British television shows have etched themselves a solid place in the
hearts of Australian audiences with their home-spun humour and rough-edged
The ability to laugh at themselves, find humour in the strangest situations
and applaud the realities of life on the street mirrors the down-to-earth Aussie
We've laughed at the alcoholic meanderings of the Absolutely Fabulous team,
been transported to unimaginable places with Dr Who and trudged the beat with
the cops on The Bill.
Yet until now our diet of shows from the land of faggots and mushy peas has
been tempered by ratings constraints on free-to-air television.
From this month Austar is presenting Wollongong viewers with UK-TV, a channel
dedicated to British entertainment.
Launched in 1996 through Foxtel, UK-TV is a joint venture between Foxtel, BBC
Worldwide and Pearson Television.
Except for the mandatory 10-15 per cent of material sourced from Australia,
the show covers only British productions and will form part of Austar's Deluxe
Many programs have not been seen in Australia before while some are old
Headlining the play list in 1999 are such new shows as Back Up (a drama about
a close-knit squad of specially trained officers who handle the problems the
police can't), Noah's Ark (a country veterinary practice), Heat of the Sun (a
murder thriller set in the colonial high society of Kenya), Out of Hours (a
doctor drama) and She's Out (Lynda La Plante's new series about a female
criminal, six million pounds in diamonds and a dram to start life afresh).
The familiar programs include BlackAdder, Absolutely Fabulous, George and
Mildred, EastEnders, The Bill, Minder, Rumpole of the Bailey, Open All Hours, To
The Manor Born, The Morecambe and Wise Show and Bramwell.
Mini-series and specials include The Chamomile Lawn, Brideshead Revisited,
Jack The Ripper, Les Miserables, A Very British Coup, Yes Minister and I
UK-TV is one of six channels being offered on Austar for an additional cost
The package also includes C7 Sports (covering AFL), ESPN (international
sports service), Fox 8 (general entertainment), fx/fxm (movies and tv shows),
Hallmark (made for television movies).
The deluxe package will be available to subscribers for 30 days, free of
charge on a trial basis.