Dave (TV channel)

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The word "Dave" in a serif font, black on a white background.
Launched 2 October 1998
Owned by UKTV
(BBC Worldwide/Scripps Networks Interactive)
Picture format 576i (16:9 and 4:3) (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 1.06%
0.25% (Dave ja vu) (July 2015 (2015-07), BARB)
Slogan "The Home of Witty Banter"
Country United Kingdom
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Formerly called UK Gold Classics

UK Gold 2 (1999–2003)
UKG² (2003–2004)
UKTV G2 (2004–2007)
Sister channel(s) Alibi
Good Food
Timeshift service Dave ja vu
Website uktv.co.uk/dave
Freeview Channel 12
Channel 25 (ja vu)
Sky Channel 111 (SD/HD)
Channel 214 (ja vu)
Channel 246 (SD)
Virgin Media Channel 128
Channel 129 (ja vu)
Channel 194 (HD)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 122
WightFibre Channel 69
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live (UK and Ireland only)
FilmOn Watch live
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

Dave is a television channel owned by UKTV, which is available in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The channel is available on cable, IPTV, Freeview and some satellite platforms. The channel took the name Dave in October 2007, but it had been on air under various identities and formats since October 1998.


UK Gold Classics and UK Gold 2[edit]

UK Gold Classics, UKTV's first digital-only channel, was launched on 2 October 1998 and was only broadcast from Friday to Sunday on Sky Digital from 6pm to 2am, around this time UK Gold began to move towards newer programmes instead of older ones; the 'classics' line-up included a number of early shows, including some black-and-white programmes, which had been acquired in the early years of the UK Gold service, They also showed some recent shows from the main channel, But the main part of the channel was older shows from the early years of UK Gold. On weekdays, the channel was off air, showing a still caption of all the UKTV channels and start-up times.

The 'Classics' format lasted just six months, the channel ended on March 28th 1999 and from April 2nd 1999, the channel was renamed to UK Gold 2, and screened morning programmes from UK Gold time-shifted to the evening of the same day instead of classic shows.

UKG2 and UKTV G2[edit]

The UK Gold subsidiary channel was again relaunched with a completely new programme line-up and renamed UKG² on 12 November 2003. The channel was promoted as being an edgier alternative to UK Gold; like that channel, the output was mainly comedy from the BBC with some shows produced inhouse. A fair amount is similar to the comedy output of UK Play/Play UK before that channel's closure; however, unlike Play, the channel did not include music videos.

Along with the rest of the UKTV network, the "UK" prefix was changed to "UKTV" on 8 March 2004 and therefore the channel name changed to UKTV G2.

Initially, the channel broadcast in the evenings only, but during the 'G2' era the decision was made to expand hours into the daytime; to expand the programming line-up, comedy was joined by popular-factual and magazine shows which were already running on UKTV People (then Blighty. now Drama) such as Top Gear and Airport.

G2 programming[edit]

On 7 October 2005, it was announced that they would show sports programming. This new line-up was called UKTV Sport and included a new show by the same name. UKTV Sport also had its own logo and DOG. There was talk that this could lead to a channel but it never happened.[1] Dave mainly show shows previously shown on BBC Two.

In February 2006, they picked up the rights to show highlights of the RBS Six Nations rugby union championship, with a highlights show broadcast on the evening of the games previously shown live on the BBC. On 16 March 2006, they announced a deal to air extensive coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup as a sub licensing of the BBC's rights to the tournament.[2] UKTV G2 simulcast the BBC's live matches, including the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica, England's game with Paraguay and the final. The channel also showed highlights of every match in the tournament.

Dave and Freeview launch[edit]

In September 2007, UKTV announced that they would relaunch and rename UKTV G2 as Dave on 15 October.[3] UKTV said the name of the channel was chosen because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave".[4] The rebrand included the channel being available free-to-air on digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, replacing UKTV Bright Ideas which only averaged 0.1% of the audience share.[5] The move to Freeview saw Dave launch in the bandwidth previously used by UKTV History which was moved to the time limited (7am to 6pm) bandwidth once occupied by UKTV Bright Ideas. Dave is available daily, from 7am to 3am, on all platforms. It uses the tagline "the home of witty comedy banter" and uses Ralph Ineson as an announcer, along with David Flynn (now with Gold), Phill Jupitus, Iain Lee and Radio 1 DJ Greg James, who announce during the prime-time schedule.

To ensure that all Freeview viewers receive the channel on number 19, UKTV briefly placed a re-tuning notice on the programme's information. This later changed to the current location on Channel 12.

From 31 January 2008, the channel began broadcasting in widescreen, along with the other UKTV channels.[6]

In April 2009, they aired 3 new instalments of Red Dwarf, entitled Back to Earth. This marked the channel's first foray into scripted original programming. During the airing of the Red Dwarf mini-series, the Dave DOG in the top left corner of the screen had the word 'Lister' added after it in the same font after the show's lead character; during the show it is even suggested that the station is named after him. Back to Earth brought record breaking viewing figures, not just in the context of the channel's past, but for digital television in general.[7]

In June 2009, the logo was updated to incorporate the 'circle' logo branding of all the new UKTV channels (for example Home, GOLD and Really). At the same time, the voice of Dave became Nigel Grover, aka, Scott Saunders, who had previously worked at a number of local radio stations. On the 29th April 2014, the 'circle' logo was removed and the original 2007 logo was restored.

Dave HD[edit]

On 29 July 2011, UKTV announced that it had secured a deal with BSkyB to launch three more high-definition channels on Sky.[8] As part of Virgin Media's deal to sell its share of UKTV, all five of UKTV's HD channels would also be added to Virgin's cable television service by 2012.[9] Dave HD launched on 10 October 2011 on Sky and Virgin Media,[10] two days before Watch HD, while Alibi HD launched in July 2012. All three channels are HD simulcasts of the standard-definition channel.

Timeshift [edit]

Timeshift logo

A one-hour timeshifted service of the channel – then known as UKTV G2 – began to operate on 1 November 2004, under the name UKTV G2 +1. As UKTV G2 at the time was an evenings-only service, the timeshift also operated in the evenings only, using the satellite and cable capacity which, during daytime, was used by the now-defunct UKTV Bright Ideas. The sharing arrangement meant that when UKTV G2's hours extended into daytime, the timeshift remained evenings-only.

At the time of the Dave relaunch, UKTV Bright Ideas closed, freeing up the space to allow UKTV G2 +1 to expand its hours to follow those of the parent channel fully; due to the main channel's relaunch as Dave, UKTV G2 +1 became Dave +1.

The timeshift was initially available on the Virgin Media and Sky platforms; from 22 January 2009, following UKTV's acquisition of a further Freeview broadcast slot, Dave +1 was made available on the digital terrestrial platform.

On 24 February 2009, Dave +1 was renamed Dave ja vu (a play on the phrase déjà vu) on all platforms; this was carried out to "strengthen the brand's positioning as the home of witty banter"[11] according to UKTV bosses.

On 14 June 2011, UKTV announced that Really would launch on Freeview on 2 August 2011,[12] to facilitate this Dave ja vu's broadcast hours on the platform were reduced from 8am-4am to 2am-4am. On 22 November 2012, UKTV confirmed that it had secured a deal for another 24-hour DTT slot and would use it for Dave ja vu until it firmed up permanent plans for the slot.[13] Dave ja vu began to broadcast its full schedule on the platform again from 3 January 2013. Drama permanently took the slot from 8 July 2013,[14] however Dave ja vu continued to broadcast between 2am-5am.[15]

On 20 November 2014, Dave ja vu returned to 24-hour broadcasting.[16]


Within just one month of its launch, Dave had become the tenth largest television channel in the UK. The broadcaster puts daily averages at around 3 million viewers, although, much of the growth may be attributed to its presence on Freeview; nonetheless, it is performing significantly better in pay TV homes than UKTV G2 ever did. Over the month since its launch, Dave averaged a 1.32% share in multichannel homes and a 3.2% share in the 16–34 male demographic.[17]

Dave's positive reception is proven by an attraction of 4 million viewers throughout 18 November 2007 for its coverage of "Car of the Year", pushing it to second place in multichannel behind ITV2.[17]

Some of Dave's more popular shows, such as Mock The Week, Top Gear and Have I Got News For You, often, self-mockingly reference the channel with phrases such as "...happened last week. Unless you're watching the repeat on Dave in which case it happened 3 years ago."

The shows with the highest ratings are Mock the Week (over 420,000 viewers), QI (over 400,000), Top Gear (350,000) and Dragons' Den (about 300,000).

The first episode of Red Dwarf: Back to Earth attracted 2,060,000 viewers on the first viewing,[18] though over 4 million viewed the episode at some point over its debut weekend.[7] The highest rating original commission before this had been Red Bull X-Fighters (about 185,000).


Name of show Original channel(s) Original run
8 Out of 10 Cats Channel 4 2004–present
24 Hours to Go Broke Dave 2014–present
Al Murray's Compete for the Meat Dave 2011
Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled Dave 2014–present
Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask Dave 2011–2013
American Pickers History (United States) 2010–present
Argumental Dave 2008–2012
Blackadder BBC One 1983-1989
Bush Pilots Dave 2012
Carpool Dave
Online series
Crackanory Dave 2013–present
Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums Dave 2012–2014
Dave's One Night Stand Dave 2010–2011
Driving Wars Dave 2011
Dynamo: Magician Impossible Watch 2011–present
Flip Men Spike (United States) 2011–2012
Frank Skinner's Opinionated BBC Two 2010–present
Gavin & Stacey BBC Three
Have I Got News for You BBC One
Him & Her BBC Three 2010–2013
Hoff the Record Dave 2015-
Later... with Jools Holland BBC Two 1992–present
Lead Balloon BBC Four
Lizard Lick Towing truTV (United States) 2011–present
Man v. Food Travel Channel (United States) 2008–2011
MegaTruckers A&E (Australia) 2012–present
Mock the Week BBC Two 2005–present
Modern Life Is Goodish Dave 2013–present
Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two 1996–2015
Not Going Out BBC One 2006–present
Parks and Recreation NBC (United States) 2009–2015
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Dave 2012–present
Red Bull Soapbox Race Dave 2013–present
Red Bull X-Fighters Dave 2008–present
Red Dwarf BBC Two
2009, 2012-present
Russell Howard's Good News BBC Three
Scrapheap Challenge Channel 4 1998-2010
Shameless Channel 4 2004–2013
Storage Hunters truTV (United States) 2011–2013
Storage Hunters UK Dave 2014–present
Suits USA Network 2011–present
Taskmaster Dave 2015–present
The Last Man on Earth FOX (United States) 2015–present
The Thick of It BBC Four
Three Men in a Boat BBC Two 2006–2011
Top Gear BBC Two 2002–present
Trawlermen BBC One 2006–2010
Traffic Cops BBC One 2003–present
Undercover Dave 2015
World's Most Dangerous Roads BBC Two 2011–present
World's Most Stupid Criminals Channel 5 2003
Would I Lie To You? BBC One 2007–present

Dave Weekly podcast[edit]

In August 2011, Dave launched a regular comedy podcast called The Dave Weekly hosted on joindave.co.uk and accessible via iTunes.[19] Presented by Ben Shires, the podcast comprises interviews with comedians like Russell Kane, Jo Brand, Adam Buxton, Paul Foot and Alex Horne along with occasional features.


  1. ^ Conlan, Tara (7 October 2005). "UKTV to launch sport channel | Media | MediaGuardian". London: Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Broadcasting – News – UKTV lands huge World Cup rights deal – Digital Spy". Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  3. ^ "It's Dave – not Bright Ideas and evening History – ukfree.tv – independent digital TV and switchover advice". Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Leigh Holmwood (20 September 2007). "UKTV to launch channel called 'Dave' | Media | MediaGuardian". London: Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Terrestrial – News – UKTV considers G2 Freeview launch – Digital Spy". Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "UKTV goes widescreen". UKTV. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Back To Earth Natterings". 
  8. ^ "UKTV enters VoD market with landmark HD content deal with Sky". UKTV. 29 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Virgin Media sells £239m stake in UKTV". Financial Times. 15 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Virgin TV just got even bigger". Virgin Media. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "UKTV launches Dave ja vu – Brand Republic". Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  12. ^ "UKTV secures free to air slot for Really, its cutting edge lifestyle channel". UKTV. 14 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "UKTV secures additional DTT slot". UKTV. 22 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "UKTV launches new Drama channel on Freeview". a516digital. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Dave Ja Vu reverts back to part time on Freeview". a516digital. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dave Ja Vu back to 24 hours on Freeview". a516digital. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Welsh, James (21 November 2007). "UKTV celebrates Dave's growth". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  18. ^ "Television – News – New 'Red Dwarf' pulls in over 2 million". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  19. ^ "The Dave Weekly Podcast on iTunes". 

External links[edit]