The UK’s top 20 most-watched TV programmes revealed: Norwich show makes the cut

Nicholas Parsons with the show hostesses on Sale of the Century

Nicholas Parsons with the show hostesses on Sale of the Century - Credit: Archant

A TV game show filmed in Norwich has been revealed as one of the most-watched programmes in British television history.

'And now, from Norwich, it's the quiz of the week,' was Nicholas Parson's famous line on Sale of the Century, the show which was filmed by Anglia Television in Magdalen Street from 1971 to 1983.

The popular game show, where contestants answered questions to win money, has made it onto a list of the top 20 most-watched shows in British TV history, with more than 20 million viewers tuning in to watch the singular transmission on November, 19 1977.

The list, which was compiled by the Press Association to mark 80 years since the first live TV broadcast in the UK, also features classic shows such as Only Fools And Horses, which nabbed the top spot with more than 24 million viewers on December 29, 1996, Coronation Street and Princess Diana's Panorama interview on November, 20 1995.

Popular British soap, EastEnders, failed to make the cut, as did anything from the last 15 years of broadcasting.


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Here's a look at the top 20 most-watched shows:

1. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 29 1996): 24.35 million viewers

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2. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 11 1979): 23.95 million viewers

3. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 19 1967): 22.80 million viewers

4. Panorama (BBC1, November 20 1995): 22.77 million viewers

5. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 14 1965): 21.70 million viewers

6. Dallas (BBC1, November 22 1980): 21.60 million viewers

7. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 9 1980): 21.55 million viewers

8. The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.40 million viewers

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 2 1985): 21.40 million viewers

10. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 2001): 21.35 million viewers

11. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 27 1996): 21.33 million viewers

12. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 1996): 21.31 million viewers

13. The Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.30 million viewers

14. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 10 1963): 21.20 million viewers

= The Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Gala (ITV, December 4 1977): 21.20 million viewers

16. Bread (BBC1, December 11 1988): 20.95 million viewers

17. The Benny Hill Show (ITV, March 14 1979): 20.85 million viewers

18. Coronation Street (ITV, December 18 1980): 20.80 million viewers

19. Just Good Friends (BBC1, December 21 1986): 20.75 million viewers

20. Sale Of The Century (ITV, November 19 1977) 20.60 million viewers

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 9 1985): 20.60 million viewers

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 16 1985): 20.60 million viewers

• Do you remember watching Sale of the Century? Let us know in the comments below.

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