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VH1 is a British pay television channel from Viacom. The channel broadcasts to the United Kingdom and Ireland. The channel is based on the original VH1 American channel of the same name. On 24 November until 26 December 2017, VH1 was renamed temporarily as VH1 Christmas.

Launched10 October 1994; 24 years ago (1994-10-10)
NetworkVH1 (UK & Ireland)
Owned byViacom International Media Networks Europe
Picture format16:9, 576i (SDTV)
Audience share0.01% (June 2018 (2018-06), BARB)
Sister channel(s)
SkyChannel 160
Virgin MediaChannel 316
Virgin Media IrelandChannel 706
WightFibreChannel 89
FreewireChannel 602
BT TVChannel 542
Eir VisionChannel 356


VH1 UK together with VH1 Germany was first launched on 10th October 1994 [1] as an alternative to the youth-orientated MTV. Between June 1999 and 2001 it was temporarily rebranded by VH1 Export, also broadcasting on mainland Europe. In 2001 VH1 Export and VH1 Germany merged into the Pan-European VH1 channel. VH1 UK became a separate local television channel.[2]

As a music channel VH1 targeted an audience between 25 and 44 year olds, and aimed to be "mature, sophisticated and totally stylish for viewers who still feel young and want to keep in-touch with what is happening on the music scene today." The music they played consisted of music from the 1970s right through to today.

Until 2008, much of their programming was taken from the American version. The channel was then focused entirely on music videos, with many Top 20 and Top 40 countdowns.

Between its UK launch and the late 1990s the channel played many 1980s videos including the present day at the time, while the logo was displayed in the top right hand corner with "MUSIC FIRST" displayed underneath it. The channel also at the time would dedicate particular days to an artist. Examples of these included "Jacksons Day", "Beautiful South Day" and "Elton John Day". A "Madonna Day" in 1998 featured a full-length concert, alongside her music videos on the then daytime Upbeat programme.

In July 1998, the channel ran a "Pop Up Video Marathon". Another feature which would run on the channel was Ten of the Best, in which an artist's video is played and then the act themselves are on camera selecting their ten best videos, in which they would say why they like it along with the song with a description of the video that the viewer would be shown. After the show ended on VH1, the same idea was then transferred to VH2, in which alternative artists like Feeder and Athlete would choose the videos. The videos shown were usually bands like The Pixies, Elbow and Biffy Clyro. Despite VH2 later ceasing to exist, VH1 have not re-considered the concept.

Current formatEdit

On 1 May 2018, VH1 moved to Sky channel 174 and as a result, the channel began showing less music and started showing reality shows, mostly from Channel 5 or MTV. VH1 completed its transition to a general entertainment format in October 2018, with a host of non-scripted US shows premiering on the channel including Love & Hip Hop: Miami and Ru Paul's Drag Race, while VH1 Christmas moved to MTV Rocks.[3]

Current programmingEdit

Former sister channelsEdit

Two sister channels to VH1 have previously existed.

  • VH1 Classic (launched 1 July 1999; closed 1 March 2010) played all-time greats from the 1960s to the 1990s. The channel was replaced by MTV Classic.
  • VH2 (launched 16 December 2003; closed 1 August 2006) showed mainly music videos and live concerts. It focused on rock, indie and punk music and branded itself as "the alternative to manufactured pop". The channel was replaced by MTV Flux, which itself was replaced by MTV +1.

On-air identityEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Chalaby, Jean K. (2009). Transnational Television in Europe: Reconfiguring Global Communications Networks. I.B.Tauris. p. 129. ISBN 9780857717474.
  3. ^ Szalai, Georg. "Viacom's VH1 U.K. to Focus on Unscripted Shows in Repositioning". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 September 2018.