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The documentary series "Up" has been selected as the most influential television show in the UK over the past 50 years.
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The documentary series “Up” has been selected as the most influential television show in the UK over the past 50 years.

The Up documentary series, considered groundbreaking, was chosen as the most influential television program of the past 50 years by a survey of leading TV writers in the country.

The show, which tracks the development of a diverse group of children and updates their stories every seven years, was named the most impactful series of the past five decades by the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG).

The panel acknowledged the show, originally broadcast in 1964, for its anthropological approach and its enduring impact on TV documentary production.

The idea for the show was inspired by the phrase “give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The series followed the journeys of 14 children as they matured.

The advancement of the youth is indicative of the societal and financial shifts in British culture. For instance, Nick Hitchon, the offspring of a Yorkshire farmer, transformed into a renowned scientist and realized his aspirations.

Others confounded viewers’ expectations. Neil Hughes was a bright chess-playing boy at seven who wanted to go to Oxford University, but when the show’s producer, Michael Apted, returned seven years later, he had become a shadow of his former self after being bullied. He became homeless and drifted between jobs before moving into local politics and becoming a lay preacher.

The Up series was one of the pioneering shows to elevate regular people into TV celebrities. It achieved such widespread success that it was broadcast on both BBC and ITV networks until 2019.

In other parts of the ranking, the impact of David Attenborough’s contributions to television is apparent with two of his programs ranking in the top 10: the 1979 documentary series Life on Earth in second position and the 2006 series Planet Earth in sixth position, which raised the standard for nature filmmaking.

Over the past five decades, drama has been well-represented in the top 50 programmes. Out of all the genres, it had the most entries at 18, including the highly acclaimed I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel. Additionally, Derry Girls, a groundbreaking sitcom created by Lisa McGee for Channel 4, also made the list.

The BPG created a list of the Top 50 Programmes that have made a significant impact in the last 50 years to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The chair, Manori Ravindran, mentioned that the list serves as a reminder of the valuable, diverse, and significant contributions of the UK’s creative industry.

She stated that the Broadcasting Press Guild has been a major influence in shaping the British TV industry for the past 50 years.

Therefore, it seemed fitting to commemorate this important birthday by presenting a list of the top 50 shows that we consider to have produced iconic television moments or played a significant role in the industry during this period.

The process was challenging, and we welcome constructive discussions about our choices. However, we are confident that this list represents the diversity of the creative industry and its unique impact on our culture and society.

Source: theguardian.com