In Flight Entertainment – Week beginning 29 October

Published every Sunday morning, here’s our weekly pick of TV shows, radio programmes, podcasts and articles to download, stream, save and print for your travels in the coming week.

BBC Ghostwatch 1992
BBC Ghostwatch 1992

Here’s our weekly pick of TV shows, radio programmes, podcasts and articles to download, stream, save and print for your travels in the coming week.

As these are picked primarily from UK sources, many programmes will not be available for download or streaming from outside the UK. All should be available for the next 30 days from the date of broadcast.  Some press articles may require a registration/subscription.


Let’s start with Halloween. 25 years ago, the BBC broadcast what was probably the most daring mainstream television programme in history.

“Ghostwatch” was purported to be a live investigation into the paranormal featuring many familiar fixtures of BBC television such as Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene and Mike Smith.

However, it was a hoax and a very convincing one at that. Even though the programme was presented under the banner of the BBC’s then “Screen One” drama strand, many of its 11 million viewers believed it was real. Borrowing heavily from the mannerisms of daytime television, it was an early example of television deconstructing itself on screen.

Such was the controversy that followed – the programme has been blamed for one viewer taking his own life – not only has the BBC never repeated Ghostwatch it essentially refuses to acknowledge its existence. It has been reported that a planned feature on “The One Show” was dropped at the insistence of the BBC.

The New Statesman has the story behind one of the greatest TV hoaxes of all time.

Another programme celebrating its anniversary is Brass Eye, first broadcast 20 years ago in 1997. This time, the target of the hoax was the show’s contributors. Next week, Curzon Cinema Soho shows Oxide Ghosts: The Brass Eye Tapes featuring previously unseen footage. Alas, it is sold out but Series 1 of Brass Eye is available on Channel 4 / All4.

Also of note on the BBC iPlayer:

Sounds Like Friday Night – The BBC’s resurrection of Top Of The Pops new Friday night music show.

Tracey [Ullman] breaks the news.


BBC Radio 4 Today celebrates 60 years on air, from Wigmore Hall in London. More from the About The BBC blog and The Observer.

The Media Masters podcast speaks to Rob Stringer, CEO of Sony Music.

And if you want to know what’s on your in flight entertainment system see guidance from these airlines: American Airlines British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.

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