The Secret Life of SBS

Someone in SBS Programming once told me the broadcaster loved shows with “Secrets” in the title.

They weren’t kidding.

Docos and factuals with the word in the title appear weekly on SBS. From royal families, pyramids, solar systems, food, small business and Hitler -secrets are everywhere in the EPG as a way of enticing viewers. It supposedly reveals information previously withheld and makes the viewer feel like they are gaining privileged access….(did you just click on this post because it had the word in the headline?).

And if it isn’t in the title of an overseas show, somebody may very well go and add it in anyway.

Here’s a sample of titles over recent years:

The Secret Life of Death
Every Family Has a Secret
The Secret Life Of Princess Margaret
Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle
Secret Life of the Cruise Ship
Secrets of McDonalds: 50 Years of the Big Mac
Secrets of the Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury
Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World
Secret Life of the Hospital
Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Agents
Alex Polizzi Secret Italy
The Secrets of Chambord Chateau
Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist
Mojin: Secret of the Lost Legend
Michael Mosely: Secrets of Your Food
Secrets of Eurovision
The Secret of the Kells
Secret State: Inside North Korea
Secrets of Tutankhamun’s Treasures
Ray Martin: Dark Secrets: Australia’s Hidden Shame
Secrets of China’s Forbidden City
Secrets of the Chinese Chariot
Secrets of the Pyramids
The Secret Life of…
Secrets of our Cities
The Secret of Mulan
Secrets of the Kitchen
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
Secrets of the Long Haul Flight
Hair Care Secrets
Hitler’s Secrets
Secrets of the White House
Alex Polizzi Secret Italy
Small Business Secrets
The Last Secrets of 9 / 11
The Secret
Secret Meat Business
Paradise Papers: The Secret Investigation
Britain’s Secret Treasure Islands
Secrets of the Castle
Secrets of the Solar System
Secrets of the Manor House


  1. Not many people know this, it’s a truly good kept secret, but SBS actually stands for Secretly Broadcasting Secrets. Shhh Don’t let Lee Lin Chin know.

  2. And speaking of words and ‘beat up stories, what about the Daily Mail’s use of ‘raunchy’ in their once a month ‘shock expose’ of an “M” rated movie on Seven at midday: “Viewers horrified at Raunchy midday movie on Seven, sex scenes, nudity etc.” gleefully ignoring the fact that all the Free to Air TV stations can and do show “M” shows between midday and 3pm (except during school holidays) all allowed and approved under the Code of Practice; nothing to see here folks, move along… But wait: It’s’ raunchy!

    • Similarly, “X rated” is also a very common buzz term in the media, that (ironically) usually involves PG-grade material.

      Unbeknownst to most people, we actually do have an X18+ rating in Australia (though it is only legislated in ACT/NT for film/video) and it is for hardcore pornography only (though many fetishes can get a film banned, and any act of violence is prohibited, even if implied off-camera). When the rating was introduced in the early 80s, it was basically a more extreme version of the R18+ rating, allowing films like Pink Flamingos and Caligula (briefly) to be classified uncut, but the rules were tightened shortly after to only allow pornography and prohibit violence of any kind.

  3. This is the same as’s love of the word ‘brutal’. There’s barely a day when they don’t have a headline using the word. Their other favourites are the misuse and frequency of the word ‘Hack’, and the phrase ‘The one thing that…”.

  4. Did you just click on this post because it had the word in the headline? No, I knew it was going to be an interesting piece. Perhaps further analysis would have indicated which genres were more popular, history, food etc. but it looks like historical accounts win with the most secrets!

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