1 9 7 2 - 1 9 7 8 (UK) This highly popular, light-hearted panel game from Thames Television invited viewers to play detective every week between 1972 and 1978, pitting their wits against a panel of celebrity sleuths - hosted initially by Edward Woodward, and later by Jon Pertwee - to solve a fictitious(...)

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

1 9 8 8 - 1 9 9 8 (UK) 136 x 30 minute episodes Beginning as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 in 1987, this half-hour show of improvised comedy based on studio audience suggestions was performed by alternating 'alternative' comedians under the sceptical eye of chairperson (and ex-barrister) Clive Anderson. Several of the performers(...)

Wild Kingdom

1 9 6 3 - 1 9 8 8 (USA) Viewers of Wild Kingdom in its heydey remember insurance company Mutual of Omaha's sponsorship and its American Indian head logo, the grandfatherly tones of narrator and host Marlin Perkins (who resembled a grey Walt Disney), and the occasionally death-defying exploits of man in the field Jim Fowler.(...)

Winner Takes All

1 9 7 5 - 1 9 8 7 (UK) Jimmy Tarbuck welcomed the guests and the unseen Geoffrey Wheeler asked the questions in this popular long-running general knowledge quiz show. Bringing the contestants to the starting line were hostesses Jan Michelle and Tina Robinson. The four contestants competed in a little knockout tournament to(...)


1 9 8 2 - 1 9 9 2 (UK) 1985 saw Terry Wogan - the King of Television (and Radio) - graduate to an eponymous thrice-weekly live chat show. The new format began ignominiously when the host fell over on the very first episode, although since he was reportedly earning over £350,000 a year(...)

Word, The

1 9 9 0 - 1 9 9 5 (UK) An edgy, youth-driven Channel 4 show, The Word encompassed live music, chat and all sorts of bizarre features. The main presenter, Terry Christian, floundered around spewing verbal diarrhoea in grating Mancunian tones while staring gormlessly at the camera and stumbling and stuttering through link after(...)

World About Us, The

1 9 6 7 - 1 9 8 6 (UK) This long-running British series featured the wonders of nature and assorted global explorations. Initially making use of amateur footage, but soon becoming fully professional in its contributions, The World About Us ran for nearly 20 years. This natural history series was commissioned by David Attenborough(...)

World At War, The

1 9 7 3 - 1 9 7 4 (UK) 26 x 60 minute episodes, 5 x specials Produced by Jeremy Isaacs and narrated by Laurence Olivier, The World At War took four years to make, cost £1 million and deserved its success for its skilful use of archive news film with new interviews. The 'stars' of(...)

World In Action

1 9 6 3 - 1 9 9 8 (UK) Granada TV's hard-hitting current affairs series World in Action was first transmitted in 1963 and has set a consistently high standard in investigative journalism. The first edition, in January, highlighted the atomic arms race and showed Khrushchev and Kennedy in conflict. Later in the year, World in Action ran into trouble over an(...)


1 9 5 6 (UK) McDonald "Mac" Hobley introduced ITV's Yakity-Yak - a panel game that would attract little support from the Women's Lib group. It was subtitled "the dizzy show" and encouraged the six female panellists to give silly answers to the questions.

You Bet Your Life

1 9 5 0 - 1 9 6 1 (USA) They called it a game show, but nobody really watched You Bet Your Life to see people win fabulous prizes. There were bigger quiz shows for that. No, the real reason people tuned in to NBC on Thursday nights was a glasses-wearing, cigar-smoking, sharp-tongued man(...)

You Bet!

1 9 8 8 - 1 9 9 6 (UK) A light-hearted panel game (based on a Dutch format) in which celebrities and the studio audience placed bets on the skills of a guest enthusiast. Originally hosted by Bruce Forsyth, then by Matthew Kelly from 1991, with Darren Day and Diane Youdale taking over for(...)

You Say The Word

1 9 7 1 - 1 9 7 4 (Australia) This adult educational series was designed, funded and produced by the Australian Department of Immigration (with WIN Channel 4, Wollongong) and donated to commercial Australian television stations to help teach English to newly arrived migrants. The series was split into two segments, teaching and dramatic. Both(...)

Young Talent Time

1 9 7 1 - 1 9 8 8 (Australia) "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you . . .". Sing this to Australians of a certain generation and they will sing the "oo-oo-oo's" back in rapturous nostalgia. Each week for 18 years (read that again: EIGHTEEN years!) from April 1971 onwards, the avuncular Johnny(...)

Your Hit Parade

1 9 5 0 - 1 9 5 9 (USA) Your Hit Parade had an eight-year run on NBC and then another year on CBS. Opening with the song Be Happy Go Lucky, the Hit Paraders (Snooky Lanson, Gisele MacKensie and Dorothy Collins among others) went on to sing the week's Top 10 tunes as compiled in the(...)

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