Galaxy (UK TV channel)

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BSB Galaxy small logo.jpg
Launched25 March 1990; 29 years ago (25 March 1990)
Closed2 December 1990; 28 years ago (2 December 1990)
Owned byBSB
Sister channel(s)The Movie Channel
The Sports Channel
The Power Station
The Computer Channel
at time of closure
AnalogueMarcopolo 1, 11.86174
Available on some services

Galaxy was a British satellite television channel focusing on general entertainment and children's programmes, one of the five channels run by British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) and based at its Battersea Studios in the Marco Polo House Building. The channel broadcast a mix of home-grown programming, American imports and repeats from the BBC library.

Original programmes[edit]

Some of the programmes made for Galaxy included:

Jupiter Moon[edit]

Jupiter Moon was Galaxy's sci-fi soap opera, shown three times a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6.30pm), with an omnibus at weekends.[1] 150 episodes were made, but only the first 108 were broadcast by Galaxy before it closed, while the last 42 episodes would be broadcast six years later by Sci Fi Channel. The cast included Richard Derrington, Anna Chancellor, Alison Dowling, Lucy Benjamin, Fay Masterson, Richard Lintern and Jason Durr.[2] The entire series has been released on Region 1 DVD.

Up Yer News[edit]

This was Galaxy's comedy satire programme, broadcast in 15-minute episodes each weeknight. It featured Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Stewart Lee, Richard Herring, Patrick Marber, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Doon Mackichan, David Schneider, Jon Thomson, Al Murray, Julian Clary, Stephen Fry, David Baddiel, Rob Newman, Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Henry Normal, Fred Harris, Jo Brand, Mark Heap, and Alistair McGowan.[1][3][4][5]

The Happening[edit]

A weekly 90-minute music and comedy show presented by Jools Holland.[1][3]

31 West[edit]

Galaxy's magazine show broadcast Monday to Friday, 6.00–6.30pm, presented by Simon Potter, Debbie Flint and Shyama Perera and soap expert Chris Stacey. The show got its name from the placing of BSB's Marcopolo Satellite at 31 degrees west.[1]

The Last Laugh[edit]

Stand-up comedy show. Comedians featured included Ben Elton, Nick Revell, Jack Dee, Kevin Day, Simon Fanshawe, Punt and Dennis, Norman Lovett, Mark Steel and Mark Thomas.[1][3][4][5]

Doctor Who weekend[edit]

Galaxy broadcast early episodes of Doctor Who every week, and on the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September the channel presented a complete Doctor Who Weekend.
Saturday 22 September: 9.15am An Unearthly Child, 11.15am The Daleks (episodes 1-3), 12.35pm Doctor Who's Who's Who, 1.40pm The Daleks (episodes 4-7), 3.30pm The Edge of Destruction, 4.30pm The Yeti Rarities (The Abominable Snowmen episode 2 and The Web of Fear episode 1), 6.00pm The Space Museum, 8.00 The Keys of Marinus, 11.00pm The Aztecs, 1.00am Dr. Who and the Daleks (film).
Sunday 23 September: 9.15am The War Games (episodes 1-5), 11.30am Whose Doctor Who, 12.45pm The War Games (episodes 6-10), 3.00pm The Dominators, 5.45pm The Mind Robber, 8.00pm The Three Doctors, 10.00pm Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (film), 11.30pm The Yeti Rarities (The Abominable Snowmen episode 2 and The Web of Fear episode 1), 12.30am The Edge of Destruction.[1]
Between the stories, there were also many editions of BSB's own programme, 31 Who, presented by Debbie Flint, Shyama Perera and John Nathan-Turner,[1] and featuring interviews with Sylvester McCoy, Carole Ann Ford, Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Purves, Wendy Padbury, Terrance Dicks, Bob Baker & Dave Martin, Nicholas Courtney, William Russell, Jon Pertwee, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and many more. [6]

BBC programmes on Galaxy[edit]

Some of the archive BBC programmes on Galaxy included:[1]

American imports on Galaxy[edit]

Some of the American programmes on Galaxy included:[1]

Galaxy Club[edit]

The station also broadcast children's programmes under the strand 'Galaxy Club', which featured home-grown programming, mixed with imported cartoons and series such as the cartoons Denver, the Last Dinosaur, Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, and Underdog. Programmes specially made for the channel included Cool Cube and The Galaxy Club Show. One such programme, The Satellite Game, was made by Broadsword, who re-used the interactive game show format in their following programmes, including the successful Knightmare.


The Galaxy logo, along with all the BSB logos, has been critically acclaimed. On the TV Ark website, an archive of British television presentation history, Hayden Walker writes: "There is no doubt the BSB identity was a serious coherent design. The project of work stretched back over a year and included product designers, model makers, composers and other specialists. The BSB identities emerged with startling clarity, with an upmarket pitch. Stylish and distinctive both on screen and in print, Lambie-Nairn designed identities which told stories." [7] And of the Galaxy logo in particular: "The ident had a lovely warmth to it, with animated swirls of colours and stars." [8]

Galaxy archives[edit]

Apart from Jupiter Moon and many of Galaxy's imported programming, the vast majority of the original programming made for broadcast by Galaxy, such as Up Yer News and The Happening, is now missing. Most was made by various independent production companies, and broadcaster and production company have both deleted their copies – each thinking the other will have kept theirs.[3][9]


Following the merger of BSB and Sky, the decision was taken to hand over Galaxy's transponder to Sky One, who took only a few programmes from Galaxy and incorporated them into its channels line up. Galaxy closed down for the last time at 1am on 2 December 1990, ending with the ident (with no announcers) quickly disappearing before the test card.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "BSB TV Month (BSB's listings magazine)". Redwood Publishing. 1990. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. ^ "IMDB cast list".
  3. ^ a b c d "Recovering The Lost BSB Archives".
  4. ^ a b "The Last Laugh with Ben Elton at IMDb".
  5. ^ a b "Lovett Goes To Town".
  6. ^ "Gallifrey Base".
  7. ^ "BSB at TV Ark".
  8. ^ "Galaxy at TV Ark".
  9. ^ "".

External links[edit]