The BEST Channel 4 Shows
The top 50 shows on Channel 4
#1 - Trigger Happy TV
A hidden camera comedy program starring Dom Joly deliberately entering into ludicrous or embarrassing situations in public places, all filmed surreptitiously. Sketches took place in a variety of locations primarily on the streets of Central London and Cheltenham. The humor is derived through the public’s reactions to Joly’s shenanigans rather than the usual format, where members of the public are themselves pranked.
#2 - Time Team
In this popular and (literally) groundbreaking programme, Tony Robinson and a team of experts travel the country to investigate a wide range of archaeological sites of historical importance.
#3 - Channel 4 (UK) Documentaries
Channel 4, in common with the other main British stations, airs a highly comprehensive range of programming. It was established in 1982 with a specific intention of providing programming to groups of minority interests, not catered for by its competitors, which at the time amounted to only the BBC and ITV.
#4 - Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet began airing on Channel 4 in the UK in September 1998. Only 6 episodes were made, but the series had a lot of people talking at the time. It was the brain child of Joe Ahearne, who also created the gritty lawyer-soap 'This Life' (also starred Jack Davenport). Stylish, dark and often humourous, Ultraviolet delivered a blend of vampire myth with a modern slant. It is notable that the programme never once mentions the word 'Vampire', instead referring to the antagonists as 'leeches' or a 'code five infection'. Ultraviolet charted the exploits of an investigative government unit, armed with the latest weaponry, whose aim is to track down and exterminate Code 5 infected subjects whilst attempting to work out their agenda. A policeman, Michael Colefield, is reluctantly drawn into the group after a confrontation with his 'turned' former best friend, Jack, when Michael, defending himself after being bitten, is forced to 'kill' Jack.
#5 - Inside Nature's Giants
Inside Nature's Giants will delve under the skin of the world's largest animals to reveal their unique anatomy and unravel their evolutionary secrets. Most wildlife documentaries show you how animals behave, but by exploring inside nature's giants we emerge with a deeper understanding of how these animals work. We will discover how elephants are able to consume so much food; why crocodiles have such an incredibly strong bite; why giraffes have such a long neck and why the closest living relative of the whale is a hippo. This is Natural History as you have never seen it before - from the inside out.
#6 - Grand Designs
Grand Designs is a Channel 4 TV series covering unusual architectural house-building projects, presented by Kevin McCloud and produced by Talkback. The properties featured in the series vary wildly from homes underground to converted water towers, with the only common factor being that they're all rather unusual or extravagant in some way.
#7 - This Is England
This Is England is a 2010 British drama series written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne. A spin-off from the 2006 film This Is England, and set three years later, it focuses on the mod revival scene rather than the skinhead subculture. Like the film, This Is England stars Thomas Turgoose as Shaun, although Lol (Vicky McClure) and Woody (Joe Gilgun) play an even more central role. The story takes place during the 1986 FIFA World Cup. As Shaun completes his last school exam, he realises he will have to find his way in the world. His friends, who include Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget and Meggy, are still around, looking for love, entertainment and employment
#8 - Jamie's 30 Minute Meals
Jamie's back in the kitchen, and this time he's against the clock After his culinary tour in Jamie Does, Jamie Oliver is bringing his culinary inspiration back home to boost our kitchen confidence in the revolutionary new cooking show, Jamie's 30 Minute Meals . In this amazing new show, Jamie makes mouth-watering family meals from scratch with every half-hour episode playing out in real time. To keep you on track, Jamie will take you step-by-step through the cookery process. Forget staged food shows with clever editing, this is the real deal - not one carrot has been peeled beforehand, or one pan sneakily preheated.
#9 - Jamie at Home
Jamie Oliver is back doing what he does best - cooking at home, with simple, accessible ingredients, including fruit and veg that he recently started to grow in his garden. Each programme is themed around one primary ingredient, it could be a look at all the different varieties of tomatoes, what you can do with lovely home-grown potatoes, or how to cook different cuts of lamb - but he also looks at how easy it is to grow your own produce; sometimes in weird and wonderful ways.
#10 - The Restoration Man
George Clarke is The Restoration Man, travelling the British Isles meeting the stubborn romantics who want to breathe new life into the architectural treasures he unearths on his journey. His mission is to help them transform these undervalued gems into brand new homes fit for 21st century living.
#11 - Peep Show
A take on the 'odd-couple' sitcom, Peep Show revolves around the lives of two twentysomethings, Mark and Jeremy, who share a flat. Mark is an office worker, with a bleak outlook on life. who obsesses over his co-worker, Sophie. Jeremy in contrast, is a lazy, shallow guy trying to make it in the music industry. A unique twist that immediately sets the show apart form other sitcoms is the use of the first person view point [nb. the original show title was POV], where we get to see from the characters own eyes. We also get to hear internal thoughts and opinions which reveals stuff they wouldn't say out loud.
#12 - Escape to the Legion
Bear Grylls breaks through the romance surrounding the French Foreign Legion by taking 11 other 'lost souls' to an old camp in the Sahara to undertake a 4-week boot camp to see who can cut it.
#13 - Father Ted
Father Ted is an Irish comedy about 3 parish priests living on Craggy Island - a remote island, off the Irish west coast. The main four characters are Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan), Father Dougal Maguire (Ardal O'Hanlan) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly) and their housekeeper (who just can't stop making tea) Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn). Ted was put on the island as a punishment for going on holiday to Las Vegas with money intended for a sick child - of course..."The money was just resting in his account"!
#14 - The Island with Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls abandones a group of British men and women on a remote, uninhabited Pacific island, where they must stay completely alone for six weeks. With only the clothes they are wearing and some basic tools, do they have what it takes to survive?
#15 - The Big Fat Quiz of the Year
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year is an annual British television programme broadcast on the last Sunday of the year on Channel 4. Essentially, the show is a comedy panel show in the style of a pub quiz. Three teams, of two celebrities each, are asked questions relating to the events of the year just gone by, which they write answers to on an electronic board in front of them. At the end of each round, they then display their answers, scoring a point for each correct one. The first edition was broadcast in December 2004. There has been another at the end of each year since, as well as a special edition in November 2007 for Channel 4's 25th anniversary celebrations.
#16 - The IT Crowd
At the UK company Reynholm Industries, their corporate high-rise towers are full of beautiful happy people with one success story after another. Well, except for the employees that work in the basement - the IT department. While their colleagues work in fantastic surroundings, Jen, Roy and Moss must work below ground in the dark and horrible basement, struggling to make it into normal society. The IT Crowd is a playful and somewhat surreal look at what it's really like to be the underclass of every company - the IT Department.
#17 - The Secret Life of Machines
Tim Hunkin explains how the machines we use every day actually work, using a fascinating combination of experiments, analogies, animation, and larger-than-lifesize working models. The TV series was the outgrowth of a series of cartoons for the Observer newspaper called "The Rudiments of Wisdom", which Tim researched and drew for 14 years. The theme music is a version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" by Val Bennett, retitled "The Russians are Coming".
#18 - Phoenix Nights
Award-winning comedy. Peter Kay plays Legendary social club owner Brian Potter and his hapless band of staff and regulars are determined to make the Phoenix Club a success no matter what.
#19 - Green Wing
A British "medical" drama with a mixture of comedy, bizarre soap opera and pure absurdity that would make Scrubs blush. The series was notable for being filmed in a real-live hospital (with genuine patients and doctors as extras), the plot rarely ever touched actual medicine or patient storylines in favor of focusing on the surgeons playing games mid-operations, the love dodecahedron the staff are trapped in, and the misadventures of the HR department. It was nominated for several awards, including 2 BAFTAs, and won "Comedy of the Year" in 2006.
#20 - Black Books
Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black. He is probably the planet's worst-suited person to run such an establishment: he makes no effort to sell, closes at strange hours on a whim, is in a perpetual alcoholic stupor, abhors his customers (sometimes physically abusing them) and is often comatose at his desk. Help comes in the lumpy shape of Manny Bianco, a hairy, bumbling individual who (almost by osmosis) becomes Bernard's assistant. Manny is not exactly great at the job either but he is a million times better than Bernard. Next door is Fran, an anxious, frustrated woman who runs a sort of new-age shop selling the most unlikely bits of arty junk. Fran is friends with Bernard and, through him, with Manny; together the trio become embroiled in escapades that are sometimes extreme or violent or fantastically ludicrous, and always bizarre.
#21 - Gogglebox
Gogglebox is an entertaining television review programme in which some of Britain's most opinionated and avid TV viewers comment freely on the best and worst television shows of the past week, from the comfort of their sofas.
#22 - Queer as Folk
Stuart Jones (Aidan Gillen) has got it all. He's rich, drop-dead gorgeous and always the centre of attention. He can be forgiven the arrogance because he's pretty close to perfection. His best mate Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly) is funny, adorable and definitely a babe but, unlike his friend, has zero confidence in himself. Since time began, Vince has carried a torch for Stuart but his love remains firmly unrequited. They're both 29, hitting Canal Street every night, stalwarts of the scene but just starting to wonder where else their lives may be going. Then along comes Nathan Maloney (Charlie Hunnam). Young, wild and coming out with a vengeance, he crowbars his way into their world and once he arrives, nothing is ever the same again.
#23 - Brass Eye
Brass Eye was a controversial show that reported the issues of British popular culture. Drugs, Animal Rights, Crime, Paedophilia, these are the issues that the tabloids seem to spend their careers cashing in on. Brass Eye focused on the press and society's irrational focus on them. It takes full advantage of c-list celebrities desperate to look like they care about these 'important' issues but who only end up exposing their own ignorance and willingness to say anything if it gets them on TV.
#24 - Nathan Barley
Nathan Barley is 26. He is a webmaster, guerrilla filmmaker, screenwriter, DJ and in his own words, a "self-facilitating media node". He is convinced he is the epitome of urban cool and therefore secretly terrified he might not be, which is why he reads Sugar Ape Magazine - his bible of cool. Dan Ashcroft writes searing columns for Sugar Ape. He's considered astonishingly cool, but only by those he despises. He is surrounded by idiots and practically worshipped by Nathan (whom he considers to be their king). He is 34. Why has he failed to move on? Claire Ashcroft, 27, is Dan's sister. Like Dan she despises "cool". Unlike Nathan she despises novelty, trash, irony and gadgets. She is furious that no one will fund her hard-hitting documentary about a choir of reformed junkies.
#25 - Teachers
Created by Tim Loane, the series follows a group of secondary school teachers in their daily lives. While the first series centres heavily around probationary teacher Simon Casey (Andrew Lincoln), later series have an ensemble approach. The cast changes dramatically over time, with few original characters remaining by the fourth series. While some of these disappearances are explained, others happen between series without explanation. The first three series are set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, which merges with another school in the fourth series to form Wattkins School.
#26 - Shameless
Blisteringly funny, offbeat drama following the rollercoaster lives and loves of an anarchic family from Manchester. Meet the Gallaghers. Mum went AWOL years ago, Dad stayed at home with the six children only to hit the bottle. And sometimes the kids... The real head of the family is big sister Fiona (20), who looks after Carl (11), Debbie (9) and baby Liam (3). She is occasionally helped, more often hindered, by reluctant virgin 'Lip' (16) and the actively gay, but very private, Ian (15). Welcome to a hectic world of sexual adventures, triumphs, love, scams and a fair bit of crime on a rough Manchester housing estate, where wheel-less cars are the norm and the moving ones are stolen.
#27 - 10 O'Clock Live
Live topical comedy show hosted by Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne. Each presenter has their own sections, and all four will come together for some parts of the show. Jimmy Carr is the desk-based presenter, with David Mitchell chairing discussions and conducting interviews, Charlie Brooker taking an acerbic and cynical look at the week's media coverage, and Lauren Laverne collecting the views and comments of the audience, both in the studio and from those watching at home via Twitter.
#28 - Utopia (2013)
The story follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments, which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as The Network, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.
#29 - Cucumber
Original drama series from Russell T Davies exploring the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life, beginning with the most disastrous date night in history
#30 - Spaced
Spaced is a sitcom like no other. The premise is simple enough: Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim (Simon Pegg) are out of luck and love, so pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat together. Downstairs neighbour and eccentric painter Brian suspects someone's fibbing, and almost blows their cover with their lecherous lush of a landlady, Marsha. Fortunately he soon falls for Daisy's health-freak friend Twist, while Daisy herself goes ga-ga for pet dog Colin. Tim remains happily platonic with lifemate Mike; a sweet-at-heart guns 'n' ammo obsessive. The series is chock-full of pop culture references. In fact, each episode is themed after at least one movie, with nods to The Shining and Close Encounters of the Third Kind proving especially hilarious. Hardly five minutes goes by without a Star Wars reference, and every second of screen time from Bill Bailey as owner of the comic shop where Tim works is comedic gold. The look of the series is its other outstanding element, with slam-zooms, dizzying montages, and inspired lighting effects (often paying homage to the Evil Dead movies). It's an affectionate fantasy on the life of the twenty-something that's uncomfortably close to the truth.
#31 - The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off sees passionate home bakers take part in an elimination competition to test every aspect of their baking skills. Each week the surviving bakers are put through three challenges in a particular baking discipline, such as cake, pastry, pies, bread, or biscuits. Round One is the Signature Challenge, which contestants will have had a chance to practice. However Round Two, the Technical Challenge, is unknown to them until filming, and they are given identical ingredients and a vague recipe to follow. Finally, the Showstopper Round tests their ability to impress the judges with outstanding workmanship, decoration, and design. Judging the baking are professional baker Paul Hollywood and food writer Mary Berry, who was replaced by restaurateur Prue Leith after the show's move from the BBC to Channel 4.
#32 - River Cottage
In 1999 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall decided to quit the bustle of London and take on the life of a smallholder at River Cottage, a former gamekeeper's cottage in Dorset. The aim: self-sufficiency; to grow his own vegetables and raise his own animals for food. Over the years several series have been produced covering his experiences and watching his rural empire grow.
#33 - 24 Hours in A&E
We're all just one wrong step, one sudden illness or one unlucky break away from A&E. It's a place where dramatic stories of love, life and death unfold every day. With 90 cameras filming round the clock for 7 weeks, this series offers unprecedented access to one of Britain's busiest A&E departments, at St George's Hospital in London. Each programme focuses on patients who were treated within the same 24-hour period. The series captures the joy and heartache faced by patients and their families, as well as the hard work and professionalism of the A&E staff. From life-threatening traumas to embarrassing mishaps, 24 Hours in A&E is an intimate, powerful and sometimes comic insight into life - and death - on the frontline of the NHS.
#34 - Friday Night Dinner
For the Goodman family, Friday Night Dinner is just like Sunday lunch: just take two days away, change the meal to dinner, and you’ve pretty much got it. Adam and his brother, Jonny, view Friday night dinner as a necessary annoyance - necessary because they get fed, and annoying because, well, they have to spend the evening with mum and dad.
#35 - Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is the brainchild of celebrated horror writer and self-styled "fabulist" Garth Marenghi, author of such genre classics as Afterbirth (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol) and Crab! ("One of the three best horror books about crabs I've ever read" - Hard Gore Magazine). Back in the 1980s, he branched out into television production, writing and starring in a series so radical, so scary and so downright crazy that when the bosses of Channel 4 saw what they had on their hands, they ran away screaming, like little girls. Only now, twenty years on and amid the worst programming drought in television history, have the station finally allowed the show on the air. Intercut with new interviews with Marenghi himself and his co-stars Dean Learner and Todd Rivers, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is perhaps the most disturbing vision of hospital life ever broadcast.
#36 - Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
Rancid scallops, arrogant head chefs, and dangerously dirty kitchens...these are just some of the horrors that await celebrated UK chef, Gordon Ramsay, in Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Famous for his explosive personality, fiery temper, and colorful language, Gordon attempts to save a different restaurant from financial ruin every week.
#37 - Gadget Man
Gadget Man shows the world's collection of handy gadgets throughout the ages, from today's smart devices to decades old electronics to even older mechanical devices. Stephen Fry presented Series One, with Richard Ayoade taking over for Series Two onward.
#38 - Travel Man: 48 Hours in...
Richard Ayoade takes a ruthlessly efficient approach to travel, covering everything top tourist destinations have to offer in just 48 hours.
#39 - 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
In 2012, two of Channel 4's most popular quizzes - the topical hit 8 Out Of 10 Cats and the cerebral words-and-numbers game Countdown - came to metaphorical blows as the anarchic comedians of the former took on the brainbox format of the latter. Jimmy Carr was the host, with Sean Lock and Jon Richardson as the contestants. Jimmy was helped by Countdown regulars Susie Dent and Rachel Riley, and hindered by Joe Wilkinson. The gang returned to play Countdown a second time later in 2012. In January 2013, as part of the next Channel 4 Mash Up, Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson and Sean Lock hijacked an episode of Deal or No Deal. A number of comedians joined in, plus Rachel Riley and Susie Dent again. Joe Wilkinson acted as the Banker's assistant. Since 2013, the show has run regularly with multiple-episode series.
#40 - Jim Henson's The Storyteller
"When people told themselves their past with stories, explained their present with stories, foretold the future with stories, the best place by the fire was kept for the storyteller." The Storyteller, shown in 1988, starred John Hurt as the Storyteller and with the help of Jim Henson's Workshop of muppets, actors, voices and costumes as well as visual effects, brought a new dimension to television. Nine stories were shown in this series, which was followed a few years later by Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths. This series was to feature some of Britain's finest actors of the time and some who would propel themselves into the international limelight within the next few years. Sean Bean, Jane Horrocks, Brenda Blethyn, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Joely Richardson, Bob Peck, Alison Doody, Gabrielle Anwar, Jonathan Pryce and Miranda Richardson all appeared during the show's short run. The real stars of each episode, however, are The Storyteller and his dog, voi
#41 - Balls of Steel
Mark Dolan (host) challenges a team of comedians and performers to a range of stupid stunts, undercover set-ups and loads more hilarious things that make them look stupid and juvenile. And they all want to prove that they have the biggest balls of steel.
#42 - Derry Girls
Set in the early 1990s, this sitcom features the personal exploits of a 16 year old girl, her family and friends during the Troubles.
#43 - No Offence
No Offence follows the tough but big-hearted bobbies who go above and beyond to bring down the criminal rabble in a crumbling cop-shop. Keeping these streets clean is a Herculean task, enough to demoralize even the keenest rookie - but there's a reason why this hotchpotch of committed cops are on this force, on this side of town. Drug labs, arsonists, neo-Nazis and notorious murderers are all in a day's work for this close-knit team, led by the dizzyingly capable but unquestionably unhinged DI Vivienne Deering. Flanked by her right-hand women - the compassionate but impulsive DC Dinah Kowalska and DS Joy Freers - Deering and her team must crack this case by whatever unconventional means possible.
#44 - Flowers
An eccentric and dysfunctional family struggles to hold themselves together.
#45 - Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere
Hot on the heels of the hugely popular Peter Kay Live and his award-winning, critically acclaimed Phoenix Nights comes Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere... This much-anticipated spin-off, co-written by Peter Kay and Patrick McGuinness, is a six-part comedy drama that chronicles the adventures of Phoenix Club bouncers Max and Paddy. This brilliantly observed comedy journey follows the exploits of these two modern outlaws as they escape the club in their prized motorhome and take to the open road, creating havoc across the country.
#46 - Terry Pratchett's Soul Music
The series closely follows the plot of the novel, which, like many of Pratchett's novels it introduces an element of modern society into the magical and vaguely late medieval, early modern world of the Disc, in this case Rock and Roll music and stardom, with nearly disastrous consequences. It also introduces Susan Sto Helit, daughter of Mort and Ysabell and granddaughter of Death. The series takes the association of the "Band with Rocks In" with the Beatles even further than the book does, evolving their style from 1950s rock and early 1960s beat music (and mixing-bowl haircuts) in Ankh-Morpork, to acid rock in Scrote, to spiritual hippie rock in Quirm. In Sto Lat, they sound like the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Bad Company, but are dressed in clothes similar to the Beatles on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Also in Quirm, Buddy says that the band is 'more popular than cheeses,' referring to John Lennon's famous quote proclaiming the Beatles to be more popular than Jesus. In Pseudopolis, their outfits and style resemble the Blues Brothers. Crash's band is also given the name "Socks Pastels".
#47 - Humans
In a parallel present day, where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a 'Synth' (a highly realistic humanoid servant that's transforming the way we live). In hopes of reducing their workload, a suburban family purchases a new Synth only to discover that sharing life with a Synth has quite far-reaching consequences.
#48 - Da Ali G Show
So just who is Ali G, and how did he get on TV? In his own words: "Me woz born in da heart off da Staines ghetto. I has lived wiv me Nan in Staines at 37 Cherry Blossom Close from da day me woz born, coz wiv both me parents havin been smoked, dere werent no one else around to look afta her. Me has been carin for her ever since. Me woz failed by da skool system and hated every minute me spent in da classroom. In fact added together, dat time woz probly da most borin 3 hours of me life - altho me do still go to a skool re-union every second Monday at Staines Job Centre... As well as bein unemployed - i iz also got a lot off well important careers. As head of Da West Staines Massive, me control da most peace lovin and violent gang in da hole of Barkshire. Afta happearin on some crap programme dat woz on at 11 a clock or somefin, it werent long before me ad me own show. Dis meant me was able to take a in depf look at a lot off serious issues.... I iz now easily da most respekted face on Brittish telly and it iz probably only a matter off time before me get offered me own slot on Channel 5 - or hopefully even cable..."
#49 - Fresh Meat
A comedy drama series about the hilarious and painful truths of being a student. The latest creation from Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, Fresh Meat follows a group of six students about to embark on the most exciting period of their lives so far - university.
#50 - Sugar Rush
Sugar Rush explores the world of Kim and her earth-shattering lust for the gorgeous and sassy Maria Sweet, otherwise known as Sugar. And if Sugar wasn't enough to blow Kim's mind, there's also her dysfunctional, embarrassing family - a mini-freak for a brother, an obsessively house-proud dad and a mum who's behaving as if she's the one who's 15 years old. Each episode is a different journey inside Kim's world as her wry observations take us into the mind of a screwed up, loved up, lustful adolescent experiencing the bright lights of Brighton and the rush of forbidden love for the first time.