The German Programme

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started3rd Nov 1980
ended11th Feb 1999
last rpt15th Jan 2002
22 school years
duration20 mins
age rangeAge 11-13 & Age 13-16
languageen/deIn English & In German

ITV/C4 GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Karl und Christa Next series: Wie Sagt Man...?HierarchyNext.gif

The German Programme is an ITV and later Channel 4 schools TV series from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, covering German Language for secondary school pupils.

A parent series for all of ITV's (and for a time also Channel 4's) German language programmes in the 1980s and 90s.

The episodes are all presenter-led and, from the very beginning, divided into short segments designed for video recording and playing back as the viewing teacher wishes. Many of them are intended to support preparation and revision for secondary school exams.

Some of the early programmes break into English for a while to explain certain points, but the majority of the language heard is in German.

In the 1980s a lot of programmes were made to support a language course called Partner being devised by Thames Television and Longman publishers. The books and other support materials for this course were finally released around 1987, just as the television broadcasts of Partner programmes came to an end.

When The German Programme started in 1980, ITV had not attempted to support German language studies for over a decade, since the Midlands company ATV's Karl und Christa in 1967 which had been received relatively poorly. London company Thames re-entered the subject after the success of its late 1970s French language series French Studies, which was renamed The French Programme. The German Programme started heavily modelled on successful broadcasts from The French Programme.

The German Programme title ceased to be used at the turn of the 21st Century, by which point Channel 4 had taken over independent schools broadcasts and started to put out successful free-standing language programmes such as Top! and Extra without an umbrella series title above them.


The units of The German Programme were based in various towns of north Germany.

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German Programme Wie Sagt Man title 1.jpg

Wie Sagt Man...?

Five clearly structured programmes supporting pupils preparing for their German language exams, and especially the oral part of the exams.


German Programme Partner title.jpg

Partner Video Sequences

A set of programmes for beginners studying German, mostly in the early years of secondary school, following a German family in their everyday life, with some explanations in English.


German Programme Partner title.jpg

Partner TV1

Five magazine-style programmes presented by young Germans in a studio in Germany with an audience of young Germans, with various features including documentary films, a dramatised section and studio-based games.


German Programme Partner title.jpg

Partner TV2

A further five programmes presented by Brigitte and Lars (known as Dieter) in the Partnerklub studio linking a range of films, interviews and studio-based activities.


German Programme Partner title.jpg

Partner TV3

A third and final unit of magazine programmes entrely in German with young presenters Brigitte and Dieter (Lars) linking together a mix of filmed segments and studio-based games, this time supporting viewers studying towards level 3 graded tests.


Videothek GCSE

A series of short items - 25 altogether across five episodes - each showing a different aspect of life in modern Germany.


German Programme Willkommen title.jpg


A group of trendy German teenagers present various features entirely in German to inspire intermediate learners. They sing and dance and reenact their everyday lives in comic sketches.


Channel Hopping auf Deutsch

A collection of short, irreverent documentary sequences exposing unusual aspects of life in German-speaking countries. There is a mix of clips from German television programmes, pop music, comedy sketches including a look at the stages of puberty, a word or phrase of the week, and specially shot material including a weekly slot for comedian John Moloney to look at culture such as the German love of the TV series Baywatch or the significance of toilets.


Termly broadcasts


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1980-81 Autumn 1980 Monday, 10:40am Friday, 10:15am ITV
Summer 1981 Friday, 9:30am ITV
1981-82 Spring 1982 Tuesday, 11:39am Wednesday, 10:16am ITV
1982-83 Spring 1983 Tuesday, 11:39am Friday, 10:35am ITV
1983-84 Spring 1984 Tuesday, 10:21am Thursday, 11:39am ITV
1984-85 Spring 1985 Tuesday, 10:37am Friday, 10:26am ITV
1985-86 Spring 1986 Monday, 10:45am Tuesday, 10:25am ITV
1986-87 Spring 1987 Monday, 10:45am Friday, 10:50am ITV
1987-88 Autumn 1987 Tuesday, 10:21am Channel 4 not Grampian/Scottish regions
1988-89 Autumn 1988 Tuesday, 10:21am Channel 4
1989-90 Autumn 1989 Tuesday, 10:21am Channel 4
1990-91 Autumn 1990 Tuesday, 10:21am Channel 4
1991-92 Spring 1992 Tuesday, 10:21am Channel 4
1992-93 Autumn 1992 Wednesday, 9:30am Channel 4
1993-94 Autumn 1993 Tuesday, 10:02am Channel 4
1994-95 Spring 1995 Thursday, 11:40am Channel 4 ep10 first shown overnight
1995-96 Spring 1996 Thursday, 11:40am Channel 4
1996-97 Spring 1997 Thursday, 11:40am Channel 4
1997-98 Spring 1998 Thursday, 11:10am Channel 4
1998-99 Spring 1999 Thursday, 11:10am Channel 4
1999-2000 Spring 2000 Thursday, 11:40am Channel 4
2000-01 Autumn 2000 Tuesday, 4:00am+ Channel 4
2001-02 Spring 2002 Tuesday, 4:00am+ Channel 4


More details of the resources are presented on the pages for each individual unit.

Teacher's Notes

Notes for teachers, and sometimes for pupils too, were available for every term.


Across the years every single episode of The German Programme was released for schools to buy on video.

Related programmes


School topics covered in this programme. Click to find other programmes covering the same topics, but bear in mind topics are a new addition to the site in 2023 and not many are set up yet.

Keyword tags

Some features of this programme. Click to find other programmes with the same features, but bear in mind tags are also a new addition to the site in 2023 and not many are set up yet.


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