Review of the year 2012: January

Scandal, plaudits and celebrity reality shenanigans as the year began - oh, and a certain BBC1 detective drama came back...


The year began with triumph for Ronnie Corbett CBE and Lorraine Kelly OBE in the New Year’s Honours list, but sadness on Albert Square as Pat passed on in a dramatic 1 January episode that closed with a rare honour: a reworked version of the theme tune. Actress Pam St Clement told Radio Times: “I might find myself emerging from the image of Pat like a butterfly from a chrysalis.” In real life we said goodbye to Blockbusters legend Bob Holness, and to Ronald Searle – illustrator for, among many others, Radio Times.


These were dark days for TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson, who was arrested and cautioned for shoplifting “low-value goods” from Tesco in Henley. Also in disgrace: Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the Top Gear team, who caused a diplomatic incident in India.

ITV1’s wintry celebrity talent contest Dancing on Ice revealed its latest roster of stars, led by Chesney Hawkes and Heidi Range, while Celeb BB unleashed Natalie Cassidy and Denise Welch.

But the big TV event of early January was of course Sherlock series two. The first episode caused a stir with Lara Pulver’s nude scenes – the BBC reacted to the complaints about pre-watershed naughtiness by, er, repeating the episode in an even earlier slot

Having reworked The Hound of the Baskervilles, Steven Moffat and co unleashed a humdinger: the third and final episode saw Sherlock return from the dead. How had they done it? At the starry Radio Times covers party, Moffat said he loved to keep us guessing but we were all missing something… our readers immediately tried to solve the mystery.

Before the series had even ended, though, Cumberfans had something else to focus on: their man’s casting in the 2013 Star Trek film. naturally thought BC was the man for the job. Director JJ Abrams was confident, calling our Ben “a genius”. But we know that Sherlock isn’t just about Holmes and Watson, so we went to meet the female stars of the series and asked them your questions.

Radio Times magazine named 12 actors to watch in 2012 – how did we do? Hit and miss, but we’d correctly predicted one of the year’s surprise drama hits

Other notable debuts on British telly this month? Borgen, Stella… and Nick Hewer hosting Countdown.

The big winners at the National Television Awards? Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and the outgoing Karen Gillan (who’d already branched out from Doctor Who with We’ll Take Manhattan).


Towards the end of January came a seemingly innocuous story – little did we know how many times we’d be writing similar ones in 2012. Rumour had it the BBC director-general was on his way out