Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 delighted and devastated fans as it gave us the very last film of the massive franchise and Harry’s final stand against “he who must not be named”.
Torchwood returned to our screens with the ten-part running drama Miracle Day. “There is a lot of running and a lot of shooting and, probably due to a big chunk of American money… it’s coated with a thick Hollywood sheen. Just think of it as a fairground ride, and hang on tight,” advised Radio Times. Unfortunately viewers didn’t and ratings dropped as the series progressed.
BBC2 launched its much-hyped drama The Hour. The classy programme about young journalists attempting to change the face of current affairs reporting in 1956 proved a hit.
July closed on a sad note with the death of 27-year-old, Grammy Award-winning singer Amy Winehouse. The coroner has announced a verdict of death by misadventure, the accidental and tragic result of binge drinking.
The massive news of August was, of course, the London riots. The nation watched in horror as the chaos began in Tottenham and over the course of a few days spread across the capital and to other cities. BBC News recorded its largest ever traffic figures, with 15.9 million browsers logging on to their internet coverage.
Everybody’s favourite embarrassing teenagers hit the big screen in The Inbetweeners Movie. This cringe-fest was a fitting end to the series and it became the most successful British comedy in cinema history.
The uncontrollable phenomenon that is The X Factor returned to our screens. This time Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow joined Louis Walsh on the judging panel. As ever the auditions amused and horrified, as shouts of “What are they thinking?” and “Do they really believe they can sing?” were thrown at TVs up and down the country.
Just when you thought Big Brother was over for ever, Channel 5 bought the rights and it was back on our screens this month. Celebrities included Jedward, Kerry Katona and star of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Paddy Doherty – the eventual winner.
The critically acclaimed Downton Abbey took us back in time and offered something for everyone: from life in the trenches to love across social boundaries. It picked up four Emmys and Judi Dench confessed to RT: “I’m completely hooked and I find that it’s one of those things that when I am watching it I’m so engrossed and it’s only when I’m stopped by those ghastly, irritating adverts that I realise I’ve been thoroughly absorbed. It’s like a wonderfully good book when you forget your surroundings.”
Little Britain star David Walliams swam the River Thames for Sport Relief. He wrote for Radio Times: “On paper swimming the Thames feels as if it should be easier than swimming the Channel. Unfortunately for me, it won’t take place on paper, but in water: fairly filthy, undeniably dangerous and stubbornly wet water.”
There was plenty to make us laugh with the return of Outnumbered and the first series of university-based comedy Fresh Meat. Our favourite Friends may have been shown for the last time on Channel 4, but never fear, it continues to be endlessly repeated on Comedy Central!
In the sports world, the Six Nations began and cricketer Shane Warne proposed to his girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley.
Read Radio Times’s TV and entertainment review of the year – part two
Read Radio Times TV and entertainment review of the year – part one
Read Radio Times’s TV and entertainment review of the year – part four