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Holiday (TV series)

Presented byCliff Michelmore
Desmond Lynam
Anne Gregg
Kathy Tayler
Anneka Rice
Jill Dando
Craig Doyle
Rizwana Lateef
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes622
Running time29 minutes
Original networkBBC One
Original release2 January 1969 (1969-01-02)[1] –
19 March 2007 (2007-03-19)[2]

Holiday is a long-running UK television programme, which aired mainly on BBC One, sometimes airing on BBC Two. It is the oldest travel review series on UK television, showing every year from 1969 until its demise in 2007.[3]


The programme began in 1969 as Holiday 69, and until the 1990s the year was included in the title in this way. The first presenter was Cliff Michelmore who remained with the series until 1986. In 1974 its popularity led to ITV launching a rival show, Wish You Were Here...?.

Each week the programme consists of several reports, in each of which one of the presenters visited a holiday resort in the UK or overseas and reviewed the attractions of the region. Despite the programme's obvious attraction as escapism, over the years it was criticised[by whom?] for featuring destinations that the majority of viewers would be unable to afford.

The programme spawned several short-lived offshoot programmes, including Summer Holiday (1994–2002); Holiday: Fasten Your Seatbelt (1996–98), in which presenters tried out holiday-related jobs); Holiday: You Call the Shots – in which viewers advised the presenters which sites to visit in a particular destination prior to filming (2001–03); and Holiday on a Shoestring (1999).

It was announced by the BBC in November 2006 that after a record 37 years on air, Holiday would end in March 2007 at the conclusion of the current series.


Many presenters appeared in the programme, including Cliff Michelmore, Ginny Buckley, Joan Bakewell, Anne Gregg, Frank Bough, Desmond Lynam, Eamonn Holmes, Anneka Rice, Jill Dando, Rizwana Lateef and Craig Doyle.[4][5]

In addition, the teams of reporters who provided regular reviews from holiday destinations have included Sarah Kennedy, Bill Buckley, Kieran Prendiville, Fyfe Robertson, Kathy Tayler, Monty Don, Rowland Rivron, John Cole and Carol Smillie. The final presenter was Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.[citation needed]

Theme tunes

The original theme tune for the series was Love's "The Castle".

Subsequent theme tunes in the mid-70s included Hugo Montenegro's arrangement of Lalo Schifrin's theme to the 1968 movie The Fox, and Part Five of Jean Michel Jarre's Équinoxe.

Gordon Giltrap's "Heartsong" was used as a theme tune from 1978 until the end of the 1985 series. In 1986 it was replaced with "The Holiday Suite" written by Simon May, who also composed the EastEnders theme. This proved unpopular, and was replaced the following year by a further Giltrap composition.

In 1988 Paul Hardcastle composed new music called "The Voyager". This theme was used throughout the 1990s and 2000s until the programme came to an end after 37 years in 2007.



  1. ^ "Holiday 69 - BBC One London - 2 January 1969". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Holiday - BBC One London - 19 March 2007". BBC Genome Project. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. ^ West, Dave (27 November 2006). "BBC axes 'Holiday' after 37 years". Digital Spy. Hearst UK. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. ^ "'Holiday' programme axed after 37 years". Mail Online. DMG Media. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  5. ^ "'Holiday' programme axed after 37 years". Evening Standard. ESI Media. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Vets on Holiday - BBC One London - 27 August 1998 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Holiday Down Under - BBC One London - 5 January 1999 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Holiday - Round-the-World Special - BBC One London - 15 October 2000 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Holiday - EastEnders Special - BBC One London - 22 December 2002 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 6 July 2018.

External links