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Series / Crimewatch UK

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"They put up this bloke's picture on Crimewatch UK with a phone number and said 'Have you seen this man?' Well my auntie rang them up and said '...No'."

The UK version of the German show Aktenzeichen XY ? ungelöst (File XY... Unsolved), which enters the Multinational Shows grouping because it has multiple foreign versions, including America's Most Wanted.

Started in 1984 as a one-off experiment, Crimewatch UK (later shortened to Crimewatch) was so successful that it aired monthly for many years - later cut down to occasional broadcasts, the show was finally axed in 2017 after running for 33 years.note 


A factual show that tried to solve unsolved crimes, it used dramatic reconstructions, CCTV footage and photo-fits to try and jog people's memory. The public could and did call in with information to the police - about a third of the crimes covered were solved, some of which were pretty famous cases.

Its saddest moment was the murder of Jill Dando, one of its own presenters. This case was covered on the show itself.

It got a few fictional imitators over the years as well.

One of its presenters, Nick Ross (whose Catchphrase for this show ends the article) left in 2007.


Provides examples of:

  • Crime Reconstruction
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Of America's Most Wanted and Aktenzeichen XY... Ungelöst.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: In at least one instance a police Identikit profile of the wanted man for a serious crime was broadcast, which led to an wholly innocent person being repeatedly fingered for the crime by members of the public, as he looked so like the wanted criminal. The show had to broadcast an apology and a declaration that this person had no connection whatsoever with the crime. Apparently this sort of thing happens a lot.

"Don't have nightmares, do sleep well."


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