BBC Centenary TV guide: What’s on and when
James R | On 18, Oct 2022
The BBC marks 100 years of being at the heart of a nation’s life this October, and the centenary celebrations are culminating in a week of programming designed to celebrate and recognise that legacy – ranging from a themed Strictly Come Dancing special to the final outing of Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who.
The One Show, renamed The One Hundred Show, and Morning Live will include special centenary content every day between 24th and 28th October. Later in the year, Pointless Celebrities will celebrate the centenary with special guests including Scott Mills, Tony Blackburn and Peter Purves. And, on Wednesday evenings, BBC Four will continue to reflect the BBC 100 / BFI Gamechangers collection, with special introductions from famous faces including David Harewood for A Man from the Sun (18th October) and Alison Steadman for The Singing Detective.
In the meantime, here’s the line-up of programmes hitting the BBC in the coming week. All programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer following their broadcast.
Strictly Come Dancing: Celebrating BBC 100 – 22nd October
6.40pm, BBC One
Strictly Come Dancing celebrates 100 years of the BBC and the show will open with a group number that sees the Strictly professionals and judges gate crash some of the biggest BBC flagship shows. For the first time ever, the couples will perform to an iconic BBC theme tune or dance in tribute to one of the BBC’s most-loved services. These include Tony Adams and Katya dancing the cha cha to the Grandstand theme tune and Tyler West and Dianne dancing a tango to the Doctor Who theme tune.
Here’s the line-up:
Ellie S & Nikita
Paso Doble to Montagues and Capulets (Sergei Prokofiev’s Ballet – Romeo and Juliet), the theme for The Apprentice.
Ellie T & Johannes
Tango to the Casualty Theme Tune (Ken Freeman).
Fleur & Vito
Jive to Waterloo (Abba) as soon on Eurovision.
Helen & Gorka
Charleston to the Blue Peter Theme Tune (Mike Oldfield).
Jayde & Karen
Charleston to The Ballad Of Barry and Freda (Let’s Do It), performed on the BBC by Victoria Wood.
Kym & Graziano
Quickstep to Ballroom Blitz (The Sweet), as featured on the BBC’s Come Dancing, which ran from 1949 to 1998.
Molly & Carlos
Couples’ Choice to the Grange Hill Theme Tune (Alan Hawkshaw).
Hamza & Jowita
Quickstep to On Top Of The World (Imagine Dragons) as used in BBC Nature Programming.
James & Amy
Foxtrot to Julia’s Theme / EastEnders Theme Tune (Simon May & Leslie Osborne).
Tony & Katya
Cha Cha to the Grandstand Theme Tune (Keith Mansfield).
Tyler & Dianne
Tango to the Doctor Who Theme Tune (Segun Akinola).
Will & Nancy
Viennese Waltz to Line Of Duty End Titles (Carly Paradis).
How The BBC Began – 22nd/29th October
7pm, BBC Two
As part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations, How The BBC Began tells the stories behind some of the seminal moments of the first fifty years of the BBC across television and radio. Eyewitnesses and participants in the BBC’s early history recount some of the triumphs and disasters as new frontiers of broadcasting were mapped out – often by accident rather than design. The two-part documentary debuts on 22nd October, with the second half airing on 29th October.
Horrible Histories – 22nd October
BBC’s Big Birthday Bonanza! On Auntie’s Big Birthday, Horrible Histories celebrates the corporation’s past century. The first Director General, Lord Reith, reveals why he needed a postman’s help with his job application. We find out why the Queen’s Coronation made you the most popular house on the street, if you had a telly, and how the launch night of BBC2 went awry, with not only a power cut, but also an escaped kangaroo. Radio Announcer Wilfred Pickles confounds the Nazis with his Yorkshire accent, and how the creators of Doctor Who thought they were making a history programme. And from Bill and Ben, to Tracy Beaker, Swap Shop to Blue Peter, how the BBC’s children’s department has inspired the imagination of generations of kids.
Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor – 23rd October
7.30pm, BBC One
In this feature-length special to mark her last adventure, Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor must fight for her very existence, against her deadliest enemies: the Daleks, the Cybermen and her arch-nemesis, the Master.
Antiques Roadshow: 100 Years of The BBC – 23rd October
5.45pm, BBC One
Antiques Roadshow is at Alexandra Palace, the birthplace of television, for this special edition programme to celebrate 100 years of broadcasting. Ronnie Archer-Morgan is delighted to meet Playschool favourite, Baroness Floella Benjamin together with Humpty and Jemima, while Fiona Bruce chats to actor Neil Pearson who brings along an original script from the legendary comedy series, Hancock’s Half Hour. Hilary Kay is thrilled to see original artwork for children’s TV favourite ‘Mr Benn’ while Ronnie Archer Morgan meets the star of the BBC’s testcard and the toy clown ‘Bubbles’ who featured alongside her. The episode also looks at the role played by other television networks in the history of broadcasting, with Wayne Colquhoun appraising a rare script for the very first episode of Coronation Street (originally called Florizel Street) and Mark Hill admiring a giant fiberglass egg that was knocked off the roof of the TV-AM building in the 1980s.
Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice – 23rd October
9pm, BBC Two
This is the extraordinary story of Una Marson – trailblazing poet, playwright and campaigner, and the first black producer and broadcaster at the BBC. A Caribbean woman born in the early 1900s, Una Marson defied the limits society placed on her. Joining the BBC’s Empire Service during World War II, she was the first broadcaster to give voice to Caribbean writers and intellectuals, bringing their stories and culture to a global audience accustomed to hearing only English accents. For this drama-documentary, based on Una’s writing, letters and her BBC personnel file, she is brought to life by Seroca Davis.
The Repair Shop: Centenary Special – 26th October
8pm, BBC One
As part of BBC 100 celebrations to mark the BBC’s centenary, this special episode of The Repair Shop sees Jay Blades and the expert team of Repair Shop craftspeople visit Dumfries House in Scotland. Recorded between autumn 2021 and spring 2022, the episode follows the team as they are invited to meet Charles, Prince of Wales, before his accession to the throne, and some of the students on The Prince’s Foundation’s building craft programme.
Kids’ TV: The Surprising Story – 26th October
9pm, BBC One
As part of the BBC’s 100th anniversary programming, Konnie Huq celebrates the very best of British children’s television, with a dazzling array of clips from some of the most treasured programmes ever made, and revealing chats with some of TV’s most beloved stars; but Konnie also tells a perhaps more surprising story, of how kids’ TV has frequently been at the forefront of social change, in terms of the stories it tells, and the people who get to tell them.
The Love Box in Your Living Room – 27th October
9pm, BBC Two
In 2014, inspired by Simon Schama’s Story of the Jews, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse celebrated 50 years of BBC2 with their Story of the 2s. This time they take inspiration from documentary maker Adam Curtis to celebrate the BBC’s 100 years with The Love Box in Your Living Room.
Harry and Paul tell the true story of Britain’s political and social evolution over the last century through the life of the BBC. By turning complete fictions into a staggering array of hard facts, they reveal details about the BBC that have been buried for decades, including that the German-language version of The Archers was directly responsible for the death of Adolf Hitler.
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse are joined by Catherine Shepherd, Rosie Cavaliero and Simon Greenall, as well as Kevin Bishop, Seann Walsh, Joe Dempsie, Amber Hall, Shannon Antonia and Kiell Smith-Bynoe. Directed by Daniel Kleinman.
Saturday Kitchen Live – 29th October
10am, BBC One
Saturday Kitchen Live will broadcast a special episode on 29th October to honour the BBC’s centenary year, celebrating the Corporation’s achievements in food broadcasting. Since the first TV chef, Marcel Boulestin, appeared on our screens in 1937, the BBC has created an abundance of iconic culinary stars, from Marguerite Patten to Ken Hom, Delia Smith to Madhur Jaffrey – enlightening, entertaining and educating the public to the widest range of global cuisines. This special episode will feature guests and chefs who have shaped food television over the years with a collage of vintage archive from some of the greats.