Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, CH, DBE, known as Maggie Smith, is an English actress. She has had an extensive, varied career in stage, Smith has appeared in over 50 films and is one of Britains most recognisable actresses. Smith began her career on stage at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952 and she received Tony Award nominations for Private Lives and Night and Day, before winning the 1990 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Lettice and Lovage. Other stage roles include Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of Antony and Cleopatra and Macbeth, on screen, Smith first drew praise for the crime film Nowhere to Go, for which she received her first BAFTA Award nomination. She has won two Academy Awards, winning Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Best Supporting Actress for California Suite and she is one of only six actresses to have won in both categories. She has won a record four BAFTA Awards for Best Actress, a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, a six-time Oscar nominee, her other nominations were for Othello, Travels with My Aunt, A Room with a View, and Gosford Park.
Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series and her honorary awards include the BAFTA Special Award, the BAFTA Fellowship, and the Special Olivier Award. She received the Stratford Shakespeare Festivals Legacy Award in 2012, Smith was born in Ilford, but moved with her family to Oxford when she was four years old. She is the daughter of Nathaniel Smith, a Newcastle-born public health pathologist who worked at Oxford University, and Margaret, as a child, her parents used to tell Smith the romantic story of how they had met on the train from Glasgow to London via Newcastle. She has older twin brothers and Ian, who went to architecture school and she attended Oxford High School until age sixteen, when she left to study acting at the Oxford Playhouse. In 1952, aged 17, under the auspices of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, in 1954, she appeared in the television programme Oxford Accents produced by Ned Sherrin. In 1957, she starred opposite Kenneth Williams in the musical comedy Share My Lettuce, in 1958, she received the first of her 18 BAFTA Film and TV nominations for her role in the film Nowhere to Go.
In 1962, Smith won the first of a record five Best Actress Evening Standard Awards for her roles in Peter Shaffers plays The Private Ear and The Public Eye, again opposite Kenneth Williams. She appeared opposite Olivier in Ibsens The Master Builder and played roles in The Recruiting Officer. Her other films at this time included Go to Blazes, The V. I. P. s, The Pumpkin Eater, Hot Millions and Oh. Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the role of the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Vanessa Redgrave had originated the role on stage in London and Zoe Caldwell won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the role won Smith her first BAFTA Award. In 1970, she played the role in Ingmar Bergmans London production of the Ibsen play Hedda Gabler
Michael Duncan Buerk is an English journalist and newsreader, whose reporting of the Ethiopian famine on 23 October 1984 inspired the Band Aid charity record and, the Live Aid concert. Buerk has been the host of BBC Radio 4s The Moral Maze since 1990, Buerks hopes of a career in the Royal Air Force were dashed when he failed an eyesight test at the selection centre. He briefly worked as a hod carrier, Buerk began his career in journalism with the Bromsgrove Messenger, South Wales Echo, and the Daily Mail. He joined Radio Bristol in 1970 before becoming a reporter for BBC News in 1973, from 1983 to 1987, Buerk was the BBCs South Africa correspondent during the dying years of apartheid in South Africa. Buerks uncompromising reports on the brutalities of the resulted in the South African government expelling him from the country after four years in the post. He anchored the BBC Nine OClock News and BBC News at Ten, in 2010, Buerk narrated Sky1 reality show Pineapple Dance Studios. Buerk has five guest appearances on the BBCs The One Show in April.
He has appeared as a presenter for Jason Manford on six occasions. Since July 2012, Buerk has co-presented ITVs Britains Secret Treasures with Bettany Hughes, on 6 October 2013, he began hosting Inside the National Trust, a new documentary series. Buerk has hosted BBC Radio 4s The Moral Maze since 1990, katie Russell, from Rape Crisis England and Wales, accused him of practising victim-blaming. She commented, To infer that being drunk is in any way comparable to committing the serious. Beginning on 16 November 2014, Buerk took part in the series of Im a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here. On 3 December 2014, he was the celebrity to be eliminated in the public vote. On 28 July 2007, Buerk appeared on a celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with Jennie Bond to raise money for NCH, the childrens charity. He is a supporter of the British Red Cross and in October 2008 came out in support of an Alternate Reality Game, Traces of Hope, on the BBCs Children in Need, Buerk has performed several times along with an ensemble of BBC News presenters.
In 2004, he dressed in leather to perform Duran Duran classics and in 2005, in particular, Buerk objected to the many women now in senior positions within the BBC. Former newsreader Anna Ford commented, Hes a dear old-fashioned chauvinist of the first order, an article was published in anticipation of Buerks 45-minute TV-essay, Michael Buerk on What Are Men For. which was part of a series on Channel Five, Dont Get Me Started. Broadcast on Tuesday 23 August 2005, Guardian television reviewer Sam Wollaston thought Buerk had been thoroughly, and quite rightly, crucified in the pre-publicity
William Patrick Bill Roache MBE is an English actor. He has played Ken Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street since its first episode on 9 December 1960 and he is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving living television actor in a continuous role. Roache was born in Basford, the son of Hester Vera and he grew up in nearby Ilkeston, where he attended a Steiner school set up by his grandfather in the garden of the family home. His Freemason grandfather was interested in things as hypnotism, spiritualism and esotericism. Roache was educated at Rydal School which was attended by his son Linus. Roache joined the British Army, and was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1953, a year he was promoted to lieutenant. In 1956 he left the British Army with the rank of captain, due to an exploding mortar round during his military service, Roache suffers from tinnitus. After leaving the army, Roache turned to acting and he appeared in various stage productions, had uncredited roles in several films, and small parts in television serials including Knight Errant Limited and Skyport.
He played the role of a space centre operator in the Norman Wisdom film The Bulldog Breed. Shortly before joining Coronation Street at the beginning of the programme in 1960, Roache played the role in a Granada Television play called Marking Time. In an interview with the Liverpool Post newspaper in 2007, Roache recalled I played a soldier in Germany who fraternised with a German girl. It was highly prestigious, and I have tried to hunt it down and he added, But Tony Warren, who created Coronation Street, saw it and thought I was right for Ken Barlow. On 16 October 1985, just weeks before the 25th anniversary of his debut on Coronation Street, with the departure of Pat Phoenix the previous year, he was the shows last remaining original cast member by this stage. In 1999, Roache was the recipient of the British Soap Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for his role as Ken Barlow, in 2003, Roache appeared on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Perry Como singing the song Catch a Falling Star. In September and October 2005, he appeared as a celebrity contestant in Ant & Decs Gameshow Marathon and he was the winner of The Golden Shot remake, progressing through to Bullseye where he was beaten by television presenter Vernon Kay.
He entered All Star Family Fortunes, hosted by Kay, Roaches 2008 autobiography is entitled Soul on the Street. It focuses on many of his experiences and contains a significant amount of philosophical content in which Roache affirms his belief in the afterlife. In October 2008, Roache revealed on BBC Breakfast that he had a feud with fellow Coronation Street actress Pat Phoenix
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Im Gonna Be is a song written and performed by Scottish duo The Proclaimers, and first released as the lead single from their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith. Im Gonna Be has become a staple at the Proclaimers concerts. The duo played it at Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push at Murrayfield Stadium on 6 July 2005, the song was mainly written by Craig Reid in mid-1987 while waiting to travel to a Proclaimers concert in Aberdeen. Reid recalled, I can remember sitting at the piano and the chords just came to me, I reckon I wrote the whole thing in 45 minutes. I knew that it was a song, maybe even a single. Reid has said that the earnings from the song are about five times the rest of their catalogue combined. All tracks written and composed by Charlie and Craig Reid, except where noted, there is a slight change in the title of the song, with the parentheses placed around Im Gonna Be rather than 500 Miles. The lyrics include a change, with the words roll 500 miles replacing walk 500 miles, because the characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin are both in wheelchairs.
500 Miles was released as a charity single for Comic Relief immediately following its performance on the Comic Relief 2007 and it reached number 3 on the official UK Singles Chart on download sales alone, and one week reached number 1, where it remained for three weeks. It sold 126,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest selling number one of the year up to that point. Its sales were double that of the official Comic Relief single by Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes, the song ended 2007 as the years 8th biggest-selling single in the UK. The song was popular in Ireland as well, and peaked at #7 in Irish Singles Chart, osama bin Laden, Lord Lucan and Shergar are falsely credited as appearing in the video. CD single 500 Miles –3,41500 Miles –3,39 The enhanced CD and DVD featured the video for the song. The song is played in the warm up before the Scotland football team matches when playing at home at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The song is often played at Easter Road before Scottish Premiership side Hibernians home matches.
Scottish darts player Robert Thornton uses the song as his walk-on song, in 2007, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song, with minor lyric changes, for their video game Alvin and the Chipmunks. The song was very popular in Spain in the late 1990s thanks to TV advertisements. It was a song for the ads of Retevisión, one of the first private telecommunications companies in Spain
Hollyoaks is a British soap opera, first broadcast on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was originally devised by Phil Redmond, who had conceived the Channel 4 soap Brookside. The programme is set in a suburb of Chester called Hollyoaks. It is mostly filmed and produced in Childwall, although nearby locations are sometimes used, beginning with a cast of just seven major characters in 1995, the serial now has approximately 50 main cast members. Hollyoaks has a high cast turnover in comparison with other British soaps, as of May 2014 and it is popular around the world. The longest-serving cast member is Nick Pickard, who has played Tony Hutchinson since the first episode in 1995, current producer Bryan Kirkwood originally joined the show in 2006, but left three years to become producer of EastEnders. After he left his role in 2009, a number of worked on the show, resulting in a number of creative reinventions. Emma Smithwick replaced Philips in Autumn 2011, in late September 2012, it was announced that Bryan Kirkwood would be returning to Hollyoaks, replacing Emma Smithwick.
The programme celebrated 20 years on Channel 4 in October 2015, by the 2000s, Hollyoaks had developed a substantial fan base and was seen as a vibrant and young persons soap. In 2002, creator Phil Redmond considered withdrawing his programme from airing, Hollyoaks is produced by Lime Pictures and is filmed mainly at studios in Childwall, Liverpool. The first-look is reshown on timeshift channel E4 +1 at 20.00, the first-look is occasionally omitted, primarily if the following days C4 episode is a special or event edition, and on these occasions may be replaced with a related programme or special. In 2010, series producer Lucy Allan announced she was to step down from the series only a year. Speaking of her decision, Allan stated, I am very proud to have part of the Hollyoaks team. Ive had a time working on this show but am now equally excited about what the future will hold. Im a huge soap fan so to be handed the reins of Channel 4s flagship teen drama is not only a huge challenge and its very exciting to be working with Paul Marquess again.
Hes one of the best showrunners in the business and this is a brilliant appointment for Hollyoaks. Only one day after being announced as the new producer, Marquess began work on the soap opera, a Channel 4 spokesperson stated, Its all been a very quick turnaround at the top. In November 2010, a scene was filmed for an episode airing on 19 November 2010 featuring Myra McQueen reference to the engagement of Prince William
Casualty (TV series)
Casualty, stylised as CASUAL+Y, is a British medical drama series that airs weekly on BBC One. It is the emergency medical drama television series in the world. Created by Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin, it was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 6 September 1986, the original producer was Geraint Morris. The programme is set in the fictional Holby City Hospital and focuses on the staff and patients of the hospitals Accident, the show has very few ties to its sister programme Holby City, which began as a spin-off from Casualty in 1999, set in the same hospital. Casualty is shown weekly on a Saturday evening, which has been its time slot since the early 1990s, Casualtys exterior shots were mainly filmed outside the Ashley Down Centre in Bristol from 1986 until 2002 when they moved to the centre of Bristol for just over nine years. In 2011, Casualty celebrated its 25th anniversary, following that, for the Bristol finale, they filmed the Emergency department catching fire, after 25 years in Bristol, Casualty moved to its new home at the Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff where it is currently filmed.
The 1, 000th episode of Casualty aired on 25 June 2016, for an episode guide, see List of Casualty episodes. The 30th Anniversary episode of Casualty aired on 27 August 2016, the series was created by Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin. Casualty and Holby City are both set in Holby City Hospital, in the county of Wyvern, in the south-west of England. City of Bristol College was used as the location for most exterior shots of the hospital from 1986 until 2002, Casualty has filmed at Chavenage House back in 1997. Episode 16 of series 26 marked the episode filmed in Bristol. The first episode from Cardiff, broadcast on 7 January 2012, was an 80-minute episode, most exterior shots of the city of Holby are now shot within the city of Cardiff and wider area of South Wales. Railway scenes are shot on location at various preserved railways, which from the start of shooting have centred around the West Somerset Railway, the programme has usually been transmitted on Saturday nights, although for a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s it switched to Fridays.
The first two series consisted of 15 episodes, series 3 ran for 10 episodes, series 4,5 and 6 were 12,13. When the show moved back to Saturday nights in September 1992, the length was extended to 24 episodes per year. This initially caused controversy due to the graphic and controversial nature of some of the storylines. In 1997-8, the number was increased again, with 26 episodes making up series 12. However, this figure was dropped to 42 for series 26, with no summer break, series 27 consists of 44 episodes – an increase of 2 episodes on the previous series and returned to 48 for series 28
Gogglebox is a British reality show that has aired on Channel 4 since 7 March 2013. The show features a number of families and groups of friends from around England and Wales, the show won a BAFTA award in 2014 and a National Television Award in 2015,2016 and 2017. Series 9 began airing on 24 February 2017, a Brexit Special episode of Gogglebox aired on 3 August 2016, in which the families commented on the recent EU referendum and other current events in British politics. Gogglebox was narrated from its launch on 7 March 2013 until 1 April 2016 by Caroline Aherne, Aherne was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2015, which led to her eventual death on 2 July 2016. Craig Cash regularly filled in for Aherne when she was unavailable, the executive producer is Tania Alexander, who said the original idea was for the show to be a mix of Harry Hill and The Royle Family. Farah Ramzan Golant, the boss of All3Media, Everyone loves watching TV, but the show isnt really about TV. The show is about peoples lives, their relationships, their living rooms and its near real-time because youre watching what happened in the seven days before.
It captures a cultural response to something happening in the world. Gogglebox shows TV in peoples living rooms is alive and well and it is asserting the indispensable role of TV in the fabric of peoples lives. This is a list of cast members appearing in the show. As well as appearing on Gogglebox, some of the cast members have competed in other reality TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother, Im a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here. Celebrity Big Brother George Gilbey – Series 14 – Fourth The Jump Dom Parker – Series 2 – Fifteenth Im a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here, scarlett Moffatt – Series 16 – Winner An Australian edition of the programme debuted on 11 February 2015. It is a co-production between pay TV provider Foxtel and commercial Network Ten and it airs on Foxtels Lifestyle Channel first and is repeated 24 hours on Ten. The programme started its season on 30 September 2015. It had shown 8 episodes of the 4th season as of December 2016, the American and Canadian versions, both called The Peoples Couch, premiered on Bravo on 10 March 2014 and Bravo in July 2014.
Following the success of the British series, the rights to the show have sold to both Chinese and Ukrainian broadcasters. Irish broadcaster TV3 announced an Irish version of Gogglebox in 2014, which would air as part of its New Year schedule, Series 1 of Gogglebox Ireland began on Thursday 22 September 2016 and was well received by viewers and critics. An Italian version of the show aired on Italia 1 of Mediaset from 23 October 2016, in Poland, the show will began airing in autumn 2014 on TTV, who bought three-year broadcast rights
Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since 9 December 1960. In the shows history, the street was built in the early 1900s. The show typically airs five times a week and Friday 7. 30–8 pm &8. 30–9 pm and Wednesday 7. 30–8 pm, however this varies due to sport or around Christmas. From late 2017 the show will air six times a week, the programme was conceived in 1960 by scriptwriter Tony Warren at Granada Television in Manchester. Warrens initial kitchen sink drama proposal was rejected by the stations founder Sidney Bernstein, within six months of the shows first broadcast, it had become the most-watched programme on British television, and is now a significant part of British culture. The show has one of the most lucrative programmes on British commercial television, underpinning the success of Granada Television. Coronation Street is made by Granada Television at MediaCity Manchester and shown in all ITV regions, on 17 September 2010, it became the worlds longest-running TV soap opera in production.
On 23 September 2015, Coronation Street was broadcast live to mark ITVs 60th anniversary, Coronation Street is noted for its depiction of a down-to-earth working class community combined with light-hearted humour, and strong characters. The first episode was aired on 9 December 1960 at 7 pm, Granada Television had commissioned only 13 episodes, and some inside the company doubted the show would last beyond its planned production run. Despite the criticism, viewers were drawn into the serial. The programme made use of Northern English language and dialect, affectionate local terms like eh, and by eck. became widely heard on British television for the first time. Early episodes told the story of student Kenneth Barlow, who had won a place at university, the character was one of the few to have experienced life outside of Coronation Street. In some ways this predicts the growth of globalisation, and the decline of similar communities, in an episode from 1961, Barlow declares, You cant go on just thinking about your own street these days.
Were living with people on the side of the world. Theres more to worry about than Elsie Tanner and her boyfriends, Roache is the only remaining member of the original cast, which makes him the longest-serving actor in Coronation Street, and in British and global soap history. At the centre of early stories, there was Ena Sharples, caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall, and her friends, timid Minnie Caldwell. Headstrong Ena often clashed with Elsie Tanner, whom she believed espoused a dauntlessly loose set of morals, Elsie resented Enas interference and gossip, which most of the time had little basis in reality. In April 1961, Jed Stone made his first appearance and returned the year in 1962
Ross Barton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Michael Parr. He made his first screen appearance on 9 July 2013, on 6 August 2015, Ross was thought to have been killed accidentally by his brother Pete. However, it was revealed on 25 August 2015 that Ross had survived his head injury, Ross attacks Laurel Thomas, while she is waiting in her car. Laurel manages to escape and Ross takes the car, Laurel tracks Ross down and tries to attack him with a pair of scissors, but she becomes scared of Ross. Ross comes to Butlers Farm looking for Cain, after he is shot while carrying out a job that Cain had initially intended to undertake himself, Cain Dingles wife Moira Dingle realise its her nephew Ross Barton and she allows him to stay at the farm. Ross generally seems to believe he is a man and his wandering eye irritates various people. Ross has sex with Charity Sharma, as she is intent on making estranged husband Jai Sharma jealous and he is seen on occasions with a woman called Laura Atkinson, and Rosss lodger Debbie Dingles daughter, Sarah becomes fond of her.
Debbie tells Sarah she will never see Laura again. Ross becomes close to Donna Windsor, who he enjoys flirting with and he realises she is a dodgy policewoman and he agrees to help her burgle the house of Gary North, a prolific local criminal. However, Pete overhears Donna saying that she is only luring him into position so she can arrest him. But Donna convinces Ross that she was saying it to keep things under wraps. Later on Gary North attacks Ross brother and nearly kills him, to keep his family safe, Ross agrees to do a dodgy job for Gary. Everything goes terribly wrong and the outcome of the job leads Donna to throw herself of a building while handcuffed to Gary to their deaths and Debbie begin an affair after weeks of flirting, whilst she is engaged to his brother Pete. They plan to run away a few days before the wedding, however Cain stops them and announces he is the father of Debbies half-brother, Moses. Debbie panics and breaks up with Ross after Cain adds that Ross made a deal with Charity to keep the paternity of Moses quiet if he broke up Cain and his wife, Moira.
Ross tells Finn everything and he manages to get the letter Debbie had addressed to Pete, in which she confesses to the affair and planning to run away with Ross and Pete still intend to get married. On the wedding day, Cain ties Ross up and puts him into the back of a van, Ross escapes by jumping into water below and is unconscious for a while. When he wakes up, he back to the village to witness Cain
The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. They are best known for the songs Im Gonna Be, Sunshine on Leith, Im On My Way and Letter from America, the band tours extensively throughout the world. They have released ten studio albums since 1987 as well as three albums and a DVD. Craig Reid and Charlie Reid were born in Leith on 5 March 1962, when they lived in Auchtermuchty they attended Bell Baxter High School. After several punk bands at school they formed the Proclaimers in 1983. The follow-up album Sunshine on Leith featured the singles Im Gonna Be, which went to one in Australia and New Zealand. They had a hit with their EP King of the Road, Im Gonna Be belatedly peaked at number three in the US in 1993, after appearing in the movie Benny & Joon. After seven low-profile years, they released their comeback album Persevere in 2001, in March 2007 they recorded a new version of Im Gonna Be with television comedy characters Andy Pipkin and Brian Potter for the Comic Relief charity.
A long list of celebrities were featured in the video for this new version, including David Bellamy, Rod and Freddy, Paul OGrady, David Tennant, Frank Sidebottom. This new version of the reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. A stage musical featuring their songs, Sunshine on Leith, was created in 2007 for Dundee Rep, the band was one of the B-52s touring partners on their Funplex tour in Australia and New Zealand in November 2009, alongside Mental as Anything. They featured in VH1s 100 greatest one hit wonders, Im Gonna Be having been their only US hit single. On 16 May 2006 the twins announced their participation in a campaign to free a fellow Scot, Kenny Richey, from his death row sentence in Ohio, US, including an appearance at a charity concert. Also, in March 2010 they participated with Billy Bragg in a show at the Electric Palace, supporting Reprieve, a charity that seeks to end the use of the death penalty
Top Gear (2002 TV series)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It is a version of the original 1977 show of the same name, airing since 2002. Following negative feedback for the series, Evans resigned, with the BBC choosing to retain the other five presenters and assigning LeBlanc, first-run episodes are broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. From series 14–19, before the launch of the dedicated BBC Two HD channel, the series is carried on cable television systems in the United States via BBC America, in Latin America via BBC Entertainment and in Europe and South-East Asia via BBC Knowledge. Following the decision by the BBC to cancel Top Gear in 2001, Jeremy Clarkson, Lotus assisted in the design of a race circuit at the site for use by the programme. While the celebrity segment was referred to as Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, addition segments were added in – The Cool Wall, in most of the early series, the presenters regularly destroyed a caravan. As a direct result, the ordered that filming continued at Dunsfold during May of that year, despite having no permit to do so.
Both the BBC and the Health and Safety Executive carried out inquiries into the accident, that summer, on 25 July, the BBC aired a special edition episode entitled Top Gear, Polar Special. Popularity the show rose to levels, that the waiting list to get a ticket for a recording was extensive. Featuring breath-taking stunts, amazing special effects and blockbusting driving sequences featuring some of the worlds best precision drivers, the Live tour began on 30 October 2008 in Earls Court, moving on to Birmingham in November before being performed in at least 15 other countries worldwide. But ironically, that does mean trying new things to the last, even if they screw up, well, it means you never stopped trying. On 1 April 2015, it was announced that the Top Gear Live stage shows were to continue under the banner of Clarkson and May Live, shortly afterwards, Richard Hammond confirmed he would not be returning to the show. On 16 June, that year, the BBC confirmed that the final films would air as a compilation on 28 June, anchored by Hammond.
Production delays and scheduling conflicts led to the series being aired on 29 May 2016. Newspaper articles highlighted that the show struggled with viewing figures, on 4 July, following the series finale, Evans announced that he would be leaving Top Gear after having hosted only six episodes. The most common used in the show are Car Reviews, Power Laps, Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, Cool Wall. One of the segments of Top Gear, Car Reviews focuses on the presenters conducting a road-test of a car, looking at such factors as ride quality, handling, practicality. Their reviews are conducted on and around Top Gears test track, or on the roads of Britain
ITV (TV network)
ITV is a commercial TV network in the United Kingdom. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990 its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the analogue channels at the time, namely BBC1, BBC2. ITV is a network of channels that operate regional television services as well as sharing programmes between each other to be displayed on the entire network. In recent years, several of companies have merged so currently the fifteen franchises are in the hands of two companies. With the exception of Northern Ireland, the ITV brand is the used by ITV plc for the Channel 3 service in these areas. In Northern Ireland, ITV plc uses the brand name UTV, STV Group plc, uses the STV brand for its two franchises of central and northern Scotland. The origins of ITV lie in the passing of the Television Act 1954, the act created the Independent Television Authority to heavily regulate the industry and to award franchises. The first six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands, the first ITV network to launch was Londons Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955, with the Midlands and North services launching in February 1956 and May 1956 respectively.
Following these launches, the ITA awarded more franchises until the country was covered by fourteen regional stations. Following the 1993 changes, ITV as a network began to consolidate with several companies doing so to save money by ceasing the duplication of services present when they were all separate companies. The ITV Network is not owned or operated by one company, since 2016 the fifteen licences are held by two companies, with the majority held by ITV Broadcasting Limited, part of ITV plc. The network is regulated by the media regulator Ofcom who is responsible for awarding the broadcast licences, the last major review of the Channel 3 franchises was in 1991, with all operators licences having been renewed between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2014 without a further contest. However, due to amalgamation of several of companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited. Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commissioning and funding the network schedule, all licensees have the right to opt out of network programming, however many do not due to pressures from the parent company or because of limited resources.
The network needs to produce accessible output containing subtitles, signing, in exchange for this programming, the ITV network is available on all platforms free to air and can be found at the top of the EPG of all providers. Since the launch of the platform in 1998, all of the ITV licensees have received gifted capacity on the terrestrial television platform. At present, the companies are able to broadcast additional channels and all choose to broadcast the ITV plc owned ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV in their region. UTV and STV previously broadcast their own services – UTV2 in Northern Ireland and S2 in central and northern Scotland – until 2002, the broadcasters all make use of the Digital 3&4 multiplex, shared with Channel 4