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BBC Choice
A former ident
Launched 23 September 1998
Closed 9 February 2003
Owned by BBC
Replaced by BBC Three, CBBC Channel
Availability At time of closure
Freeview Channel 7
Sky Digital Channel 115 (originally 160)
NTL Channel 11/126
Telewest Channel 111

BBC Choice was a TV station from the BBC, which launched on 23 September 1998. It was the first British TV channel to broadcast exclusively in digital format.[1]

Initially, the main attractions of the new station were multi-broadcast TV shows, with the option to choose which program you viewed. The first broadcast by the BBC with this option was two months after the launch of the channel, showing Stressed Eric, with Naked Video as the Digital Teletext option. Its single-show programming was mainly concerned with celebrities, including documentary profiles and the nightly entertainment magazine Liquid News.

Another important aspect of BBC Choice's programming was its children's output, branded CBBC On Choice and using the regular presenters from BBC One & Two children's output to present a wide range of programming for younger viewers. This took up most of BBC Choice's daytime hours and included repeats of archive shows rarely seen on the main channels, such as Mr Benn, Paddington, Simon and the Witch, Ivor the Engine, Jonny Briggs , Pigeon Street, The Family Ness. and Bitsa

BBC Choice showed children's TV shows from 6am-7pm and adult programmes from 7pm-midnight. BBC Three replaced BBC Choice and the CBBC Channel became a separate channel time-sharing with the service. The CBBC Channel airs from 07:00 to 19:00 while BBC Three airs from 19:00 to around 04:00; times quite similar to the format BBC Choice formed prior to closure. Another children's channel, CBeebies, was launched aiming at the younger audience CBBC on Choice had previously targeted.

There were originally regional opt-outs for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but these were discontinued in 2001 in favour of regional opt-outs on BBC Two digital services, such as BBC 2W.

In February 2002, CBBC On Choice was spun-off into two separate channels, CBBC and CBeebies which time-shared with BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge respectively.

In December 2002, the idents changed. Builders now began "demolishing" the BBC Choice idents, with construction of something after the idents were demolished. The next month, an ident showing what the construction was (a big "THREE", shown on an angle) appeared. Then, a countdown began. By 9 February, BBC Choice was gone, in favour of BBC Three. The THREE built in the ident appears in the new channel's ident package, but due to the channel's "blobs" (to which the graphics focus), only a portion of the lighting reveals the "THREE", which is fully shown in the channel's logo.

EastEnders Revealed was the only show from the original 1998 channel lineup to survive and outlive the entire life of the channel itself.


  1. ^ Midgley, Carol (1998-09-24). "Viewers in dark as BBC goes digital". The Times: p. 11. "The BBC introduced its first new television channel for 34 years yesterday..."  


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