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Factual Programmes

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People
Programmes
Presenters
Miscellaneous

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Television: Factual Programmes

People

Presenters of The Sky at Night, following the death of Patrick Moore in 2013 Female Click to show or hide the answer
Male Click to show or hide the answer
BBC sport presenter, invented Mo Farah's 'Mobot' celebration (when they were both guests on Sky TV's A League of their Own, in May 2012) Click to show or hide the answer
Granted a famous TV interview with Princess Diana in 1995, after her divorce from Prince Charles; also produced a controversial documentary about Michael Jackson, including much interview footage, 2003 Click to show or hide the answer
Original presenter of Tomorrow's World (BBC1, 1965-77) – left after being described by new editor Michael Blakstad as a "dinosaur"; also provided commentary for Concorde's first flight Click to show or hide the answer
Presenter (property expert) in Channel 4's Property Ladder, Streets Ahead, and Britain's Best Homes Click to show or hide the answer
First presenters on BBC Breakfast Time Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer
Presented This Morning with John Leslie, later Philip Schofield Click to show or hide the answer
The Ascent of Man (BBC, 1973) – presenter (Polish–born; had previously appeared on The Brains Trust; died of a heart attack, 1974, aged 66) Click to show or hide the answer
Got her big television break when she replaced Denise van Outen on The Big Breakfast in 1999, but lasted only six months Click to show or hide the answer
Replaced Jill Dando as presenter of Crimewatch after the latter's murder in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
Presented the news report that inspired Band Aid Click to show or hide the answer
TV newsreader, formerly editor of The Economist Click to show or hide the answer
Bristol–based racing driver, claimed in his 2010 autobiography to be The Stig (from Top Gear); won a court case allowing the book to be published Click to show or hide the answer
Replaced Sue Cook as presenter of Crimewatch, in 1995; murdered in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
BBC's chief commentator at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Click to show or hide the answer
Made his name in three River Cottage series (Channel 4), 1998–2003 – in which he took over a gamekeeper's cottage in Dorset and set out to achieve a form of self–sufficiency Click to show or hide the answer
Disciplined by Thames TV for encouraging the Sex Pistols to misbehave on tea–time TV Click to show or hide the answer
Presenter of BBC2's Gardeners' World, from 1979 until his death in 1996: developed Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland, and made them famous Click to show or hide the answer
Presenter of Out of Town on Southern TV, 1963–81; also known nationally for the children's programme How (1966–81); died 1994 aged 82 Click to show or hide the answer
Controversial reality TV star and Sun columnist: gained over three stones in weight, in 2014, for a TV documentary series (broadcast on the Discovery channel TLC) in which she aimed to show how easy it is to diet Click to show or hide the answer
Indian actress, based in New York, presenter of several series on Indian cooking 1980s to mid–1990s; also author of several books on the same subject Click to show or hide the answer
Sacked from This Morning, 2002, following allegations of sexual misconduct Click to show or hide the answer
BBC Political Editor, 2000–5 (former Editor of The Independent); presented a History of Modern Britain, 2007, and The Making of Modern Britain, 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
Ministry of Defence spokesman during the Falklands war, 1982 – noted for his precise, matter–of–fact delivery of news reports at televised press conferences Click to show or hide the answer
Hosted the BBC's television coverage of the Apollo moon landings, the Aberfan disaster, the 1966 and 1970 UK general elections, and the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969; presenter of Tonight, 1957–65; first presenter of the BBC's Holiday programme (1969–86) Click to show or hide the answer
Narrator of The World at War Click to show or hide the answer
The doyen of racing commentators: retired in 1998 Click to show or hide the answer
Son of a Labour life peer: left the BBC, where he'd been Business Editor and Economics Editor, in 2015 to join ITV News as Political Editor Click to show or hide the answer
US astronomer, presented Cosmos (1980) – died in 1996, aged 62 Click to show or hide the answer
Writer and presenter of BBC's A History of Britain, 2000–2 (15 episodes) Click to show or hide the answer
Took over from John Leslie on This Morning Click to show or hide the answer
BBC World Affairs Editor, 1988–(2006) Click to show or hide the answer
Chairman of Question Time, 1989–93 (after Robin Day, before David Dimbleby) Click to show or hide the answer
Born in East Finchley underground station (on the Northern Line), 1944 Click to show or hide the answer
Hartlepool United's most famous fan: presenter of Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday (previously Sports Saturday) since 1994; also hosted Countdown (Channel 4) from 2009 to 2011 Click to show or hide the answer
ITV newsreader: gave up presenting Police Camera Action! in 2003 after his second drink driving conviction Click to show or hide the answer
TV newsreader whose brother (David) played Hercule Poirot Click to show or hide the answer
Presenter of Police 5 – catchphrase "Keep 'em peeled!" Click to show or hide the answer
Eponymous presenter Weird Weekends (BBC2), and other programmes where he spends time with people on the fringes of society (and some high–profile celebrities) Click to show or hide the answer
Legendary darts commentator – known as "the voice of darts": born Alnwick, Northumberland, 1940; created and produced The Indoor League for Yorkshire TV (1973–8), one of the first television programmes to feature darts; joined the BBC in 1976 and became one of its commentators on the first World Professional Darts Championship; went freelance in 1994, and commentated for Sky Sports until his death in 2012, aged 72, from cancer; the PDC World Championship trophy was named in his honour in 2013 Click to show or hide the answer
Labour MP, resigned his seat in 1977 to present ITV's Weekend World Click to show or hide the answer
Legendary wrestling commentator on ITV's World of Sport, 1955–88 Click to show or hide the answer
Presenter of Stars on Sunday – nicknamed The Bishop Click to show or hide the answer

Programmes

Nostalgic newsreel programme produced by Granada TV, 1960–73 and 1987–9; presented by James Cameron (1960–1), Brian Inglis (1961–73) and Bernard Braden (1987–9); title is a quotation from Macbeth Click to show or hide the answer
BBC2, 1969: Kenneth Clark traces the history of Western art, architecture and philosophy Click to show or hide the answer
1988 This Week episode, about the shooting of three IRA members in Gibraltar, which criticised the SAS and was held by some to have been the reason for Thames TV losing its franchise in 1992 Click to show or hide the answer
Yorkshire TV science programme, 1974–79 – presented by Derek Griffiths, panel included Magnus Pyke, David Bellamy, Miriam Stoppard, Rob Buckman (title later changed to Don't Just Sit There) Click to show or hide the answer
"I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free" – written and performed by Billy Taylor, recorded by Nina Simone on a 1967 album – is the famous theme tune to Click to show or hide the answer
BBC2 business documentary (2012–), in which Alex Polizzi visits struggling family businesses and (hopefully) gets them back to profitability Click to show or hide the answer
Pru Leith, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort are judges on Click to show or hide the answer
BBC: ran from 1969 to 2007; presented at different times by Cliff Michelmore, Jill Dando and Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen Click to show or hide the answer
Ruth Watson (series 1–3) and Alex Polizzi (series 4 onwards) are or were (Channel 5, 2005 onwards) Click to show or hide the answer
BBC arts programme, from 2003: presented and produced by Alan Yentob; shares its title with a John Lennon album and its title song Click to show or hide the answer
1979: the first series of David Attenborough's 'Life' programmes, which established him as television's foremost naturalist and an iconic figure in British cultural life Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Channel 4, 2001–: presenters Phil Spencer, Kirstie Allsopp Click to show or hide the answer
BBC wildlife documentary series, 1955–81, presented by Peter Scott Click to show or hide the answer
Presented by John Torode and Greg Wallace Click to show or hide the answer
Discovery documentary, 2005–6, showing a year at Norland College Click to show or hide the answer
Aujourd'hui c'est toi, composed by Francis Lai: theme tune (since 1969) of Click to show or hide the answer
Said to be referred to in broadcasting circles as "Corgi and Bess" Click to show or hide the answer
BBC documentary series, 1980: presented by art critic Robert Hughes, addressing the development of modern art since the Impressionists; widely praised for its combination of insight, wit and accessibility Click to show or hide the answer
Theme tune is an extract from At the Castle Gate – the first movement of Sibelius' incidental music to Maeterlinck's play Pelléas et Mélisande Click to show or hide the answer
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Variation on Paganini's Caprice No. 24: theme tune to Click to show or hide the answer
Channel 4, 2014–: features the work of Professor Noel Fitzpatrick in Eashing, near Guildford, Surrey Click to show or hide the answer
Started in 1977; early presenters included Noel Edmonds, Angela Rippon and William Woollard Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Theme tune is Jessica (originally by the Allman Brothers, but now remixed)
Peter Jay, Brian Walden and Matthew Parris have all presented Click to show or hide the answer
BBC  nature documentary series, 1954–63: the first major series to feature David Attenborough Click to show or hide the answer

Michael Palin's travel programmes

1989 Click to show or hide the answer
1992 Click to show or hide the answer
1997 Click to show or hide the answer
1999 Click to show or hide the answer
2002 Click to show or hide the answer
2004 Click to show or hide the answer
2007 Click to show or hide the answer
2012 Click to show or hide the answer

Presenters (long–running series)

This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life was on BBC from 1955 to 1963, ITV from 1969 to 1994, and BBC1 from 1995 to 2003. ITV also screened a one–off special in 2007 (see below).

1955–64, 1969–87 Click to show or hide the answer
1987–2003 Click to show or hide the answer

2007 special:

Presenter Click to show or hide the answer
Subject Click to show or hide the answer

The Antiques Roadshow (BBC1)

1979 (briefly – male) Click to show or hide the answer
1979 (briefly – female) Click to show or hide the answer
1979–83 Click to show or hide the answer
1981–2000 Click to show or hide the answer
2000–7 Click to show or hide the answer
2008– Click to show or hide the answer

The Film programme

1972–98 Click to show or hide the answer
1998–2010 Click to show or hide the answer
2011– Click to show or hide the answer

Gardeners' World (BBC2)

1968–9 Click to show or hide the answer
1969–76 Click to show or hide the answer
1976–9 Click to show or hide the answer
1979–96 Click to show or hide the answer
1980–2 Click to show or hide the answer
1996–2002 Click to show or hide the answer
2002–2008, returned 2011 Click to show or hide the answer
2008–10 Click to show or hide the answer

Watchdog (BBC1)

1980–4 Click to show or hide the answer
1985–6 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1986–93 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1993–9 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1999–2001 Click to show or hide the answer
2001–5 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2005–9 Click to show or hide the answer
2009–15 Click to show or hide the answer
2015–16 Click to show or hide the answer

Various other presenters and reporters have appeared on Watchdog at different times. In particular:

First worked on Watchdog in 1996 as a reporter, when he wrote to the show about a fault with his mother's tumble drier and the producers asked him to present the report himself; became a co–presenter in 2009, and a lead presenter in 2016 Click to show or hide the answer

Top Gear: 2016 version

You could argue that it's been a long time since Top Gear could have been considered a factual programme. On the other hand, some might argue that there's not much entertainment in it either. So where am I to put it?

I've put it on the Factual Television page, basically, for no better reason than because it complies with the theme of this section.

Television and radio personality: left after the 2016 series Click to show or hide the answer
Former Friends actor Click to show or hide the answer
German racing driver, nicknamed 'Queen of the Nürburgring': in 2004, just failed to do a lap of the Nürburgring, in a Ford Transit, in less time than Jeremy Clarkson took in a Jaguar S–Type Click to show or hide the answer
Former F1 team boss, and F1 pundit on both BBC and Channel 4 Click to show or hide the answer
Motoring journalists: joined LeBlanc as main presenters in 2017; also present Top Gear: Extra Gear Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer

Miscellaneous

The BBC Natural History Unit is based in Click to show or hide the answer
TV station founded by Ted Turner Click to show or hide the answer
Hospital featured in Animal Hospital Click to show or hide the answer
Ornate public building in Manchester, opened 1906 and closed 1993, won the first BBC TV Restoration series in 2003 Click to show or hide the answer
Spy satellite project revealed by BBC and New Statesman in 1987 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18