Factual Entertainment on British Television: The Midlands TV Research Group's '8-9 Project'

Charlotte Brunsdon, Catherine Johnson, Helen Wheatley, Rachel Moseley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a collective project by the Midlands Television Research Group into the changing character of weekday evening programming in the 1990s on British terrestrial television between 8.00 and 9.00. Over the decade, there has been a growth in ‘factual entertainment’ and a decrease in analytic documentary, situation comedy and variety. Factual entertainment comprises hybrid genres such as ‘docu-soaps’, CCTV footage-based programmes and lifestyle and make-over programmes. Each of the four sections engages with one aspect of the scheduling in the slot. Rachel Moseley discusses the gendering of the slot, focusing on BBC’s Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver. Catherine Johnson discusses pets, vets and children in documentary programmes. Helen Wheatley looks at the treatment of ‘real crime’ in the slot and Charlotte Brunsdon discusses historical antecedents to some of the lifestyle programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-62
Number of pages33
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


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