One Day in the Life of Television

One Day in the Life of Television
Genre Documentary
Executive producer(s) Grant McKee
Producer(s) Peter Kosminsky
Editor(s) Terry Warwick
Running time 180 mins[1]
Production company(s) Yorkshire Television
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 1 November 1989

One Day in the Life of Television is a documentary that was broadcast on ITV on 1 November 1989. Filmed by over fifty crews exactly one year earlier, it was a huge behind-the-scenes look at a wide range of activities involved in the production, reception and marketing of British television.[2] The project was organised by the British Film Institute and produced and directed for television by Peter Kosminsky.

The documentary opens with TV-am's industrial conflict, with picketers outside of the studio at Camden Lock. The documentary also looks at Breakfast Time, Lucky Ladders and EastEnders. Reactions to the latter's representation of a prison storyline were garnered from inmates in HMP Dartmoor.[2]

The documentary also showed the marketing of cable television, and the availability of pornography through satellite television during the early evening.

A book by Sean Day-Lewis was published to accompany the documentary. It contained the thoughts of people throughout Britain, including industry professionals, who recorded their feelings and experiences of television viewing on 1 November 1988, the day that the documentary was filmed.[3][4]


  1. "One Day in the Life of Television". BFI Film & TV Database. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  2. 1 2 Jane Harbor & Jeff Wright (1992). 40 Years of British Television. London: Boxtree. p. 111. ISBN 1-85283-409-9.
  3. Sean Day-Lewis (1989). One Day in the Life of Television. London: Grafton. ISBN 0-246-13497-6. (Paperback)
  4. Sean Day-Lewis (1989). One Day in the Life of Television. London: Grafton. ISBN 0-246-13424-0. (Hardcover)
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