FROM bidding a final farewell to our favourite period drama, to the standout British drama of the year and the sad death of a soap legend, 2015 has been a notable 12 months for TV. As the year draws to a close, we reflect on some of the most memorable moments on the box.
DOWNTON ABBEY BOWS OUT
After six series of rocky courtships, precarious proposals, downright unexpected deaths, scheming, sniping, snitching and a whole lot of verbal sparring, both upstairs and downstairs will be closing the doors on Downton Abbey this Christmas. Bravo!
NADIYA ON THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF
There was much to love about this year’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Jamir Hussain. From her incredulity as she whipped through the stages, dashing off biscuits, bread and bakes with natural flair, to her growing belief in her abilities, she was a truly well-deserved winner, who moved the nation (and even had Mary Berry welling up on camera). Bonus points too for her wide-ranging facial expressions, which morphed from cartoon wonder to teenage grimace in milliseconds.
EASTENDERS’ LIVE EPISODE
2015 was the year of live TV - live documentaries, live nature programmes and even live soaps. But going live, of course, means all kinds of bloopers can happen... Bloopers like calling your EastEnders co-star by his real name instead of his character’s name in front of millions of viewers, which is exactly what happened to Jo Joyner (referring to Ian Beale by his real name, Adam). Mortified though she looked at the time, the actress recovered quickly and gamely laughed the mistake off on social media afterwards.
THE END OF THIS IS ENGLAND
Unflinching, darkly funny and meticulously observed, Channel 4 drama This Is England came to a characteristically uncomfortable yet bittersweet end this year. Sad as it was, the series was never mawkish and elegantly balanced humour and uncompromising storylines throughout, leaving us laughing, cringing, crying and discovering the meaning of ‘sniff bang’ along the way. We’ll miss you.
Another year, another batch of dramas about relationships. But amid the usual fodder, one stood out. A surprise success story, BBC One’s Doctor Foster attracted 10 million viewers, with Suranne Jones leading the charge as a scorned woman who seeks revenge for her husband’s affair. Luckily, the Beeb have confirmed that a second series is under way.
AIDAN TURNER - AND CHEST - IN POLDARK
Best known for playing Kili in The Hobbit, hirsute actor Aidan Turner earned a whole army of new fans when he took the leading role in the BBC’s remake of period drama Poldark. While the drama ticked a lot of boxes with its broody performances and gripping storylines, its leading man helped matters when scenes of his rippled and bronzed chest sent the internet into a swooning meltdown. Mr Darcy who?
X FACTOR’S DOWNFALL
Once a must-see TV event, this year’s X Factor has been a bit of a damp squib. Beaten in the ratings by cosy BBC One favourites Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow, even the addition of Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw and pop sensation Rita Ora couldn’t tempt viewers back. That’s not to say the fault lies with our Grimmy, rather that after a whopping 12 series, there are only so many shock exits, surprise underdogs and backstage brawls we can stomach.
SAYING GOODBYE TO DEIDRE
Sadly, 2015 saw the death of Coronation Street legend Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow for 42 years. Such was the bespectacled character’s appeal that when she was sent to prison in 1998, then PM Tony Blair was among those who donned a ‘Free Deidre’ T-shirt in support of her release. Fittingly, Corrie gave Kirkbride and her many fans a chance to say goodbye, when the team wrote Deirdre’s death and funeral, heartbreakingly arranged by on-screen husband Ken, into the soap.
JON SNOW - DEAD OR ALIVE?
Oh, Jon Snow. Left for dead in Game Of Thrones by his own men earlier this year, his untimely end has sent the rumour mill into overdrive ever since. But, such is the wonder of TV, it doesn’t look like Snow’s end was really an end after all. Indeed, the new teaser poster featured Kit Harington, the actor who played/plays Snow, looking down at his blood splattered face... Watch. This. Space.
JENNA COLEMAN LEAVES DOCTOR WHO
After three years of standing side by side with the Time Lord, this year marked the departure of Clara Oswald from the hit series. The popular companion, played by Jenna Coleman, knew her time was numbered and bid an emotional goodbye to the Doctor, urging him not to avenge her death before taking a hit by a deadly raven. While Clara is a goner, writer Steven Moffat teased that the character will be back “in some form” during the Christmas episode.