T Davies’s Queer as Folk (1999-2000) went on to break the mould and is regarded as a milestone in LGBTQ+ representation. Transparent (20142017), Billions (2016-) and The Bisexual (2018) have followed suit. Society has shifted and suddenly the black box in the corner of the room provides a lifeline for those perhaps previously misunderstood. Naturally, television is a phenomenally powerful communication tool, providing vital information at any moment. The broadcast of the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege interrupted the BBC’s live coverage of the World Snooker Championship – like millions back home, the SAS teams were watching Alex Higgins take on Cliff Thorburn when they received the call to action. Continuous coverage of the crumbling of the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 would ensure that a worldwide audience watched on in horror for hours, days, weeks, stunned into disbelief and heartache at the most shocking images ever broadcast.
Opening page: England wins the 1966 World Cup. Opposite page, top: Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square to watch the Moon landing live. Bottom: Live Aid in 1985. This page, above: Only Fools and Horses has won five BAFTAs. Below: Sir David Attenborough collects 2018’s Virgin TV’s Must-See Moments award for Blue Planet II
Perhaps the power of the medium to both educate and entertain has seldom been as well employed as by Sir David Attenborough. His stunning 1979 hit Life on Earth was groundbreaking in introducing the wonder of the outside world inside everyone’s living rooms. Since then, Attenborough’s aweinspiring footage has taken us to remarkable places and immersed us in some of the least-known parts of our planet. From gorilla hugs to thrilling snake chases, his stories continue to captivate and educate wide and varied audiences. It’s not just homosapiens taking note, either – for an episode of recent series Dynasties, following a pride of lions in Kenya’s Masai Mara, household cats across the nation were so entranced that they climbed onto furniture to