Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1980s Crimewatch


1 9 8 4 – Current (UK)

Based on a German series called File XY  . . . UnsolvedCrimewatch (originally Crimewatch UK) combined dramatic re-enactments of unsolved crimes with a plea to the general public to ring in with further information. Tips on crime prevention were also regularly included in the show.

Two resident police officers, David Hatcher and Helen Phelps, aided by visiting detectives, initially helped give the police side of each story. Phelps later left the force and joined the programme’s production team. Her place alongside Hatcher was taken by Jacqui Hames.

Original co-presenter Sue Cook left in June 1995 and was succeeded by Jill Dando, who fronted the programme with Nick Ross until her tragic murder in April 1999 when she was replaced by Fiona Bruce.

To allay viewers’ fears, Ross nearly always signed off at the end of the show with the words;  “Don’t have nightmares. Do sleep well”.

Kirsty Young and Matthew Amroliwala replaced Ross and Bruce following their departures in 2007.

The clear-up rate of the series has been impressive, with nearly 400 arrests made as a result of new information given by Crimewatch viewers. 1 in 3 appeals leads to an arrest and 1 in 5 lead to a conviction.

Nick Ross (1984 – 2006)
Sue Cook (1984 – 1995)
Jill Dando (1995 – 1999)