The Children's Channel

The Children's Channel
The Children's Channel (TCC)
The Children's Channel.svg
Launched 1 September 1984
Closed 3 April 1998
October 1998 (UK cable)
October 2000 (Nordic)
Owned by Flextech
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Scandinavia (Nordic version)
Replaced by Trouble
Website (closed)

The Children's Channel, also known as TCC, was a television station in the United Kingdom, Benelux (with Dutch voice over) and Scandinavia, which was owned by Flextech (now Living TV Group). It began broadcasting on 1 September 1984, and was closed on 3 April 1998. Originally backed by Thorn-EMI[citation needed], it was loosely based on America's Nickelodeon channel for children[citation needed] and was originally going to be named Jack-in-the-Box[citation needed]. TCC was first available on cable, and later came to the Astra satellite in 1989. The channel was replaced by Trouble (which focuses on teens instead). Trouble itself closed on 1 April 2009.



When launched in 1984, it was exclusive to cable and timeshared with Bravo on many cable operators. The satellite version launched on 6 February 1989 as a free-to-air channel, and broadcast between 05:00 and 10:00 on weekdays and between 05:00 and 12:00 on weekends, timesharing with Lifestyle.

In 1992, the channel was rebranded as TCC, and increased its focus to teenagers. The segment, which later began transmitting half an hour earlier at 4.30, featured a number of home-produced programmes, such as CDQ (Compact Disc Quiz) and TVFM. During the day, the channel continued its focus on younger children, by and large remaining the same, and a large amount of its programming output was still archive animated shows from the 1980s, many of which were also shown on Sky1. The focus on teenage-oriented programming became more prominent and eventually the channel was known as TCC all day. In 1993, it changed its broadcasting hours on all platforms to start at 06:00 and end at 17:00. It also started timesharing with The Family Channel and became a subscription channel on satellite via Sky Multichannels. Meanwhile, UK Living replaced Lifestyle and started to broadcast for 24 hours a day.

In 1995, the channel introduced a strand for toddlers and pre-schoolers called Tiny TCC. The block was cancelled on 3 February 1997 and replaced by Tiny Living which broadcast on UK Living.

In 1997, the programmes for older children (mainly teens) were split off into a separate TV station called Trouble. TCC reverted to the original name of The Children's Channel, and continued screening programmes for younger children, running side by side with Trouble for nearly a year, before eventually closing down UK operations unexpectedly on 3 April 1998 at 17:00. Trouble itself was closed on 1 April 2009.

However due to a pre-agreed contract signed some years before to broadcast the channel in Scandinavia until the October 2000, Flextech created a commercial free version of TCC (known as TCC Nordic) to fulfil this requirement and this continued to broadcast until October 2000 as arranged before finally ceasing transmission. Upon TCC UK's closure, the cable operator Cable & Wireless carried the TCC Nordic feed for a few months due to the company’s anger at the closure of TCC on such short notice. The Nordic feed could also be received on satellite TV in the UK by re-aligning the dish to 1° west but the signal was encrypted by EuroCrypt. The service's existence was only fulfilling a requirement therefore it was totally automated. Meaning that it was just the same 4 weeks of programming (including show trailers) on a constant loop.


In its day, TCC created some of its own original programming. Connect 4 and The Super Mario Challenge were popular tea-time quiz shows. Some other 'in-between' show segments included Link Anchorman including Chuck the Chimp and Hopper the Penguin. All of the Puppets were created and performed by Hands Up Puppets. Primarily Marcus Clarke and Helena Smee. Other TV Talent made an appearance or got an early break working on these Series including Konnie Huq then awaiting news of her University place. Some of today's TV honchos and producers also got valuable early TV introducing experience on these Series including Lisa Opie, Tim Lowe, Karen Ward and Mike Crosby.

During school holidays, Ratkan aired 07:00-12:00, with It's Droibee Time off air. A live action quiz programme, "Around the World in 80 Seconds", was produced for the channel in 1993-4. Hosted by Timmy Mallett as Captain Everything, schoolchildren participated in a quiz based on geography and general knowledge of particular countries, before "replaying" famous scenarios from history of their chosen country. The top team received a prize of a four-day trip to the then-new Euro Disney.

























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