British Dopers - Do you prefer BBC, ITV or Channel 4?

It is time for a thread on British television.
I would like to know which channels you feel are best out of
BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Tell me which channel you watch and what makes you like it.
Perhaps you are faithful to one channel and if a particular programme moved to another channel you wouldn’t watch it anymore.
What are your thoughts on the presentation of each of the channels? I think that the BBC1 Idents are good and that the BBC2 idents are too similar. The ITV1 idents are not good.
What do you think of the loss of regionality in ITV1?
The Independent part of it was that each station was independent, so people had regional idents and symbols and announcers, such as Scottish, Grampian, Granada, Central, Anglia,
HTV, HTV West, Meridian and Carlton but now most areas have a single ITV1. Some regional programming is played out by either Carlton or Granada and all regions have the same announcement. Some regions still use their old names.
ITV1 West of England has HTV News.
I think it is not good that the regions have been lost.
I would like your thoughts on the programming and whether you think either channel has better programmes.

Couldn’t care less, really. I watch programmes, not channels - no concept of brand loyalty in my TV viewing habits. I’m more likely to expect a certain type of show on a certain channel, and therefore depending on mood may look on particular channels first, but beyond that I pick and choose.

I seldom watch anything that’s not on BBC2 or Channel 4. It’s not ‘brand loyalty’ it’s the programming. Have I Got News For You shifted from BBC2 to BBC1 and I still watch that. I don’t know when I last watched any ITV/Channel 5 (except maybe a film) the programs are pretty much all drivel.

But since my TV diet avoids:
Sport, (well, maybe some international footie. If England are playing)
News (my info-stream is Radio 4)
Gardening shows,
Makeover shows,
Quiz shows not hosted by Jeremy Paxman (or aren’t HIGNFY).

You can see there would be pretty slim pickings on BBC1/ITV/C5.

The regional ITV (Carlton?) that we get here seems to be for East Anglia - which is odd.

Maybe I could get BBC4, anyone out there got an opinion on that?

I wanted to start a thead on just how bad is American TV? If it’s worse than our commercial channels then, jeez, the poor bastards.

As Crusoe says, I watch programs not channels.

That said, it just so happens that most of the programs I watch are on Channel 4. Terrestrially speaking, the next would be BBC2, then BBC1. I watch a lot of stuff on E4 on cable.

I almost never watch ITV.

US TV is way more fractured than ours - personally I think the stuff coming out of HBO is the best TV ever made. But most of the network stuff (that I’ve seen) is appalling.

Hmmm lets see. I also follow progs but I’ll try to put them in order of viewing time.

  1. BBC2. Comedy, Newsnight, Docu’s, specials like “The Big Read”
  2. Ch4. Comedy, News, Docu’s
  3. Sky1 :o Simpsons, Star Trek, SG1, Buffy
  4. BB1: Basically the same type of progs as BBC2 but a little more populace.

I’d rarely look at U(Ulster)TV unless I’m in my Mothers and she’s looking at Corrie

Gotta agree with jjimm about HBO. OZ, Band of Brothers, Sopranos, Six Feet Under etc. are all excellent TV. Luckily we get them all between Brit and Irish TV uncut and on primetime network TV :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, but we have more of it!

[sub]oh, wait, that’s not something to brag about. Nevermind[/sub]

Channel 4.
on the digital I’m really enjoying UKG2. Pretty much every programmes a cracker. Rock Profiles being one of the funniest things in a long time.

As for the regionalisation of ITV, in Dublin we get the UTV variant, which has a continuity announcer - what’s his name? Jeremy? Julian? Something like that, anyway, he has become a TV personality in his own right manly for ripping the piss out of Coronation St when he is announcing it. My folks have gone back to live in Granadaland and they actually miss his snidey remarks!!

I have to agree with the notion of programme loyalty, rather than channel loyalty, though.
Whoever makes Cutting Edge does a damn fine job and QI on BBC2 is excellent.

Unlike th erst of you highbrows here, I also watch all the primetime soaps and the police dramas - Prime Suspect, Midsommer, Frost, Morse, etc etc, in fact anything which has a grisly old serial killer.
Now as I say that I think that they are all ITV dramas.

Nobody else watches Sky One?


I’ve mutated into Father Jack on this subject so let me just say feck the idjut box and feck you all as well.

It’s a conspiracy. Listen to me!! Free yourselves before it’s too late!!

Only when it’s Simpsons time. Or maybe Dream Team if I’m feeling shameful.

Terrestrial channels: BBC2 and C4. Same reasons as others have mentioned, they show stuff that I want to watch.

The programming on ITV and Channel 5 pretty much sucks, IMO. BBC1 too, but slighty less so.

I spend more time watching digital than terrestrial nowadays: UKGold, UKG2, BBC7 (okay, I listen to that one), Paramount and a bit of Granada Plus (if they’ve got a decent comedy show on).

Well, I have BBC News24 warbling away in the background during the day - I treat it a little like radio, and only watch when something interesting comes up - but most of my evening viewing is on Discovery (once EastEnders has finished, of course :slight_smile: ). I occasionally watch BBC1/2 and Channel 4/E4, but very rarely tune in to ITV.

Late pm (4 - 7.30) is my daughter’s turn, and it’s usually Nickelodeon, Simpsons on Sky One or a music channel.


I’m finding myself agreeing with most of the comments that have already been made. We just got SKY last week and I can rarely ever find anything to watch on there, either.

Just give me some music and a damn good book, and I’m as happy as Larry. Whoever he is…

By and large, these days, my TV is usually plugged into the DVD player - best way to get decent programming.

Having said that - in general order of preference, BBC2, BBC1, Channel 4, ITV. Can’t really get Channel 5 where I am - looking at the schedules, I’m not missing much. And I don’t have any satellite or digital channels.

jjimm’s point is valid, though - if something’s worth watching, I don’t really care which channel it’s on. BBC2 is, evidently, just putting out the programming most compatible with my perverted tastes. (Except this week, when there’s ****ing snooker smeared all over it.)

BBC1 is okay. Eastenders, Ab Fab, Have I Got News For You (I love that show) etc…but a lot of crap. I watch c4 a lot: good US imports, popworld (what? it’s great), terrestrial channel most likely to show a good film BUT I hate Graham Norton, Hollyoaks and a lot of channel 4 reality telly.
Can’t stand ITV or channel 5.
On the whole I’d have to say BBC2, lot of good stuff on that channel, from What Not To Wear to that great drama set in a high security prison. (Don’t recall its name.) A lot of good American stuff: 24, Band Of Brothers, that programme with Kenneth Branagh.
If only it didn’t show snooker! But channel 4 shows cricket, which seems to occur more often.

We’ve got Freeview (worth getting if you’re undecided) and I seem to be mostly watching UK History. Out of the terrestrial channels, I mainly watch BBC2 for the Simpson’s, Red Dwarf, Buffy, etc. After BBC2 comes C4 for Teachers (ended now though :frowning: ) and (rather embarisingly) Friends. I rarely tune into 1 or 3 for the simple reason that they don’t show any programmes that I’m interested in.

Excluding the office, UK TV is worthless. I only watch DVD’s of US shows now (Friends, Seinfeld, West Wing, X-Files, 24, Sopranos, Sex And The City etc.)

Only Fools And Horses used to be terrific. Now it sucks. I’m a fan of Blackadder, Red Dwarf and a couple of other shows (They Think It’s All Over, Have I Got News For You etc. ) but generally UK TV isn’t worth watching.

ruadh I do sort of watch Sky, I watched Enterprise when that was on, I used to tape DS9 and I sometimes tape Voyager at weekends. So Sky represents a sort of Star Trek channel. I do not watch anything else on Sky. I’ve seen all the good Simpsons more than once and the new ones aren’t funny (maybe I’m just bored of it) so no Simpsons for me any more.

Ooo I lied, Futurama. Though I’ve seen all of them twice now too.

The only current programs on BBC(2 natch) I have any enthusiasm for are QI and the Rockford Files. Two programs a week, eek.

TwistofFate What sort of thing gets shown on UKG2?

Mostly the same shows that you used to get on UK Play until they closed that down. There isn’t a vast difference between UK Gold and UKG2, although I admit I’m not a regular on the latter.