A game show is a type of radio, television, or stage show in which contestants, individually or as teams, play a game which involves answering questions or solving puzzles for money or prizes. Alternatively, a gameshow can be a demonstrative program about a game. In the former, contestants may be invited from a pool of public applicants. Game shows reward players with prizes such as cash and goods and services provided by the show's sponsor prize suppliers. Game shows began to appear on television in the late 1930s; the first television game show, Spelling Bee, as well as the first radio game show, Information Please, were both broadcast in 1938. Q. a radio quiz show that began in 1939. Truth or Consequences was the first game, its first episode aired in 1941 as an experimental broadcast. Over the course of the 1950s, as television began to pervade the popular culture, game shows became a fixture. Daytime game shows would be played for lower stakes to target stay-at-home housewives. Higher-stakes programs would air in primetime.
During the late 1950s, high-stakes games such as Twenty-One and The $64,000 Question began a rapid rise in popularity. However, the rise of quiz shows proved to be short-lived. In 1959, many of the higher stakes game shows were discovered to be rigged and ratings declines led to most of the primetime games being canceled. An early variant of the game show, the panel game, survived. On shows like What's My Line?, I've Got A Secret, To Tell the Truth, panels of celebrities would interview a guest in an effort to determine some fact about them. Panel games had success in primetime until the late 1960s, when they were collectively dropped from television because of their perceived low budget nature. Panel games made a comeback in American daytime television in the 1970s through comedy-driven shows such as Match Game and Hollywood Squares. In the UK, commercial demographic pressures were not as prominent, restrictions on game shows made in the wake of the scandals limited the style of games that could be played and the amount of money that could be awarded.
Panel have continued to thrive. The focus on quick-witted comedians has resulted in strong ratings, combined with low costs of production, have only spurred growth in the UK panel show phenomenon. Game shows remained a fixture of US daytime television through the 1960s after the quiz show scandals. Lower-stakes games made a slight comeback in daytime in the early 1960s. Let's Make a Deal began in 1963 and the 1960s marked the debut of Hollywood Squares, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game. Though CBS gave up on daytime game shows in 1968, the other networks did not follow suit. Color television was introduced to the game show genre in the late 1960s on all three networks; the 1970s saw a renaissance of the game show as new games and massive upgrades to existing games made debuts on the major networks. The New Price Is Right, an update of the 1950s-era game show The Price Is Right, debuted in 1972 and marked CBS's return to the game show format in its effort to draw wealthier, suburban viewers; the Match Game became "Big Money" Match Game 73, which proved popular enough to prompt a spin-off, Family Feud, on ABC in 1976.
The $10,000 Pyramid and its numerous higher-stakes derivatives debuted in 1973, while the 1970s saw the return of disgraced producer and host Jack Barry, who debuted The Joker's Wild and a clean version of the rigged Tic-Tac-Dough in the 1970s. Wheel of Fortune debuted on NBC in 1975; the Prime Time Access Rule, which took effect in 1971, barred networks from broadcasting in the 7–8 p.m. time slot preceding prime time, opening up time slots for syndicated programming. Most of the syndicated programs were "nighttime" adaptations of network daytime game shows; these game shows aired once a week, but by the late 1970s and early 1980s most of the games had transitioned to five days a week. Game shows were the lowest priority of television networks and were rotated out every thirteen weeks if unsuccessful. Most tapes were destroyed until the early 1980s. Over the course of the late 1980s and early 1990s, as fewer new hits were produced, game shows lost their permanent place in the daytime lineup. ABC transitioned out of the daytime game show format in the mid-1980s.
NBC's game block lasted until 1991, but the network attempted to bring them back in 1993 before cancelling its game show block again in 1994. CBS phased out most of its game shows, except for The Price Is Right, by 1993. To the benefit of the genre, the moves of Wheel of Fortune and a modernized revival of Jeopardy! to syndication in 1983 and 1984 was and remains successful. Cable television allowed for the debut of game shows such as Supermarket Sweep, Trivial Pursuit and Family Challenge, Double Dare, it opened up a underdeveloped ma
ITV (TV network)
ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, established in 1932. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name. ITV is a network of television 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 these companies have merged, so the fifteen franchises are in the hands of two companies; the ITV network is to be distinguished from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004 and which holds the Channel 3 broadcasting licences in England, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.
With the exception of Northern Ireland, the ITV brand is the brand 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 northern Scotland; the origins of ITV lie in the passing of the Television Act 1954, designed to break the monopoly on television held by the BBC Television Service. The act created the Independent Television Authority to regulate the industry and to award franchises; the first six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands and the North of England, with separate franchises for Weekdays and Weekends. The first ITV network to launch was London's 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 whole country was covered by fourteen regional stations, all launched by 1962; the network has been modified several times through franchise reviews that have taken place in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1991, during which broadcast regions have changed and service operators have been replaced.
Only one service operator has been declared bankrupt, WWN in 1963, with all other operators leaving the network as a result of a franchise review. Separate weekend franchises were removed in 1968 and over the years more services were added; the Broadcasting Act 1990 changed the nature of ITV. This criticised part of the review saw four operators replaced, the operators facing different annual payments to the Treasury: Central Television, for example, paid only £2000—despite holding a lucrative and large region—because it was unopposed, while Yorkshire Television paid £37.7 million for a region of the same size and status, owing to heavy competition. 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. By 2004, ITV was owned by five companies, of which two and Granada had become major players by owning between them all the franchises in England, the Scottish borders and the Isle of Man.
That same year, the two merged to form ITV plc with the only subsequent acquisitions being the takeover of Channel Television, the Channel Islands franchise, in 2011. and UTV, the franchise for Northern Ireland, in 2015. The ITV network is not owned or operated by one company, but by a number of licensees, which provide regional services while broadcasting programmes across the network. 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, 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. While this has been the longest period that the ITV Network has gone without a major review of its licence holders, Ofcom announced that it would split the Wales and West licence from 1 January 2014, creating a national licence for Wales and joining the newly separated West region to Westcountry Television, to form a new licence for the enlarged South West of England region.
All companies holding a licence were part of the non-profit body ITV Network Limited, which commissioned and scheduled network programming, with compliance handled by ITV plc and Channel Television. However, due to amalgamation of several of these companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited, it has been replaced by an affiliation system. Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commissioning and funding the network schedule, with STV and UTV paying a fee to broadcast it. All licensees have the right to opt out of network programming (except fo
Terence Graham Parry Jones is a Welsh actor, comedian, film director and historian, best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in history and writing partner Michael Palin wrote and performed for several high-profile British comedy programmes, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and The Frost Report, before creating Monty Python's Flying Circus with Cambridge graduates Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, American animator/filmmaker Terry Gilliam. Jones was responsible for the programme's innovative, surreal structure, in which sketches flowed from one to the next without the use of punchlines, he made his directorial debut with the team's first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Gilliam, directed the subsequent Python films, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. After Python, Jones' most well-known television project was the anthology series Ripping Yarns, which he co-created and co-wrote with Palin.
He wrote an early draft of Jim Henson's 1986 film Labyrinth, though little of his work remained in the final cut. He is a well-respected Medieval historian, having written several books and presented television documentaries about the period, as well as a prolific children's book author. In 2016, Jones received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BAFTA Cymru Awards for his outstanding contribution to television and film. Jones was born on the north coast of Wales; the family home was named Bodchwil. His father was stationed with the RAF in India; when Jones was four-and-a-half, the family moved to Surrey in England. Jones attended primary school at Esher COE school and attended the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, where he was school captain in the 1960–61 academic year, he read English at St Edmund Hall, but "strayed into history". He became interested in the medieval period through reading Chaucer as part of his English degree, he graduated with a 2:1. While there, he performed comedy with future Monty Python castmate Michael Palin in the Oxford Revue.
Jones appeared in Twice a Fortnight with Michael Palin, Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Jonathan Lynn, as well as the television series The Complete and Utter History of Britain. He appeared in Do Not Adjust Your Set with Eric Idle and David Jason, he wrote for The Frost Report and several other David Frost programmes on British television. Along with Palin, he wrote lyrics for the 1968 Barry Booth album Diversions. Early on, Jones was interested in devising a fresh format for the Python TV shows, it was he who developed the stream-of-consciousness style which abandoned punchlines and encouraged the fluid movement of one sketch into another, allowing the troupe's conceptual humour the space to "breathe". Jones took a keen interest in the direction of the show; as demonstrated in many of his sketches with Palin, Jones was interested in making comedy, visually impressive, feeling that interesting settings augmented, rather than distracted from, the humour. His methods encouraged many future television comedians to break away from conventional studio-bound shooting styles, as demonstrated by shows such as Green Wing, Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen.
Of Jones' contributions as a performer, his depictions of middle-aged women are among the most memorable. His humour, in collaboration with Palin, tends to be conceptual in nature. A typical Palin/Jones sketch draws its humour from the absurdity of the scenario. For example, in the "All-England Summarise Proust Competition", Jones plays a cheesy game show host who gives contestants 15 seconds to condense Marcel Proust's lengthy work À la recherche du temps perdu. Jones was noted for his gifts as a Charlie Chaplin-esque physical comedian, his performance in the "Undressing in Public" sketch, for instance, is done in total silence. Jones co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, was sole director on two further Monty Python movies, Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life; as a film director, Jones gained fuller control of the projects and devised a visual style that complemented the humour. His films include Erik the Viking and The Wind in the Willows. In 2008, Jones directed the opera Evil Machines.
In 2011, he was commissioned to direct and write the libretto for another opera, entitled The Doctor's Tale. On the commentary track of the 2004 "2 Disc Special Edition" DVD for the film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Jones stated that to his knowledge Ireland had at the time banned four movies, three of which he had directed: The Meaning of Life, Monty Python's Life of Brian and Personal Services. Jones directed the 2015 comedy film Absolutely Anything, about a disillusioned schoolteacher, given the chance to do anything he wishes by a group of aliens watching from space; the film features Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams and the voices of the five remaining members of Monty Python. It was shot in London during a 6-week shoot. Jones has written many books and screenplays, including comic works and more serious writing on medieval history. Jones co-wrote Ripping Yarns with Palin, they wrote a play, Underwood's Finest Hour, about an obstetrician distracted during a birth by the radio broadcast of a Test match, which played at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, in 1981.
Jones has written numerous works for children, including Fantastic Stories, The Beast with a Thousand Teeth, a collection of comic verse called The Curse of the Vampire's Socks. Jones was the co-creator of the animated TV series Blazing Dragons, which parodie
Wheel of Fortune (UK game show)
Wheel of Fortune was a British television game show based on the American show of the same name created by Merv Griffin. Contestants compete to solve word puzzles, similar to those used in Hangman, to win cash and prizes; the title refers to the show's giant carnival wheel that contestants spin throughout the course of the game to determine their cash and/or prizes. The programme aired between 19 July 1988 and 21 December 2001 and was produced by Scottish Television for the ITV network - having replaced Now You See It as STV's prime time game show offering for the ITV network, it follows the same general format from the original version of the programme from the United States, with a few minor differences. Unlike the American version, where the numbers on the wheel correspond to the amount of money won by each contestant, the British version instead referred to these amounts as'points' – they had no cash value, their only purpose was to determine the grand finalist, or to choose a winner for a particular round.
There was a reason for this. Points earned from all players carried on to proceeding rounds, only scores for the current round were susceptible to Bankrupts, meaning a winner could be crowned that never solved a puzzle, but acquired a large amount of points; this rule would encourage sacrificing a player's turn if he or she didn't know the puzzle rather than risking his or her points by spinning again. For the first three series, before the recording of each episode, each contestant spun the wheel. In the programme proper, the contestant was asked a 50/50 trivia question, if the contestant answered they spun the wheel. If the contestant landed on a number, they had to pick a letter. If the letter appeared on the puzzle board, the contestant earned the value multiplied by the number of times the letter appeared. A player was allowed to purchase a vowel for a flat rate of 250 points for any number of repetitions as long as that vowel appeared in the puzzle; the contestant would spin the wheel again, but the contestant's turn would end if the contestant either landed on a number but picked a letter that did not appear on the puzzle board, earning the contestant no points.
If the contestant landed on the "FREE SPIN", the contestant would be given a "FREE SPIN" token and would spin the wheel again. If the contestant landed on a number but picked a letter that did not appear on the puzzle board, or landed on the "LOSE A TURN" space or the "BANKRUPT" space, the contestant could give their "FREE SPIN" loop to the host and spin again, they could alternatively hand over play to the next contestant. If the contestant answered the 50/50 trivia question incorrectly, they would not spin the wheel. In the speed round, the host would spin the wheel with the centre player's arrow determining the point value for each contestant. Vowels were worth nothing, consonants were worth whatever the value spun; the left player would go first. No more 50/50 questions were asked. From the fourth series onward, the 50/50 trivia individual questions were dropped. Instead, at the start of each round, the contestants would be asked a general knowledge question and the first contestant to buzz in and answer would gain control of the wheel.
From the fourth series onward, from Round 3 to the end, the points on the wheel were worth double. The yellow player's arrow determined the point value for each consonant in the speed-up round. Vowels were worth nothing, consonants were worth the value spun. In case of a tie, each player tied for the lead spun the wheel and the player who spun the higher number went through. In the Grand Finale, the winning contestant chose from one of three bonus prizes to play for: a car, a luxury holiday, or a cash prize; the series in 1994 differed, in that the prize the contestant won for solving the puzzle was a car plus the cash prize of £10,000. In one episode in 1994, the prize was two cars and £10,000. From 1995 to 1998, the player chose one of two envelopes, one with the car and the other with £20,000; the prize chosen, the Grand Finale continued with the contestant choosing five consonants and a vowel. The contestant had 15 seconds to solve the puzzle to win the prize. Unlike other versions, the player could solve any one word individually, work on any other word in the puzzle.
For example, if the puzzle was "A CUP OF TEA", the player could solve "OF" "A" "TEA", "CUP" to complete the puzzle. In the final series, "LOSE A TURN" was changed to "MISS A TURN", for reasons unknown, a "500 Gamble" wedge was added. If a player landed on the latter wedge, they had the option of going for 500 points per letter or gambling their round score. If t
Thames Television was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding area on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992. It continued as an independent production company until 2003. Formed as a joint company, it merged the television interests of British Electric Traction owning 49%, Associated British Picture Corporation—soon taken over by EMI—owning 51%, it was both a broadcaster and a producer of television programmes, making shows both for the local region it covered and for networking nationally across the ITV regions. The British Film Institute describes Thames as having "served the capital and the network with a long-running, broad-based and extensive series of programmes, several of which either continue or are well-remembered today." Thames covered a broad spectrum of commercial public-service television, with a strong mix of drama, current affairs and comedy. After Thames was acquired by FremantleMedia it was merged with another Fremantle company, Talkback Productions, to form a new independent production company Talkback Thames.
However, on 1 January 2012, the Thames brand was revived and Talkback Thames has now been split into four different labels. From launch on 22 September 1955 to July 1968, the Independent Television Authority contract to provide programming on the ITV network for London on weekdays had been operated by Associated-Rediffusion. Geographical and structural changes in the network, created by the ITA's 1967 invitation for applicants for new franchise contracts for the right to broadcast on ITV, meant that ABC Weekend Television lost both its area franchises, serving the Midlands and the North at weekends, because these areas were to become seven-day operations. ABC applied for both the Midlands seven-day operation and the contract to serve London at the weekend, preferring the latter, it was expected that the company would be awarded the weekend franchise. After an impressive application, it was awarded to what became London Weekend Television in a consortium led by David Frost and others; this led to a serious problem for the ITA as ABC was a popular station, whose productions earned vital foreign currency.
Its station management and presentation style were well-admired, it could have been controversial to dismiss that as a result of purely administrative changes. It was considered difficult for ABC to win the Midlands seven-day contract, because the existing five-days contractor ATV had applied and was a large earner of overseas revenue, having won the Queen's Award for Export in 1966. Rediffusion had believed that its contract renewal was a formality, its application reflected this complacency: the company had treated the ITA high-handedly in interviews. In the early days of ITV, the company had worked hard to keep the network on-air during financial crises that threatened the collapse of other companies Granada Television, it was reported that Rediffusion's chairman Sir John Spencer Wills felt the ITA owed his company a'debt of gratitude' for this, a comment which annoyed the authority. During the interview process several members of Rediffusion management appeared in interviews for applicants for other regions, principally the consortium of which David Frost was a member, as well as the interview for Rediffusion, leading the ITA to question the loyalty at the company.
In programming, Rediffusion was considered stuffy but in the previous contract round of 1964, it had re-invented itself, dropping the name Associated-Rediffusion in favour of the trendier Rediffusion London, to reflect the cultural changes of the time, output altered accordingly. The outcome proposed by the ITA was a "shotgun marriage" between Rediffusion. "The combination of these two companies," announced ITA Chairman Lord Hill, "seemed to the Authority to offer the possibility of a programme company of real excellence." The resultant company was awarded the contract to serve London on weekdays. Control of the new company would be given to ABC, a move unpopular with Rediffusion. Questioning the ITA's decision, Rediffusion attempted to slow down the merger: only the threat of giving the licence to ABC made it relent. To assist Rediffusion financially, the ITA insisted that the new company have two sets of shares: voting shares which would allow ABC to have control and'B' shares which were to be split between the two, thus sharing profits fairly.
The structure of the new company was a problem. A merger between the two existing contract holders Associated British Cinemas Limited and Rediffusion Television Limited was impossible, owing to internal politics, as was a merger between their respective parent companies Associated British Picture Corporation and British Electric Traction; the answer was found to be Thames Television Ltd.. The ITA ordered ABC's managing director Howard Thomas and its director of programmes Brian Tesler to be appointed in similar capacities at the new station, the only individuals named or specified in all 15 franchise awards. ABC had majority control of the new company and the make-up of its board predominantly came from ABC; the use of ABC's old studios at Teddington meant the workforce was predominantly ex-ABC, although those at Kingsway were ex-Rediffusion. After some discussion as to the name of the new company—some directors
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s