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Pop (British and Irish TV channel)

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Logo used since 2015
NetworkSee separate section
Picture format16:9 576i SDTV
Timeshift servicePop +1
Sister channels
Launched29 May 2003; 21 years ago (2003-05-29)
Former namesToons&Tunes (2003)
WebsiteOfficial website
See separate section
Streaming media
See separate section

Pop (stylized in all caps) is a British free-to-air children's television channel owned by Narrative Entertainment UK Limited, targeting audiences aged 6 to 10.[1] Launched on 29 May 2003 as Toons&Tunes by Chart Show Channels (CSC) Media Group, it later took on its current name and was sold to Sony Pictures Television, who in turn sold it and its local channels to Narrative Entertainment UK Limited in 2021.



Pop was originally launched on 29 May 2003 by Chart Show Channels (CSC) Media Group as Toons&Tunes.[2] Toons&Tunes was then later rebranded as its current name, Pop (formerly stylized as pop and POP!) in the following month. In September 2003, a timeshift sister network - Pop Plus, was launched.[3] Originally, the network focused on music videos with animated programming also part of the schedule, but with the numerous music video network options on British television at the time, this focus was quickly abandoned in 2004, when the animated content became much more prominent. Music videos continued to be carried on and off until 2010, before eventually being abandoned entirely.[citation needed] Initially, the channel broadcast animated content sourced from Granada Media's programming library under a six-month non-exclusive deal, before transitioning to content sourced mainly from DIC Entertainment and Nelvana.

In the channel's early years, links were presented by Rorry, formerly known as Tricky, an animated lime green dragon who used to host a Saturday morning show in the autumn of 1997, but was repurposed for the Pop channel. Tricky spoke with a northern English dialect, while Rorry spoke in a different voice with a Scottish accent, both versions were animated live through computer cues. He was accompanied by Purrdy, a dragon/cat hybrid who also appeared in the original Tricky programme on ITV, it was sometimes followed by a programme known as "The Cheeky Monkey Show" which features the live links of the animated coloured monkeys known as "The Cheeky Monkeys".

In July 2004, Pop Plus was rebranded as Tiny Pop with the channel's pre-school shows being moved over, alongside the Cheeky Monkeys.

On 10 August 2007, a one-hour timeshift service - Pop +1 was launched on Sky, alongside Tiny Pop +1. On 11 October, the channel was launched on Virgin Media, alongside Tiny Pop.[4]

On 19 May 2008, Pop +1 ceased broadcast and was replaced with a new sister network - Kix!.

On 1 February 2011, Pop was removed from Virgin Media to make way for the cable launch of True Entertainment.[5]

On 20 March 2014, Pop was launched on Freeview.[6] Prior to April 2016, Pop was only available in areas where there is a local TV channel. On 14 July, Pop +1 was relaunched on Sky, replacing Kix +1.

On 1 April 2016, Pop moved to a wider coverage nationwide freeview mix, becoming available to over 90% of the country.[7] The capacity vacated by Pop on the local multiplex was used to transmit Kix from 7 April 2016. Pop +1 moved to LCN channel 128, to release 127 for use by Kix, but was otherwise unaffected, continuing to broadcast locally to Manchester only until its eventual withdrawal from Freeview.

On 1 September 2020, Pop rebranded its on-air identity, with the premiere of Bakugan: Armored Alliance.[8] And on the same day, starting with Pokémon Journeys: The Series, the network became the new British home of the Pokémon anime, moving from its previous broadcasters, ITV1 and CITV, of over 20 years.[9]

On 9 November 2022, Narrative Entertainment announced the launch of a new FAST channel, Pop Kids, to stream on Samsung TV Plus, the new FAST network airs shows from Pop and Tiny Pop.[10]

Sometime in 2022, Pop began to branch into original content for the first time, as they approached Joe Tasker for a new show called Swipe It! With Joe Taker.

On 19 July 2023, Pop reverted back to broadcasting on the local-TV multiplex, switching places with sibling film channel Great! Romance.[11] In September 2023, it was announced that Pop Kids would split into two FAST channels, with Tiny Pop getting its own channel, and with Pop replacing the current FAST channel.[12]

In 7 February 2024, Pop and other Narrative Entertainment channels were removed from Freesat to make way for the closure of the linear variant of Tiny Pop.[13]

On 30 May 2024, Narrative Entertainment announced the launch of Pop Up, a binge-watching-style FAST channel that offers up programming from a single IP within a few weeks at a time.[14]



Pop's website has gone through many redesigns and a few URL changes, the original version from 2004 was a simple website called Popclub.tv, featuring promo art and flash games with Pop's various hosts. Around 2007 it relaunched as Popfun.co.uk, which originally had visuals based around Rorry's castle and the surrounding village,[15] but after Rorry's departure in 2010 it instead changed to reflect whatever the current style and visuals of the channel at the time was.

On 21 September 2023, the website URL was changed to simply Pop.co.uk.





Pop programming in addition to content from sister channels Pop Max and Tiny Pop are available to stream on demand from the free TV service and mobile app Pop Player[16] and since May 2022, available on Freeview Channel 208.[17][18]



The channel sources its programming from multiple production and distribution studios. Programming includes original shows such as Swipe It! With Joe Tasker,[19] and acquired programming such as Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir and Pokémon. The channel also includes movies and specials such as the Barbie television films, Pokémon and Monster High.[20][21]


Pop +1

Timeshift logo

A time shift feed called Pop +1 was available until 2008, when it was replaced by Kix!; in turn, that network's +1 feed was discontinued on 14 July 2014 with Pop +1's return.

Pop Kids


A FAST channel launched on Samsung TV Plus in November 2022. It shows a list of programs from across Pop and Tiny Pop.[22] In September 2023, it was announced that the channel would split into two, with Tiny Pop getting its own channel, and with Pop replacing the current FAST channel.[12]

International versions


On 4 May 2017, Sony Pictures Television launched an Italian version of Pop as their first Italian free-to-air offering, with a similar line-up of programming to the UK channel. The network closed alongside its sister channel Cine Sony on 11 July 2019, after Mediaset purchased both network slots from Sony. Pop's old slot would be used for Boing Plus.[23]

There is also a Nigerian Pop channel that launched on StarTimes in 2014.

The Pakistani version of Pop is operated by Edutainment (Pty.) Ltd. under the license from Sony Pictures Television.[24]


  1. ^ Ravindran, Manori (14 May 2021). "Sony Pictures Television U.K. Channels Sold to U.S. Investment Firm Narrative Capital". Variety. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Toons&Tunes launching today". Digital Spy. 29 May 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Chart Show looks to build Pop channel".
  4. ^ "Pop TV moving kids' channels on cable".
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110724100753/http://www.theairwaves.net/index.php/cable/4382-csc-media-does-channel-swap-on-vm
  6. ^ "New children's channel Pop launches on Freeview". Toy World Magazine. 21 April 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  7. ^ "POP extends Freeview reach April 2016". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Bakugan: Armored Alliance - Starts 1st September - POP! UK TV Advert". POP. 31 August 2020. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2020 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Pokemon Journeys - Starts 1st September 2020 - POP! UK TV Advert". POP. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ Snow, Nick (9 November 2022). "Narrative Entertainment launches into FAST TV market". Advanced Television. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  11. ^ Newsdesk1, RXTV (5 July 2023). "Winners and losers in next Great Freeview Channel Update > RXTV info". RXTV info. Retrieved 23 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b Newsdesk1, RXTV (6 September 2023). "New POP children's streaming channels to launch > RXTV info". RXTV info. Retrieved 6 September 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Newsdesk1, RXTV (7 February 2024). "Surprise removal of nine Freesat channels > RXTV info". RXTV info. Retrieved 7 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Narrative Entertainment unveils 2 new FAST channels". 30 May 2024.
  15. ^ "Popfun.co.uk website in 2007". POP. 4 September 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2023 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "POP Player". POP. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Channel Changes and closures on Freeview". Freeview. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Pop Player secures Freeview slot". RXTV. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Swipe It! With Joe Tasker". POP. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  20. ^ "TV Shows". POP. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Pop secures TV Shows slot". RXTV. 9 August 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  22. ^ "POP Kids". Pop. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  23. ^ "La jv Turner-Mediaset sbarca sul canale 45 del digitale terrestre" [The Turner-Mediaset jv lands on digital terrestrial channel 45]. Il Sole 24 ORE (in Italian). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Singer turned Media Marketer, Syed Rameez Mukhtar joins Pop Kids TV as Chief Commercial Officer". Media Bites. 25 September 2018. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.