It can’t have failed to catch your attention that ITV is 60 this year. In a world of reality TV, dramas and sport the good old sitcom seems largely forgotten on ITV, despite some real gems produced over the years. looking around I wondered if there was a list of their most popular, the nearest I found was a 2005 poll published by The Guardian newespaper of the top 50 most popular shows as voted for by….wait for it …..ITV controllers. Big deal huh! Going through the list here’s the most popular comedy and light entertainment shows.
First up is that saturday morning juggernaut Tiswas, in at 43
Chris Tarrent and co ruled saturday mornings between 1974 and 1982
Next we have one of sitcom’s finest Rising Damp at no. 33, Rigsby chased Miss Jones round our TV screens for 28 episodes over four series between 1974 and 1978. It’s still popular today enjoying regular repeats on ITV3
Forget Britain’s Got Talent, Moday nights were made for Hughie Green as Opportunity Knocks at number 28. Interestingly this show started life on the BBC Light Program in 1949, before ending up on our TV screens on ITV between 1956 and 1978.
An American show made in the UK that’s aboout to make a comeback it’s The Muppet Show, the original ran between 1976 and 1981 and it slid in at number 26.
At number 25 is the late great George Cole alongside Dennis Waterman and Gary Webster in Minder
Coming in at 24 here’s someone who rarely gets a mention these days The Kenny Everett Video Show ran for four series between 1978 and 1981
Next we move to number 8, with a show that’s proved one of the most popular covered on this site – Candid Camera, a show that originated in the US and whose formula has ben copied many times, it ran on and of between 1960 and 1976.
Next it’s our Cilla with Blind Date that ran for 18 series between 1985 and 2003, ITV controllers put this as number 6
It’s great to see another classic nearing the top, at number 4 is The Benny Hill Show it’s hard to believe that Benny started out on the BBC in 1955, finding it’s way to ITV Thames by 1969.
The ever popular An Audience With…many stars too many to name comes in at number 2
At number 1 is Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, still running having started in 2002.