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Must-See Moment Award: were these the most unmissable TV scenes of 2018?

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Moya Crockett
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The Virgin Media Must-See Moment award at this year’s TV BAFTAs celebrates the TV episodes that got everyone talking in 2018 – and you can vote for your favourite.

You’ve probably heard the theory that we’re currently living through a golden age of TV. Not too long ago, people worried that the rise of streaming services would mean the end of watercooler telly: that the nation would no longer experience the joy of watching a television programme as one, before gathering the next day to discuss the show in obsessive detail.

But that hasn’t happened. When it comes to brilliant TV series, we’re currently suffering from an embarrassment of riches, arguably keeping us more hooked on television than ever. And the viral nature of these programmes means that if you don’t want to miss out on the conversation, you’re almost obliged to devour episodes as soon as they air.

Based on the level of chat in the Stylist office, Fleabag, Line of Duty and Game of Thrones have been the most unmissable television shows of 2019 so far. But what about 2018? What were the essential TV moments of the year that was?

That question will be answered by the Virgin Media Must-See Moment award at this year’s TV BAFTAs, taking place on Sunday 12 May. The award was launched three years ago to celebrate the television scenes that get the whole nation talking – and it’s the only BAFTA voted for by the public. 

Must-See Moment BAFTAs: Jodie Comer in Killing Eve
Must see TV moment? Jodie Comer in Killing Eve

Every year, the shortlist of Must-See Moments is chosen by a panel of entertainment insiders, before the public votes on the final winner. This year’s panel includes writer and author Caitlin Moran, who says that TV is a vital way of bringing people together in difficult times.

“We want these moments,” Moran tells stylist.co.uk. “With politics being the way it is, plus the bees and the whales dying, TV provides one of the few areas where you can sit down and have a conversation about something cheerful and lovely. TV still makes you feel like things are getting better, not worse.”

Read on to find out which six scenes made the cut for the Must-See Moment award 2019 shortlist – before voting on your favourite.

Julia Montague is assassinated in Bodyguard (BBC)

Bodyguard revolved around the premise that home secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes) was in mortal danger: that’s why PS David Budd (Richard Madden) was assigned to protect her in the first place. Despite this, we were blindsided when Julia was killed in a bomb blast just three episodes into the series – to the extent that the show’s creator Jed Mercurio had to publicly confirm that yep, she really was dead

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Tom completes his transformation, Queer Eye (Netflix) 

“You can’t fix ugly.” If you watch Queer Eye, those four words are likely to make you feel more than a bit weepy. Tom Jackson, a self-deprecating 58-year-old from Georgia, was the first person to be made over by the Fab Five in Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He was so overwhelmed by his new look and home that he burst into tears – as did every single person watching. 

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The Doctor and her companions make sure historical moments remain, Doctor Who (BBC)

Last year, Stylist favourite Jodie Whittaker donned a long grey coat to become the first female Doctor in Doctor Who. The entire eleventh season of the sci-fi show was groundbreaking, but our favourite episode was the Malorie Blackman-penned ‘Rosa’, which saw the Doctor and her companions travel to Sixties Alabama. There, they meet legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks – and thwart someone who wants to wipe Parks’ most famous act of protest from history.

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The finale, Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC) 

The second series of the BAFTA-winning Peter Kay’s Car Share ended with John (Kay) rejecting the advances of his colleague Kayleigh. But in a sweet moment in this special standalone finale episode, John was seen letting his guard down and letting Kayleigh hold his hand. Shane Allen, the BBC’s controller of commissioning comedy, told Radio Times that the finale was “absolutely about giving the audience what they want”. 

Gail’s monologue on Aidan Connor’s suicide, Coronation Street (ITV) 

“Forty-odd years I’ve lived on this street… I like to think we look out for each other around here and without being nosey, know what’s going on in each other’s lives. But you don’t, do you?” So begins a heartbreaking monologue by Gail (Helen Worth) in Coronation Street following the suicide of Aidan Connor (Shayne Ward). Producers of the soap said that they hoped the speech – which was written in consultation with charities and organisations including the Samaritans – would help start a conversation about suicide, which is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. 

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Eve stabs Villanelle, Killing Eve (BBC) 

Every so often, a TV show comes along that you just know will be spoken about for decades to come. The snappy, sexy, silly and smart Killing Eve is one such show, thanks to a razor-sharp script courtesy of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and dazzling performances by Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. The jaw-dropping finale of Killing Eve season one saw Oh’s MI5 security operative stab Comer’s ruthless assassin, in an unexpected attack that left us yearning for the second season

Voting for Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment award closes on 1 May 2019. Vote for your favourite moment here.

Images: Netflix / BBC

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Contributing Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk and Deputy Editor of Stylist Loves, Stylist's daily email newsletter. Carrying a bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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