Shock to the system: British TV's biggest OMG moments

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29 Apr • 6 min read

With the dust finally settling on a truly unforgettable Oscar’s ceremony, we got thinking about which moments in British TV have left us truly gobsmacked. From live bust-ups, to shocking cliffhangers - we’ve really seen it all.

And if you needed any further proof that things don’t always go as scripted, then here’s our definitive breakdown on the biggest ‘OMG’ moments British telly has ever witnessed.

The harsh reality

Making sure trained actors and seasoned presenters stick to the script is one thing, but ensuring us ordinary folk avoid producing shocking moments is another. The astronomical rise of reality TV has seemingly gone hand-in-hand with some of the most unforgettable moments over the years, and there’s no doubt that we’ve seen some of our favourite TV shockers as a result.

Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me has been nothing short of a British institution ever since gracing our screens back in 2005. The show which sees a group of strangers take turns to host a dinner party has been synonymous with some of the funniest, and most awkward scenes in recent memory.

But if there’s one episode that is most synonymous with the show’s unpredictable nature, then it has to be Peter’s impromptu rant back in 2016. Not sure about what we’re referring to? Then these six words will definitely help jog your memory - "what a sad little life, Jane". One line, six words, and endless memes and pop culture references later and we have one of the most quotable moments in reality TV history.

Peter’s petulance might have seemed like a throwaway comment at the time, but the fact it’s taken on a life of its own is equal parts shocking as it is ridiculous. And it’s still just as hilarious to this day!

Taking the Piers

Wherever Piers Morgan goes - controversy follows. And the former Good Morning Britain host was at the centre of one of the most gob-smacking live TV walks-outs of all time when he stormed off set during a heated exchange with weatherman Alex Beresford. 2021 will be memorable for many reasons - and Morgan’s very public disdain towards Meghan Markle is right up there. However this time, Alex Beresford had heard enough, sparking an angry tirade for the former presenter.

Love him or loathe him though, no one can say Piers is short of a strong opinion on anything. So while the outburst itself may not have been surprising, viewers were left stunned as Morgan got up, stormed out, never to be seen on GMB again. The controversy didn’t stop there either as the breakfast show was inundated with complaints over the spat between Piers and Alex.

We might not have seen the former host on Good Morning Britain screens since, but it’s safe to say that this is a memory that won’t be leaving us anytime soon.


Iconic US show, Dallas set the tone back in the 80’s with their gripping ‘who shot JR?’ storyline, and British soaps have spent the following three decades following the same blueprint ever since. All the soaps have been at it. Eastenders has had its fair share, with Phil Mitchell being at the end of a near fatal shooting in 2001, as well as Lucy Beale and Archie Mitchell’s murders causing a similar nationwide talking points.

But perhaps the most shocking - and graphic - was in 2006 as Emmerdale’s Tom King came to an untimely demise after being clobbered over the head. With a whopping ten suspects in the frame for his murder, fans were left on the edge of their seats for months while the village attempted to piece together the events of the fateful night in the Yorkshire dales.

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you either way. Which TV moments have left your jaws on the floor over the years? As always you can reach us via email, Twitter or Facebook.