Drama (British TV channel)

Drama is a British free-to-air television channel broadcasting drama (and, to a lesser extent, comedy, sci-fi) programming in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the UKTV network of channels.

Logo used since 08 July 2013
CountryUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Picture format1080i HDTV
(SDTV feed downscaled to 16:9 576i)
Timeshift serviceDrama +1
OwnerBBC Studios
Sister channelsAlibi
Launched8 July 2013 (2013-07-08)
CCXTV (Drama+1, Freeview only)
FreeviewChannel 20
Channel 60 (+1)
HD logo used since 14 December 2022
Timeshift logo used since 16 September 2019


The channel launched on 8 July 2013,[1] replacing Blighty.[2] On Freeview, the channel was placed on channel 20, previously occupied by Gold.[3] On Sky, the channel initially launched on channel 291, in the overspill area of the Entertainment section and moved to channel 166 on 24 July after purchasing the slot used by PBS America (formely named PBS UK in 2011).[4] The channel launched on Virgin Media on 14 August on channel 190. In September 2014, UKTV blamed the channel for their 7% profits fall. In September 2018, Drama and Really were added to Virgin Media Ireland.

A timeshift channel, Drama +1 was launched on Sky and Virgin Media on 16 September 2019 replacing Travel Channel +1. On 25 January 2021, it was announced that the timeshift channel would be taking over CCXTV's Freeview slot (channel 73) on 1 February 2021, with CCXTV ending transmission.[5] On 1 February 2022, BBC Three relaunched on Freeview channel 23 which shifted all the channels from that slot until Freeview 82 down a place, meaning that Drama +1 was now on channel 74.[6]

On 28 March 2022, Drama +1 moved to Freeview 60[7][8] as a limited reach channel, as channel 25 was used by UKTV for their female skewing W channel,[9][10][11][12][13] which means that Dave ja vu took the COM4 slot from Drama +1 on Freeview channel 74.[14]


The channel is positioned as a home for British dramas from the last 40 years. The channel has featured classic drama series such as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet; The Cinder Path; Cranford; Lark Rise to Candleford; Pride & Prejudice; Sharpe; and Tipping the Velvet.[15] As well as all these classic drama titles, a number of more recently produced BBC One daytime drama series have acquired a primetime slot on Drama. These series include Father Brown, which has been showing in an 8pm slot on Friday nights and which has a spin-off series, called Sister Boniface Mysteries. This period detective television series about a Catholic Nun[16][17] is a co-production between BBC Studios and Britbox in North America,[18] and has debuted as a free-to-air series directly on Drama, without getting an airing first on BBC One. In addition to drama programmes, the channel shows a number of classic BBC sitcoms in a teatime slot (usually between 5.30pm and 8pm) with Last of the Summer Wine, Are You Being Served? and Brush Strokes currently being repeated in March 2022.[19]




  1. "UKTV raises the curtain on Drama" (Press release). UKTV. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  2. "UKTV's Drama channel reveals line-up, Yesterday goes factual and Blighty looks set to close". a516digital. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  3. "Drama as new channel forces Gold to move Home on the Freeview EPG". a516digital. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  4. White, Peter (17 July 2013). "PBS America sells Sky slot to UKTV". Broadcast. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  5. "Plug pulled on CCXTV Freeview channel". rxtvinfo. 25 January 2021.
  6. "Freeview Updates".
  7. "Freeview channel reshuffle as W joins". 21 March 2022.
  8. "Freeview announces further channel changes on Monday". 22 March 2022.
  9. "Uktv Take W Free-To-Air with Channel Rebrand". 21 March 2022.
  10. "UKTV expands W's reach by taking the premium entertainment channel free-to-air | News | UKTV Corporate Site".
  11. "UKTV to make W channel free-to-air". 21 March 2022.
  12. "UKTV's W launches "Life Unfiltered" rebrand as the premium entertainment channel is taken free-to-air | News | UKTV Corporate Site".
  13. "UKTV relaunches W as free-to-air channel".
  14. "Freeview channel reshuffle as W joins". 21 March 2022.
  15. Munn, Patrick (2 May 2013). "UKTV To Launch New Drama Channel on July 8th". TVWise. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  16. "Sister Boniface Mysteries | Drama Channel".
  17. "Drama Sets UK Premiere Date for 'Sister Boniface Mysteries'". 22 February 2022.
  18. "BritBox North America recommission BBC Studios Drama Productions' Sister Boniface Mysteries".
  19. Radio Times 19–25 March 2022 edition: Drama's TV schedules Monday to Friday
  20. "Classic EastEnders". drama.uktv.co.uk. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
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