|Broadcast area||United Kingdom and Ireland|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Timeshift service||Nick Jr. +1|
|Owner||Paramount Networks UK & Australia|
Nick Jr. Too/Nick Jr. 2
|Launched||1993 (programming block)|
1 September 1999 (TV channel)
24 April 2006 (Nick Jr. 2)
|Sky Go||Watch live (UK & Ireland only)|
|Now TV||Watch live (UK only)|
|TVPlayer||Watch live (UK only, TVPlayer Plus subscription required)|
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
Nick Jr. is a British pay television channel owned and operated by a joint venture between Paramount Networks UK & Australia and Sky Group. The channel is aimed at pre-school children.
Nick Jr. was first broadcast in the UK and Ireland from 1993, during the daytime hours from 9am to 12pm on Nickelodeon. By 1998 it broadcast between 10am to 2:30pm.
When it first properly aired it was presented by Face, which he presented the UK-input from 1995 until September 2005, and was being voiced by David Holt.
Nick Jr. was spun off into its own channel in 1999, although the slot on Nickelodeon continued until July 2000, initially broadcasting on Sky, and from 6am to 10am alongside Sky Sports 3 on analogue satellite, although this schedule would sometimes be altered if sports were being covered in the early morning. However, on digital platforms, Nick Jr. aired from 6am to 8pm (7pm before 2000).
In 2001, MTV Dance started broadcasting during its downtime hours after it was spun off from MTV Extra. MTV Dance acquired its own separate channel in 2002 and both MTV Dance and MTV Extra have since extended their broadcasting hours.
On the 4th of February 2002, Nick Jr. rebranded into a simple, and similar but different style to the American branding used at that time. It had a specific jingle, and the idents usually consisted of children playing around or dancing. On some occasions, they would broadcast these atmospheric idents which included babies. Sometimes these idents would take up half the ad breaks, or sometimes they appeared in split-screen graphics and next bumpers. What also came with this rebrand were promo endboards. Dora the Explorer and The Hoobs had its premieres the same day of the rebrand. From this point, at closedown, it would air a bedtime segment hosted by Kevin Duala (host of the British version of Blue's Clues followed by a short closedown bumper featuring some characters from Nick Jr. shows and an announcement telling viewers to resume watching at 6am, before cutting to a static screen with the characters and the broadcast times until 6am the next morning.
In Autumn 2002, they updated their DOG to a much cleaner, organised and less opaque state.
On 31 May 2004, Noggin launched as a block showing classic British children's TV programs from 8pm to 10pm, therefore extending broadcast hours to 10pm. After Noggin finished airing, it would cut to a variation of the static closedown board.
In July 2004, some in-vision morning presenters were introduced to the network. Neal Wright (Zak) and Jennifer Johnston (Jen) presented and hosted this block simply called "The Garden." Alongside them, there was a puppet-plant called Bud, and a blue ball of light / firefly named Izzy. They were dropped in late 2005.
Also around this period in 2004, Nick Jr. started to use the 2D American animal idents originally introduced there in 2003. It is unknown to when they stopped showing them.
Around the same period in 2004, Nick Jr. reeled in the new look of Face to their channel introduced in America the year prior, usually referred to as "Modern Face". He was also voiced by David Holt, just like original Face. Nick Jr. made a farfetched decision to not drop the original Face during this occasion, so in the time period this was happening, Modern Face and Face's old look were both broadcast at the same time, confusing the viewers who watched the channel. The UK-dubbed version of Modern Face is extremely hard to come across.
Around the time of Spring 2005, a new animated presenter appeared on the channel alongside Face at the time. This was Piper O'Possum, which she presented for the UK-input of Nick Jr. until its rebrand on April 30, 2010. She was voiced by Alex Kelly in the UK-input and had a much longer shelf life in the UK than in the USA - the 2007 rebrand of the US version which scrapped Piper never launched in the UK. When the September 2005 rebrand happened, she was the main presenter for most of the day, but in the late afternoons she got taken off for the rest of the remaining hours and her segments of announcing shows usually got replaced with normal next bumpers. Before the 2005 rebrand, a confusing mix of her, Old Face and Modern Face all allegedly presented the channel at the same time, making it even more confusing than before she was introduced.
During the rebrand on 5 September 2005, Face was completely dropped instead of presenting alongside Piper O'Possum. In addition, Noggin was renamed to Nick Jr. Classics and the ident package that had been used since 2002 was dropped, as the international versions of Nick Jr. launched a 2D-3D animated pop-up-book-style ident package, with two animals (a parent and a child) forming the Nick Jr. logo, very similar to the package of Nick Jr. on CBS from 2004 to 2006. This package was designed by British animation studio Studio AKA. The Backyardigans had its linear UK premiere the same day of the rebrand.
This package would be used on its then-new sister channel Nick Jr. 2 and on the main Nick Jr. channel until April 2010. Before Nick Jr. Classics, both channels showed a sign off ident telling viewers to come back at 6am, and after Nick Jr Classics, cut to a night loop of the same ident playing over again.
A version of Nick Jr. for Ireland was launched in 2006. This version, like the Irish version of Nickelodeon, shares the same schedule as the British version of Nickelodeon, but has Irish adverts.
Following the removal of Nick Jr. Classics from the main Nick Jr. channel, it extended its broadcast hours to 6am to 10pm.
On 30 April 2010, Nick Jr. updated and rebranded to a prototype of the United States look. They used the American idents along with their own which included still shots of children in assorted places or doing things like letting go of a balloon, or being at a picnic. Their branding in general had a different feel to the original American graphics, but it still had the same basis of preschool-style arts and crafts like the Noggin branding. Moose and Zee were brought over from the American Nick Jr. channel and the former Noggin block on Viva (which had been axed as part of the rebrand) to host the main Nick Jr. channel, with Moose's voice being dubbed by David Holt (voice actor). Just like on the US version of Nick Jr., Moose and Zee presented links between programmes and especially around up-next bumpers. In addition, Nick Jr. Classics remained but was discontinued in July of that year. Nick Jr. started broadcasting 24/7 on 23 August 2010, and has broadcast since then for 24 hours a day. When Nick Jr. and Nick Jr. 2 signed off, they cut to an off-air slide, but the actual sign-off has not been found yet.
However, on 7 January 2013, the channel rebranded again to the next United States look, which dropped Moose and Zee and the arts-and-craft style branding in favour of a 3D CGI world appearing in bumpers and promos where clips of the characters appeared. Initally, were slight variations between the colour schemes on Nick Jr. and Nick Jr. 2. While it was initially the same as the United States version, by November 2014, newer graphics were introduced in this style. However, until 2019, the old style had been kept for Nick Jr. Too, albeit with new soundtracks from 2014.
On 5 July 2016, Nick Jr. HD launched on Sky, replacing MTV Live HD's Sky slot.
In February 2019, Nick Jr. dropped the "Smart Place to Play" look in favour of the "Ready to Play" branding adopted in the United States the previous year, featuring live-action kids running in a 3D CGI space, often holding bubble wands in which clips of shows appear out of. Bumpers also show these children interacting with the Nick Jr. characters in live-action environments.
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