Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Dave (TV channel)

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2 October 1998

Broadcast area
United KingdomIreland


United Kingdom

Owned by
Dave (TV channel) rescloudinarycomuktvimageuploadv1456224279y

Picture format
576i (4:3 and 16:9) (SDTV),1080i (HDTV)

Audience share
1.05%0.17% (Dave ja vu) (June 2016 (2016-06), BARB)

"The Home of Witty Banter"

"The Home of Witty Banter"

TV shows
Red Dwarf, Taskmaster, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Storage Hunters, Dave Gorman: Modern L

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

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 6.00pm to 2.00am. 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 28 March 1999, and from 2 April 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

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

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.

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. 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

In September 2007, UKTV announced that they would relaunch and rename UKTV G2 as Dave on 15 October. UKTV said the name of the channel was chosen because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave". 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. The move to Freeview saw Dave launch in the bandwidth previously used by UKTV History which was moved to the time limited (7.00am to 6.00pm) bandwidth once occupied by UKTV Bright Ideas. Dave is available daily, from 7.00am to 3.00am, on all platforms. It uses the tagline "the home of witty comedy banter" and uses Ralph Ineson as an announcer, along with David Flynn, Phill Jupitus, Iain Lee and BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James.

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.

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.

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 29 April 2014, the 'circle' logo was removed and the original 2007 logo was restored.

Dave HD

On 29 July 2011, UKTV announced that it had secured a deal with BSkyB to launch three more high-definition channels on Sky. 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. Dave HD launched on 10 October 2011 on Sky and Virgin Media, two days before Watch HD, while Alibi HD launched in July 2012. All three channels are HD simulcasts of the standard-definition channel. Dave HD along with Good Food HD and Eden HD launched on BT TV on 3 October 2016. Six weeks after Watch HD and Alibi HD launched on BT TV.


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" according to UKTV bosses.

On 14 June 2011, UKTV announced that Really would launch on Freeview on 2 August 2011, to facilitate this Dave ja vu's broadcast hours on the platform were reduced from 8.00am-4.00am to 2.00am-4.00am. 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. 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, however Dave ja vu continued to broadcast between 2.00am-5.00am.

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


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.

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.

Some of Dave's more popular shows, such as Mock the Week, Top Gear and Have I Got News For You, often 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, though over 4 million viewed the episode at some point over its debut weekend. The highest rating original commission before this had been Red Bull X-Fighters (about 185,000).


On 6 January 2016, UKTV announced that Dave would show its first-ever live sporting event with a boxing match between David Haye and Mark de Mori at the O2 Arena on 16 January 2016 produced by Salter Brothers Entertainment.

In late May 2016 Dave broadcast full live coverage of the 2016 BDO World Trophy darts tournament.

In July 2016 Dave covered cricket's Caribbean Premier League. It broadcast five matches live, including the final and showed the other games in full on a delayed basis.


As of 2016, Dave airs western films during the daytime, including One More Train to Rob, Chief Crazy Horse, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid and The Hired Hand. Sometimes horror films like A Nightmare On Elm Street.

Dave Weekly podcast

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


Dave (TV channel) Wikipedia