News Archive

Old news stories are archived here. See the main page for the latest news.

14 October N for Sandi Toksvig
QI is to get a new host. Stephen Fry is leaving "one of the best jobs on television" after the M-series ends in early 2016. Sandi Toksvig will take over from next year, taking viewers through from N to an unknown destination. "Who knows what lies ahead? It should all be quite interesting." Alan Davies remains on the panel to the end of the alphabet - and beyond?

Let's Play Darts for Comic Relief
8 October Laughing All the Way to the Oche
Four new episodes of the pro-celebrity darts tournament Let's Play Darts have been ordered and will be filming on 17 and 18 November in aid of Sport Relief. Gabby Logan will return to host.

Jack Dee
11 September Jack Dee Hired for You're Fired!
Jack Dee has been announced as the new host of The Apprentice spin-off programme You're Fired! The comedian replaces Dara O'Briain who has left as host after five years. Dee has previously appeared on the celebrity version of the programme. He will be joined by fellow comedian Romesh Ranganathan, who becomes a regular panellist, when the series returns later this year.

The Voice UK
14 August 2015 Boy George and Paloma Faith to join The Voice
The coaching line-up has been revealed for the upcoming fifth series of The Voice UK. New coaches Boy George and Paloma Faith will join returning coaches and Ricky Wilson. They replace long-standing coach Sir Tom Jones and Rita Ora, who is now a judge on rival singing show The X Factor. The new series will begin filming in Salford next month, and will air in the new year.

Davina McCall
12 August 2015 Davina's On Target Again
Davina McCall now holds the title as the most prolific game show host in the UK. With the upcoming darts show One Hundred and Eighty added on to her resume, she will now have done 17 main hosting roles (not counting co-hosting roles, regular/stand-in/guest appearances, one-offs and pilots). The previous record holder, the late Bob Monkhouse, had 15 hosting jobs.

2 August 2015 Taa-raa Chuck
Blind Date host Cilla Black suddenly died on 1 August 2015 at her holiday home near Marbella, Spain. She was 72 years of age. A post mortem examination later confirmed that her death was from a stroke.

The Chase
21 July 2015 Five For Chasing
Britain has a new Chaser. Jenny Ryan from Bolton joins Mark, Shaun, Anne, and Paul on ITV's teatime show. Known as "The Vixen", her quiz pedigree includes the semi-finals of University Challenge, a spot on Are You an Egghead?, and an Only Connect championship with the Gamblers in 2010.

You're Back in the Room
21 July 2015 You're Back Again
ITV has announced that they have commissioned another run of You're Back in the Room with Phillip Schofield returning as host after the first series picked up an average of 4 million viewers. The second series will consist another 4 episodes.

Britain's Next Top Model
14 July 2015 Britain's Next Top Model Gives Us Another Twirl
After being dropped by Sky Living in 2013, Britain's Next Top Model is taking to the catwalk once again courtesy of TV network Lifetime. The programme, based on the American original, first aired in the UK in 2005, and racked up nine series before its cancellation. The new 10-part series will air in 2016, with the host and judges to be confirmed in due course.

The X Factor
16 June 2015 The Ora Of Success
Appointments to The X Factor have concluded with two new mentors. Rita Ora joins the judging panel, fresh from a similar role on The Voice UK earlier in the year. The final judge is Nick Grimshaw, host of Radio 1's breakfast show. The new series will begin later in the summer.

1000 Heartbeats
26 May 2015 ITV's Heart Keeps on Beating
ITV has announced a second series of 1000 Heartbeats. The first series averaged 1.2 million viewers throughout its run, prompting ITV to hand it an extended 30 episode run. The new series will air in the autumn, with Vernon Kay returning as host.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26 May 2015 No More Buzzcocks
The BBC has announced that long-running music-based panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks will not return. The programme first aired in 1996, and has seen three permanent hosts, and more than 60 guest hosts during its 28 series run. The final episode, a best-of compilation of the previous series, aired in January.

The Apprentice
27 April 2015 Claude, You're Hired!
The BBC has announced that Claude Littner will replace Nick Hewer as one of Lord Sugar's advisors on the upcoming series of The Apprentice. Littner, notable for his tough interview style on previous series, will line-up alongside fellow advisor Karren Brady when the programme returns in the autumn.

The X Factor
17 April 2015 Olly & Caroline have The X Factor
Olly Murs and Caroline Flack have been announced as the new hosts of The X Factor. The appointments were strongly rumoured for several weeks, and will re-unite Murs and Flack who previously hosted spin-off programme The Xtra Factor together in 2011-2. The new series will begin airing in the summer.

The X Factor
27 March 2015 Leaving the Competition Tonight is... Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary has announced that he has left The X Factor. He first hosted the programme in 2007, when he took over from original host Kate Thornton. O'Leary commented, 'After eight wonderful years on The X Factor it's time for me to move on'. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Big Brother
19 March Channel 5 moves in with Big Brother Again
It has been announced that Channel 5 has extended its deal to broadcast Big Brother for another three years. The agreement between the channel's owner Viacom, and Endemol subsidiary Initial, will see two celebrity series and one civilian series, as well as associated spin-offs, air each year until the end of 2018.

Image:Square BBC.jpg
12 March 2015 BBC = Big Bonanza Commissions
The BBC has announced an array of new series and pilot commissions as well as recommissions for the four main channels. BBC One were given two series commissions for Can't Touch This and Five Star Family Reunion as well as a pilot commission for Perfect Match and three recommissions for Win Your Wish List, Who Dares Wins and In It to Win It, BBC Two were given a pilot commission for Airheads and a recommission for Only Connect, BBC Three were given a series commission for Killer Magic and BBC Four were given a series commission for The Hive (working title).

Would I Lie to You? (2)
24 February 2015 Truth accepted
The BBC has commissioned 10 new episodes of the hit comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?. The ninth series will consist of eight regular episodes, a Christmas special and an unseen bits compilation.

Eurovision Song Contest
10 February 2015 Good evening. This is Canberra calling.
The European Broadcasting Union has announced that Australia has been invited to compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The contest has a strong following Down Under, and in recognition of this, the country has been granted a wildcard entry into the final. The EBU has said this is a one-off to mark the contest's 60th anniversary, but should they win, Australia will be allowed to defend their title in a European city in 2016. Organisers have also not ruled out allowing other guest countries to compete in the future.

Dragons' Den
30 January 2015 I'm Out, I'm Out, and I'm Out Too
Dragon Piers Linney has announced he will be leaving the Den. His announcement follows that of fellow Dragons Kelly Hoppen and Duncan Bannatyne who will also being leaving at the end of the current series. Linney and Hoppen have both been Dragons for two years, while Bannatyne has been with the programme since it began in 2005.

The Apprentice
10 January 2015 Dara, You're also Fired!
Dara O'Briain has decided to quit his hosting duties on The Apprentice's spin-off show "The Apprentice: You're Fired" as he'll be focusing more on his stand-up comedy roots and he'll be doing his new tour coming this year.



The Apprentice
19 December 2014 Nick, You're Fired!
Nick Hewer has described his decision as a "relief tinged with regret" to not be Lord Sugar's aide for future series of The Apprentice. The 70-year-old PR expert explained in his statement that "I've been pondering my departure from The Apprentice for a while and have decided that year 10 is the appropriate time." He will still be hosting Countdown.

The Voice UK
23 September 2014 Rita Ora finds her Voice
The BBC have announced that Rita Ora will join the judging panel on The Voice UK when it returns for its fourth series early next year. The singer, who will replace Kylie Minogue, guest judged on The X Factor in 2012, and will appear alongside returning coaches, Sir Tom Jones, and Ricky Wilson.

17 September 2014 Rising Star Falls
ITV has cancelled forthcoming singing contest Rising Star. The series, which was to have replaced Dancing on Ice early next year, sees viewers voting via an app as contestants perform, with only those securing 70% or more positive votes progressing to the next stage. The programme was a success in its native Israel, but has under-performed in both the United States and Germany, prompting ITV's decision to cancel it.

Deal or No Deal
8 September 2014 Deal for a Decade
Channel 4 has renewed Deal or No Deal until the end of 2015. The agreement makes sure that Noel and his red box club will mark their tenth birthday at the end of October next year. We've also heard about changes to the game, including a way for the studio player to demand an offer from The Banker.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
9 July 2014 New Rock Follies
Welsh stand-up comic Rhod Gilbert has been confirmed as the new permanent host of the music comedy panel game Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Guest presenters have filled the chair for 4 years, since Simon Amstell stepped down as the resident ringmaster in 2008.

The X Factor
11 June 2014 Zig-a-zig-ah! Mel B joins The X Factor
Mel B has been announced as the fourth and final judge on this year's series of The X Factor. The former Spice Girl was previously a guest judge on the 2012 series, and has also judged on the Australian version of the programme, and on America's Got Talent. She will join Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole who are returning to the panel, as well as long-standing judge Louis Walsh, who, contrary to earlier reports, has not left the programme. The new series will begin airing in the summer.

A League of Their Own
19 May 2014 They're in a League Of Their Own (Again)
That's the BAFTA-winning A League of Their Own, folks. Sky's flagship sports-and-entertainment quiz won the BAFTA award for Best Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme. Ant and Dec won Best Entertainment Programme and Best Entertainment Performance for Saturday Night Takeaway.

Strictly Come Dancing
10 May 2014 Please Welcome to the Floor, Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman has been confirmed as the new co-presenter of Strictly Come Dancing following Sir Bruce Forsyth's decision to step down. Winkleman has previously stood-in as a main presenter during Forsyth's abscence, and has also previously hosted spin-off programme It Takes Two. She will join Tess Daly when the series returns for its twelfth outing in the autumn.

A League of Their Own
23 April 2014 They're in a League Of Their Own
A League of Their Own will air until at least 2017, according to a new deal. Hosted by James Corden, the sports-themed quiz has been one of Sky1's most consistent performers. The new contract, for three ten-episode series, will see the programme reach its eleventh series, making it one of Sky's longest-running game shows.

Strictly Come Dancing
4 April 2014 Nice to see you...
Sir Bruce Forsyth is to step down as host of the main Strictly Come Dancing show after 11 series. The 86-year-old entertainer said "it was the right time to step down from the rigours". He will continue to host the show for the Children in Need and Christmas specials.

The X Factor
10 March 2014 Cheryl Cole is Back Too
Following in the footsteps of a certain Mr Cowell, Cheryl Cole has today announced via Twitter that she will be returning to the judging panel on The X Factor after a four-year break. Ms Cole was the winning mentor twice during her previous tenure, guiding Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry to victory. The talent show's eleventh series is due to air this summer.

The X Factor
7 February 2014 Simon Cowell's Back
Three years after he last judged musical careers, Simon Cowell will return to The X Factor in the UK. He left us to star in the US version of the show, which wasn't such a success, and now returns to find the next Shayne Ward.


18 December Travis Penery
Everyone at is very sad to hear of the death of Travis Penery, one of our contributors and a long-standing member of the UK game show fandom scene. Travis was well-known for his in-depth knowledge of formats and selflessly shared his passion for television with fans both in the UK and around the world. Often his Christmas cards contained a small bundle of CDs containing rarities he had found from his extensive sources, including his own satellite TV system. He also wrote his own blog and contributed UK-skewing articles to the US game show site Buzzerblog. He died aged 29, following complications from a stroke. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his friends and family.

The Voice UK
19 September The BBC Reveals its New Voice
After drip-feeding information for a week, the BBC has finally confirmed the full line-up for the upcoming third series of The Voice UK. Returning coaches Sir Tom Jones and with be joined by Aussie songstress Kylie Minogue and Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, while Emma Willis and Marvin Humes will be the new presenters. The new series will air in January, avoiding a ratings battle with Britain's Got Talent.

Coach Trip
4 September Coach Trip Back on the Road
Channel 4 have announced that they have commissioned a ninth series of Coach Trip. The series which sees tour guide Brendan Sheerin overseeing a couples tour of Europe, with the least popular couple voted off at the end of each day, last aired in March 2012. The new series will consist of thirty half-hour episodes, and will take in countries in southern Europe.

The X Factor
The story below has been contradicated by events: we heard in March 2014 that Louis Walsh will return for the eleventh series.
6 August Louis has The Exit Factor
Louis Walsh has revealed that the upcoming tenth series of The X Factor will be his last. The Irish music mogul has judged on all series of the programme since it first aired in 2004. During his time on the programme he has mentored several acts that have gone on to have chart success, including JLS, Shayne Ward, Union J, and Jedward.

24 July Life Force Replenished
There's to be a new edition of Knightmare, distributed on the internet. Original producer Tim Child has returned to the one-off show, which features Jessie Cave from Harry Potter and comedian Isy Suttie. This summer will also see a stage show of Knightmare performed at the Edinburgh Festival.

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
9 July 8 Out of 10 Cats Prefer Countdown
Channel 4 have announced that 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown has been commissioned for a full series. The format, which sees the 8 Out of 10 Cats regulars invade the Countdown studio, originated from the Channel 4 Mash-up evening aired in January 2012. This special, originally intended as a one-off, rated well, and led to three more specials being aired. The new series is scheduled to air this summer.

Dancing on Ice
21 May Dancing on Ice Skates Off
ITV have announced that the forthcoming series of Dancing on Ice, scheduled to air in January 2014, will be the last. The format, which first aired in 2006, will bow out by celebrating the 30th anniversary of Torvill & Dean's gold-medal-winning performance of Bolero at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Big Brother
2 April Brian, You Have Been Evicted
Channel 5 has announced that Emma Willis, presenter of Big Brother spin-off Bit On The Side, has been promoted to host of the main show, replacing two-time Big Brother winner Brian Dowling who has hosted the programme since its move to the broadcaster in 2011. Willis will take the helm for the first time when the civilian version of the programme returns for its 14th series this summer.

Dragon's Den
11 March They're In
The BBC has announced Cloud-service entrepreneur Piers Linney as the second new Dragon to join the den, following the departures of Hilary Devey and Theo Paphitis. Linney, and fellow new Dragon, designer Kelly Hoppen, will appear alongside long-standing Dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, and Duncan Bannatyne when the programme returns for its eleventh series later this year.


14 November More Heavy Action
The BBC's Christmas schedule will include a one-off revival of Superstars, featuring sixteen medal winners from the recent Olympics. Amongst those due to compete are Mo Farah, Nicola Adams, Alistair Brownlee, and Kath Grainger. The full line-up's in the BBC press release

The Voice UK
13 November Found Their Voice
The judging panel for the second series of The Voice UK has been confirmed, and it's very familiar. Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones, Danny O'Donaghue, and are all going to reprise their roles when the show comes back in 2013.

Fort Boyard
15 September RIP Jacques Antoine
UKGameshows is very sad to hear of the death of the prolific French TV director and producer Jacques Antoine, aged 88. During a career that spanned over 45 years, he developed 150 formats for French radio and television. His shows were characterised by imaginative locations and the novel use of physical activity - such as 1960's La Tête et les Jambes (Head and Legs). His adventure show Fort Boyard, still running in France, was developed in the UK as The Crystal Maze, and his other ideas influenced Treasure Hunt and Interceptor.

Red or Black?
8 September Largest Cash Prize in History Paid
Graham Fletcher, a carpenter from Reading, has won £1,500,000 on ITV's Red or Black?. It's the biggest money prize ever awarded on UK television, and he goes to the top of our All Time Winners List.

Richard Stilgoe
16 June Heraldic Rigor Sits
In the Queen's Birthday Honours, Richard Stilgoe was knighted. This was for his charity work, and not his services to anagrams. Mary Berry from The Great British Bake Off was appointed CBE. Those appointed OBE included The X Factor's Gary Barlow and Armando Iannucci of The 99p Challenge.

Image:Square great british bake off.jpg
28 May The Great British Bake Off Wins Again
Is there no stopping Mel and Sue's grotto of gateaux? The Great British Bake Off rolled off with the Best Lifestyle programme at the Rose d'Or festival, and added another layer of success with the Best Feature at the BAFTA Television awards. A new series is being whipped up for later in the year.

Total Wipeout
29 March Totally Wipedout
The BBC won't commission another series of Total Wipeout. The show has been making its way across the big red balls of television for four years, but now looks a bit wobbly, and will fall into the water after one final series.

Image:Square andrew lloyd webber.jpg
18 January Who Wants to be a Messiah?
Andrew Lloyd Webber is taking his casting shows to ITV, and the first role to fill will be Jesus Christ. A new arena tour of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar is planned, and the title part will be cast by the great British public. More: ITV press release

Big Brother
6 January End of the Run for Bob
Game show legend Bob Holness has died peacefully this morning. He had been suffering from heart conditions for several years. The South African-born actor and radio presenter hosted the long-running student quiz Blockbusters and a modern incarnation of Call My Bluff.

Strictly Come Dancing
2 January Alesha Dixon leaves Strictly
It has been announced that Alesha Dixon will not return to the judging panel for the tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing, which is due to air later this year. Dixon has been a judge on the programme since 2009, when she controversially replaced original judge Arlene Phillips. Instead, Dixon will judge on Britain's Got Talent, alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, and newcomer David Walliams.


Big Brother
31 December That's Sir Big Brother to you
The New Year's Honours list has recognised people associated with game shows. Former Endemol Creative Director Peter Bazalgette, the overseer of shows including Big Brother and Ready Steady Cook, is appointed a Knight. There's a CBE for Ronnie Corbett for his services to broadcasting, Lorraine Kelly is appointed OBE for her charity work, and Stuart Hall is honoured for both of these reasons.

1 December Eggheads crack
C J de Mooi, the curly-haired one, has announced he's leaving Eggheads. In a brief statement, he said "I'm acting full time now and that's what I want to pursue."

16 November Countdown to Nick Hewer: You're Hired
One of Alan Sugar's henchmen from The Apprentice will be the new host of Countdown. Nick Hewer will host the parlour game from the start of 2012, and said in a Channel 4 press release, "It's particularly fitting that I should be doing this now as my spelling has started to slip quite badly. I used to be able spell chrysanthemum."

15 November Uvavu! Shooting Stars axed
The BBC has confirmed that is has cancelled long-running comedy panel show Shooting Stars. Hosted by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, the programme first appeared on TV screens in 1993, and despite two hiatuses in the time since, has racked up over 70 episodes of anarchic fun.

Weakest Link
22 April Goodbye... and this time, she means it
Anne Robinson is quitting Weakest Link and will not be replaced, bringing the show to an end next spring. Robinson is stepping down to devote more time to writing. She will continue with her other programmes including Watchdog.

Big Brother
5 April Big Brother is getting back to you
Channel 5 have signed a £200m, two-year deal with rights holder Endemol which will see the reality show, and its celebrity spin-off, return to UK screens from August 2011.

3 March QI goes home
It has been announced that QI will be returning to its original home of BBC Two for the next series. Producer John Lloyd said, "QI did very well in the ratings on BBC One but we thought we ought to give Coronation Street a fighting chance."

Award Winners
1 March RTS awards
The nominations for this year's Royal Television Society Awards are in. The major game show category is "Best Entertainment", with The X Factor, The Million Pound Drop Live and The Cube battling it out. Also up for awards are Deal or No Deal (Daytime and Early Peak), The Great British Bake Off (Lifestyle and Features) and inevitably Ant & Dec (Best Entertainment Performance).

The News Quiz
1 March Have I Got A Bit Extra News Quiz For You
Following the success of extended versions of TV shows such as Have I Got News for You, QI and The Apprentice: You're Fired!, the concept is to be transferred to radio for the first time, with Radio 4's The News Quiz getting an hour-long repeat on soon-to-be sister station Radio 4 Extra (currently Radio 7).

Noel Edmonds
15 February Beat the Monkey to make Noel Feel Good?
Noel Edmonds has set up a new company, Feel Good Television, and is currently touting a number of potential formats. Feel Good will concentrate on exploiting format rights and will contract production out to other companies. Among the formats being shopped around are valuation game Bank It or Bin It, which recently filmed a pilot, and the headline-grabbing Beat the Monkey, in which questions will be selected by a monkey in recorded inserts.

Escape From Scorprion Island
13 February CBBC cleans up at KidScreen Awards
Escape from Scorpion Island has been honoured as Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series at the inaugural KidScreen Awards. It was one of five trophies picked up by CBBC at the awards, which aim to recognise engaging and entertaining children's TV from around the world.


Ready Steady Cook
5 November Ready... Steady... Gone!
BBC2's long-running cookery challenge Ready Steady Cook is to be chopped, the BBC's head of daytime, Liam Keelan, has announced. The move is part of a far-reaching revamp of the BBC2 afternoon schedule. The show debuted in 1994 as part of Peter Bazalgette's Bazal Productions slate. Originally members of the public fought in the red tomato and green pepper kitchens, but recent years have mainly featured celebrity contestants.

Britain's Got Talent
18 October ITV's Got the Cowell Factor
ITV has announced it has agreed a deal with Simon Cowell's Syco company and Fremantle Media, which will see Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor both broadcast until 2013. However, it remains to be seen whether Simon Cowell himself will appear in all the programmes due to his commitments in America.

Category:Challenge Programmes
15 September Challenge to launch on Freeview
It has been announced that game show channel Challenge is to launch on the Freeview digital TV platform, doubling the number of homes able to receive it. The channel, recently purchased by BSkyB, is home to classic episodes of game shows such as Bullseye, Catchphrase, Family Fortunes, Strike it Lucky, The Crystal Maze and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Big Brother
10 September Big Brother isn't watching
After 11 years, 274 housemates, and thousands of hours of television, the daddy of reality TV shows Big Brother has finally come to an end, with series two winner Brian Dowling being voted the ultimate Big Brother housemate.

Brain of Britain
3 August Robinson steps down
Robert Robinson has left Brain of Britain, of which he has been the official regular host since 1972. Russell Davies, who has stood in during Robinson's illness, now becomes the full-time host.

Strictly Come Dancing
9 June No Fortuna
Professional dancer Brian Fortuna has left Strictly Come Dancing after changes to the format were revealed. Fortuna was one of five regulars asked to step down from competing and instead form part of a dedicated professional dance troupe, along with Ian Waite, Matthew Cutler, Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova. The others will not be competing this year but have yet to announce whether they will join the troupe.

Ray Alan
24 May Ray Alan
The death has been announced of ventriloquist and presenter Ray Alan at the age of 79. Alan's hosting roles included Three Little Words and the travel quiz Where in the World?, and with his dummy Lord Charles he was a regular guest on shows such as 3-2-1 and Celebrity Squares.

Davina McCall
2 May Davina to host new show
Davina McCall is to host Channel 4's live primetime game show, The Million Pound Drop Live. The programme, described by C4's Julian Bellamy as "live event meets game show", launches later this month and will offer a potential £1m prize.

Hole in the Wall
23 April Hole in the Wall axed
Hole in the Wall has been axed after two series, according to The Sun today. The first of a new wave of physical gameshows when it launched in 2008, it has since been overtaken in the ratings by the likes of Total Wipeout and The Whole 19 Yards.

Chris Tarrant
20 March Tarrant becomes #1 all-time UK host
With the launch of ITV's The Door in April, Chris Tarrant becomes indisputably the most successful UK game show host of all time. He will have 17 main hosting roles to his credit, and involvement in 18 different formats overall, beating the late Bob Monkhouse who, to our knowledge, had 15 main hosting roles. Tarrant's varied career has included two shows with diametrically opposite aims: Lose a Million and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? as well as board game conversions (Cluedo, PSI) and the raucous Man O Man.
Though believed accurate at the time, subsequent analysis has demonstrated that Tarrant has never had more than 15 hosting roles, and had not overtaken Monkhouse. We regret the error.

A Question of Sport
16 February A Question of Sport to tour
A Question of Sport is to mark its 40th anniversary year by going out on tour. It follows in the footsteps of shows as diverse as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Dancing on Ice which have cashed in on their popularity with non-broadcast variants. Host Sue Barker and team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell are all signed up to take part in the 15-date tour.

Noel Edmonds
15 February Beat the Monkey to make Noel Feel Good?
Noel Edmonds has set up a new company, Feel Good Television, and is currently touting a number of potential formats. Feel Good will concentrate on exploiting format rights and will contract production out to other companies. Among the formats being shopped around are valuation game Bank It or Bin It, which recently filmed a pilot, and the headline-grabbing Beat the Monkey, in which questions will be selected by a monkey in recorded inserts.

Escape From Scorprion Island
13 February CBBC cleans up at KidScreen Awards
Escape from Scorpion Island has been honoured as Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series at the inaugural KidScreen Awards. It was one of five trophies picked up by CBBC at the awards, which aim to recognise engaging and entertaining children's TV from around the world.


23 November Yes, he is an Egghead
Pat Gibson is the new Egghead. Gibson, a former Brain of Britain, Mastermind champion, jackpot winner on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and 2007 IQA World Quiz champion, beat fellow Millionaire and Mastermind winner David Edwards to become the seventh member of "arguably Britain's most formidable quiz team".

Going for a Song
20 November Max Robertson
The death has been announced of Max Robertson at the age of 94. Robertson hosted the popular antiques panel game Going for a Song for twelve years, 1965-77. He was also a commentator, associated particularly with tennis, and retired in 1986.

10 November Auntie gets Argumental
BBC Two is to trial the Dave-commisioned comedy debating show Argumental. It is the first time the BBC has picked up an entertainment show from the UKTV network.

The Apprentice
10 November Apprentice put back to summer
The BBC has confirmed that the 2010 series of The Apprentice will be moved from its usual March starting date to the summer. The move was recommended by the BBC Trust in July, due to concerns that Alan Sugar's position as a government advisor could cause a breach of impartiality rules if the series, currently filming, were aired during a general election campaign. The Junior Apprentice spin-off will also be delayed.

Jack Dee
16 October Dee to host ISIHAC
Jack Dee is to be the sole host for the next series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. His appointment is for the next series only, and no decision has been made on a permanent host. Dee was one of three rotating hosts on the previous series, the first made since the death of long-serving chairman Humphrey Lyttelton.

My Music
14 October Ian Wallace
My Music panellist Ian Wallace has died at the age of 90 after a long illness. Wallace partnered Denis Norden on the panel game from 1967 to 1993, never missing a single episode. Wallace was also a bass baritone singer, best known for his performance of Flanders and Swann's The Hippotamus Song.

Mock the Week
2 October Frankie Boyle quits MTW
Mock the Week has been commissioned for a further two series, but Frankie Boyle will not be taking part. Boyle has been a regular on the show since the first series in 2005, when he was still considered an unknown. He has left to pursue other TV projects.

Name That Tune
1 October I'll name that tune on five
Five has announced that it is to revive the classic format Name That Tune next year. The show will be made by Ant and Dec's production company Gallowgate but they will not host it. Five previously revived the show in 1998, in a short-lived version hosted by Jools Holland.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
11 September Spoiler: He's not a real wizard
The BBC has confirmed that next year's planned casting show for The Wizard of Oz will go ahead. Andrew Lloyd Webber had been in talks to move to ITV.

Saturday Night Takeaway
8 September More prizes for Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec were the big winners at last night's TV Quick & TV Choice Awards, picking up an Outstanding Contribution award as well as trophies for Best Entertainment Show (Saturday Night Takeaway) and Best Talent Show (Britain's Got Talent). Other game show winners were The Apprentice for Best Reality Show, and Deal or No Deal for Best Gameshow.

The Apprentice
30 August Brady takes on Apprentice role
The managing director of Birmingham City FC, Karren Brady, has been confirmed as Margaret Mountford's replacement on The Apprentice. Brady has appeared as an interviewer in two previous series and as a contestant on the Comic Relief celebrity version of the show.

Big Brother
26 August Big Brother axed
C4 has confirmed that next year's Big Brother series will be the last. The channel's Director of Programmes, Kevin Lygo, said that the show was still profitable but that it "has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it’s time to move on." The station is planning to spend the money saved on commissioning more original drama.

Strictly Come Dancing
25 August BBC holds press conference
The celebrity line-up for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing was announced at a press conference in London this morning. The full list, which includes former tennis star Martina Hingis (pictured) is now up on the Strictly Come Dancing show page.

Masterchef Goes Large
24 August Junior Masterchef
CBBC has commissioned a full series of Junior Masterchef following a one-off competition for last year's Children in Need night. The show joins the regular, celebrity and professional versions of Masterchef, all of which have already been commissioned through 2011.
Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting

23 August Show pulled after fakery claims
The BBC has suspended Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting after it emerged that a "member of the public" seen buying an item from contestants was in fact one of the show's cameramen. The series, the offending episode of which was repeated last Wednesday, has also been withdrawn from the BBC's iPlayer catch-up service.

The X Factor

18 August X Factor splits over weekend
The X Factor is to move its results shows to Sunday nights for the forthcoming series. Unlike Strictly Come Dancing's recently-abandoned Sunday night show, The X Factor's results show will be live.

Coach Trip

18 August Coach Trip keeps travelling
12 Yard's recently-revived Coach Trip has been recommissioned for a longer, 50-episode run in 2010. The show returned to Channel 4 daytime earlier this year after a 3-year break.

Strictly Come Dancing

9 July Strictly changes
Judge Arlene Phillips has been dropped from the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC confirmed today. She will be replaced by the 2007 series champion, Alesha Dixon (pictured). Unspecified changes will also be made to the voting for the new series, which is to be launched with a special Friday night show.

Steve Race

23 June Steve Race
The death has been announced of the pianist, composer and broadcaster Steve Race. He was 88. Race's major contributions to game shows were hosting My Music on both radio and TV, and appearing as the "musical mistakes man" in Many a Slip.

Britain's Got Talent

31 May Talent's Got Ratings
Saturday night's final of Britain's Got Talent was the most watched British game show for ten years, and the highest-rated TV show of any kind for nearly five years. Overnight figures suggest that the programme, won by dance troupe Diversity, averaged over 18 million viewers and peaked at over 19m. The last TV show to rate higher was an England match in Euro 2004, and the last game show to do so was Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in March 1999.

Clement Freud

16 April Clement Freud
Regular panel game contributor Clement Freud has died at the age of 84. The former restaurateur and MP was latterly best known for being a panellist on Just a Minute, having regularly appeared on the show since its launch in 1967.

Lennie Bennett

9 April Lennie Bennett
Comedian and game show host Lennie Bennett has died at the age of 70. The star of Lucky Ladders and Punchlines died at Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Wednesday night after a fall at home.


25 March BAFTA TV awards
Game shows shortlisted for this year's BAFTA TV Awards are: QI and The X Factor (Entertainment programme); Celebrity MasterChef and The Apprentice (Features) and Stephen Fry and Ant & Dec (Entertainment Performance).

22 March Jade Goody
It has been announced that Jade Goody has died at the age of 27. The former Big Brother contestant and star of Jade's PA was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year and died at home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Britain's Got Talent

18 March Royal Television Society Awards
Bruce Forsyth has received a Lifetime Achievement award, and producer Richard Holloway (pictured) picked up the Judges' Award, at the RTS awards ceremony held last night. Holloway's credits include Supermarket Sweep, New Faces, Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent. None of the nominated game shows won their categories, though Peter Kay's Pop Factor spoof won the Comedy Performance prize.

Award Winners

11 March All, some, or none shall have prizes
UK game show nominees for the prestigious Rose d'Or awards 2009 are Relentless and The Colour of Money in the Game Show category and Last Choir Standing for the Entertainment award. The winners will be announced at the Lucerne Television Festival in May.

Masterchef Goes Large

10 March MasterChef poached for BBC One menu
MasterChef is to move to BBC One next year after achieving strong ratings for its most recent series on BBC Two. BBC One already shows the spin-off, Celebrity MasterChef.

University Challenge

4 March UC ruckus rumbles on
Following Monday's disqualification of Corpus Christi College from University Challenge, press investigations have turned up evidence of at least three previous winning teams fielding players who were not studying at the institutions they represented at the time of the finals. The programme's producers apparently did not consider these to be an issue, and the BBC have said that they did not act on these breaches of the rules because they were not made aware of them at the time. The decision to disqualify CCO has been widely criticised in the press as disproportionate.

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4 March RTS Programme Awards
The Royal Television Society programme awards shortlists have been published. Game show nominations are Masterchef: The Professionals for Best Daytime / Early Peak programme, Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor for Best Entertainment and Britain's Missing Top Model for Best Constructed Factual Series. The winners will be announced on 17 March.

University Challenge

2 March University Challenge: Corpus Christi stripped of title
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, has been officially disqualified from the just-completed University Challenge series, and stripped of their champion status after it emerged that one of the team was not technically a student. Sam Kay applied for the Corpus Christi team in the expectation that he would be studying for a DPhil there, but funding fell through. The title has been awarded to Manchester.

Dale Winton

25 February Dale deal
Dale Winton has signed up for another two years as host of BBC National Lottery shows. The deal guarantees him two more series of In It to Win It and two of a new format, most likely We Know Where You Live which will be piloted next month.

Chris Tarrant

24 February Tarrant becomes #1
According to our records, the advent of Chris Tarrant's new ITV game show The Colour of Money means he has become Britain's top game show host, with 16 different shows under his belt. The previous record holder, the late great Bob Monkhouse, had 15. 12 Yard's guessing game - dubbed the "most stressful" on TV - didn't stress BARB's ratings last Saturday, bringing in under 4 million viewers.
Though believed accurate at the time, subsequent analysis has demonstrated that Tarrant has never had more than 15 hosting roles, and had not overtaken Monkhouse. We regret the error.

Britain's Got Talent

13 January Britain's Got Talent's Got Brook
Kelly Brook has been added to the judging panel for the new series of Britain's Got Talent. Brook was a last-minute addition, being signed up on Friday for series 3 which begins filming this week. (Update 20 January: And now she's been dropped, Simon Cowell saying that "it's become clear the format doesn't support another judge".)

David Vine

12 January David Vine
The death has been announced of former Superstars, It's a Knockout and A Question of Sport host, David Vine. He was 73 and died of a heart attack at his Oxfordshire home on Sunday.


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27 December New game show book
If you're wondering what you do with all your Christmas cash, you could do a lot worse than buy The Quiz Show by Su Holmes, a new book published by Edinburgh University Press. Very thoroughly researched and reasonably priced for an academic work, it gives a decent coverage of quizzes old and new all set in a social context.

Dermot O'Leary

18 December OFCOM fines BBC £95,000
OFCOM has imposed fines totalling £95,000 on the BBC in respect of competition irregularities on Dermot O'Leary's Radio 2 show, and Tony Blackburn's programme on BBC London. Both shows invited callers to apply for on-air competitions which had already been recorded. Premium rate numbers were not used on either show. Earlier this week, OFCOM also fined the Gcap station Mercury FM £20,000 for deliberately screening out correct answers from callers to its "Secret Sounds" competition.

Eurovision Song Contest

5 December ESC: Wogan out, Norton in
Graham Norton has been confirmed as the new BBC TV commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest, replacing Terry Wogan who has stepped down after complaining that it is "no longer a music contest".

The Krypton Factor

25 November Krikey!
Ben Shephard has been confirmed as the new host of The Krypton Factor. The revived series, made by ITV Productions, begins filming next month.


21 November Countdown conundrum resolved
The new host of Countdown has at last been named. Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling will take over from Des O'Connor in January. Meanwhile, Carol Vorderman's replacement has been named as Rachel Riley, a 22-year old Oxford graduate with a masters degree in maths.

Strictly Come Dancing

19 November I want my 15p back
BBC One controller Jay Hunt has said that the BBC "has every intention of reimbursing" people who voted for John Sergeant in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. Sergeant quit the show on Wednesday following weeks of adverse comment in the media.


12 November The Countdown Presenting Saga: part umpteen
Uncomfirmed reports are claiming that Sky Sports frontman Jeff Stelling is back in the frame to become the new host of Countdown. The Soccer Saturday frontman, who had previously ruled himself out of the role, is said to have been reapproached following Alexander Armstrong's 11th hour pullout last month. According to some sources, Stelling will be named as the new host, barring any problems.


31 October Countdown saga continues
It now looks likely that Alexander Armstrong will not be taking over as host of Countdown, after reportedly pulling out at the last minute. No new names have yet emerged as possible replacements, and producers have not officially ruled out employing a large friendly robot to dispense quips and engage in banter with guests.

Alexander Armstrong

17 October Countdown latest
It now looks almost certain that Alexander Armstrong will take over as the new host of Countdown in January. Contrary to some reports, the appointment had not been confirmed as of 1pm Friday, but it is understood that Armstrong has verbally accepted the post and an official announcement is expected in the next few days.

The Krypton Factor

13 October Krypton Factor to be AFP
The forthcoming revival of The Krypton Factor is to be ITV1's first primetime Advertiser Funded Programme. The series will be sponsored by the business software company Sage, which will also be promoted through the show's web and interactive content.

Chris Tarrant

9 October 12 Yard show us the colou...BONG!
ITV1 is to air a primetime series based on the Bong Game from Chris Tarrant's old Capital Radio show. Tarrant himself will host The Colour of Money, the first new ITV1 commission from 12 Yard since the production company was bought by ITV last year.


3 October BBC One poaches QI
The BBC has confirmed that QI is to move to BBC One following five series on BBC Two, during which it has become one of the channel's most watched shows. The new series is to air early in 2009.

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1 October SFO no-go on premium rate inquiry
The Serious Fraud Office has announced that it will not be carrying out inquiries into the recent allegations of abuse of premium rate services. Allegations against the BBC, ITV, GMTV, Big Game TV, Audiocall and Opera Telecom were referred to the SFO, which reports that "none of these meet the SFO criterion for acceptance for investigation". (SFO statement)

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28 September Suchet goes for gold
ITN newsreader John Suchet is to host Five's revival of long-running daytime quiz Going for Gold. The show is to air in the old Brainteaser slot and will be broadcast live. Potential applicants should see the Contestant Calls page for more details.

The Krypton Factor

25 September ITV to regain Krypton Factor ?
Broadcast magazine reports that ITV is on the verge of commissioning a revival of classic game show The Krypton Factor. The show would be made in-house by ITV Productions. The Krypton Factor has been the subject of recurrent comeback rumours since it was axed 13 years ago. (Update: The revival has now been confirmed.)

Eurovision Song Contest

15 September ESC brings back juries
The European Broadcasting Union has announced that next year's Eurovision Song Contest is to use a combination of national juries and televoting, in a move seen as a response to concerns over "neighbourly" voting skewing the results of recent contests. A similar combined system was used in this year's ESC semi-finals and in the recent Eurovision Dance Contest.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

9 September ISIHAC to return
The self-styled "antidote to panel games", I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue will return next year, Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer has announced. The show's future had been in doubt following the death of host Humphrey Lyttelton in April.

Don't Quote Me

29 August Geoffrey Perkins
Former director of Hat Trick Productions and BBC Head of Comedy, Geoffrey Perkins, has died in a road accident. He was 55. Perkins was the devisor of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue's signature game Mornington Crescent and in 1990 hosted the short-lived panel game Don't Quote Me.

Carol Vorderman

25 July Vorderman quits, too
Carol Vorderman has also announced she is to leave Countdown at the end of the year. Carol has been with the show since it started in 1982 and since 1989, has been sole hostess. In a statement released today, Carol's manager John Mills said she is 'extremely sad'. (BBC)

Des O'Connor

23 July O'Connor quits Countdown
Des O'Connor is to leave his role as host of Countdown at the end of the current series in November. Des, aged 76, has presented the Channel 4 show since January 2007, when he took over from Des Lynam, the original replacement for the late Richard Whiteley. O'Connor says he has no plans to retire and is working on new projects. (BBC)


8 May Record fine for ITV plc
Ofcom has fined ITV plc a record £5.675 million for misconduct over its premium rate phone services - the biggest fine ever imposed by the regulator. The fine follows a report by Deloitte last year which identified "serious editorial issues" within Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Gameshow Marathon and Soapstar Superstar. ITV will also have to broadcast six summaries of the regulator's adjudication. (BBC)


8 May Eggheads sought
Are you one of the millions convinced you could do better than CJ and Judith Keppel? 12 Yard are developing a spin-off show of Eggheads called Are You an Egghead?, the winner of which will join the official line up of the popular BBC2 quiz. Details on how to apply can be found on our Contestant Calls page.

Humphrey Lyttelton

25 April Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Lyttelton, the long-serving chairman of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, has died following surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He was 86.

Mark Speight

13 April Mark Speight
Police have announced that the body of children's TV presenter Mark Speight has been found at Paddington station. Speight, who was 42, went missing on Monday.

Main Page

9 April Ofcom consults
The media regulator Ofcom has issued a new consultation document outlining proposals for the regulation of premium rate "services". The major recommendation is that programmes using phone-ins "must consist primarily of content other than the promotion of the premium rate service" or be reclassified and regulated as teleshopping services. The consultation period runs until 22 May. (OFCOM site)

Mark Speight

8 April Speight missing
TV presenter and children's game show host Mark Speight has gone missing. The disappearance follows the death in January of his fiancee Natasha Collins, who appeared as the jester "See" in See it, Saw it with Speight. A recent inquest ruled that Collins had died from a large drugs overdose.

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6 April Phone cash unclaimed
Despite ITV offering refunds to all viewers affected by the premium rate phone line scams, only ten thousand pounds out of £7.8 million has been reclaimed. It was announced last October that any unclaimed money will go to charity, and the period for making claims ended on 29 February.

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20 March RTS awards
The two game show winners from last night's Royal Television Society awards are Come Dine with Me for Best Daytime Programme ("a pioneering show for daytime, with... great energy and pace", said the judges) and QI for Best Entertainment Programme ("a Great British programme, incredibly old-fashioned but absolutely part of the zeitgeist").

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1 March Brits up for golden roses
British game shows shortlisted for this year's Rose d'Or awards are Codex (pictured) and Who Dares Wins in the game show category, Deadline, Last Man Standing and The One and Only for best reality, and Streetmate for best entertainment series. Technically a Netherlands entry (as it's made by Dutch company Eyeworks), CBBC's Hider in the House also joins Streetmate in the entertainment category.

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21 February Des returns to the Beeb
After an ill-conceived move to ITV, Des Lynam returns to his alma mater to present a sport-themed version of the BBC's long-running quiz, Mastermind. Over ten programmes, the debonair Lynam will test contestants over the usual specialist subject and general knowledge rounds to find the country's Sport Mastermind.

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19 February New phone-in regulations
Under new OFCOM rules, broadcasters will need to have premium rate phone-in competitions approved by the premium rate regular PhonePayPlus. Broadcasters will need to meet new guidelines, including closing lines promptly when competitions end. OFCOM wants the new system to be in place by the end of June.

Vernon Kay

31 January Vernon Kay signs with ITV
Vernon Kay has signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with ITV, said to be worth £2m. He is currently lined up to present Beat the Star this spring. The deal allows Kay to keep his current Radio 1 show.

Jeremy Beadle

30 January Jeremy Beadle
Jeremy Beadle, the trivia buff and practical joker, has died of pneumonia. He was 59. Beadle rose to fame as the naughty brother on Game for a Laugh, where he pioneered the hidden camera stunts that he developed on Beadle's About. More: BBC.


30 January Re-enter the Gladiators
A revival of the 1990s ITV show Gladiators has been commissioned by Sky. The new series will be produced by Shine and The Sun reports that Ian Wright is in talks to be the show's new host.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

26 January Millionaire "best game show"
Who Wants to be a Millionaire has been named the nation's favourite game show in a survey to promote insurance company Churchill. The Crystal Maze, which topped our all-time poll two years ago, came fourth, behind Deal or No Deal and Mastermind. Ant & Dec were named favourite hosts, Bullseye best theme tune and "Can I have a P please, Bob?" the top catchphrase.

The Weakest Link

17 January Good neighbours? Not likely!
The BBC has confirmed that The Weakest Link is to switch channels from next month, to fill the gap left on BBC One by the loss of Aussie soap Neighbours. The quiz will retain its traditional 5.15 slot. The BBC have denied that the move will diminish its commitment to children's programming, which currently runs until 5.35.

1 vs 100

10 January Shephard to take on new flock
Ben Shephard is to replace Dermot O'Leary as host of the Saturday night lottery tie-in 1 vs 100. The show has been recommissoned for a further run of eight episodes.

See it, Saw it

4 January Natasha Collins
Natasha Collins, who appeared as the jester "See" in See it, Saw it, has died suddenly at the age of 31. Police are treating the death as "unexplained". Her boyfriend and co-star Mark Speight, who lived with her, was questioned and has been released on police bail.



30 December BBC phone-ins to return in new year
The BBC's phone-in competitions will be phased back in from January, starting with Popmaster on Radio 2's Ken Bruce show and Match of the Day's "Goal of the Month" contest. Call charges will be capped at 15p except for specific charity appeals.

Michael Parkinson

29 December Going for a Gong
Sometime game show hosts Michael Parkinson and Des Lynam are recognised in the 2008 New Year Honours list. Des becomes an OBE, while Parky receives a knighthood.

Graham Norton

22 December Graham!
2008's follow-up to How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do will be a search for actors to play Oliver and Nancy in a revival of Oliver!. Graham Norton will again host the show, called I'd Do Anything, and Andrew Lloyd Webber is again involved, despite recent interviews suggesting he didn't want to invest the time in another TV series. Legendary West End producer Cameron Mackintosh will also be involved.

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20 December OFCOM say, C4 pay
Channel 4 has been fined £1million by OFCOM over irregularities in Richard & Judy's "You Say, We Pay" competition and a further £500,000 over the viewers' competition in Deal or No Deal. C4 has said it intends to recover part of the fines by starting legal proceedings against phone service provider Eckoh. Meanwhile, OFCOM has asked ITV for details relating to last Saturday's X Factor final after more than 2,400 complaints from people who could not get through to vote, mainly for runner-up Rhydian Roberts. ITV has also been asked to reveal the full findings of the Deloitte Report into telephone irregularities, a condensed version of which was published in October.

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5 December Yard sale nets tidy profit
ITV has bought the game show producer 12 Yard for an initial £26m, with a further £9m to follow contingent on performance. The company was founded by David Young in 2001 and has recently enjoyed international success with its format The Rich List.


21 November BBC competitions to return: new code of conduct introduced
The BBC has announced that competitions will return across its radio, television and online services by the end of the year. Today, the corporation's Director General, Mark Thompson, announced a new code of conduct which states that every competition entry should have a fair chance of winning and contest winners must be genuine. Competitions were suspended in July this year after an inquiry found 'serious editorial breaches' in programmes such as Children In Need's Scottish opt-out and Comic Relief.BBC Competition code details

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6 November OFCOM: Big Brother cleared
OFCOM has ruled that Channel 4 did not breach guidelines by broadcasting two incidents in which contestants in Big Brother used potentially offensive language. A total of 650 complaints were received after the incidents were broadcast in June.

19 October Alan Coren
Writer and frequent panel game contributor Alan Coren has died from cancer at the age of 69. Coren was a regular panellist on The News Quiz and a team captain on the 90s/00s revival of Call My Bluff.


18 October ITV Deloitte report released
The long-awaited Deloitte report into ITV plc's premium rate phone-in services has found three 'key areas of failure' in how the broadcaster integrated services into its programming. In a statement this morning, the executive chairman of ITV plc, Michael Grade, said that a 'serious cultural failure' within the company had been identified. He added that the company will reimburse £7.8million worth of unfunded votes to misled viewers. Voting via digital television and SMS text systems have been suspended, and ITV has pre-announced a refund scheme. BBC Digital Spy

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8 October Ladies please!
Mastermind is to advertise for contenders in women's magazines in an effort to encourage more female applicants, reports MediaGuardian. At present only a quarter of applicants are female, and no woman has won the title since Anne Ashurst in 1997. Applications (regardless of gender) can be made through the Mastermind website.

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1 October Ned Sherrin
Ned Sherrin, the original and long-serving host of Counterpoint, has died of complications from throat cancer. He was 76.

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26 September GMTV fined
GMTV has been fined £2m by Ofcom over its use of premium-rate phone-in competitions between May 2003 and April 2007, during which time around 18 million calls were placed which were disreagrded as winners had been selected early on. Ofcom ruled that GMTV had been "both irresponsible and negligent" in its relationship with operator Opera Telecom and had not done enough to ensure compliance with Ofcom codes of practice. The fine equals the largest ever handed down by Ofcom.

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24 September Telecoms company fined over GMTV competitions
Opera Telecom, the former phone operator for GMTV competitions, has been fined a record £250,000 by the premium rate regulator, ICSTIS. The regulator found that over four years, more than 18 million calls were made to GMTV competitions that had no chance of winning. The fine is the largest ever imposed by ICSTIS in its 21-year history.

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13 September Strictly Mr & Mrs
Gabby Logan and her husband, former rugby international Kenny Logan, are to be the first married celebrity couple to compete against each other in Strictly Come Dancing when the show returns next month. Gabby was barred from competing in the 2006 series because she was then under exclusive contract to ITV. Other celebs appearing this year include Kate Garraway, Kelly Brook and John Barnes. The line-up of professional dancers is unchanged from last year. (Full list)

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12 September 50/50
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? bosses have created a spin-off show based on the 50/50 lifeline. Called 50/50, surprisingly enough, the quiz will see pairs of contestants competing for big cash prizes by accepting or rejecting alternative answers to questions, but quite what that means is still unclear. (The Sun)

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12 September Game over for ITV Play
ITVplc has announced that its phone-in quiz programming on ITV1 + ITV2 is to be axed by the end of the year. The company's executive chairman, Michael Grade, announced the decision to end Glitterball and Make Your Play this morning saying that the recent TV phone-in scandal had decreased call volumes to 'uneconomic levels'. Earlier this year, a dedicated ITV Play channel was closed down in what the broadcaster described as a 'commerical move'. (Digital Spy)

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3 September No shocks at TV Quick awards
Winners at last night's TV Quick Awards included I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! as Best Reality Show and The X Factor as Best Talent Show. The award for Best Entertainment Show was won by Saturday Night Takeaway.

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31 August "This is so men'al"
Brian Belo, who famously said he did not know who William Shakespeare was, and told Davina he was a director who made Romeo and Juliet, has won the eighth series of Big Brother ahead of twins Amanda and Sam, Liam and Ziggy. (BBC)

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31 August Boyle goes Bollywood
Trainspotting director Danny Boyle is to base his forthcoming movie on the Indian version of hit TV quiz show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? Based on a true story, Slumdog Millionaire, will shoot in Mumbai from a script by fellow Briton Simon Beaufoy, who penned The Full Monty. (BBC)

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24 August EXCLUSIVE: Scrapheap scrapped
Celebrity Big Brother is to be rested, and Scrapheap Challenge axed in a major shakeup of Channel 4 programming. Celeb BB will not run next year, in order to free up the 9pm weeknight slot for new commissions, though a "very different" BB spin-off will air on E4 only. Scrapheap Challenge will end after its 2008 series, which has already been recorded. October 2007 Update: Broadcast magazine reports that although the pre-released copy of Kevin Lygo's speech lists Scrapheap as one of many long-running formats to be axed, the show itself was not personally listed by Lygo in his address. Furthermore, we understand that the future of Scrapheap remains undecided at this time.

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13 August 12 question money tree on WWTBAM
Jon Culshaw and John Thomson will be the first people to face the new-look Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The prize money will now start at £500, not £100, and it will only take 12 correct answers to win the top prize. It will only take two questions to reach the first safe haven at £1,000. The second rises in value from £32,000 to £50,000, and is achieved after seven correct answers. (BBC)

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13 August Merv Griffin
Merv Griffin, the devisor of game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, has died at the age of 82. The US entertainer, best known for his eponymous talk show which ran from 1965 to 1986, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer for a second time earlier this year.

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10 August Tony Wilson
Maverick music mogul, veteran news anchor and sometime game show host Anthony H. Wilson has died at the age of 57. Wilson was diagnosed with renal cancer last year but his condition was said to have been responding well to treatment.

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9 August Gcap forgoes phone profits
Gcap, the radio giant which runs Capital and BMRB, as well as Classic FM and Capital Gold, is the latest broadcaster to drop profit-making phone-ins. The move comes after phone operator MX Telecom was fined £17,500 over irregularities in Gcap's "Secret Sounds" competition broadcast across 31 local stations in its "One Network". Gcap will continue to use premium-rate services but will not take a profit from them.

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9 August Fine over DoND phone-in
iTouch, the telephone operator for Deal or No Deal's phone-in contest, has been fined £30,000 by ICSTIS because the programme gave the impression that viewers could win any one of the three prizes on offer. In fact because the show is pre-recorded, producers knew which prize would be available before the lines opened. Though imposing a fine for a breach of its code of practice, ICSTIS' ruling stated that "the detriment to consumers from this specific breach was not high".

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6 August Millionaire moves to audition model
In an attempt to refresh the show ahead of its tenth anniversary (or to put it another way, stop boring people getting on screen), Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is to begin holding auditions for prospective contestants. The premium-rate application line will remain, but will be joined by a free web entry route. Auditions are already held in some countries where the WWTBAM format has been licensed.

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1 August Channel 4 scraps almost all phone-ins
In what it describes as "a tough new policy", Channel 4 has announced that it will no longer include profit-making phone-in competitions in its shows, with the exception of Big Brother and Deal or No Deal, from which Channel 4's profits will go to charity. The announcement follows the discovery that between September 2004 and March 2007, a total of 2.9 million calls were entered to Richard & Judy's "You Say, We Pay" competition which had no chance of winning because the shortlist had already been finalised soon after lines opened.

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30 July Phil Drabble
Phil Drabble, the original and longest-serving host of One Man and His Dog, has died at the age of 93. Drabble, who fronted the programme from 1976 to 1993, died peacefully at his Staffordshire home on Sunday.

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29 July Mike Reid
The death has been announced of comedian and actor Mike Reid at the age of 67. Latterly famous for his role as Frank Butcher in EastEnders, Reid was also the sometime host of Runaround and recently competed in a celeb reality show, The Baron, which was due to air next month on ITV1.

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27 July Give a Few Bob
Game show legend Bob Monkhouse returns to our screens four years after his death. With full support of the Monkhouse family, amazing computer graphics and body doubles have been used in conjunction with archive footage to produce an amazingly lifelike advert featuring Bob asking the public to donate money to prostate cancer research, the illness which took Monkhouse's life. Watch the advert here

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25 July GMTV MD resigns
Paul Corley, the managing director of GMTV, has announced his resignation over the mishandling of phone-in competitions on the station. GMTV will offer a series of free draws with a total prize fund of 2.5 million pounds and will also change the way that competitions are run in future. Mr. Corley says that he hopes his resignation and this series of initatives will help restore 'viewer trust' in the station. (BBC)

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18 July All BBC competitions suspended
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson has announced that all BBC phone-in competitions will be suspended from midnight tonight (Wednesday) and that online and interactive competitions will be suspended "as soon as possible". The measures come after an internal enquiry at the BBC uncovered five previously unknown instances of competition results being faked, including phone-ins during the Sport Relief, Comic Relief and Children in Need telethons.

11 July Holmes flop is new lottery vehicle
Nick Knowles is to host a new BBC One lottery tie-in this autumn. The 12 Yard show, Who Dares Wins, is a renamed version of The Rich List, a format which was billed as Eamonn Holmes' bid to crack America, but which was pulled from US TV schedules after just one episode. The show had previously been piloted and rejected by ITV. The format has, however, been a hit in Australia.

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6 July Richard and Judy phone quiz thievery
A fine of £150,000 is to be levied on the phone company involved in the Richard & Judy phone quiz fraud. You Say We Pay began shortly after Richard & Judy went on air at 5pm and ended at 5.38pm, with the competition being won at 5.42pm. On most days a shortlist of 24 possible winners was drawn up as early as 5.11pm, and sent by Eckoh to Cactus Television. (Times)


27 June Tycoon toppled from Tuesdays
ITV has pulled its much-hyped business reality series Tycoon from Tuesday nights after the show failed to improve on its first-week ratings. Only 1.8 million people saw the second episode, a 9% share of viewing. The one-hour episodes will be re-edited to half an hour to fit a 10pm slot on Mondays and it is likely that the live final, originally scheduled for 24 July, will be put back.


26 June er Bra | e fin | Fiv | inte | ed ov | aser
OFCOM has imposed a record £300,000 fine on Five in respect of a series of incidents during the first three months of this year in which Brainteaser faked the results of on-air competitions. According to the ruling, the incidents "should be seen against a background of serious and longstanding compliance failures" dating back to 2003. Five will also have to broadcast apologies both in the show's old slot and in primetime.

The Restaurant

26 June Highbrow reality series for BBC2 autumn line-up
BBC2's autumn line-up, announced today, includes two major new reality shows. Classical Star will seek a young musician to be awarded a recording contract with a major classical label, while The Restaurant challenges nine couples to run an eaterie with the winners receiving backing from Raymond Blanc. Dragons' Den will also return for a fifth series.

People's Quiz

23 June People's Quiz pays out
Stephanie Bruce, a chemist and self-styled "Essex girl" resident in Haverhill, Suffolk has been named the People's Quiz champion after beating Mark Labbett in the final head-to-head round. Her £200,700 prize is the most ever paid out by a BBC show.

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22 July Walsh gets job back
Louis Walsh has confirmed that he is back in The X Factor fold for the next series. Walsh had previously been dropped from the line-up but will return to replace "new judge" Brian Friedman, who has quit the panel but will be given a new role on the show.

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15 June Dragons' Den
Entrepreneur James Caan has been confirmed as the new Dragon in the Den. Caan, founder of HR firm The Alexander Mann Group, will replace Richard Farleigh when the fifth series goes into production this summer.

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14 June The Great Pretender
Chris Tarrant is taking on Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds by fronting a weekday tea-time quiz. The Who Wants to be a Millionaire? star, 60, has signed up for an ITV show in which players bluff each other to win. (The Sun)

The Apprentice

13 June Bloody old fool that I am, I'm going to take that risk
Simon Ambrose has won The Apprentice, beating Kristina Grimes to the £100,000-a-year job with Sir Alan Sugar. The pair's final showdown saw them compete to win over architects and property developers with a design for a building on the South Bank. Kristina's property design was said to resemble Fascist architecture which was later changed. (BBC)

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

13 June Sir David Hatch
The death has been announced of former BBC Managing Director of Radio, David Hatch. He was co-creator of the long-running comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and host of Wireless Wise, as well as commissioner of countless other radio shows. (BBC)

The Apprentice

12 June Katie, you're fired
Katie Hopkins, a former candidate on BBC's The Apprentice, has been fired from her 'real job' (a brand manager for the Met Office) as she failed to pass her probationary term. The final, between Simon Ambrose and Kristina Grimes takes place on Wednesday 13th June at 21:00 on BBC1. (BBC)


8 June Brainteaser compensation sought
Five is reported to be claiming compensation from Endemol for loss of revenue following the sudden axing of Brainteaser in March this year. The show, made by Endemol's Cheetah West subsidiary, was pulled after it was discovered that some of the on-air winning "callers" to the show were in fact members of the production staff.

Big Brother

7 June The 'n' word is clearly offensive
Emily Parr has been removed from the Big Brother house for using a racially offensive word to Charley Uchea, while they were dancing in the living room on Wednesday evening. The eviction vote, in which Emily was nominated along with Shabnam Paryani, has been suspended. (BBC)

Grand Slam

7 June Grand Slam goes to U.S.
Winners from American shows including Jeopardy! (Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter), Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Kevin Olmstead and John Carpenter), Wheel of Fortune, Tic Tac Dough, Lingo and The Weakest Link are scheduled to compete for $100,000 in the U.S. version of the 2003 quiz. The show will be hosted by Dennis Miller with Amanda Byram and broadcast on Game Show Network from 8 Aug. (TV Guide)

The X Factor

4 June X Factor appointments
Singer Dannii Minogue and choreographer Brian Friedman are the new judges on The X Factor. Their appointment follows Louis Walsh's departure from the show.

8 Out of 10 Cats

3 June Manford's the man for Cats
Stand-up comic Jason Manford is to join the regular cast of 8 Out of 10 Cats. He will replace Dave Spikey as team captain when the fifth series begins on 15 June.

Nick Hancock

30 May Hancock returns
Nick Hancock has been announced as the host of new Channel 4 daytime show Win My Wage, which will air in Deal or No Deal's slot this summer. It will be his first regular hosting role on national TV since leaving They Think it's All Over in 2004.

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29 May The Big Donor Show
Big Brother maker Endemol is said to be going ahead with a new reality TV programme called De Grote Donorshow (The Big Donor Show) to be screened on Dutch TV station BNN this Friday, in which viewers vote on who will recieve the kidney of a terminally ill woman. (BBC). (Update 1 June: It was a hoax.) For more information on organ donation, visit:


24 May OFCOM adjudication: CBB broke broadcasting rules
An OFCOM investigation has found that Channel 4's 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother was in breach of the Broadcasting Code. The report says that a serious failure of the compliance process led to serious editorial misjudgements. Channel 4 and S4C (also affected by OFCOM's actions) will broadcast a summary of the findings after the first show of the new series next week. Repeat summaries will be shown after a revised repeat and the first eviction. (OFCOM adjudication)

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20 May BAFTA Winners
The sole game show winner from this year's BAFTA TV awards was The X Factor as Best Entertainment Programme out of about half a dozen game show nominations. If you count Numberwang from That Mitchell and Webb Look (winner of Best Comedy Programme), there are two winning game shows!

Dragons' Den

18 May Dragon dropped
Australian investor Richard Farleigh has been dropped from the next series of Dragons' Den. Farleigh said he was "gutted" not to be invited to take part after appearing in the previous two series. His replacement has not yet been named.

University Challenge

The MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival has announced some of the confirmed speakers for this year's event, including Jeremy Paxman, who will deliver the MacTaggart Lecture and host a one-off live edition of University Challenge. Channel 4's chief executive, Andy Duncan, will take part in a major session, including discussion of the Big Brother controversy. (WorldScreen)

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17 May Quiz scandal hits ITV profits
In a statement for its annual general meeting the broadcaster confirmed that its premium rate telephone services revenue dropped by around 20 per cent in March and April amid scandals involving GMTV and The X Factor. Ad revenues for the first half of 2007 at ITV1 are down 9.6 per cent against last year, while ITV's total take from advertising is down 5.7 per cent. (InTheNews)

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13 Apr Are You Smarter?
Sky One has bought the rights to the phenomenally successful US game show - Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. It will be renamed Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old? (BBC)

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11 Apr BAFTA Nominations
The nominees for this year's BAFTA TV awards have been announced. Dancing on Ice, Maria? and The X Factor go up against Derren Brown's The Heist for Best Entertainment Programme, while Stephen Fry, Ant 'n' Dec, Paul Merton and Jonathan Ross face off in the Best Entertainment Performance category, and The Apprentice and Dragons' Den are up against The Choir and Gordon Ramsay's The F Word for Best Features. Dragons' Den and Celeb BB are shortlisted for the Pioneer Audience Award but stand no chance against Life On Mars. Finally Numberwang, or at any rate That Mitchell and Webb Look, is up for Best Comedy. The winners will be announced on 20 May.

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4 Apr Brucie's Back!
The Generation Game is making a comeback later this year as part of UKTV Gold's £10 million new programming strategy, with's top host of all time (as voted by readers) Bruce Forsyth at the helm. (DS)


30 Mar O'Leary has X Factor
Dermot O'Leary has been confirmed as the new host of The X Factor, replacing the ousted Kate Thornton. The hit ITV talent show will return in the autumn.

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13 Mar ITV Play channel closes down for good
The controversial ITV Play channel has ceased transmission permanently after just under a year on air. Overnight broadcasts, which currently include Glitterball and Make Your Play will continue on ITV1 + ITV2. (ITN, BBC)

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5 Mar ITV suspends premium rate phone-ins
ITV has admitted a mistake when a vote on The X Factor led to viewers being overcharged by £200,000. There have also been complaints regarding Richard and Judy and Big Brother on Channel 4. (BBC, BBC)

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3 Mar Dominic wins £1m
Dominic Jackson beat Colin Lynch in the final to scoop the jackpot on the second series of PokerFace and go into 12th place in the UK game shows All Time Winners List. Congratulations to him!

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22 Feb You Say We Don't Pay refund line
For people ripped off by Richard & Judy, the refund line is 0800 666 805. The line will be open until the investigation is complete. (C4, BBC)


8 Feb Two new ITV game shows
Two shows from Endemol-owned Initial have been commissioned by ITV: For the Rest of Your Life by Deal or No Deal creator Dick de Rijk gives couples the chance to win a pay cheque every month of every year for the rest of their lives; and Golden Balls are due to air in the Spring.

The Match

12 Jan Match burnt out
Sky One have confirmed that their longest-running game show format, The Match, has been axed. The celebrity football show ran for three series, but failed to produce a team capable of beating a squad of ex-professionals. Sky has said it is seeking a new football-based reality format.

Deal or No Deal#Jackpot

7 Jan Deal jackpot won
Laura Pearce, a civilian police worker from Hemel Hempstead, has become the first person to win the £250,000 jackpot on Deal or No Deal. It is the biggest prize ever given away on daytime television in the UK.

Magnus Magnusson

7 Jan Magnus Magnusson dies
Former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson dies of cancer at the age of 77. (BBC)

Dragons' Den

5 Jan ITV1 seeks tycoons
The first fruit of ITV1's deal with Dragons' Den investor Peter Jones has been announced. Tycoon will see Jones mentoring would-be entrepreneurs and is likely to air this summer. Applications can be made via the ITV website from Saturday.

Danny Wallace

1 Jan Return of the King
It has been confirmed that School's Out will be returning for a second, eight-part, series, to be filmed in February. King Danny of Lovely will again host the show, which is made by Graham Norton's So Television.


June Sarpong

30 Dec A gong for Sarpong
June Sarpong is an unexpected inclusion on the 2007 new year honours list, becoming an MBE for her broadcasting and charity work. Penelope Keith is made a CBE, though it is unlikely that her stint as host of What's My Line? had much bearing on the award.


26 Dec Grand Cram
The first-round questions for the forthcoming National Lottery People's Quiz have been published online, together with details of the five open auditions for the show. The guaranteed jackpot is £200,700, more than double the previous highest prize awarded on a BBC show. People's Quiz website.

Big Game TV

23 Dec Big Game TV
Fraud charges against Big Game TV have been dropped after a six-month investigation found no evidence of criminality. However, the channel may still face regulatory action from OFCOM.

Des O'Connor

7 November Another Des
Des O'Connor is said to have won the race to replace Des Lynam as host of Countdown. Des, aged 74, is said to still be in negotiations but reports are confident he has been given the job. Channel 4 is thought to have offered him a contract worth £500,000. His first episodes would be broadcast in January 2007. Other contenders Michael Aspel, Alan Titchmarsh, Stephen Fry and Paul Merton are said to have pulled out of the race due to work commitments.


1 November National Television Awards
The winners have been announced of the ITV-sponsored National Television Awards. Ant and Dec won Most Popular Entertainment Presenter, while Gameshow Marathon was voted top game show, ending Millionaire's seven-year winning streak. Deal or No Deal took the Most Popular Daytime Show title, Big Brother was Most Popular Reality Programme (and BB7's Nikki Grahame was named Most Popular TV Contender) and Most Popular Entertainment Programme was The X Factor.

New Faces

30 October New Faces discovery
A 1973 episode of New Faces previously believed to have been lost has been rediscovered by director Paul Stewart Laing. The episode includes the first TV appearance of Victoria Wood, who went on to win the series. Including this new discovery, only 18 out of the 160 episodes produced in the 1970s are known to have survived.

Magnus Magnusson

12 October Magnus Magnusson diagnosed with cancer
Former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson has been diagnosed with cancer. He has cancelled a number of public appearances, including a talk at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to mark his 77th birthday. (BBC)

Big Brother

5 October BB vote rapped
The premium rate watchdog ICSTIS has ruled that Channel 4 "misled" viewers and broke its own guidelines when it invited Big Brother viewers to vote to evict housemates who were subsequently reinstated. ISCTIS received over 2600 complaints about the matter. C4 avoided a fine, but have been ordered to pay the costs of the investigation.

Des Lynam

30 September Lynam quits
Des Lynam has announced that he is to leave Countdown at the end of the present series, citing the inconvenience of travel between his West Sussex home and Yorkshire TV's studios in Leeds. No decision has yet been announced on who will take over as host.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

16 September Ingram wins the jackpot
Ingram Wilcox's win on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? puts him in at position 10 on the All Time Winners List. His final question was "Which boxer was famous for striking the gong in the introduction to J. Arthur Rank films?" A: Bombardier Billy Wells, B: Freddie Mills, C: Terry Spinks, D: Don Cockell.


18 October NTA Award noms
The shortlists have been announced for the ITV-sponsored National Television Awards, to be handed out on 31 October. The major game show categories are Most Popular Game Show (Cats, Marathon, News, Millionaire), Entertainment Programme (Takeaway, Strictly, Dancing on Ice, The X Factor and non-gameshow Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) and Reality Programme (BB7, Celeb BB4, I'm a Celeb 4 and Apprentice 2). Deal or No Deal is up for Most Popular Daytime Programme, Bad Lads Army is nominated for Most Popular Factual, and there is a new "TV Contender" category featuring contestants from BB, Celeb BB, I'm a Celeb and Soapstar Superstar. The Most Popular Entertainment Presenter noms are Ant and Dec, Noel, Davina, Paul O'Grady and perpetual winner in this category, Jonathan Ross. You can vote if you wish at

Going, Going, Gone

6 September Anne Gregg
The death has been announced of the presenter Anne Gregg. Best-known for presenting the Holiday programme, she also hosted the short-lived Holiday Quiz spin-off and was a regular panellist on the antiques quiz Going, Going, Gone. Gregg was 66 and had been ill with cancer.

Deal or No Deal

5 September Noel's mystery solved
The mystery of the symbols on Noel Edmonds' hand when filming Deal or No Deal has been solved. Far from being an object lesson in cosmic ordering, as many had thought, in fact the final messages spelt out "www", "red", "box" and "club" pointing to this website. If you can solve the hidden message of the code you can win a VIP trip to the DoND studios including a chance to meet Noel and be one of the blue box openers.

Deal or No Deal

5 September Award season again, so soon
The TV Quick Awards were handed out last night. Deal or No Deal added the "Best Daytime Show" award to its already strained trophy cabinet, while the usual suspects also picked up gongs: I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! won "Best Reality Show" for the fourth year running, and Strictly Come Dancing took "Best Entertainment Programme" for the second year on the trot (so to speak).

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