London Live
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaLondon (region)
HeadquartersNorthcliffe House, Kensington, London
OwnerESTV (Lebedev Holdings Limited)
Key peopleAndy Mullins, CEO
Launched31 March 2014
FreeviewChannel 8
Streaming media

London Live is a local television channel in London, England,[1] which airs local news, current affairs, sports, arts, events, and entertainment. The channel launched in 2014 to serve the London area under the legislation for local television, and broadcasts on Freeview and Sky. The owner of London Live is Russian oligarch Evgeny Lebedev, who is also the chairman and owner of both Evening Standard Ltd (publisher of the Evening Standard newspaper, which he bought in January 2009) and Independent Print Ltd (publisher of The Independent, which he bought in March 2010).[2]


The London licence was awarded to ESTV Limited by Ofcom, the UK's media regulator, in 2013 after bids were invited for a number of areas in 2012.[3] ESTV is owned by Lebedev Holdings, whose majority shareholder is Evgeny Lebedev[4] and whose other subsidiaries include Evening Standard Limited. London Live launched at 18:30 on 31 March 2014.[1]

The channel broadcasts on Freeview using the CoMux-operated London local DTT multiplex (mux), transmitted on UHF channel 29 from the Crystal Palace transmitting station, and is also available via Sky satellite and cable TV to viewers with London postcodes. On 21 March 2018, the London DTT mux was moved to UHF channel 35 as part of 700 MHz clearance plans. Crystal Palace also operates on a single frequency network with Croydon, which improves reception in South and East London. London Live also now occupies the unadvertised local mux available on UHF channel 34 from the Hemel Hempstead relay as of 27 March 2019, which has extended coverage outside the M25 to the Hemel Hempstead and St. Albans areas.

London Live broadcasts from studios at Northcliffe House in Kensington, which is also the headquarters of The Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, both owned by Lebedev Holdings.

Before its launch, the channel was expected to spend between £15m and £18m before breaking even in about three years; revenue was predicted to reach £25m by then.[5] For the year to September 2021, ESTV Limited reported an operating profit of £4.1 million on turnover of £7.4 million.[4]


Original programmes

A London Live reporter interviewing Matthew Barzun during the parade at Pride in London 2016

London Live has commissioned a varied portfolio of programmes, including Drag Queens of London, Good Morning Breakfast, CTRL Freaks, Can You Cook It, Food Junkies, Fresh Fantasy, Jeff Leach +1, Place Invaders, F2 Kicks Off and Nihal's City Swagger. It has also commissioned documentaries including Girl on Girl, Jail Birds, Half Man Standing, Teenage Kicks, Sizzle London, The Young Upstarts, Digital Nation, Roger & Robin's Night Club Tips, Ron & Ron, Fight Club London, No Place Like Home, Antisocial Network, and Beggar Off.[6]

In September 2013 the channel announced its first acquired series: a family sitcom, All About the McKenzies. The show, previously only available via YouTube, is written and produced by Samuell Benta.[citation needed]

In November 2013, London Live announced its first prime-time commission:[7] F2 Kicks Off from UK indie Renowned Films,[8] hosted by the F2Freestylers duo Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch.[9]

In January 2014 the channel announced acquired the web show Brothers With No Game.[10] In March 2014, Drag Queens of London was announced.[11]

Other programmes

London Live also broadcasts a range of comedy, drama, documentaries and entertainment programmes such as London Real, Absolute Power, Green Wing, Peep Show, Smack the Pony, Spaced, Trigger Happy TV, Twenty Twelve, Filthy Rich and Homeless, Soho Blues, The Tube, Snog Marry Avoid?, Vice Squad, Hale and Pace, Born Equal, Freefall, Harley Street, London's Burning, Misfits, Moses Jones, The Shadow Line, White Teeth, 10 Years Younger, and Cash in the Attic. By 2021, the channel was showing a range of classic shows (similar to programmes already repeated on Talking Pictures TV, ITV4 or Forces TV) alongside films and local programmes with titles including Sapphire and Steel, Danger Man,[12] The Sandbaggers,[12] and Goodnight Sweetheart[12] in the schedules.

In July 2017, it was announced the channel would have an early morning line-up of children's programming from the libraries of Saban Brands and Studio 100 (such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–96, 2010 “Disney era” version) and Digimon. After the contract expired, the channel began airing programming from 41 Entertainment, mainly content from the BKN International library. As of 2023, the channel does not broadcast any children's programmes.

Former on-air team

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David Icke interview

In April 2020, the UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden called on the media regulator Ofcom to take action against London Live after it broadcast a 105-minute interview with the conspiracy theorist David Icke which contained allegations about the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview was an edited version of an interview Icke recorded with the YouTube channel London Real in March. YouTube deleted a later London Live interview with Icke and said it would wipe any other videos that falsely linked COVID-19 to 5G mobile networks.[13][14]

Ofcom later confirmed that the 80-minute interview broke broadcasting rules, stating that Icke “expressed views which had the potential to cause significant harm to viewers in London during the pandemic” and his “claims went largely unchallenged” being “made without the support of any scientific or other evidence”.[15]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year London Live Nominated


  1. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (13 January 2014). "London Live to launch on 31 March". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  2. ^ Sweney, Mark (28 April 2019). "Evgeny Lebedev in talks to sell London Live TV station". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Deans, Jason (10 May 2012). "Ofcom invites bids to run local TV services in 21 towns and cities". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b "ESTV Limited: Annual Report and Financial Statements". Companies House. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  5. ^ Greenslade, Roy (23 March 2014). "London Live: Can it change the capital's television viewing habits?". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Stefano Hatfield: Original ideas will make great viewing". Evening Standard. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Televisual - NEWS & COMMENTS".
  8. ^ "Renowned Films – Creative London Production Company".
  9. ^ "London Live Unveils First Commissions; Two Factual Entertainment Series, Game Show & 'Comedy Hotspot' Season - TVWise". 28 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Brothers With No Game".
  11. ^ "Drag Queens of London coming this Spring". Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b c "TV Schedule". London Live.
  13. ^ "Coronavirus: Ofcom 'assesses' David Icke TV interview". BBC News. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  14. ^ "UK's London Live Faces Sanctions After Airing Long Interview With Coronavirus Denier David Icke". Deadline. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  15. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (20 April 2020). "Ofcom sanctions London Live over 'potentially harmful' David Icke interview on coronavirus". Press Gazette. Retrieved 25 April 2020.