV (Granada)1984
23Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?ITV1998–
24Hancock's Half HourBBC1956–1961
25Our Friends in the NorthBBC21996
2628 UpITV (Granada)1985
27The War Game  (The Wednesday Play)BBC11965
28The Magic RoundaboutBBC11965–1977
29That Was the Week That WasBBC1962–1963
30An Englishman AbroadBBC11983
31The Royle FamilyBBC2/BBC11998–
32Life on EarthBBC21979
33The Old Grey Whistle TestBBC21971–1987
34University ChallengeITV (Granada) / BBC21961–1987, 1994–
36Blue Remembered Hills  (Play for Today)BBC11979
37Mastermind  (original format)BBC1 / BBC21972–1997
38I'm Alan PartridgeBBC21997
39CrackerITV (Granada)1993–1996
40Coronation StreetITV (Granada)1960–
41Top of the PopsBBC1 / BBC21964–
42Inspector MorseITV (Central)1987–2000
43Grange HillBBC11978–
44Steptoe and SonBBC11962–1965, 1970–1974
45Only Fools and HorsesBBC11981–1996
46Auf Wiedersehen, Pet  (series 1)ITV (Central)1983
47TiswasITV (ATV)1974–1982
49Nuts in May  (Play for Today)BBC11976
50Father TedChannel 41995–1998
51The AvengersITV (ABC)1961–1969
52Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyBBC21979
53The Forsyte SagaBBC21967
54HillsboroughITV (Granada)1996
55Dennis Potter: The Last Interview  (Without Walls Special)Channel 41994
56Bar Mitzvah Boy  (Play for Today)BBC11976
57Edna, the Inebriate Woman  (Play for Today)BBC11971
58Live AidBBC1 / BBC21985
59World In ActionITV (Granada)1963–1998
60ThunderbirdsITV (ATV)1965–1966
61Talking Heads / Talking Heads 2BBC1 / BBC21988 / 1998
62Ready Steady Go!ITV (Rediffusion)1963–1966
65The Ascent of ManBBC21973
66A Very British CoupChannel 41988
68Prime SuspectITV (Granada)1991–
69The Likely Lads / Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?BBC2 / BBC11964–1966 / 1973–1974
70Have I Got News for YouBBC2 / BBC11990–
71The SnowmanChannel 41982
72Walking with DinosaursBBC11999
73Nineteen Eighty-FourBBC1954
74The Fall and Rise of Reginald PerrinBBC11976–1979
75Quatermass and the PitBBC1958–1959
76Between The LinesBBC11992–1994
77Blind DateITV (LWT)1985–
78Talking to a Stranger  (Theatre 625)BBC21966
79The BorrowersBBC11992–1993
80One Foot in the GraveBBC11990–2000
81Later... with Jools HollandBBC21992–
82Tutti FruttiBBC21987
83The KnowledgeITV (Thames)1979
84House of CardsBBC11990
85This Is Your LifeBBC1 / ITV (Thames)1955–1964, 1969–
86The TubeChannel 41982–1987
87The Death of YugoslaviaBBC21995
88Till Death Us Do PartBBC11966–1975
89A Very Peculiar PracticeBBC11986–1992
90TV NationBBC21995
91This LifeBBC21996–1997
92Death on the Rock  (This Week)ITV (Thames)1988
93The Nazis: A Warning from HistoryBBC21997
94Drop the Dead DonkeyChannel 41990–1998
96The Railway ChildrenBBC11968
98Spitting ImageITV (Central)1984–1996
99Pride and PrejudiceBBC11995
100Made in BritainITV (Central)1982

BBC led broadcasters in terms of numbers of programmes/series produced, with 70. Granada Television was the second most represented with 7, and Thames Television and Channel 4 tied for third with 6 each. ITV Central produced four of the listed titles, while Associated Television produced two, and London Weekend Television, Associated British Corporation, and Associated-Rediffusion produced one each.

See also


  1. Barnes, Anthony (6 September 2000). "Just don't tell the Major, Fawlty is our favourite". Birmingham Post. Birmingham: Trinity Mirror. ISSN 0963-7915. OCLC 500151397. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  2. BFI Staff (4 March 2009). "The BFI TV 100: 1–100". London, UK: British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011.

Further reading and viewing

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