Who has captured the imagination of TV viewers in the past year? Which stars are at the top of broadcasters’ wish lists, who landed the biggest roles, and who masterminded the moments that had you glued to your screen?


The Radio Times TV 100 put those questions to some of the most powerful television executives and broadcasting veterans who suggested names they thought should be included - and the final 100 was selected by a RadioTimes.com panel of editors.

The result is a rundown of 100 TV stars who've had a tremendous past 12 months. See the full list below…

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge


"Phoebe is a phenomenal force of nature who has taken the world by storm with her breathtakingly original voice (creations Fleabag and Killing Eve). She’s an utterly unique writer and performer whose emotional honesty and mischievous wit constantly surprises and captures the zeitgeist, and leaves the audience only craving more. I can't wait to see what she’s done to 007!" CHARLOTTE MOORE - BBC’s Director of Content

2. Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham in Save Me (Sky, EH)

"Stephen has been giving us captivating and vivid performances on screen for years. He excels at bringing humanity to complex, challenging characters, which he manages to imbue with absolute truth and credibility. From This Is England to Save Me, he has shown what a brave and emotionally inquisitive actor he is. He gives himself over to each role completely, and as an audience, you can’t help but respond in kind.

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"This year feels like a defining moment. His portrayal of Joseph in Shane Meadow’s The Virtues was astonishing. It completely blew my mind. And to move from that into playing Anthony Provenzano in Scorsese's The Irishman, shows just how vast his range is. The rest of the world is finally waking up to his immense talent and audience appeal. I can’t wait to see what he does next." NIRA PARK - TV and Film Producer

3. Rylan Clark-Neal

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Rylan Clark attends the Celebrity Big Brother male contestants launch night at Elstree Studios on January 5, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)

"Rylan has a brilliant connection with the audience, he’s naughty and warm but incredibly sharp too. He brings something fresh to our screens with that elusive human touch." CHARLOTTE MOORE - BBC’s Director of Content

4. Ashley Walters

Top Boy Netflix

“Ashley Walters is a true Renaissance man - a gifted actor, musician, father, brilliant collaborator, leader, friend-and this year, all his myriad talents were on full display, including his stunning return as Dushane Hill in Top Boy." ARIA MOFFLY - Netflix content executive

5. Emily Maitlis

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Emily Maitlis addresses students at the Cambridge Union Society on October 5, 2015 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

“Emily was already having a fantastic year. As lead presenter of Newsnight, she’d brought renewed urgency and clarity, making the show unmissable again. Who will forget her exceptional interview on College Green with a tearful Nicholas Soames and rueful Ken Clarke as they reflected on the abrupt end to their long careers as Tory MPs? But then, together with producer Samantha McAlister, she landed and delivered the scoop of the year. Her interview with Prince Andrew made for spellbinding television and was a masterclass in long form interrogative journalism. The nation was gripped. Brilliant.” PATRICK HOLLAND - Controller BBC Two

6. Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley: The Young and Homeless (BBC, EH)

"Stacey's star rose to new heights on prime time TV as she held aloft the Strictly Come Dancing glitter ball in December last year. But since then her career has gone from strength to strength with hard-hitting documentaries on the BBC and her own investigative series on W. Add to that entertainment formats and regular presenting gigs, and you have a year that has demonstrated the versatility of Stacey as a journalist, presenter and broadcaster." TIM GLANFIELD - Editorial Director, RadioTimes.com

7. Motsi Mabuse

Motsi Mabuse Strictly 2019 (BBC)

"While she’s been a familiar face to German audiences since her debut on their version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, in this country 2019 has seen Motsi go from relative unknown to one of the queens of Saturday night, showcasing her effervescent personality – and killer dance moves – as a judge on the biggest entertainment show on British TV. Now that's what I call a good year." PAUL JONES - Executive Editor, RadioTimes.com

8. Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer plays Villanelle

"Jodie Comer inhabited the role of [Killing Eve's] Vilanelle with a bravura that captured everyone's attention and hearts." PHILLIPPA GILES - Managing Director, Bandit TV

9. Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure (BBC Pictures)

“Vicky’s got the incredibly rare combination of star quality and down-to-earth authenticity that sets her apart as an actor. She brings warmth, honesty and empathy to every performance.” JED MERCURIO – Line of Duty creator/writer

10. RuPaul

Premiere Of Netflix's "Girlboss" - Arrivals

"RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has been an unequivocal hit for BBC Three. It reached young audiences and, with over 10 million requests on iPlayer, is our most popular entertainment show since we went online. There was big pressure and a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to deliver something special but Mama Ru, the guest judges and our first UK queens served us some truly spectacular TV moments. Series two arrives next year with, of course, more Ru Peter badges to be won and a new crown to be claimed - we’re already gagged for the next instalment." FIONA CAMPBELL - Controller BBC Three

The TV 100 2019 panel

The below suggested names for the final list, which was created and ordered by RadioTimes.com editors

Charlotte Moore – Director of Content, BBC 

Kevin Lygo – Director of Television, ITV 

Shane Allen – Comedy controller, BBC 

Patrick Holland – Controller, BBC2

Peter Salmon – Chief Creative Officer, Endemol Shine 

Marina Storti – Managing Director, NOW TV

Richard Cowles – Creative Director, ITV Studios 

Zai Bennet – MD Content, Sky

Damien Timmer – Managing Director, Mammoth Screen 

Nira Park – TV and film producer 

Syeda Irtizaali - Commissioning editor, Channel 4 

Phillipa Gile - Managing Director, Bandit TV 

Dame Pippa Harris – Chair of Bafta and founder of Neal Street Productions

Cassian Harrison – Controller, BBC4 

Amelia Brown – Managing Director, Thames Television 

Aria Moffly – Content executive,  Netflix

Georgia Brown – Director European Originals, Amazon 

Liam Humphries – CEO UK, Freemantle

Alex Sapot –  Director of Original Series, Netflix

11. Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce, Question Time (BBC)

12. Naga Munchetty

BBC Breakfast

13. Olivia Colman


14. Jack Thorne


15. Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education

16. Richard Madeley

Richard Madeley

17. Jane Tranter


18. Jesse Armstrong


19. Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais, After Life (Netflix)

20. Emily Watson

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Emily Watson

Emily Watson (Getty)

"Whoever played the role of Ulana in Chernobyl had to be hugely talented as the character was created to embody the conscience and bravery of dozens of scientists and medical experts, many of whom were women, who risked so much in the pursuit of truth in the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear explosion. Emily Watson navigated this challenge with ease and her performance undoubtedly shone against the bleak and terrifying backdrop that the man-made disaster created." - MARINA STORTI - Managing Director, NOW TV

21. Andrew Scott

22. Alex Scott

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Alex Scott

Alex Scott

"Alex Scott is quickly becoming a household name on merit for her roles in BBC and Sky Sports football punditry. She brings insight and energy to studio discussions. Her opinions and passion for the game are genuine. A refreshing, fair presence in a sea of snarling, boisterous characters who rely on airing controversial opinions ahead of their own to stay relevant." MICHAEL POTTS - Sport Editor, RadioTimes.com

23. David Benioff and Dan Weiss

24. Charlie Brooker

25. Russell T Davies

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Russell T Davies

Screenwriter Russell T Davies, exclusively photographed for Radio Times by Ray Burmiston
Russell T Davies, photographed for Radio Times by Ray Burmiston

“With Years and Years, Russell T Davies combined the slow burn character genius of Queer as Folk with his forward-thinking Doctor Who imagination to create a blistering, damning yet incredibly entertaining look at the world we now live in – and where we’re headed. It’s impossible to imagine anyone else pulling it off.” HUW FULLERTON - Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor, RadioTimes.com

26. Laura Kuenssberg

27. Ryan Murphy

28. Lisa McGee

29. Jamie Demetriou

30. Gillian Anderson

31. Jeff Pope

32. Piers Morgan

33. Alan Sugar

34. Nina Gold

35. Ava DuVernay

36. Natasha Lyonne

37. Natasia Demetriou

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Natasia Demetriou

Natasia Demetriou
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"A bumper year with iconic roles in What We Do In The Shadows, Stath Lets Flats and her own sketch show Ellie & Natasha (pilot 2019, series 2020). A star was born, had a little brother [Jamie Demetriou] and shared the limelight." SHANE ALLEN - Controller, BBC Comedy Commissioning

38. Graham Norton

39. Sharon Horgan

40. Niamh Algar

41. Charlie Covell

42. Jed Mercurio

43. Bradley Walsh

44. Josh O’Connor

45. Cillian Murphy

46. Ant and Dec

47. Emerald Fennell

48. Maisie Williams

49. Mo Gilligan

50. Sarah Phelps

51. Brit Marling

52. David Attenborough

53. Charlie Cooper

54. Daisy May Cooper

55. Annabel Jones

56. Guz Khan

57. Lenny Henry

58. Daisy Haggard

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Daisy Haggard

Daisy Haggard

"[BBC Three's] Back To Life was Daisy’s first television series as a writer and creator and when she pitched the idea to us, we jumped at the chance to work with her. Miri’s story came from Daisy’s passion for telling underdog stories and the different treatment women get in relation to crime than men, especially in the media. She’s managed to create a wonderfully complicated character, fighting for a second chance in a world that makes it so desperately hard for her. Daisy is a unique talent and a true hero and I can’t wait for fans to see where she will take Miri’s story in series two." SARAH HAMMOND - Two Brothers Pictures

59. Ruth Madeley

60. Mobeen Azhar

61. Brian Cox

62. Louis Theroux

63. Nabhaan Rizwan

64. Jodie Whittaker

65. Samson Kayo

66. Oti Mabuse

67. Shane Meadows

68. Emilia Clarke

69. Romesh Ranganathan

70. Jessica Barden

71. Susan Wokoma

72. Chris Mason

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Chris Mason

Chris Mason

"As if being a BBC political correspondent isn't enough to keep someone busy in an age of Brexit, Chris Mason, has not only managed to keep up with the relentless schedule as one quarter of the brilliant Brexitcast presenting team and take over from Jonathan Dimbleby after 32 years as chair of Any Questions?.. but also became a social media star when his "I think you might as well ask Mr Blobby for his analysis," interview about Brexit saw him go global from the pages of Le Parisien to the attention of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." TIM GLANFIELD - Editorial Director, RadioTimes.com

73. Akemnji Ndifornyen

74. Nish Kumar

75. David Harbour

76. Heidi Thomas

77. Simon Cowell

78. Helena Bonham Carter

79. Aidan Turner

80. Sally Wainwright

81. James Corden

82. David Olusoga

83. Keeley Hawes

84. Ade Adepitan

85. David Tennant

86. Mishal Husain

87. Holliday Grainger

88. Freddie Fox

89. Asim Chaudhry

90. Gary Lineker

91. Sandra Oh

92. David Oyelowo

93. Emma Mackey

  • SPOTLIGHT ON: Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey - Sex Education
Jon Hall/Netflix

“Sex Education has been nothing short of a global phenomenon since exploding onto Netflix in 2019, helped in no short part thanks to a critically acclaimed lead performance from Emma as Maeve Wiley. With season two hitting our screens in January, it looks like there’s more success to come for Emma very soon…” EMMA POWELL - News Editor, RadioTimes.com

94. Sophie Rundle

95. Stephen Mulhern

96. Nicola Walker

97. Joe Barton

98. Lesley Manville

99. Helen McCrory

100. Liz Bonnin