Play for Today: A Statistical History

Tom May*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents an original statistical analysis of Play for Today (BBC1, 1970–84). It begins by defining what counts as a Play for Today. It then presents six specific data-sets examining the following: (1) the output of Play for Today in different periods; (2) the duration and scheduling of plays; (3) their originality; (4) the use of film or video; (5) audience viewing figures; and (6) the number of television repeats. It also compares the data to indicate the construction of a privileged Play for Today canon which ignores a large ‘lost continent’ of Plays for Today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-276
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Play for Today: A Statistical History'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this