Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Yes I'm a gamer, but being away from home means I don't actually have games to play, or rather, I haven't installed any programs for taking perfect optimised screenshots. What I do have, however, is a TV, and my TV can receive...

Dave, the home of witty banter. Dave is probably my favourite digital channels at the moment - it pretty much took all the great shows from the BBC (plus some from Channel 4, Five and other lesser channels), added some great stuff of its own and rolled them into one nice package with elephants and indoor marching bands.

This review was created for the BBC, chosen by Blog Squirrel.

Owned by the UKTV group, which in turn is owned by a joint partnership between the BBC and Virgin (though mostly the latter these days), Dave started its life as "UK Gold 2" (later UKTV G2) as a supporting act to its older brother, UK Gold. Both channels made their money through repeating old BBC/ITV/Whatever content, and still do, but in 2007 the channel was rebranded under the strange title "Dave", on the basis that... everyone knew a guy called Dave. At the time, people thought it was a stupid idea, but it's proven to be very successful and is now in the top 10 most watched channels of the United Kingdom.

The boring UKTV channels would also be re-branded within the next two years, except the ones that were scrapped for new channels such as Watch. The only one that hasn't changed that much is UK Gold/UKTV Gold, which is now called... G.O.L.D., though it too dropped the space hoppers after a rebrand, and subsequently gained a lot more viewers.

Though like all the UKTV channels Dave is a 24-hour beast, as it will repeat the same shows more than once a day, it's probably closer to 12-hours of programming. Couple this of course with the fact most of these shows were on the BBC, sometimes repeated on their channels, you're very likely to tune into something you've seen fairly recently.

But Dave has some original programming too. It got the new 3-part special episode of Red Dwarf last Spring, being sure to plug it at every given moment. It also has the game show Argumental, which is almost as good as the BBC's selection even if John Sergeant seems a bit out of place. Dave's original programming has the potential to be great, but it's not quite up there with the masters yet... but then again the revamp has only been in effect since 2007.

Of course, American viewers won't understand a word of what I'm saying, and since UKTV is... well... mainly targeted at a UK audience I guess they're not supposed to. But we've got so many hundreds of TV channels nowadays I reckon someone should come along and give them a rating. In Dave's case, it's fairly high. Give it a watch, or give Watch a watch.

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