Review of the year 2012: July

Technical innovations, Olympic hysteria and Lara Pulver on filming Sherlock naked...


July was a month of technological firsts for the BBC, with the corporation not only announcing plans to broadcast 2012’s Proms in 3D but also unveiling a new ultra high-definition form of television called Super Hi-Vision.


The latter was being rolled out for the Olympics, and as London 2012 approached we were heartened to hear that EastEnders character Billy Mitchell’s televised run with the Olympic torch was watched by 7.9m viewers.

Royal Mail put smiles on everyone’s faces when the postal service announced that it would be honouring Team GB’s medal-winning athletes by painting post boxes gold across the country, and London mayor Boris Johnson helped keeps spirits up with his inimitable, and very well-received, Olympic poetry.

Away from the world of athletics, we celebrated two birthdays this month: Tom Cruise, who turned 50, and Benedict Cumberbatch, whose 36th birthday festivities helped raise money for charity.

But we also said our final farewells to former Doctor Who actress Mary Tamm, who died aged 62, Deep Purple organist Jon Lord, who passed away at the age of 71, and Eric Sykes who was 89 when he succumbed to the effects of a short illness.

There was more sad news this month when a lone gunman killed 12 people at the premiere of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises in the States.

July saw the TV career of Rogue Traders presenter Dan Penteado come to an end after he was, ironically enough, jailed for benefit fraud, and, following a drubbing in the Rajars, Chris Moyles announced his impending departure from the Radio 1 Breakfast Show live on air.

But as well as all the bad news, we had our first glimpses of Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage, Peter Jackson gave his first hints that there might be more than two Hobbit films and a trailer for the new series of Red Dwarf debuted on-line. 

Sherlock fans had a few bits and pieces to enjoy over July too, as Louise Brealey revealed her fantasy Sherlock scene (involving a “shocking kiss”) during a webchat, Lara Pulver AKA dominatrix Irene Adler, admitted to finding filming in the nude “empowering”, and we learned that Benedict Cumberbatch had bagged a role on The Simpsons.

Similarly surprising was the unveiling of the front cover of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, as was Sky’s launch of its Netflix rival Now TV, and we were also intrigued to hear about the first ever ever Sonic Screwdriver-shaped TV remote


And speaking of Doctor Who, as July came to an end we discovered that the Time Lord would be facing some new foes later in the year…