Radio Times celebrates its Centenary by naming the 100 most memorable Radio and television programmes of the last 100 years

Tuesday 19 September, 2023

Radio Times, the world’s first and longest running radio and television listings magazine, is celebrating turning 100 with a special centenary edition on sale today, Tuesday 19 September. First published in 1923 carrying listings for six radio stations, Radio Times now carries listings for 149 channels (86 TV channels & 63 radio stations). It remains the UK’s biggest-selling quality weekly magazine, with a readership of 1.1million, having been at the heart of the national conversation for a century.

To celebrate this landmark moment, Radio Times have asked some of the biggest names in the broadcasting industry – including Libby Purves, Michael Grade, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Russell T Davies, Justin Webb, Sally Wainwright, Samira Ahmed, Jeff Pope, Alan Yentob, Anne Cleeves, Angela Rippon and Peter Kosminsky – to nominate the most memorable radio and TV programmes of the past 100 years.

From modern day critically acclaimed hits, such as Succession, After Life and Small Axe, to long-running stalwarts of the television and radio schedules – Match of the Day, Panorama, Desert Island Discs, The Archers, Coronation Street and EastEnders – and unforgettable global moments, Nelson Mandela’s release, the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the 1966 World Cup Final, the list captures some of the best broadcast moments from the last century.

The commemorative issue also features Simon Schama on how the programmes featured in Radio Times over the last 100 years have shaped Britain’s cultural and social history. From the birth of TV, the outbreak of war, the Beatles, to Eric and Ernie, the Olympics and Covid, Melvyn Bragg, Professor Brian Cox, Angela Rippon, David Dimbleby and many more, celebrate 100 years of history as told through the unique prism of Radio Times front covers, plus Gyles Brandreth on his personal history of Radio Times.

Radio Times is also calling on the public to nominate the programmes they think deserve to be added to the list. They can nominate their favourite show by email — — and the most popular additions will be published in a future issue.

Radio Times was first published on 28 September 1923, to mark the occasion this week’s commemorative issue (with listings covering Radio Times’ birthday) continues Radio Times’ long tradition of illustrated covers with a cover designed by Peter Horridge. The issue has a choice of one of four Radio Times logos from the last 100 years: the original design from 1923; Radio Times’ post-war logo which ran between 1946 and 1960; Radio Times’ longest running logo, which graced the front page from 1972 to 1994; and the current logo, introduced in 2004.

“Since its launch Radio Times has been at the heart of the national conversation, covering the momentous historical events, from Royal weddings, funerals, Coronations and births, the outbreak of war and declaration of peace, Moon landings, Olympics – and the best TV and radio from the last 100 years. We’ve overseen the development of the radio age, the birth of television and colour television, through to the current broadcasting revolution and an ever-increasing choice of content, service providers and ways to consume. And as Radio Times turns 100, it remains even more relevant than ever, with more choice there’s never been a great need for expert guidance for our audience on what’s the best content and how you can get it. Here’s to the next 100 years!”

Tom Loxley & Shem Law, Joint Editors, Radio Times