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Channel 5 - Articles

At the time of Channel 5's launch, I wrote articles to reflect the social attitudes surrounding Channel 5.

Test Transmissions

From day 1, Channel 5 showed a regular no changing schedule which people could adapt to.  Before Channel 5 stated their test transmission, videos were being rapidly re-tunes in Birmingham, London, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, York, Glasgow and Edinburgh which inspired a BBC's Watchdog investigation into faulty TV sets after re-tuners visiting.  This problem blew over and the people at Channel 5 carried on.

Schedule of Test Transmission Events

Monday 17th March 1997 - 1st edition of the test transmission began

Sunday 23rd March - 5 text test page started

Monday 24th March - Transmitter page added to 5 text

Tuesday 25th March - the first form of Fastext on 5 text, only showed "page 500"

Wednesday 26th March - 2nd edition of test transmission begins with trailers and Spice Girls introduction

Thursday 27th March - 5 text was properly indexed & Fastext buttons were given meaning

Easter Sunday 30th March 5.00pm - Test transmission stopped, the show "5" countdown clock to 6.00pm launch

6.00pm - Channel 5 launches, Spice Girls sing  5,4,3,2,1. 

6.10pm - First Commercial break - Chanel No. 5 in a one off advert, Kellogg's celebrating the launches of Independent Television in 1955, Channel 4 in 1982 and Channel 5 in 1997.

Initial Complaints to Channel 5

Recently only one and a half weeks after the large, much hyped launch of Channel 5, reports are coming from the duty office in Nottingham that complaints has been issued against the Channel 5 logo seen in the top left hand corner of programmes (dog).  The complainers say that it distracts their viewing and makes them annoyed that they turn to look at it without knowing it.  A spokesperson for Channel 5 said "The logo is here to say.  We are not planning on moving it or taking it away as it is useful for people finding the station".  Channel 4 introduced a DOG to some of its early programmes in 1982/1983, however once people found the channel, this was dropped.  People complained about the Channel 4 DOG at the time, and that was dropped, so why shouldn't people complain now about the Channel 5 DOG?  The Channel 5 logo looks set to stay on our television screens, but will it?  A TV Poll conducted by Teletext UK in 1997 brought a result of 71% of viewers asking for the logo to be dropped.  Channel 5 had since tried to make viewers happy by reducing the strength of the logo to approximately 65% of its original strength.

Programme Viewers Chart - 30th March 1997

Number Name Of Programme Viewers (millions) Time Of Programme Programme Description
1. This is Five! 2.49 6.00pm Introduction to Channel 5
2. Family Affairs 1.72 6.30pm Channel 5's new soap, set in Maidstone about the Hart family
3. Beyond Fear 1.70 9.00pm Drama based on agent Stephanie Slater who was kidnapped in 1992
4. The Jack Docherty Show 1.16 10.30pm Late-night chat & comedy.  On the show... the Spice Girls
5. Hospital! 1.12 8.00pm Comedy special in a hospital.  A lot of laughs expected
6. Comedy Store 0.73 11.10pm Stand-up acts and interviews.  Walk on, walk off comedians on stage
7. Two Little Boys 0.68 7.00pm Documentary about John Major and Tony Blair in their childhood
8. Turnstyle 0.49 11.40pm Analysis of the weekend's sport with Gail McKenna
9. Live & Dangerous 0.08 12.10am Sport throughout the night with Baseball preview
10. This is Five! (repeat) 0.03 5.30am Introduction to Channel 5

Fact sheet    |     Idents

All articles found on this page written by Mark Snowdon 1997
Last Updated: February 11, 2020