Obviously The Queen will be of all together different proportion to what we've seen in recent years, but other than that, schedule changes do depend on what is in the schedule in the first place. Even at the BBC I bet decisions are made with one eye on this which they would never admit. Sometimes channels get praised or slammed for the speed they put out extra news bulletins or obituaries, but often it will depend on what was in the schedule in the first place, which leads to inconsistencies. The Doctor Who example is one of these.
I've probably mentioned this before but also in Roger Mosey's book he talks about being contacted by Alison Kirkham, the controller of daytime, when there was news that Saddam Hussain had been captured, saying they were intending to go to rolling news. Mosey said it hadn't been confirmed yet so he wasn't sure if that would be a good idea, but Kirkham said that either way it was a story and it was more interesting than what they were currently showing, so they were doing it.
But it's like when Muhammad Ali died last summer and the Beeb showed the obituary on primetime Saturday night. They may not have done that if he'd died on a Saturday in November when they had Strictly and Match of the Day in the schedule as well. It all depends.
But, of course, what connects all the previous examples is that they weren't The Queen. They won't be thinking about how big the jackpot is in Pointless when she goes, because it's The Queen.
What would Channel 4 do nowadays? They can't do what they did when Diana died, as they no longer air children's programmes.
If they decided not to show the funeral, they have plenty of suitable programming that can be shown instead, not least their large library of family films. They barely had many kids' shows in 1997, and to fill the schedule that morning they had to use more or less every children's programme they'd ever made.
Interesting that there are no clips online of the day John Smith died in 1994, apparently the main schedules were torn apart that day.
One notable change was the comedy drama 'Cardiac Arrest' which was due on after the 9 o clock news. I remember Alexi Sayle's series at the time featured a character called 'John Smith Man' - a not very flattering portrayal of him. Never got repeated, I don't know if the original run had finished at the time
As for the actual announcement, it was a newsflash during Anne & Nick.
Indeed, and they went back to Anne and Nick after the announcement - cos when they launched Anne and Nick they mentioned one of the reasons they were different from This Morning is that they'd handle breaking news - and he had been on the show so they showed clips of that, and had various tributes. The rest of the day was rolling news, of course Parliament was in session that day, with CBBC flung over to BBC2. No different to any other major news story really. In the evening the news was extended to an hour, happily meaning Cardiac Arrest could be cancelled, though I seem to remember everything else got on, including Crimewatch.
Alexei Sayle's series had finished a few weeks earlier, so no major problems. I think it might have been repeated a year or so later but they just edited those bits out. They didn't repeat much of his stuff, though.
Inspector Sands gave kudos