Is James Bond and the Queen really the moment that changed TV for ever?

The London Olympics opening ceremony highlight has edged out such contenders as Live Aid and, er, the Moon landing as TV's most defining event, according to a poll of the 10 moments that changed TV for ever

Every now and then, audiences will witness something so seismic that it changes the way we watch television. Think of Vietnam, the first time that technology allowed the horror of war to be beamed into homes. Or the slow-motion OJ Simpson car chase, which for hours gripped America and the world.

But not those. Because none of those events are apparently as iconic as, say, the Queen meeting James Bond. According to a new YouGov poll for Talk Talk promoting YouView, this is – and I'm quoting directly here – the top moment that changed TV forever. "What makes this television moment so iconic is the juxtaposition of the Queen and James Bond together," says Professor Jonathan Brignell. "Viewers gazed in wonder and puzzlement, pride and laughter: is this really the Queen? The moment beautifully broke the boundaries between fact and fiction, and in doing so made its mark worldwide."

Seriously? This is the moment that changed TV for ever? Impossible as it sounds, Talk Talk also managed to find nine non-Queen moments that also changed television for ever. So what else features on the list? The Moon landing and Live Aid are at number five and seven respectively, separated by the first series of Big Brother. You remember, that TV programme slightly more iconic than a transatlantic fundraising concert watched live by 1.9 billion people, but slightly less iconic than a man setting foot on another celestial body for the very first time in all of history. Yeah, you remember. Here's the list in full:

1. James Bond and Her Majesty the Queen at the Olympic opening ceremony, 2012

2. The wrong chandelier, Only Fools and Horses, 1982

3. Basil Fawlty's car-thrashing tantrum, Fawlty Towers, 1975

4. London winning the Olympic bid, 2005

5. The Moon Landing, 1969

6. The first Big Brother, 2000

7. Live Aid and Bob Geldof, 1985

8. Emu attacks Michael Parkinson, 1976

9. The dead parrot sketch, Monty Python, 1969

10. Den serving Angie with divorce papers at Christmas, EastEnders, 1986

It's interesting that, even despite the loopy No 1 choice, the wrong chandelier moment from Only Fools and Horses is number two, while Del Boy falling through the bar is nowhere to be seen. Could this be the first flourish of an Only Fools and Horses coup, with the chandelier fans slowly starting to stand up to the hitherto more dominant bar fans? Only time will tell.

Surely we can put together a more realistic list than this. One full of moments that have actually changed the way that TV is watched. Perhaps the introduction of iPlayer – the real moment that linear viewing essentially became redundant? (Which is possibly what this survey is trying to get to the bottom of, given the service it is promoting.) Or even Shaun Ryder swearing on TFI Friday, which led to the show being pre-recorded, and arguably the idea of broadcast delay taking hold? Or maybe I'm wrong and the Queen thing really is the most momentous thing to ever happen on television. Leave your preferred moments of choice below.


Stuart Heritage

The GuardianTramp

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