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10 Year Challenge: TV in 2009

Even if you've only been on Instagram for 30 seconds this week, chances are you will have seen celebrities, friends and that work colleague you awkwardly had to follow but didn't really want to, post a photograph from 10 years ago alongside a photograph from 2019. This got me thinking about what television was like in 2009 and the big talking points were.



2009 was a big year for reality television as Channel 4 aired the first celebrity series since the racism scandal that rocked the 2007 series and was eventually won by Ulrika Johnson, with broadcaster Terry Christian.


That year Channel 4 also announced that the franchise, both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother, will be ending in 2010. Probably not that surprising an announcement as Big Brother 10 remains the lowest rating series on Channel 4.


Fast-forward 10 years of course and of course we find ourselves in a similar place. Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother have left the Channel 5 schedules feeling rather empty after an announcement came in 2018 to say that the broadcaster will not be ordering any more series. However the search for a new home continues and as a lifelong fan, I really hope they find one soon.



On Saturday nights The X Factor entertained an average of 13 million people per episode (a number they can only dream of these days) and actually beat Strictly Come Dancing consistently. Remember those days?!


The sixth series of The XFactor was won by Joe McElderry and the series was also responsible for turning Jedward, Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon into the household names they are today.


Over on the other side, there was a big shake-up for the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One, with original judge Arlene Phillips being replaced by 2007 winner Alesha Dixon. Darcey Bussell also joined the show as a fifth guest judge before returning the following year to replace Alesha full-time and of course remains on the panel today, now a Dame!


The series was eventually won by BBC sports presenter Chris Hollins and his professional partner Ola Jordan.



The third series of Britain's Got Talent aired on ITV in 2009 and is probably still the best series to date. Who can forget that final? It was Diversity vs Susan Boyle with Diversity clinching a surprise win after everyone assumed the singing sensation from Scotland would clinch the victory.


10 years on, Diversity remain as current as ever with nationwide tours and multiple television appearances, including Ashley Banjo's role as a judge on Dancing on Ice and Jordan Banjo's presenting role alongside Alesha Dixon on The Greatest Dancer.


As for Susan Boyle, finishing second didn't stop her achieving huge worldwide success, selling over 20 million albums to date. And this year Susan is taking part in America's Got Talent: The Champions where she has already received a Golden Buzzer from judge Mel B.



Elsewhere, the ninth series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! ended with TV chef Gino D'Acampo being crowned King of the Jungle, the fourth series of Dancing on Ice was won by Ray Quinn and Hell's Kitchen bowed out on ITV after four series and was won by actress Linda Evans.



Away from reality television, 2009 was the year that saw the final series of Gavin & Stacey air on BBC One instead of BBC Three, The Thick of It moved from BBC Four to BBC Two whilst The Graham Norton Show and MasterChef both made the jump from BBC Two to BBC One and continue to be flagship shows for the channel in 2019.



It was a strong year for new comedy with many new sitcoms launching including Miranda Hart's Miranda on BBC Two, Phil Bowker's PhoneShop on E4 and Reece Shearsmith and Steve

Pemberton's Psychoville on BBC Two.


Also launching were Newswipe with Charlie Brooker on BBC Four and Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle on BBC Two.


The Royle Family returned for a new Christmas special, The Golden Egg Cup, which saw Jim and Barbara celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with Dave and Denise in a caravan in Prestatyn!


And other comedies which continued included The Inbetweeners on E4, Outnumbered on BBC One and Peep Show on Channel 4.


When it comes to television drama, the standard wasn't as high as it is today with the schedules being filled with a lot of returning series including Doc Martin, Wallander, New Tricks, Waterloo Road, Silent Witness, The Bill and Shameless.



There were a number of series that ended in 2009 including children's favourite ChuckleVision which bowed out after an incredible 292 episodes and Only Fools & Horses spin-off The Green Green Grass which ended on BBC One in March after 32 episodes.


Other series which came to an end in 2009 included The Paul O'Grady Show, Wife Swap, How Clean is Your House?, Hotel Babylon and Pulling.


Some less successful series came and went in 2009 including BBC One sitcom Big Top starring Amanda Holden, ITV comedy FM starring Chris O'Dowd and ITV2's The Justin Lee Collins Show.



2009 was also the year that Fern Britton quit This Morning, Simon Amstell quit Never Mind The Buzzcocks and BBC One viewers decided that Jade Ewen should represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest.


It was also announced that The National Television Awards were being postponed so that the awards could move to a new January slot in 2010, the same slot the awards remain in today.


And EastEnders revealed that Walford favourite Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell, would be leaving the soap in 2010. Following her exit, she has made a very limited number of appearances every year since 2013 before the character was killed off in an emotional episode in May 2016.



And finally, 2009 saw us have to say goodbye to a number of television favourites, including actors Wendy Richard and Natasha Richardson, reality TV favourite Jade Goody, Are You Being Served? legend Mollie Sugden, children's TV presenter Tony Hart and entertainer Danny La Rue who all sadly passed away.

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