Best TV Shows to Stay Informed About Current Affairs

By Matt Lovett | 5 Apr 2020 at 12:00am

Best TV Shows to Stay Informed About Current Affairs

The evolution of television has left the modern-day viewer with a wide array of choices, meaning they can pick and choose whatever genre of programme they require.


Whether it is binge-watching a series on demand or following the latest reality stars, television truly caters for everyone, all the time. Few viewers will watch programmes outside of their spectrum purely because of the flexibility of channels and the wide variety of shows.

In 1997 the Spice Girls launched Channel Five, bringing the total number of analogue channels to five. The lack of alternatives meant programmers were often forced to be savvier in what content they delivered and the current affairs show was a staple of a many people’s viewing habits.

Now, current affairs are often covered on the internet and the need for shows has seemingly diminished. However, getting the right news, delivered in a consistent and impartial manner, is not straightforward and as such a few stalwarts from the analogue age are still standing strong, and flying the flag for the genre.

We look at five which have truly stood the test of time and are as popular as ever.


Panorama – BBC One

Panorama first aired in 1953 and has cultivated a reputation for delivering newsworthy and revealing content from a completely even-handed perspective.

It has notably delivered hard-hitting programmes on such topics as missing money in Iraq. Panorama also has a keen history of exposing the murkier side of football, including the Glazer’s Manchester United takeover and FIFA’s murky history. The programme’s longevity means that viewer trust in their content is as high as ever, something strengthened by its standing within the respected BBC schedule.

This Morning – ITV

This Morning is one of the most popular shows in the United Kingdom, winning a number of awards during its lifetime including Best Daytime TV Show (2018), Best Topical Magazine Programme (2011), Most Popular Factual Programme (2012), and Best Live Magazine Show (2016-18).

It is reported to be the most-watched programme in the UK by Gala Bingo, and is one of the longest-running regular current affairs shows on UK television. It is hosted by the popular duo of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, but it became a household name back in the late eighties when presented by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

Dispatches – Channel 4

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme first aired in 1987 and whilst it isn’t a regular show, it does have a reputation for dealing with controversial topics. One of the more recent episodes, looked at the expenses of top universities in the United Kingdom. 

They have attracted some criticism in the past for their use of undercover reporters, but their subject matter remains topical and relevant for those with an interest in current affairs.

The Jeremy Vine Show – Channel 5

The Jeremy Vine show is a vehicle for one of the country’s best-known current affairs presenters, Jeremy Vine. It’s a relative newcomer to television, having first aired in September 2018 as a replacement for The Wright Stuff, another popular current affairs show.

Vine has a strong track record in current affairs and has presented Newsnight, Panorama, Points of View, This Week and the One Show on television, as well as presenting his hugely successful Radio Two show for many years. His TV show is trusted by virtue of his presence and recognisable standing as a king of current affairs in the UK.


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