MHP The Test Card Gallery UKTV

UKTV

UKTV is an unusual collection of channels. It is a joint commercial venture between the BBC and Flextech. The programmes are broadcast from BBC Television Centre in London, which means that there are now more commercial services originating from there than licence fee funded channels.

The UKTV family of channels was launched on November 1st 1997, and is comprised of UK Gold, which has been popular and successful on satellite for many years, and three newcomers: UK Horizons, UK Style and UK Arena. With the introduction of the new channels, they and UK Gold gained a unique branding of their own.

A previous "UK" channel, UK Living, is not part of the UKTV network, and from October 27th 1997 became known simply as "Living".

Pre-launch Used before the launch of UKTV on satellite. Due to a lack of transponders, UK Horizons, UK Style and UK Arena have to share time on a single transponder. The full service is only available to cable viewers.
"Something even better than widescreen TV. Wide-choice TV."

Heavy promotion in the Radio Times around the launch date included this phrase. Promotional trails for the channels ended with the caption on the right, including the clever tag-line "Better Programmes All Together".
Better Programmes All Together

UK GOLD Banner

"UK GOLD features the pick of the BBC's most celebrated comedy and drama."

UK GOLD Apples The first of three new idents for UK Gold. This one is called "Apples". The series share a common theme, that of ordinary objects with only the gold ones getting through to the bottom half of the screen.
The second is called "Leaves" for obvious reasons. Only the gold leaves pass through the centre divide to reach the bottom.

UK Gold was originally dedicated to the best programmes from the archives of the BBC and Thames Television. Since the re-launch, it has mainly concentrated on BBC comedy and drama.
UK GOLD Leaves
UK GOLD Arrows This is the third of the series, called "Arrows". Once again, only the gold arrows get through.

Before the re-launch, UK Gold had around 40 idents. This has been somewhat slimmed-down to the three here. We hope to present a selection of the previous batch of UK Gold idents in the future.

UK HORIZONS Banner

"UK HORIZONS has the most incredible BBC wildlife programmes, as well as real life stories, adventure, history and science."

The first of four idents from UK Horizons, the channel that features programmes on nature, history, human interest, science and technology, is called "Canary/Car". The UK Horizons idents all contain a centre circle as a common feature. UK HORIZONS Canary/Car
UK HORIZONS Dog/Fish "Dog/Fish" from UK Horizons. The theme of both UK Horizons and UK Style is to split the screen horizontally and have two separate images fuse together in an unusual way.
The third UK Horizons ident in this collection is called "Dolphin/Radar". The radar sweeps clockwise, and on every second revolution, as the sweep reaches the centre divide, the dolphin jumps out of the water and back in the other side. UK HORIZONS Dolphin/Radar
UK HORIZONS Astronaut/Compass The final ident from UK Horizons is called "Astronaut/Compass". The astronaut has swirly "2001" style light effects around his head, while below, a compass needle spins as we drift over mountain-tops.

UK STYLE Banner

"If it's the home, travel, gardening or cookery you're into, UK STYLE offers a feast of leisure and lifestyle programmes."

This first one is called "Snorkel Man & Lily". UK Style presents BBC programmes on food, holidays and travel, homes and antiques, and gardening.

All the UKTV idents have been made in 16:9 widescreen, which is why the lilies top left and right are a bit cropped.
UK STYLE Snorkel Man & Lily
UK STYLE Wine Glass & Paint Pouring The second ident from UK Style, "Wine Glass & Paint Pouring". You might have to look twice to get this one: the top half is a wine glass into which wine is being poured, the lower half is a paint tin with red paint being poured out.
The third of four from UK Style, "Lily & Lamp". UK STYLE Lily & Lamp
UK STYLE Strawberries & Hat I like this one a lot. It's called "Strawberries and Hat". As the strawberries pass the centre line, they turn into spinning straw hats. The "bowl" of strawberries is occasionally splashed with cream!

UK ARENA Banner

"UK ARENA is the channel dedicated to arts entertainment, a mix of cutting edge drama, films, plays and music."

This is simply called "UK Arena Ident Version 2". We think another three exist. Can anyone else who has actually seen this channel advise if other idents are in use? UK Arena is described as "Britain's first dedicated arts and entertainment channel with the best of quality drama and movies, music and arts coverage." UK ARENA Ident Version 2

 

Recommended Links
UK Horizons are the only UKTV channel to have their own web site at present.
However you can find out what's on UKTV at the Beeb Radio Times web site.

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Last Update 29 Mar 2000