CITV: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CITV logo
Launched 3 January 1983
Owned by ITV
Picture format 16:9 SDTV
Country  United Kingdom
Language English
Freeview Channel 72
Freesat Channel 602
Sky Digital Channel 621
Virgin Media Channel 734
TalkTalk TV Channel 307
Internet television
TVCatchup CITV Watch live(UK only)

CITV (short for Children's ITV or Children's Independent Television) is the brand name used for the majority of children's television output on ITV's television stations, including the ITV Network, breakfast broadcaster GMTV and the ITV plc-owned CITV Channel as well as non ITV plc owned regions. The flagship CITV strand was previously broadcast on weekdays on ITV (normally referred to as ITV1 in England, Wales & southern Scotland, STV in central & northern Scotland, UTV in Northern Ireland and Channel Television in the Channel Islands) between 15:30 and 17:00, as well as on Saturday mornings between 06:00 and 11:30 and on Sunday mornings between 07:25 and 10:00. The weekday afternoon and weekend slots were axed in 2007. CITV also has its own channel, which was launched by ITV plc on 11 March 2006.

Children's ITV began in January 1983 and originally featured pre-recorded in-vision continuity links fronted by various presenters and characters from Children's ITV programmes. The strand was broadcast live from Central Independent Television's studios in Birmingham for the first time in 1987 and started to utilise regular staff presenters. The rebranded CITV reverted to out-of-vision continuity in February 1993, voiced by Steven Ryde, who later became a producer when the strand reverted back to in-vision presentation in May 1998 and hired new presenters. In-vision continuity was phased out again in September 2004, signalling the end of CITV presentation from Birmingham after 17 years. At the start of 2007, CITV's weekday afternoon strand on ITV1 was axed. Since January 2007, CITV is no longer broadcast on ITV1 weekdays, but still appears on occasional weekend mornings throughout the year. Currently, CITV presentation is produced by ITV Granada in Manchester, with pre-recorded continuity links voiced by Tim Dann.




Before being known as Children's ITV, the timeslot for children's programmes was briefly branded as Watch IT!, which was presented live by the duty continuity announcer in each ITV region.

Co-ordinated by Central Independent Television, Children's ITV first went on air on 3 January 1983 and consisted of programmes with pre-recorded links in between, initially featuring a different presenter each month (usually from children's television – the cast of the Saturday morning show Number 73 presented during the summer of 1985 from a south coast beach, for example). Recorded links continued until 1987, when live in-vision presentation was introduced, echoing Children's BBC which had started two years earlier. The introduction of live continuity also saw the introduction of regular presenters for the strand – originally consisting of model Debbie Shore and Central staff announcer Gary Terzza.

In 1989, the independent production company Stonewall Productions won the contract to produce Children's ITV presentation. Whereas Central had restricted links to the station's former in-vision continuity studio, Stonewall chose to present links from various areas of Central's headquarters at Broad Street in Birmingham and utilised a team of presenters. Central won back the contract to produce the continuity links in April 1991, choosing to revert links back to a small in-vision studio and using one regular presenter, Tommy Boyd.


In February 1993, in-vision presentation was dropped by the new controller of CITV, Dawn Airey, with Steven Ryde providing out-of-vision continuity links featuring a wide variety of animated characters. Later in 1993, the Children's ITV name was changed to the more youth-friendly CITV, having been used in some form or another since the previous year.

However, the Children's wasn't removed from the logo until September 1996, the same month a Digital On-screen Graphic (DOG) was introduced. Presentation for the service was moved in 1997 when Central moved into new, smaller studios at Gas Street in Birmingham.

This continued until Tuesday 26 May 1998, when a new in-vision service was introduced by the new CITV controller, Nigel Pickard. Steven Ryde became a producer with Stephen Mulhern and Danielle Nicholls becoming the new presentation team. A new logo was introduced (with traces of the 1991-1996 and 1996-1998 predecessors), and henceforth the service had been referred to as CiTV. Initially broadcast from Studio B at Central's Gas Street studios, CITV started sharing studio space with the West Midlands edition of Central News in September 1999, allowing room for a large stylised set created by a company called Dorans Propmakers. The main studio for Central News West had previously been used for live music performances during CITV.


Post 2000 however, the overall quality of CITV's output began to drop considerably after peaking in the late 1980s and early 1990s[citation needed], apparent budget cuts meant fewer shows were made, repeats were much more frequent, and many flagship shows were axed. It did not help that in 2001 CITV's controller Janie Grace publicly criticised Carlton and Granada, then ITV's controlling forces, for underinvestment in ITV's children's service. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grace was removed from her post just as Nigel Pickard was named as ITV's new Director of Programmes. This decline has seemingly continued, thanks to perceived rising costs of original production (and the effects on advertising revenues following the ban by OFCOM on 'junk food' advertising within children's schedules), and increasing competition from CBBC and countless digital children's channels for new programmes (especially imported cartoons, typically from America).

On-screen, various changes to the presentation team saw no less than eight additions and replacements in the space of four years.

By September 2004, ITV plc announced the closure of its presentation and transmission facilities in Birmingham, signalling the end of CITV continuity from ITV Central. Presentation was relocated to Granada in Manchester and all in-vision continuity was replaced by pre-recorded voice overs.


The CITV Channel runs every day from 6am to 6pm. It has a mixed genre and age range of programming for both pre-school age and older children. The channel was unique in that, while wholly owned by ITV plc, up until October 2007, its airtime was sold by GMTV, a company partly owned by ITV plc.

CITV recently won children's BAFTAs for pre-school animation for Pocoyo, in animation for The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers, drama The Giblet Boys and the multi-award winning My Life as a Popat. The presenter award was won by Holly Willoughby for Saturday Showdown.


CITV has courted controversy at times with decisions that upset its fan base (such as the axing of in-vision presentation in February 1993[citation needed]). The axing of the popular animated show ReBoot after the ninth episode of series 3 (The Return of the Crimson Binome) in 1998 provoked a large number of complaints[citation needed].

Similar axings took place of shows such as Cardcaptors and Digimon years later. Digimon was axed halfway through season 2, and again just four episodes into Digimon Tamers (season 3). Cardcaptors, meanwhile, was shelved half way into its second season.

In the case of Digimon Remaining season 2 episodes were broadcast on CITV, unfortunately remaining ReBoot, and Digimon Tamers (season 3) episodes were never broadcast on terrestrial TV (neither have finished any run of their series in the UK, Digimon got as far as the end of Season 3 on Jetix). Cardcaptors aired its remaining episodes on the GMTV2 weekday morning strand and as "filler" programming after F1 Grand Prix races.

All three shows were action based, and after Digimon, there has been a marked downturn in action cartoons on CITV. The 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the only action show to have aired on CITV in recent times, though the new version of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was completed, despite its being much darker then ReBoot. ReBoot was deemed unsuitable for younger target audiences by the network centre that funded the show for CITV, who only bought 10 episodes out of the full set of 16.

Saturday morning

Over the years CITV's flagship show has aired on Saturday mornings. The last show to do this was Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown which was an updated version of Ministry of Mayhem. As of Saturday 10 June 2006 the show was exclusive to the CITV Channel before ending on Saturday 1 July 2006. This continued the recession of children's output on the main ITV network. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, practically no children's programming aired on ITV (except GMTV strands on Saturday and Sunday morning) and all other children's programming aired on the CITV Channel.

In addition to this, the last of the Saturday Morning "Magazine" shows, Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown, was replaced by Saturday Cooks in an attempt to compete with the BBC's own Saturday Kitchen (However, in the case of BBC, its own Saturday morning programmes now run on BBC Two). The CITV Channel now airs a cartoon slot from 9.25am to 11.30am every Saturday morning called Toonbase which heavily uses its airing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the base of its promotion (despite the airing of action cartoons being decreased in recent years by both CITV and CBBC).

The most popular show of recent times was SMTV Live, with Ant & Dec and Cat Deeley.


Since 12 March 2006, the breakfast-time broadcasting company GMTV, which is partially owned by ITV plc and shares its frequencies, has also adopted CITV branding, although its children's programming remains technically distinct from that produced by ITV plc in that it is bought and controlled separately by the breakfast station, so is not operated by ITV plc. The use of the CITV logo and graphics (a move previously avoided by GMTV) was adopted in order to simplify the simulcast of GMTV's programmes on the CITV Channel, which is a joint timeshare venture between the two broadcasters. Where kids' output is not simulcast, GMTV tends to retain its own GMTV Kids branding, especially in the case of its preschool programming. As with all GMTV output, any children's programmes shown before 9.25am do not count towards the ITV Network's public service quota set out by Ofcom since the breakfast broadcaster is technically a separate entity, with its own children's quota to fulfil.

GMTV's airtime sales team sold the advertising for the CITV Channel until 2008, making it the only ITV plc owned channel not to been sold through the company's own in-house sales division. In October 2007, however, the decision was taken by ITV plc to take the sales operation for the CITV Channel in-house.



Presenters and announcers on CITV over the years have included:

In-vision presenters

  • Tommy Boyd (July 1983, December 1984, April 1991 – December 1992)
  • Gary Terzza (July 1985 - September 1985 & September 1987 – August 1988)
  • Debbie Shore (July 1985 - September 1985 & September 1987 – August 1988)
  • Andi Peters (Summer 1988)
  • Nicky Brown (Summer 1988)
  • Mark Granger (September 1988 – March 1989)
  • Jerry Foulkes (April – December 1989)
  • Clive Warren (Summer mornings 1989 & 1990, Afternoons; Summer 1989 & 1990)
  • Jeanne Downs (Summer mornings 1989 & 1990, Afternoons; January 1990 – March 1991)
  • Scally The Dog (puppet dog) (January 1989 – March 1991)
  • Glenn Kinsey (Summer mornings 1991, Afternoons December 1991 & December 1992 – February 1993)
  • Stephen Mulhern (May 1998 – August 2002)
  • Danielle Nicholls (May 1998 – December 2001)
  • Tom Darville (January 2000 – December 2001)
  • Andrea Green (January – October 2000)
  • David Leon (September 2001 – December 2002)
  • Leigh Morrison (September 2001 – December 2002)
  • Leah Charles (September 2001 – December 2003)
  • Michael Underwood (August 2002 – December 2003)
  • Tim Dixon (January – March 2003)
  • Gail McKenna (Relief January 2003, October 2003 – Staff February 2004 – March 2004)
  • Andy Jaye (January 2004 – September 2004)
  • Laura Jaye (January 2004 – September 2004)

Out-of-vision announcers

  • Steven Ryde (February 1993 – February 1998)
  • Emily Morris (March – May 1998)
  • Nick Wilton
  • Tim Dann (September 2004 – present)
  • Taff (May – December 2006)

Guest presenters

Relief presenters

  • Bryn Musselwhite (November 1998)
  • Liana Bridges (November 1998)
  • Vanessa Bewley (November/December 1998, January 1999 & June 1999)
  • Fearne Cotton (December 1998 & December 2000)

External links

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