|Launched 8 March 2004|
Picture format 16:9, 576i (SDTV)
Owned by UKTV
|Closed 5 July 2013|
Country United Kingdom
Replaced UK Horizons
|Audience share ~0.0% (November 2012, BARB)|
Slogan One nation under a channel
Blighty was a television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom as part of the UKTV network of channels. The channel originally launched on 8 March 2004, and relaunched to a new format on 17 February 2009. The channel was only available on Sky, TalkTalk TV and Virgin Media, and was not available on the digital terrestrial service Freeview.
The channel launched on 8 March 2004 as UKTV People, showing repeats of factual programming of a lighter nature, based on the people of the world with programmes such as Top Gear and the docusoap Airport. Much of this programming had come from the former channel UK Horizons, which had closed down the day before. The channel itself, along with UKTV Documentary, replaced this channel formally.
On 9 October 2008, UKTV announced plans to rebrand UKTV People and UKTV Documentary in early 2009. The news came just two days after UKTV's entertainment channels were rebranded to Watch, Gold and Alibi. They announced that UKTV People would be rebranded as Blighty and this rebrand took place on 17 February 2009. As part of the rebrand, some programmes were transferred to channels such as sister channel Dave, while the channel acquired some other programmes looking at British life.
The channel closed at midday on 5 July 2013, replaced by Drama on 8 July.
From launch until 18 April 2006, the channel ran a time shift service called UKTV People +1 with exactly the same broadcast on a one-hour delay. When the service closed, its bandwidth was taken by the newly launched UKTV Drama +1.
When the channel launched as UKTV People, the idents all featured people depicted from different angles set against a screen split in four, before fading into the stacked UKTV People ident over a three striped red background. This same background also featured on promotions for the channel, both on the channel and across the network.
When the rebrand to Blighty occurred, a new logo was designed consisting of a brightly coloured Union Flag. This is seen on a large scale flying behind the scenes depicted in front. These scenes included many people and centred on a number of typically British themes: rain, with large wellies, business men with umbrellas and people camping; sun with beach scenes, and other summer activities; tea, with all methods of making tea celebrated alongside cakes and biscuits and multicultural, featuring foreign dances and Indian food and spices.
Much of the channels programming focused on repeated programming, mainly but not exclusively from the BBC, who held a 50 percent stake in the channel through commercial arm BBC Worldwide. Additionally, BBC programmes were edited to fit the time slot as an original broadcast for an hour-long programme on the BBC might be as much as 58 minutes long, whereas the same programme on Blighty might be 42 minutes long without the commercials.