Cutting Edge (TV series)

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge logo
Genre Documentary
Narrated by Various
Composer(s) Matthew Cracknell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Various
Running time 49 minutes
Original network Channel 4
Picture format PAL (576i, 16:9)
Original release February 1990 – present
External links

Cutting Edge is a British TV documentary series broadcast by Channel 4. It has been Channel 4's flagship documentary series since 1990 that focuses on political and social issues.


There have been numerous episodes since 1990 and some of the highlights include:

Shops and Robbers

Original airdate: 1994

Received some of Channel 4's highest ratings.

Graham Taylor: An Impossible Job

Main article: An Impossible Job

Original airdate: 24 January 1994

About England national football team's unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Manager Graham Taylor was harshly criticised by the tabloid press during these two years (1992–93), and the fly-on-the-wall documentary revealed a stressed team camp.[1] It also gave birth to Taylor's catchphrase, "Do I not like that" (a statement rather than a question) and Phil Neal's touchline comment "Can we not knock it, boss ?"[2]

Anti-Social Old Buggers

Original airdate: 22 June 2005

Run of episodes in 2005, about "Anti-Social Old Buggers" which included elderly recipients of Asbos), "The Black Widow", "Gridlock" and "The House Clearers".

Blind Young Things

Main article: Blind Young Things

Original airdate: 30 April 2007

A 2007 documentary following students at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. The film won a Royal Television Society award for Channel Four and the Cutting Edge team in 2008.[3]

A Boy Called Alex

Original airdate: 24 January 2008

This documentary follows 16-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer Alex Stobbs as he attempts to conduct Bach's Magnifcat at Eton College.[4] This was followed by a second documentary in October 2009 called "Alex: A Passion for Life", which examines Alex's life as a music student at King's College, Cambridge.[5]

The Human Spider

Original airdate: 15 April 2008

Cutting Edge covered Alain Robert, one of the most daring climbers in the world, on some amazing free climbs around the globe.[6]

Madeleine Was Here

Original airdate: 7 May 2009

Aired two years after the disappearance of missing child Madeleine McCann.[7]

Captive for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story

Original airdate: 1 October 2009

About the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard with interviews with people close to Jaycee when she was young, including family members, classmates and her headmistress.[8]

Katie: My Beautiful Face

Original airdate: 29 October 2009

Followed the recovery of former model Katie Piper from a brutal acid attack,[9] and which with 3.3 million viewers was the most-watched edition of the Cutting Edge strand in 2009; Piper's case has been subject to a large international response, and following the success of the original documentary Piper was invited to give Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message for 2009.

The documentary was nominated for "Best Single Documentary" at the BAFTA Television Awards in June 2010, but did not win - the trophy was awarded to BBC One's Wounded.[10] The previous month, director Jessie Versluys had won the Breakthrough Talent prize at the 2010 Craft BAFTA ceremony, for her credits including Katie: My Beautiful Face and The Hospital.[11]

Octomom: Me and My 14 Kids

Original airdate: 12 November 2009

Follows single unemployed mother Nadya Suleman from California, who in January 2009 gave birth to eight children.[12]

The Men Who Jump Off Buildings

Original airdate: 28 July 2010

About Dan Witchalls and Ian Richardson, who participate in the adrenaline sport, base jumping.[13]

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Original airdate: 18 February 2010

Follows four Gypsy and Traveller brides as they plan their wedding day.[14] Screened in February 2010, drew 4.5 million viewers[15] and was subsequently commissioned for a spinoff series called Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.[16] This proved to be successful, with the second episode getting 7.4m viewers at its peak.[17]

Production company(s): Firecracker Films

Raoul Moat: Inside the Mind of a Killer

Original airdate: 18 August 2010

Looks at the 2010 Northumbria Police manhunt and the following investigation.[18]

My New Brain

Original airdate: 25 August 2010

Follows 20-year-old Simon Hales as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury.[19]

Ian Brady: Endgames of a Psychopath

Original airdate: 20 August 2012


The Fried Chicken Shop: Life in a Day

Original airdate: 19 February 2013


Production company(s): Mentorn


  1. Shepherd, Rob (10 October 2013). "Do I Not Like That! England on the brink brings back memories of my TV spat with 'Turnip' Taylor on eve of World Cup '94 failure... Rob Shepherd recalls the moment the boss lost the plot". Daily Mail. London.
  2. Rostance, Tom. "BBC Sport - Do I not like that: 20 years since Graham Taylor's World Cup failure". Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  3. "Hereford students' key role for Blind Young Things". Hereford Times. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  4. "A Boy Called Alex". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  5. "Alex: A Passion for Life". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  6. "Cutting Edge". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  7. "Madeleine Was Here". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  8. "Captive for 18 Years: Jaycee Lee". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  9. "Katie: My Beautiful Face". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  10. "Television Awards Winners in 2010 - TV Awards - Television - The BAFTA site". Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
  11. "Television Craft Awards Winners in 2011 - Craft Awards - Television - The BAFTA site". 2011-05-08. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
  12. "Octomom: Me and My 14 Kids". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  13. "The Men Who Jump Off Buildings". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  14. "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding". Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  15. Jason Deans (19 February 2010). "TV ratings: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding presents Channel 4 with 4.5m viewers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  16. "Orange Swapables | Mobile TV". Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  17. "BBC News - My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding: Why is it a hit?". 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  18. "The Raoul Moat Tapes:...". Channel 4. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  19. "My New Brain". Retrieved 2013-10-08.
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