The most explosive moments in British TV history

Blog > What to watch
11 Nov • 6 min read

Bonfire night may have come and gone in a flash, but that doesn’t mean we’re short of explosive moments. British TV has served up some of the most memorable moments in recent memory. From soap endings that went out with a bang, to reality TV shockers that left viewers stunned. We really have seen it all. So this week, we’re delving into our archive to look at the most explosive moments in British TV history - you don’t want to miss this!

East End endings

We all know soap-land is famed for its big endings, the only thing more explosive than its characters are their exits. And if we’re talking about memorable finales then we really can’t look any further than Lucy Beale’s tragic death in Eastenders back in 2014. We're struggling to think of an exit which sparked as much drama as Lucy’'s did, and on those grounds alone it has to claim a special spot in our hearts. Her eerie death by jewellery box, and being left to rot in the woods in 2014, was just the beginning of what became a far bigger storyline, with the explosive reveal of her killer during the phenomenal 30th anniversary live episode the following year. Simply unforgettable.

As an extra special treat, the audience were treated to special flashback episode of that fateful Good Friday, so we got to relive Luce's last moments all over again, and see the jaw dropping moment when a kid dressed in guitar pyjamas confessed to murder. There's always a first time for everything!

Big Brother, bigger exits

There were many epic eviction moments during Big Brother 7, but none more epic than Grace’s. Memorable is an understatement for this classic reality TV moment. It all began when Golden Housemate Susie was unwittingly responsible for putting Grace against Nikki in the public vote – and after a week living under her rule in the State of Susie task, Grace finally snapped and threw a glass of water over her just seconds before exiting the house.

“You’re certainly no lady Grace,” Susie proclaimed, before the woman herself hilariously replied: “Nor are you, you moose!” Which is still one of the funniest one-liners in reality show history. Given that face-to-face nominations were a regular occurrence in the subsequent series’, we’re surprised there weren’t more hurled glasses of water since. And while you can argue that these early series of Big Brother has aged badly, there is certainly a special place for them in our nostalgic archive.

Not enough X-Factor?

Perhaps the biggest ever X Factor shock exit happened back in 2012 when Ella was dropped in the sing-off against James Arthur. James went on to win the show, the first act to appear in a sing-off to do so. Despite her exit, Ella was sti

ll signed by Syco and even enjoyed a Number 1 single and album.

So it’s safe to say that while Ella had the last laugh, her exit is one of the most surprising in the show's long history of jaw-dropping moments. And that really is saying something when you consider some of the unexpected plot twists we saw during the talent shows heyday.

Wink gate

Let’s cast our minds back to 2006 - another moment in the long history of English heartbreak at an international football tournament. England’s ‘Golden Generation’ were at the peak of their powers. Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Owen and most notably - Wayne Rooney. The hopes of the entire country pinned on the young striker's shoulders. Too much pressure? Probably. A moment of madness to cost us the tournament? Definitely.

We all gasped in shock as Rooney was sent off and off went our hopes of winning in the same instance. And sure enough, in these moments we always need a public enemy Number One. Step forward a young, noodle-haired Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only did the young Portuguese star play his part in the red card, but his well placed wink towards his team's bench was enough for a set of aggrieved fans to have a motive to vilify Ronaldo for months to come.

So those are just a few of our most explosive moments in British TV history, which ones have we missed out? We’d love to hear your choices! Let us know via email, Twitter or Facebook.