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Tuesday 27 February 2024

The Unforgettable Moments: Celebrating British TV History

Image: (Most memorable TV moments of all time: illustration by Bill McConkey, commissioned by Sky Max)

By Jon Donnis
From heartwarming auditions to jaw-dropping plot twists, British television has woven itself into the fabric of our culture, delivering moments that have become etched into our collective memory. Now, as the curtain rises on a brand-new comedy panel show, Rob Beckett's Smart TV, we take a nostalgic trip down memory lane to celebrate the top British TV moments of all time.

In a survey conducted by Sky Max, 2,000 adults cast their votes, unveiling the most memorable scenes that have graced our screens over the years. Topping the list is the iconic Del Boy mishap from Only Fools and Horses, where the Trotter patriarch takes an unexpected tumble through the bar. Following closely behind is the timeless classic Fawlty Towers, with its unforgettable "Don't mention the War" scene leaving audiences in stitches.

But it's not just comedy that has captivated viewers. Susan Boyle's spine-tingling audition on Britain's Got Talent and Rose Ayling-Ellis' poignant silent dance on Strictly Come Dancing remind us of the power of raw talent and emotional storytelling. And who could forget David Brent's cringe-worthy yet strangely endearing dance moves in The Office, a moment that has become synonymous with British humor.

As the research suggests, British audiences have a penchant for drama, with soap opera moments like Dirty Den's demise in EastEnders and Zoe Slater's iconic declaration in Coronation Street securing their places in the top rankings. Reality TV also proved its staying power, with unforgettable scenes from Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, and The Traitors leaving viewers on the edge of their seats.

Daytime TV provided its fair share of unforgettable moments too, with Smart TV team captain Alison Hammond's accidental push into Liverpool's Albert Dock serving as a comedic highlight. And who could forget the infamous Baked Alaska controversy on Great British Bake Off, a moment that sparked nationwide debate.

In a nod to generational preferences, Gen Z and Millennials each have their standout moments, from Gino D'Acampo's quirky declaration on This Morning to Peter Marsh's unforgettable outburst on Come Dine with Me. Yet, despite the generational gap, 80 percent of respondents agreed that the best TV moments transcend time, leaving an indelible mark on viewers of all ages.

As Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Entertainment at Sky, aptly puts it, these iconic moments serve as a catalyst for conversation and connection, allowing us to relive cherished memories with friends and loved ones. And with Rob Beckett's Smart TV set to delve into the rich tapestry of television history, we can anticipate many more moments of laughter, drama, and nostalgia in the weeks to come.

So, as we eagerly await the premiere of Rob Beckett's Smart TV on February 29th, let us raise a toast to the magic of television, where every scene has the power to transport us to a world of endless possibilities.

Rob Beckett's Smart TV airs weekly on Sky Max and streaming service NOW, promising to be a delightful journey through the annals of British television history. Don't miss out on the laughter, the drama, and the unforgettable moments that have shaped our viewing experience for generations to come.



Only Fools and Horses – Del Boy falls through the bar
Fawlty Towers - 'Don't Mention the War' scene
Britain's Got Talent - Susan Boyle's first audition
Strictly Come Dancing - Rose Ayling-Ellis dances without music
The Office - David Brent dance scene
Planet Earth II – baby iguanas are chased by racer snakes
The Inbetweeners – Bus wankers
EastEnders - Dirty Den's death
EastEnders - You ain't my muvva
Line of Duty - Dot exposed as the Caddy
Gavin and Stacey - Nessa's proposal
Coronation Street - Tram crash
This Morning – Gino D'Acampo "If my grandmother had wheels she would've been a bike"
BBC live interview of Guy Goma, who was wrongly mistaken for an interviewee
Celebrity Big Brother - "David's Dead"
Come Dine with Me - "What a sad little life, Jane"
Sherlock – Sherlock falls from building (apparent death)
I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here" – Gillian McKeith collapses
BBC reporter gives the camera the middle finger
This Morning - Alison Hammond pushes sailor into the Albert Dock during weather report
'X Factor – Rylan crying after making it through to the next round
Downton Abbey – Lady Sybil's death
'The Great British Bake Off - Baked Alaska in the bin controversy
Doctor Who's regeneration in 2023 with David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa
Traitors S2 - Diane gets murdered 

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