Best British Documentaries, Factual, Lifestyle & Current Affairs, 1H 2018. UK Ratings #1-100

The “Best of British” is one of my most popular posts that lists the year’s highest-rated unscripted programs in the UK.

For a different look at 2018 through June 30, I combined the Documentary, Factual, Lifestyle & Current Affairs categories.

My expanding coverage of Audience Analysis is sponsored by Parrot Analytics. Watch out for more posts and podcasts on the revolution in audience measurement, and what it means for programmers and producers.

SHARE

  • I was impressed by the Share earned by the Harry / Meghan wedding.
  • Share is expressed as a percentage of the audience that was actually watching TV at the time.
  • The wedding earned a whopping 62.9!
  • Here is the UK Top 10 for 1H 2018, measured by Share:
Share (%)
The Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan BBC 1 62.9
Countryfile Royal Special: Windsor BBC 1 32.4
Countryfile Royal Special: Sand’ham BBC 1 28.4
The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night ITV 28.1
Countryfile BBC 1 26.7
Countryfile Royal Special: Balmoral BBC 1 26.1
The Coronation BBC 1 25.6
The Queen’s Green Planet ITV 25.3
Masterchef BBC 1 25.0
Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow ITV 25.0

Takeaways: Share

  • The royals dominate with 6 out of the Top 10.
  • Maybe its a measure of Britain’ backward-looking Brexit mentality?
  • The nostalgic Countryfile magazine (#2,3,5) continues to attract the audience that is loyal to the channels.
    • Hats off to this well-conceived, low-budget production.
    • It out-performs even prestigious BBC documentaries and even big-budget scripted series.
  • The Coronation (#6) is a BBC / Smithsonian / ABC Australia documentary production.
  • And the Heathrow reality series keeps on delivering.

David & Elisabeth: The Queen’s Green Planet

AUDIENCE

  • And here is 1H 2018 (#1-50) measured by audience.
  • Note more royal dominance!
Programme Channel ‘000 
1 Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan BBC 1 8,916
2 The Coronation BBC 1 6,899
3 Countryfile BBC 1 6,492
4 The Queen’s Green Planet ITV 6,356
5 The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night ITV 6,327
6 Masterchef BBC 1 6,089
7 Great Celebrity Bake Off for Cancer CH4 5,678
8 Antiques Roadshow BBC 1 5,667
9 The Real Full Monty: Live ITV 5,223
10 DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC 1 5,219
11 Big Cats BBC 1 5,026
12 James Bulger: A Mother’s Story ITV 4,932
13 Countryfile Royal Special: Sand’ham BBC 1 4,908
14 Attenborough / Giant Sea Dragon BBC 1 4,860
15 Countryfile Royal Special: Balmoral BBC 1 4,827
16 The One Show BBC 1 4,709
17 Countryfile Royal Special: Windsor BBC 1 4,687
18 The Truth About Getting Fit BBC 1 4,594
19 Tonight ITV 4,585
20 Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow ITV 4,544
21 Gogglebox CH4 4,433
22 Ambulance BBC 1 4,398
23 The Martin Lewis Money Show ITV 4,357
24 Death Row 2018 w Trevor Mcdonald ITV 4,039
25 Wonders of the Moon BBC 1 4,022
26 Animals with Cameras BBC 1 4,021
27 RAF At 100  BBC 1 3,925
28 Britain’s Fat Fight w Hugh Fearnley BBC 1 3,909
29 The Cruise: Mediterranean ITV 3,898
30 What Would Your Kid Do? ITV 3,861
31 The Great Festive Bake Off CH4 3,829
32 The Cruise: Voyage to Alaska ITV 3,802
33 President Trump – Piers Morgan ITV 3,719
34 Serial Killer w Piers Morgan ITV 3,709
35 Britain’s Favourite Dogs: Top 100 ITV 3,694
36 The Truth About Carbs BBC 1 3,684
37 Earth’s Natural Wonders BBC 1 3,676
38 The Real Camilla ITV 3,675
39 Children Who Kill ITV 3,653
40 24 Hours In Police Custody CH4 3,652
41 Long Lost Family: Next ITV 3,613
42 The Cruise: Sailing the Caribbean ITV 3,587
43 Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight 4 Good BBC 2 3,520
44 Paul O’Grady: Love of Dogs – India ITV 3,487
45 The Truth about Looking Good BBC 1 3,455
46 Watchdog BBC 1 3,409
47 The Royal Wedding: Highlights  BBC 2 3,369
48 100 Years Younger in 21 Days ITV 3,364
49 The Martin Lewis Money Show Live ITV 3,361
50 The Investigator ITV 3,323

A&E LIVE

  • And here comes #51-100, measured by Audience.
  • With even more royals and their weddings.
  • But thankfully, lots of the high-quality and imaginative programs that distinguish UK television.
  • A&E Live captured by attention because LIVE programming is undergoing a steady revival in the Wildlife, Crime, Medical and other genres.
Programme Channel ‘000 
51 Top Gear BBC 2 3,315
52 The Royal Wives of Windsor ITV 3,275
53 A&E Live ITV 3,273
54 Pr. Harry’s Story: 4 Royal Weddings ITV 3,270
55 Inside Out – Pharmacists / Pressure? BBC 1 3,212
56 Invitation to a Royal Wedding ITV 3,211
57 Miriam’s Big American Adventure BBC 1 3,174
58 Rachel Nickell: The Untold Story ITV 3,116
59 Save Money: Good Food ITV 3,107
60 Inside the Factory BBC 2 3,105
61 Fake Britain BBC 1 3,104
62 Taking on Putin: Panorama BBC 1 3,103
63 The RHS Chelsea Flower Show BBC 1 3,096
64 Who Do You Think You Are? BBC 1 3,068
65 Britain’s Best Walks w Julia Bradbury ITV 3,027
66 Home from Home BBC 1 3,011
67 Inside Out BBC 1 3,001
68 Panorama: Millionaire Bankrupts BBC 1 2,996
69 The Fast Fix: Diabetes ITV 2,984
70 Love Your Garden ITV 2,962
71 Gardeners’ World BBC 2 2,950
72 Paul O’Grady: Love of Dogs ITV 2,931
73 The Island w Bear Grylls CH4 2,931
74 Antiques Road Trip BBC 1 2,908
75 Harold Shipman: Doctor Death ITV 2,906
76 A House Through Time BBC 2 2,897
77 100 Year Old Driving School ITV 2,880
78 The Truth About Obesity BBC 1 2,862
79 Hunted CH4 2,860
80 24 Hours in A&E CH4 2,856
81 Nightmare Pets SOS BBC 1 2,853
82 Surgeons: At the Edge of Life BBC 2 2,851
83 Dragons’ Den BBC 2 2,832
84 Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? CH4 2,821
86 Best of the Palladium ITV 2,807
87 Royal Wedding: Married in Morning BBC 1 2,804
88 Bargain Hunt BBC 1 2,769
89 River Monsters ITV 2,769
90 The Sheriffs are Coming BBC 1 2,742
91 Panorama – Trump Voters: 1 Year + BBC 1 2,738
92 The Kyle Files ITV 2,717
93 Trust Me, I’m a Doctor BBC 2 2,703
94 SAS: Who Dares Wins CH4 2,695
95 Panorama: Brit’s Equal Pay Scandal BBC 1 2,692
96 Blue Planet II: Oceans of Wonder BBC 1 2,681
97 Devon & Cornwall Cops ITV 2,665
98 Stephen: Murder Changed a Nation BBC 1 2,649
99 Panorama – White Fright / Britain BBC 1 2,649
100 Escape to the Chateau CH4 2,649

Takeaways

  • I’m in Durban, South Africa attending the fascinating and engaging NEWF conference that links nature, the environment and film-making.
  • I’ll share my detailed UK Takeaways later.

Editorial Assistant: Mary Alice McMillan