1970s British television series

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  1. Grange Hill

    Grange Hill (1978)


    Grange Hill is a British television drama series originally made by the BBC. The show began its run on 8 February 1978 on BBC1, and was one of the longest-running programmes on British television when it ended its run on 15 September 2008. It was created by Phil Redmond who is also responsible for the Channel 4 dramas Brookside and Hollyoaks; other notable production team members down the years have included producer Colin Cant and script editor Anthony Minghella.

  2. Coronation Street

    Coronation Street (1960)


    Coronation Street (informally known as Corrie) is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since 1960. The programme centres on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on Salford, its terraced houses, café, corner shop, newsagents, textile factory and The Rovers Return pub. The fictional street was built in the early 1900s and named in honour of the coronation of King Edward VII.

  3. Emmerdale

    Emmerdale (1972)


    Emmerdale, known as Emmerdale Farm until 1989, is a long-running British soap opera set in Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994), a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale Farm was first broadcast on 16 October 1972. It is produced by ITV Yorkshire and has been filmed at their Leeds studios since its inception. The programme, which is currently the UK's second oldest television soap opera, has been transmitted in every ITV region throughout its existence.

  4. Mind Your Language

    Mind Your Language (1977)


    Mind Your Language is a British comedy television series which premiered on ITV in late-1977. Produced by London Weekend Television and directed by Stuart Allen, the show is set in an adult education college in London and focuses on the English as a Foreign Language class taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, portrayed by Barry Evans, who had to deal with a motley crew of foreign students. Three series were made by LWT between 1977–81, and the show was briefly revived in 1986 with six of the original cast.

  5. Crossroads

    Crossroads (1964)


    Crossroads was a British television soap opera that ran from 1964-88 on ITV. Set in a fictional motel in the Midlands in England, Crossroads became a byword for cheap production values, particularly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Despite this, the series regularly attracted huge audiences during this time, with ratings as high as 15 million viewers.

  6. The Benny Hill Show

    The Benny Hill Show (1969)


    The Benny Hill Show is a British comedy television show that starred Benny Hill and aired in various forms between 15 January 1955 and 30 May 1991 in over 140 countries. The show focused on sketches that were full of slapstick, mime, parody, and double-entendre. Thames Television cancelled production of the show in 1989 due to declining ratings and large production costs at £450,000 per show.

  7. Last of the Summer Wine

    Last of the Summer Wine (1973)


    Last of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke that was originally broadcast on the BBC. Last of the Summer Wine premiered as an episode of Comedy Playhouse on 4 January 1973 and the first series of episodes followed on 12 November 1973. From 1983 to 2010, Alan J. W. Bell produced and directed all episodes of the show. The BBC confirmed on 2 June 2010 that Last of the Summer Wine would no longer be produced and the 31st series would be its last. Subsequently, the final episode was broadcast on 29 August 2010. Tom Owen criticised the BBC for not permitting a special final episode. Roy Clarke, however, stated that he was fully aware this was the last series, and preferred the show to have a quiet ending. The final line was said by Peter Sallis, the longest serving actor. Repeats of the show are broadcast in the UK on Gold, Yesterday and Drama. It is also seen in more than twenty-five countries, including various PBS stations in the United States and on VisionTV in Canada. Last of the Summer Wine is the longest-running comedy programme in Britain and the longest-running sitcom in the world.

  8. What's My Line?

    What's My Line? (1950)


    What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasks celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations. It is the longest-running U.S. primetime network television game-show. Moderated by John Charles Daly and with panelists Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, and Bennett Cerf, What's My Line? won three Emmy Awards for "Best Quiz or Audience Participation Show" in 1952, 1953, and 1958 and the Golden Globe for Best TV Show in 1962.

  9. Poldark

    Poldark (1975)


    Poldark is the original version of the BBC television series adaptation of the novels of the same title written by Winston Graham. The adaption was first transmitted in the UK between 1975 and 1977.

  10. Please Sir!

    Please Sir! (1968)


    Please Sir! is a London Weekend Television situation comedy, created by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey and featuring actors John Alderton, Deryck Guyler, Joan Sanderson, Noel Howlett, Erik Chitty and Richard Davies. The series ran for 55 episodes between 1968 and 1972.

  11. Doctor Who

    Doctor Who (1963)


    Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC from 1963 to the present day. The programme depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord—a time-travelling humanoid alien. He explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

  12. Are You Being Served?

    Are You Being Served? (1972)


    Are You Being Served? is a British sitcom created and written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, with contributions from Michael Knowles and John Chapman, for the BBC. The show follows the misadventures and mishaps of the staff, as well as various interludes with customers (portrayed by popular and well-known British actors in guest appearances, such as Joanna Lumley), of the retail ladies' and gentlemen's clothing floor departments of a fictional London department store called Grace Brothers.

  13. Worzel Gummidge

    Worzel Gummidge (1979)


    Worzel Gummidge is a children's television series, produced by Southern Television for ITV, based on the books by Barbara Euphan Todd. Starting in 1979, the programme starred Jon Pertwee in the title role and ran for four series in the UK until 1981. It was number 50 in the 50 Greatest Kids TV Shows which aired on Channel 5 on November 8, 2013. Channel 4 reprised the show in 1987 as Worzel Gummidge Down Under, which was set in New Zealand.

  14. Z Cars

    Z Cars (1962)


    Z-Cars or Z Cars /zɛd kz/ was a British television drama series centred on the work of mobile uniformed police in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby, Merseyside. Produced by the BBC, it debuted in January 1962 and ran until September 1978.

  15. All Creatures Great and Small

    All Creatures Great and Small (1978)


    All Creatures Great and Small is a British television series, based on the books of the British veterinary surgeon Alf Wight, who wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot. In 1977, the BBC tasked producer Bill Sellars with the creation of a television series from Herriot's first two novels, If Only They Could Talk and It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet, using the title of the 1975 film adaptation All Creatures Great and Small.

  16. Father Brown

    Father Brown (1974)


    Father Brown is a British television series, which originally aired on ITV in 1974. It featured Kenneth More as Father Brown, a Roman Catholic Priest who solved crime mysteries. The episodes were loosely based on the stories by G. K. Chesterton.

  17. Upstairs, Downstairs

    Upstairs, Downstairs (1971)


    Upstairs, Downstairs is a British television drama series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 to 1975.

  18. The Fenn Street Gang

    The Fenn Street Gang (1971)


    The Fenn Street Gang is a British television sitcom which ran for three seasons between 1971 and 1973. The series was created by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, it was spun off from their Please Sir! series.

  19. Minder

    Minder (1979)


    Minder was a British comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld. Initially produced by Verity Lambert, it was made by Euston Films, a subsidiary of Thames Television (Central in 1993 and 1994) and shown on ITV. The show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994, and starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likable bodyguard (minder in London slang) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a socially ambitious, but highly unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman, and purveyor of anything else from which there was money to be made whether inside the law or not.

  20. Dixon of Dock Green

    Dixon of Dock Green (1955)


    Dixon of Dock Green was a BBC television series about daily life at a London police station, with the emphasis on petty crime, successfully controlled through common sense and human understanding. The central character was a mature and sympathetic police constable, George Dixon, played by Jack Warner in all of the 432 episodes, from 1955 to 1976.

  21. Top of the Pops

    Top of the Pops (1964)


    Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between 1 January 1964 and 30 July 2006. It was traditionally shown every Thursday evening on BBC1, except for a short period on Fridays in late 1974, before being again moved to Fridays in 1996, and then to Sundays on BBC Two in 2005. Each weekly programme consisted of performances from some of that week's best-selling popular music artists, with a rundown of that week's singles chart. Additionally, there was a special edition of the programme on Christmas Day (and usually, until 1984, a second such edition a few days after Christmas), featuring some of the best-selling singles of the year.

  22. Play for Today

    Play for Today (1970)


    Play for Today is a British television anthology drama series, produced by the BBC and transmitted on BBC1 from 1970 to 1984. During the run, more than three hundred programmes, featuring original television plays, and adaptations of stage plays and novels, were transmitted. The individual episodes were between fifty and a hundred minutes in duration. Some of these plays, for example, Rumpole of the Bailey, subsequently became TV series.

  23. A Family at War

    A Family at War (1970)


    A Family At War is a British drama series that aired on ITV from 1970 to 1972. It was created by John Finch and made by Granada Television for ITV. The director was David Giles.

  24. The Black and White Minstrel Show

    The Black and White Minstrel Show (1958)


    The Black and White Minstrel Show was a British light entertainment show that ran on BBC television from 1958 to 1978 and was a popular stage show. It was a weekly light entertainment and variety show presenting traditional American minstrel and country songs, as well as show and music hall numbers, usually performed in blackface, and with lavish costumes. The show was created by BBC producer George Inns working with George Mitchell.

  25. On the Buses

    On the Buses (1969)


    On the Buses is a British sitcom created by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1969 to 1973. It spawned three feature spin off films and a stage version based on the series. The writers' previous successes with The Rag Trade and Meet the Wife were for the BBC, but the corporation rejected On the Buses, not seeing much comedy potential in a bus depot as a setting. The comedy partnership turned to a friend, Frank Muir, Head of Entertainment at London Weekend Television, who loved the idea; the show was accepted and despite a poor critical reception became a hit with viewers. The programme was broadcast internationally and was extremely successful particularly in Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. In a 2004 poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom, On the Buses came 53rd.

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