ITV’s 50 Greatest Shows, ITV1

by | Sep 10, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you like it

Diamonds gathered from the ITV dirt are lined up in order of shininess.

What to say if you dislike it

If they were to ever make ITV’s 5,000 Greatest Shows, this one would struggle to make that list.

What was good about it?

• We hadn’t seen all the clips before. Just most of them.

• Most of the talking heads simply trotted out things we knew, but a few contributors added something new. Examples included: Neil ‘Mother Of Mine’ Reid on Opportunity Knocks; Amanda Holden on Blind Date (“I was the loud, stupid one”); Michael Apted on Seven Up; John Hurt on The Naked Civil Servant; survivor Trevor Hicks on Hillsborough’ creator Jean Marsh on Upstairs Downstairs; and Stars In Their Eyes make-up lady Glenda Wood on the surfeit of Chers

• The footage of Mark Durden-Smith’s first, but not last, humiliation on TV when a joke he cracked during mother Judith Chalmers’ This Is Your Life fell flat

• Al Murray’s controversial claim that 1980s comedies Girls On Top, The New Statesman and Dame Edna were better than ITV’s 1970s sitcoms

* The inclusion of The Bill’s gay kiss, a smack in the face for the bigots who complained when it was first screened.

What was bad about it?

• The use of bland personalities of today to pass comment on the unique talents of the past. Examples included: Martin Kemp on Alan Whicker, Nicky Chapman on Les Dawson, Claire Sweeney on “revolutionary” Blind Date, Melanie Sykes on Benny Hill, Mark Austin on World In Action, Davina McCall on Tiswas, Neil Fox on Cold Feet

* Angus Deayton’s jingoistic, joke-free review of ITV sport (recorded at the home of Bideford AFC)

• Pompous Trevor McDonald pretending that Tonight is “meaningful and serious” when it’s simply tabloid TV

• There was no need for the silly little links from Phillip Schofield and Cat Deeley – or the accompanying intrusive applause

• Joe Pasquale’s TV memories

• Many, many quibbles about the positions on the chart.

* We’re fed up with these Top 50s – everything is always so familiar. Why not do the Top 200-250? That would be so much more interesting

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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