Why the '70s and '80s were clearly the best decades for the BBC…
You can tell by drum roll – Theme Tunes. The best and most successful TV shows also have the best and most memorable intro themes. Some of these programs are still the best the BBC has to offer and some have, unfortunately failed or lost appeal mostly to modern Beeb mismanagement. Let's have a look:
1) Newsnight (little-known factoid – Newsnight's format and first presenter actually based the show on the Arabic BBC World Service programme).
2) Question Time.
3) Have I got News For You? (yes, technically has a nice, but 1990 is still part of the same decade as the eighties :P)
4) Match of the Day.
5) Eastenders (which used to be a British staple as opposed to a British embarrassment).
6) Panorama (yes 50s but let's say it was better with David than with Richard :P)
Now tell me what lasting programme the BBC has genuinely produced over the past decade which has been memorable? There have been off-moments of genius in documentaries and the like but in terms of politics and sitcom, the BBC has had its day. It's wonderful that Newsnight has more-or-less kept its high level of quality. This is mostly down to Jeremy Paxman's wonderfully-watchable confrontational style (which he picked up from his predecessor who in turn picked it up from the BBC World Service). Indeed the BBCs political programmes these days hold their hopes as much in individual personality as it does in its theme tunes.