How TV moments can connect us to friends and family throughout our lives

After reading all about the BBC TV Licensing Moments That Connect Us Campaign, it got me thinking about the TV-related moments that have been important in my life - both from a young age and very recently. Here are mine - and I'd love to hear about yours...

This post is a collaboration with TV Licensing (a trademark of the BBC), but all thoughts and experiences are my own.

What are your key TV moments? It could be anything from watching live sport on TV or watching Saturday morning TV as a child to the final episode of a much-loved long-running series or the live broadcast of a public event.

When I was younger, we didn’t have catch-up options, live streaming, on-demand or box sets. The most exciting development TV-wise that I remember from my childhood was the introduction of Channel 5, launched by the Spice Girls in the ’90s. It was many years later that Freeview came along and those handy +1 channels so that you could still watch the show if you got home late.

Now, we have more options than ever and I think that’s made it a bit difficult for us – we can no longer be sure that a friend has watched the latest episode of a reality show so we have to speak in code to avoid spoilers. And, often, when I ask if a family member has watched the latest TV launch, their reply is that they don’t watch ‘real TV’ much, only streaming services.

And I think that’s a shame. It’s time to bring back the kind of TV that brings us together and gives us the chance to chat about a common interest and experience. Looking back at the TV moments that were significant in my life might help you to see why…

A TV show that dominated my teen years and that I’ve since watched countless times (yes, I still own the DVD box set!) is Friends. I remember it being the main topic of conversation amongst my high school pals every Monday morning – ‘OMG did you see Ross and Rachel finally kissing??’ There were no spoiler alerts needed because, of course, everyone had seen it.

I remember one Friday night as a young teen, I actually started crying on my way home because I’d stayed out at the recreation ground a little too late and wasn’t going to get home in time for the start of the show. Because, in those days, if you missed it, you’d MISSED it.

This also posed another problem when a school trip was announced. We were going away and would be staying in dorms with our schoolmates BUT without a television. So, we would all miss Friends that week. Planning ahead, for my birthday I asked for just one gift: a portable handheld TV so that I could waggle the aerial around and twiddle the knobs and hopefully tune into Friends while we were away.

It was a solution that had all of my buddies crowding around the tiny screen to watch the latest episode and not miss out on our Friday Friends fix. Do they even make portable TVs anymore? It was one of the best presents I’ve ever been lucky enough to receive, even though the screen couldn’t have been bigger than 4 inches.

2012 was a year of epic TV moments for me. We had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which was broadcast live on the BBC. I was never going to be able to go to London to see it, but I could watch every moment from home, fantastic.

But even better that year was the Summer Olympics in London. From the opening ceremony to the closing one, I was hooked. I watched as many events as possible, and was grateful that I worked from home that summer – the TV was on from morning to night. I felt like we were in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime event and didn’t want to miss a moment.

I think catch-up was possible in those days and there was definitely an evening round-up of all the events but I loved watching the races live and, whenever Team GB did well, it was reported immediately on the news, so there was no chance of avoiding the results until later – things were exciting.

Remember when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the first gold medals for GB in the pairs rowing? I do! Watching the moment live really felt like I was there and it has been etched into my mind. In fact, I was regularly blogging about those Olympic moments in 2012, from seeing the Olympic torch being carried through our local town to reporting on the day 8 results when Team GB won 6 gold medals. Wow.

More recently, watching The Traitors this year was the first time I’ve watched ‘event TV’ for a long time. It completely passed me by last year and I had no idea what the show was about, until I listened to The Media Show on Radio 4, talking about the format of The Traitors and how it has become a ‘water cooler’ moment.

Having watched the show this year, I found it absolutely gripping from the start and now I totally understand why someone would want to watch it ‘live’ rather than on catch-up: it’s difficult enough for me to avoid hearing about the previous evening’s show through the radio or social media, let alone if I worked with other people – I would definitely hear all the spoilers.

In fact, any time that I’ve been watching any other linear series like this but have fallen behind on episodes, I’ve had to actively avoid social media altogether in order to avoid those spoilers. This time, that didn’t happen because I was glued to the show every evening and couldn’t wait for it to be on again the next night.

I liked how The Traitors is three nights per week, which isn’t too much of a commitment and makes it less likely that you’ll miss one (if it was on every day, I’d definitely fall behind because of other activities and commitments that take me away from the TV in the evenings), and also it does give people the opportunity to easily catch up on missed episodes – it would be too much to have to watch 7 in a row to catch up, a new one would be out before you’d manage to do that – and you’d really fall behind very quickly.

I experienced my own spoiler frustration for the first time while watching The Traitors this year – I saw a friend who hadn’t watched the most recent episodes and was drinking fizzy rose. I asked if she had seen the show and she wasn’t up to date so I couldn’t possibly talk about it at all – especially the fizzy rose moment. I told her to message me when she’d caught up and within a couple of days I’d received a message about the poison chalice. And I could finally speak to her again.

The thing with event TV is that you’re all watching it together and a quick check if the other person has seen last night’s episode is all you need to be able to chat freely. Although, even when the series had finished and I was meeting a friend who had also seen the final, we were still talking in code and not saying out loud who the winner was – we’d become so used to not sharing any spoilers!

Another recent TV moment that has got me hooked is the revamp of Gladiators. I remember it from my childhood and it was such a staple of Saturday nights – in fact, I’m not sure there were more than 4 channels to choose from at that time, so it was one of the only options. But, because of that nostalgia, I was massively looking forward to the relaunch and was not disappointed.

From the first “Another One Bites The Dust” as a contestant was felled by a pugil stick, I was hooked. I just need to get a foam finger and I’ll be back to being a teenager again. The characters are great, the production is epic and it’s must-see TV, almost enough to make me cancel plans on Saturday nights so that I can stay home and watch it.

There are not so many spoiler problems with this show, the conversations about it are more about which gladiator is your favourite (Fury and Nitro for me) and I’ve been able to have very in-depth debates with my nieces and nephews over who is the best of the best.

That’s the great thing about this kind of TV – it can be enjoyed by all generations and it brings us together. Without having Gladiators to chat about, I’m not sure how much else I would understand about the things my high-school-aged nephew is interested in. Minecraft and Fortnite have already had me confused for years!

So, what moments have you enjoyed on TV recently – or as a child? Do you prefer watching live or are you never available to view something when it’s first broadcast? Are you a catch-up fan or would you rather not get struck by social media spoilers? Let me know in the comments below and I’d love to hear about your favourite nostalgic TV moment. 

Your TV Licence lets you enjoy a huge range of live TV. It covers you for:

  • All TV channels, like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Dave and international channels – but you don’t need a licence if you only watch non BBC channels on-demand
  • Pay TV services, like Sky, Virgin Media, and BT – but these are platforms that could have both live and on-demand services
  • Live TV on streaming services, like YouTube and Amazon Prime Video
  • Everything on BBC iPlayer.

This includes recording and downloading. On any device.

Pin it for later

This post is a collaboration with BBC TVL, but all thoughts and experiences are my own.

This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

Share your comments, tips and ideas...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article:

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

Take care and stay safe...


Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!

New to the blog?

Popular posts

More about Cassie

Latest posts

Take care and stay safe...

Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!


Resources Library

Download free money-saving
checklists, budget planners + ebooks to inspire & motivate you!

+ Top Thrifty Tips Newsletter

A round-up of money-saving
articles & seasonal tips

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner