Click (TV programme)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
BBC Click logo.png
Also known as Click Online (2000–2005)
Format Technology
Presented by Spencer Kelly
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 661 (as of 5 January 2013)
Running time 30 minutes (appox.)
Production company(s) BBC News
Original channel BBC News
BBC World News
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run 2000 – present
Related shows Click (radio programme)
External links

Click (previously Click Online) is a weekly BBC television programme covering news and recent developments in the world of consumer technology, presented by Spencer Kelly.

There are four editions of the programme, including two 30-minute programmes: the first is produced for a UK audience and shown on BBC News, the second is produced for a global audience, aired on BBC World News, usually identical with a commercial break in the middle. The 15-minute version is shown on BBC One and BBC News during BBC Breakfast (at the weekend). The fourth edition runs for 5 minutes on BBC World News at selected times of the week featuring one story.

Thursday 29 December 2005 marked the last edition of Click Online, as the show was previously known. This coincided with the departure of presenter Stephen Cole after 295 shows. The programme was rebranded with new music and titles and now concentrates more on consumer issues, and not necessarily the internet or what users can do or visit "online".

BBC World Service broadcasts a weekly sister radio show, also called Click, presented by Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson.


The current presenter of Click is Spencer Kelly who had already been a reporter and producer on the show, and also compiled reports for The Gadget Show on Channel 5. Kate Russell introduces featured websites in the weekly Webscape segment.

Previous presenters of the show include Stephen Cole who left the BBC to work for Al Jazeera International.

With the departure of Stephen Cole, Rob Freeman is the last remaining on-screen member of the original Click Online team. Responsible for starting the Webscape segment, he currently answers viewers' technical questions. Other journalists occasionally present segments of the programme, brief biographies of whom can be found on the Click website.1

Botnet controversy

In 2009 the show and the BBC produced some controversy when it aired a special episode highlighting the dangers of botnets and how easy it was to get caught in one. The show bought control of a botnet of some 22,000 infected computers (for "a few thousand dollars")2 from a Russian hacker, and used it to send spam to an email address set up for the experiment and to perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a website setup by Prev-X (an internet security company that provided technical support for the show).3 After the programme was made the computers on the botnet were sent a piece of software to remove the malware and a warning was sent to them telling the users what had happened and that they were vulnerable.

The response was mixed with the show receiving many emails both for and against the programme along with some negative press.45 The BBC was criticized by some legal consulting organizations as well as computer security companies. Computer security expert and senior technology consultant at Sophos, Graham Cluley, asked in his blog whether the BBC was breaking the Computer Misuse Act - which makes an offense in the UK to access or modify a third-party computer without the owner's consent.6 However internet security commentator Melih Abdulhayoğlu, founder of international computer security company Comodo Group, made a video in support of the BBC.7 Click rebutted criticisms by stating in its Twitter posts that:

"We would not put out a show like this one without having taken legal advice."

—BBC Click Team, from Twitter38

Transmission times

The following times are local to the United Kingdom (GMT and BST respectively). Broadcasts are sometimes replaced by other programming at short notice due to the nature of these channels' reactions to news and current events. Some weeks the 30 minute programme may not be shown at all due to coverage of live events, even when it is scheduled to be shown up to six times over the weekend period. In this case, website viewing on the BBC iPlayer is the only way to see the programme.

15 minute edition

30 minute UK edition

Airs on BBC News.9 May be replaced with 15 minute version, or scheduled showing cancelled entirely for major breaking news.

  • Saturday, 01:30 (version used for the BBC iPlayer), 11:30, 15:30
  • Sunday, 04:30, 11:30, 15:30
  • Monday, 10:35 (BBC Two)

30 minute global edition

Airs on BBC World News.

  • Saturday 06:30 UTC & 19:30 UTC
  • Sunday 03:30 UTC & 13:30 UTC

Always check BBC World News schedule on

BBC website

A number of recent episodes are available to select regions on the Flash-based BBC iPlayer. More specifically, every weekly edition of Click since September 2004 is available to select countries on the BBC Click website page.

The full 30 minute UK version broadcast on BBC News 24 used to be updated on iPlayer and the Click website page after the first showing of the 30 minute UK edition at 11:30 each Saturday morning, then disappeared for undisclosed reasons (instead since early 2011 the only 30 minute full edition available was the World Service broadcast, which was now not available until the following Tuesday or Wednesday on both iPlayer and the Click website page).

However demand for the programme meant a new full 30 minute episode transmission has been added to BBC News 24 at 01:30 since Saturday 9 April 2011, which then gets added to the iPlayer and Click website shortly thereafter.

All of the programmes are available in RealPlayer and Windows Media format. With the exception of early broadcasts, there are streams optimised for both narrowband and broadband connections.

Persian Click

Persian-speakers can also watch BBC Persian Click online and on BBC Persian TV.10


  1. ^ "About Click". BBC News. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Gaining access to a hacker's world". BBC News. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  3. ^ a b Mills, Elinor (2009-03-12). "BBC buys, uses botnet to show dangers to PCs". CNET News. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  4. ^ Leyden, John (2009-03-16). "BBC Click paid cybercrooks to buy botnet". The Register. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  5. ^ "BBC cybercrime probe backfires". 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  6. ^ "Did BBC break the law by using a botnet to send spam?". Naked Security. Sophos. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  7. ^ "Well Done, BBC". YouTube. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  8. ^ "BBC Click". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  9. ^ "BBC Click". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  10. ^ "About the programme". BBC News. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 

External links

Creative Commons License