Five Things You Can't Do On British Television

Pull down this description for information on all the shows I mention, plus all my references, and some advice if you’re looking to subtitle your videos!

πŸ”€πŸ”€ SUBTITLES πŸ”€πŸ”€

15% of my viewers watch with subtitles! They’re helpful for folks without headphones, or in loud environments, or who can’t hear well, or who just like subtitles. More people will watch if subtitles are an option.

Before 2020, YouTube had a volunteer community-captions system. Alas, due to spam (and, I suspect, the difficulty of porting it to the new Studio), YouTube turned it off. So your options are:


If your video is one or two people talking, you can add subtitles easily with YouTube’s tools: – that’s also possible for more complex videos, but it can be time-consuming.


If you can afford an editor, you can afford subtitles! They only cost $1-2 per minute of audio.

For simple audio, try Rev: To be clear, that’s an affiliate link: you get $10 of captions free (enough for up to an 8-minute video), and I get a kickback from them. However, my opinions of Rev are mixed. They have downsides, and they may not be the right option for you!

Advantages of Rev:
βœ… Extremely fast turnaround
βœ… Easy, simple, automated, self-service
βœ… Reasonable price

Disadvantages of Rev:
🚫 Rev is a gig-economy company, with everything that entails. In 2019, transcribers raised issues including low pay.
🚫 Accuracy is usually acceptable for clear speech, but not the near-perfect results you’d expect from a more high-end subtitle company.
🚫 They’re limited to their simple, narrow, house style. That isn’t ideal for videos with long sentences or many speakers.

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For more complicated audio or for multiple speakers, try Caption+: — a small company that produces extremely high-quality subtitles for a reasonable price.

Advantages of Caption+:
βœ… Exceptional subtitle accuracy.
βœ… Hand-tweaked broadcast-standard subtitles that are perfect for accessibility, and which the audience love.
βœ… Can use positioning and per-speaker colors, and match other style requests.
βœ… Still a reasonable price.

Disadvantages of Caption+:
🚫 Not automated: you’re dealing with a human by email, and paying invoices.

OTHER COMPANIES: I also used 3PlayMedia once, but unfortunately can’t recommend them based on that experience. YouTube also mention ceilo24 and Amara, neither of which I have experience with:


Here’s a list of all the shows mentioned, with links where available. (Where Amazon links are listed, those are affiliate links, where I earn a commission from sales.)

The Demon Headmaster is available on DVD from Amazon UK: – and the 2019 revival is available in the UK on BBC iPlayer:

Derren Brown: The Events: How To Control The Nation is available for free on YouTube: – although it lacks the live broadcast cut-ins.

The pilot episode of Crisis Command: Could You Run The Country? has been uploaded to YouTube here: – normally I wouldn’t link to an unofficial upload, but the series will likely never be repeated or see a commercial release.

Ghostwatch is available on DVD from Amazon UK: – I should absolutely have put the ghost in the background of one of my shots here, I regret missing that joke!

The full Ghostwatch continuity announcement is here:

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire have an entire YouTube channel. – and yes, Jeremy Clarkson is the host now, I suspect that’ll surprise a lot of people.

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πŸ“™πŸ“™ REFERENCES πŸ“™πŸ“™

Ofcom Broadcasting Code:
On sports:
On access:
On advertising: AND
“Only five complaints” about the Derren Brown show is from Broadcast Bulletin 148 [PDF]:

Ghostwatch, and the “full tabloid fury afterwards”, is well-documented in many places, so I’ll leave researching that to the reader. Don’t have nightmares.

πŸ“πŸ“ CONTACT πŸ“πŸ“

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and on Instagram as tomscottgo

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Onna Young

The millonalre thing is the flow of the show, its not interrupting it, or so the producers would say, becuse the build it and wright it that way but for a channel to just say toss ads in the the final scene of a film like the do in the states no.

Do you have to follow these rules if your being interviewed by the news?

Politicians and influencers can use hypnotism without declaring it


At 5' 12" Tom says no one has tried anything similar since: what about Inside No.9 Dead Line, last year?

Farmer 90

But the british news are allowed to brainwash the people of britain every day??

Joseph Taylor

And then there’s American television, that’s almost more ad then TV, and is definitely chock full of subtle coercion and manipulation.


Idk but you sounds like you want a goverment to be your nanny. The goverment has no right to control television and how sad for someone to be shilling for something that could be used for a dictatorship.

Ryan Taylor

I love how Ofcom care more about Derren Brown hypnotising viewers than they do about Derren Brown playing russian roulette, with live rounds on live TV


In the US, NBC broadcasts the Olympics, but you never actually see any of the sports – it's just about all "personal interest" stories, and no actual Olympics.


Me who gets 30 seconds of unsinkable ads using YouTube ap for a 6 second video.

Makes me.wounder if youtube counts for the 12 min ads per hour rule

although I hate it and dont watch that trash, I would argue the break in who wants to be a millionaire IS the dramatic flow of the show. Probably why they have never been pulled up on it

Aaron Woods

3:32 Was it just coincidence that there are people playing hurling in the background of this video (albeit badly). Or is that Tom Scott giving us an Easter Egg?


I wonder if there are analytics on when exactly people pressed the CC button during this video..

Mr Richards

You're also not allowed to show footage of Parliament on TV for comedic purposes.

Shoot Me Reviews

Licensing hypnotist acts is just the government taking their cut of an obvious scam.


Thank you for hand-crafted subtitles, world. The deaf and not-so-good-at-hearing like myself appreciate it a bunch.

Sky Walkies

Omg Ghost Watch. I remember crying in front of my mum because I thought it was real. Thanks for the nostalgia.

Angelo Sagum

Am I the only person watching that guy in the background play golf?

Aadya Yadati

Some company brought the rights to the Olympics and now we can't watch it because we don't have that company as our broadcaster so that definitely makes sense

Studio23 Media

People have no idea how meticulously planned TV is. Live news broadcasts are planned down to the half second, with built in time buffers where anchors ad lib to hit specific marks. Sometimes entire stories never get told because they run out of time.

Daniel Everts

To be fair, going to commercials right before an answer to a quiz question is given might just add to the suspense of the programme. In that sense, maybe it doesn't break with the flow?

British explainers are just as dull and dry and everything else there.

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