Top 20 TV Moments of 2016

Ed Balls Gangnam Style on Strictly Come Dancing

In no order at all, because these were all fabulous in their own right: the shocking, romantic, electrifying, joyous, hilarious or downright soppy favourite moments as seen on TV in 2016. Pull up a chair, there were a lot …

William Shakespeare gains a whole new set of fans …

Benedict Cumberbatch initiated us into the sheer joy of breaking the fourth wall, playing Richard III with relish in The Hollow Crown.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Russell T Davies was brilliantly bonkers and introduced a whole new generation to Shakespeare, referencing Harry Potter and Silence of the Lambs along the way. It finished with the cast dancing The Slosh, for goodness sake – it made my top moments for that alone. (Director David Kerr confirmed it was definitely The Slosh!)

Russell T Davis does A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare Live, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death, brought us an hilarious 6 minute sketch which ended with HRH Prince Charles showing Dench, Tennant, McKellen et al exactly how Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be soliloquy is done.

Reality doesn’t get better than this …

The Great British Bake Off got poached by Channel 4 from the BBC in one of the biggest shocks of the year, but left us with the beautiful speech of Val:

“Whenever I make anything, I stir love into it, I knead love into it, and so when I present it, it’s special.” Feeling the feels, even now *sobs*

Val says farewell on The Great British Bake Off

On Strictly, Ed Balls’ Gangnam Style was the tonic we all needed after a turbulent week in politics. It was doubly worth it to see the judges reactions in Len’s Lens. Cracking TV.

Heart stopping, belly laughing, sporting revelry.

Planet Earth 2: The racer snakes versus the baby iguanas. Gripping. Like the most terrifying horror film, they slid out from their hiding places like those snakes on that plane but way, way scarier.

Danny Dyer does Who Do You Think You Are and it matters not that 100million people around the world are descended from Edward III, it was funny because it was so at odds with his persona. His interaction with the upper class posh people was hilarious.

Danny Dyer discovered royal roots on Who Do You Think You Are

Graham Norton’s Red Chair Rudeness with south east Londoner Debbie completely nonplussed John Malkovich, but luckily, Samuel L. Jackson was on hand to explain things, while Tom Hiddleston just looked on horrified. I think he was thinking what we were thinking: Her poor kids.

Gary Lineker, not believing, like 99.99% of the population, that Leicester could win the Premier League, bought fresh undies and kept his word, presenting the opening show of MOTD in just his underpants shorts.

At the Copa #Copacabanter, Dan Walker led BBC4’s coverage of the Olympics and proved to the world that we really are as eccentric as they make us out to be, as we celebrated the beach binmen as much as our athletes.

Oh, the romance …

Prince Andrei and Natasha dance in War and Peace. Gorgeous costumes, beautiful music and a fairytale ballroom, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

The Musketeers got all soppy for us and we loved it. But not before they broke our hearts, twice. Thankfully, we lost no-one else, and were rewarded for our devotion with the romantic, happy ever after ending we all wanted.

… and the sheer drama of it all

Dot plans his escape in Line of Duty

Line of Duty: Urgent Exit Required. Matthew (Dot) Cottan already done us up like kippers when he pulled the trigger on Denton, finally fully vindicated. But even that shocker didn’t prepare us for the simple text that sent the final episode into overdrive, featuring an armed chase on a bin lorry.

The Night Manager had us on the edge of our sofas for the six tensest weeks in TV history, with a standout cast and production giving Twitter a chance to let loose with hilarious short reviews. Honourable mention for Tom H’s peachy bum.

In a series not short of moments (Jon’s resurrection and confirmation of parentage, ‘Hold the Door’, Cersei’s coup, Arya back for the Frey’s blood) Game of Thrones delivered in the most satisfying way after the Battle of The Bastards, with Sansa Stark feeding Ramsay Bolton to his own dogs.

In the not-so Happy Valley, Tommy Lee Royce was upstaged by Alison Garrs in the final five minutes of the penultimate episode. As her son Darryl confessed to the recent murders, she told him they’d go to America and then – knowing he wouldn’t cope with a life in prison – she walked up behind him and blew his brains all over the window.

We feared for Pete in Cold Feet

The return of Cold Feet had us all cheering until the moment we all screamed, as Pete appeared to take a walk over the edge of a cliff. Don’t you dare do that to us again, Mike Bullen. Ever!

In Poldark, Demelza gives Ross one for us – a cracking good smack across the chops for his infidelity with Elizabeth. The drama outshone even the buffed-bod-in-the-tin-bath moment.

The Missing showed us just how dangerous using a drill at home can really be, as poor, sweet Jorn fell victim to sadistic Adam Gettrick’s DIY enthusiasm.

And finally … our New Year’s Eve came early, as the cuddly and mostly benign Tom Hardy – known for playing Bane and the Kray twins – broke the internet reading us a bedtime story on CBeebies, in the company of his dog, Woody. Awww.

Tom Hardy won New Year’s Eve, reading the bedtime story on CBeebies

What were your TV highlights in 2016? Let us know in the comments.

Want to chat TV? Find me @Scattyjan on Twitter.