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5Star logo 2019.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
NetworkChannel 5
Picture format16:9 576i SDTV
Timeshift service5Star +1
OwnerChannel 5 Broadcasting Ltd
(ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia)
Sister channels
Launched15 October 2006 (2006-10-15)
Former namesFive Life (2006–08)
Fiver (2008–11)
5* (2011–16)
FreeviewChannel 31
Virgin MediaChannel 151
Channel 186 (+1)
WightFibreChannel 15
UPC SwitzerlandChannel 216
FreesatChannel 131
Channel 141 (+1)
(UK only)
Channel 128
Channel 228 (+1)
Astra 2G10964 H 22000 5/6
10964 H 22000 5/6 (+1)
Streaming media
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only)

5Star (stylized as 5STAR) is a British free-to-air television channel owned by ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia. It originally launched as the female-orientated Five Life on 15 October 2006, and was rebranded as Fiver on 28 April 2008 with a revised version of the same concept. The channel later re-branded as 5* on 7 March 2011, and later to its current name on 11 February 2016.


2006–08: Five Life[edit]

A collage of excerpt images from 5STAR's launch as Five Life. Note that the images date back to c. October 2006, also the launch date is written here in American style, as "October 15, 2006".

The channel was intended to be a female-orientated channel with an emphasis on lifestyle programming.[1] Channel 5 announced that programming on launch would include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Love My Way, Windfall, Angela's Eyes, and a weekday double-bill of the chat show Trisha Goddard. On 16 October 2006, a day following the channel's launch, Australian soap opera Home and Away began airing from episode 4212 (Season 19, Episode 112). New episodes are shown Monday to Friday in a 'First Look' screening with episodes following the Channel 5 airing. Repeats of popular female-skewing dramas, both nationally and internationally produced, were soon acquired. Following the channel's launch, a time-shift version of the channel was launched in summer 2007.[2]

2008–11: Fiver[edit]

Five Life relaunched as Fiver in 2008 while still targeting female audiences, the channel was re-positioned with a "younger, faster, louder" concept, meant to compete with Sky Living. On-air presentation reflected this shift with a "cursor" motif, typing out words reflecting programs and current events.[3]

2011–16: 5*[edit]

In 2011, the channel was re-launched again, as 5* (pronounced "Five Star"). The new brand focused on a "fun-loving" concept, with initial acquisitions including $h*! My Dad Says, Better with You and Parenthood.[4] On 11 April 2011, 5* reduced its broadcast hours to 13:00 to 00:00, replacing the hours withdrawn with more teleshopping.[citation needed] When some of these new programs failed to make much of an impact in the channel's ratings, several were dropped and replaced by new locally produced and acquired programming. These included the American series 8 Simple Rules, 10 Things I Hate About You, Alphas and The Lying Game.[5]

In 2012, in consort with Channel 5's acquisition of the series, 5* began airing the Big Brother companion show Big Brother: Live from the House, which aired 60 minutes of live feed following every eviction show. In 2013, after Live from the House set ratings records for the channel, the programme was expanded to two hours nightly.[6] However, ratings were at a share below that of the channel's average, with just 70,000 watching the first live feeds.[7] Subsequently, the live feeds were shut down and the spin-off show last aired in June 2013.[8] Also in 2013, American Idol moved to 5* from ITV2.[9] Continuing the channel's venture into reality based programming, Tallafornia was acquired from Ireland's TV3 and this was soon joined by Bar Rescue, World's Worst Tenants and Top 20 Funniest in 2014.[10]

The 5* schedule included a variety of programming, including the aforementioned reality series, as well as the first-run rights to Helix, the second-run rights to American series Falling Skies, Under the Dome and The Walking Dead, and Australian soap operas Home & Away and Neighbours. Popular documentary series shared with Channel 5 air throughout the daytime and primetime hours, such as The Gadget Show.

The time-shift version of the channel was shut down on 3 February 2014 and replaced by Channel 5 +24.[11] The channel returned later, launching on Freesat on 16 September 2014 and Sky in the UK and Ireland on 4 November 2014, replacing BET +1 on the platform. The addition of the channel in Ireland was an error, thus it was removed on 6 November 2014.

On 11 February 2016, as part of an overall re-branding of Channel 5's networks following their acquisition by Viacom, the channel was re-branded as 5Star.[12]

2016 to date: 5Star[edit]

After initially being positioned as a younger skewering channel (in a manner similar to E4), 5Star has dropped a lot of its drama and comedy programmes from the schedules and replaced them with blocks of reality TV programming with medical shows such as Skin A&E, 999: Critical Condition and Dont Tell The Doctor showing on Thursday nights in September 2021,[13] and nights devoted to crime and cleaning showing on other days.

The channel still has a number of drama shows listed in its schedules in 2021 with imports such as Departure[14] and Wentworth: The Final Sentence[15] broadcast after the watershed and its Australian soaps still broadcast in an hour block from 6pm (though the 3pm repeat has been replaced by episodes of Police Interceptors from Paramount Network).

Australian soap opera Home & Away is a programme which has episodes debuting on the channel before being repeated on Channel 5, with other channel premieres including episodes of Killer at the Crime Scene[16] and The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door, as well as a number of romcom films shown at lunchtime. 5Star have usually decided to schedule feature films each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, with the whole Saturday daytime schedule usually given over to family films. However, the quality of some of the films broadcast by 5Star has been picked up by Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live, who have nominated many titles due to be broadcast on the channel, for their 'TV Movie So Bad it's Bad' feature on the show.[17]

On 20 October 2021, their scheduled Love at Lunchtime TV movie premiere[18][19] slot[20][21] was discontinued and replaced by back-to-back repeats of various emergency services documentaries with episodes 6[22] and 7[23] of Traffic Cops[24] replacing the already announced premiere of Love's Last Resort on that date.


The launch of Five Life was at the time ranked as the worst received multichannel launch for a terrestrial broadcaster, only managing to achieve a primetime share of 0.21%.[25] Following the channel's relaunch as Fiver in 2008, the all-day share for the channel has been between 0.5–0.6%. The highest rated series airing on the channel are Home & Away, Neighbours and the weeknight showings of primetime movies. The highest rating for the channel is held by Big Brother: Live from the House, when it received just over one million viewers and an audience share of over five percent in 2013.

Current programming: 5Star[edit]


  • Don't Tell The Doctor (2017–present)
  • Drag Kids (also known as Kids in Drag: We're Fabulous!) (2019–present)
  • Extreme Hair Wars (2018–present)
  • Get Your Tatts Out: Kavos Ink (2017–present)
  • Greatest Ever Movie Blunders (2018–present)
  • Greatest Ever TV Blunders (2018–present)
  • Home and Away (16 October 2006 – present) (first look)
  • Impact Wrestling (2019–present)
  • It's Your Fault I'm Fat (2019–present)
  • Old School For Lazy Kids (2019–present)
  • Prison Life (2018–present)
  • Rich Kids Go Homeless (2019–present)
  • Rich Kids Go Skint (2018–present)
  • Rich Kids, Skint Holiday (2019–present)
  • Secret Admirer (2018–present)
  • Sex Pod (2016–present)
  • Top 20 Funniest (2014–present)
  • Tower Block Kids (2018–present)
  • The Shocking Truth About Food (2019–present)
  • Undercover Twins (2019–present)
  • Wentworth (2016–present)
  • When Kids Kill (2016–present)
  • When Teens Kill (2018–present)
  • World's Wildest Holidays (2018–present)
  • Young, Dumb & Banged Up in the Sun (2018–present)
  • Entertainment News (2020–present)


  • Police Interceptors
  • Supermarket Wars
  • Bargain Loving Brits...
  • The World's Most Expensive Hotels
  • Neighbours
  • Departure

Former programming: 5Star[edit]


  • 100% Hotter (2016–)
  • Access (2011–2020) (replaced by Entertainment News)
  • Airport 24/7: Thailand (2019–present) (moved to Paramount Network)
  • Baby Ballroom (2017–)
  • Baby Faced Mums (2016–)
  • Badass Brides (2017–)
  • Bad Teen to Ballroom Queen (2018–)
  • Britain’s Naughtiest Nursery (2019–)
  • Celebrity Ghost Hunt (2017–)
  • Celeb Road Trip: Lost in Transylvania (2018–)
  • Celebs on the Farm (2018–present) (moved to MTV)
  • Celebs on the Ranch (2019–)
  • Channel Zero (2016–)
  • Clink (2019–)
  • Dirty Tricks (2019–)
  • Sing It On (2016–)
  • Strip Date (2016–)


Former programming: Fiver and 5*[edit]


  • ^1 Several documentary series shared with Channel 5 air on 5Star. However, the titles that come to 5Star change too sporadically to pinpoint what specifically airs first-run or second-run to the channel.



  1. ^ "five autumn highlights 2006" (PDF). Five. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2006.
  2. ^ Joanne Oatts (5 July 2007). "Five launches +1 services". Digital Spy.
  3. ^ Sweney, Mark (6 April 2008). "Five Life to relaunch as Fiver". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Fiver rebrands as 5*, acquires new shows". Digital Spy. 3 February 2011.
  5. ^ Munn, Patrick (26 April 2013). "'The Lying Game' Makes The Jump Back To 5*". TVWise. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  6. ^ Sperling, Daniel (14 May 2013). "Big Brother 2013 to have nightly live feed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ Darvill, Josh (15 June 2013). "Big Brother 2013: 70,000 watch first live streaming on 5*". Telly Mix. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ Nissim, Mayer (26 June 2013). "Big Brother live feed axed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  9. ^ Plunkett, John (27 September 2012). "Channel 5 to show American Idol". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  10. ^ "TV3 sells hit series 'Tallafornia' to UK's Channel 5". Independent.ie.
  11. ^ Eames, Tom (17 January 2014). "Channel 5 to launch catch-up channel +24". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  12. ^ Sherwin, Adam (11 February 2016). "Channel 5 tilts at Channel 4 with 'emotional' post-Richard Desmond rebrand". The Independent. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  13. ^ Radio Times 25 September-1 October 2021, page 109
  14. ^ Radio Times 25 September-1 October 2021, page 79
  15. ^ Radio Times 25 September-1 October 2021, page 89
  16. ^ Radio Times 25 September-1 October 2021, page 99
  17. ^ Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live, various episode dates to Friday 17 September 2021
  18. ^ "Hint of Love (2020)".
  19. ^ "Cup of Love (2016)".
  20. ^ "TV listings guide".
  21. ^ "TV listings guide".
  22. ^ "Traffic Cops Season 2".
  23. ^ "Traffic Cops Season 2".
  24. ^ "TV listings guide".
  25. ^ "Slow start for Five Life". Digital Spy. 17 October 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2007.

External links[edit]