The Hits
Logo used from 2002 to 2008
OwnerBox Television
(Bauer Group/Channel Four Television Corporation)
Sister channels
Launched30 October 2002
Closed15 August 2008
Replaced by4Music (first version)
(at time of closure)
FreeviewChannel 18

The Hits was a music video channel broadcast in the United Kingdom and Ireland, owned by Box Television. On 15 August 2008 it was rebranded as 4Music.

Overview and availability

The channel showcased a range of pop centred on chart hits and current favourites. Originally, the vast majority of music videos were selected by viewers by means of calling a premium-rate telephone number, however the policy was abandoned with the channel playing an automated selection of videos and countdown shows presented by celebrities and singers past and present. Programming was often themed to coincide with events such as St. Patrick's Day and Christmas.

The channel was available free-to-air on the British digital terrestrial television service Freeview on channel 18. It was also available on Sky Digital, encrypted as a part of Sky's Music Pack. The Hits was also available on Virgin Media and was included in the basic package. It was also able to be seen through the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

Programmes on The Hits

87-07 is a series of programmes where a song is played from each of the years from 1987 to 2007. There was a more up to date version called 88-08 which is the same as 87-07 except it goes from 1988 to 2008. There were different collections of songs depending on different things that the songs had in common, an example of 87-07 is Cheesy Pop 87-07 which includes the songs "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, "Saturday Night" by Whigfield and "C'est la Vie" by B*Witched which are all commonly regarded as "cheesy pop songs".

Another type of programme on The Hits was where one hundred songs are played, usually counting down to a song that is featured as "number one". This varies from 100 Forgotten Gems of the Nineties to The Nation's Favourite Love Songs. Similarly formatted programmes with fifty or twenty songs were also broadcast.

The Hits Chart was played at around 12.15 and 17:15 Monday-Friday. The Hits Chart was simply a countdown of the biggest songs of the day.

The Hits had a programme called Every Number One of the Nineties which, as the title suggests, played every number one of the nineties back to back. It was played over a bank holiday weekend in two parts, the first part on the Sunday and the second part on the Monday. Every Number One of the Nineties has been played on 4Music in small segments. A similar programme was Every Number One of the Twenty-first Century.

Early in the morning, there was a programme called "Signed by The Hits". This programme's duration was usually 30 minutes. The programme involved a sign language interpreter signing to the songs on screen to help deaf people understand the music. Due to persistent criticism, the show was removed.

Replacement with 4Music

See also: 4Music

On 20 February 2008, it was announced that The Hits would change its name to 4Music later in the year, and a trial period broadcast on Sundays under the 4Music banner was broadcast on Sunday evenings during the spring.[1] In June 2008 it was further announced that this replacement was to take place during the V Festival weekend on 15 August.[2] The replaced station shows predominantly music videos, alongside live performances and Channel 4 programming like Star Stories and The Sunday Night Project, in addition to documentaries about artists.[3]

In the weeks before the launch, 4Music aired teaser trailers for the channel as part of its extensive promotion of the rebrand and as part of the promotion one of the three stages for T4 On The Beach was named the 4Music stage.

The Hits stopped broadcasting music videos on Friday 15 August 2008 at 06:00. The last video played on The Hits was "Thank You for the Music" by ABBA, before heading in to a promo for 4Music, which would be launched from 19:00

Ofcom controversy

In November 2007, Ofcom found The Hits had breached its broadcast licence for failing to retain copies of its programming. Two viewers had complained questioning the authenticity of some of the winning entries on text-in quiz programme Win Win TV, broadcast overnight on 26 June.

The broadcaster was unable to provide Ofcom with a review copy of the programme in question because of "problems with its logging system". Condition 11 of a Television Licensable Content Service licence requires the broadcaster to keep recordings of all output for 60 days after transmission, providing Ofcom with any material on request.

"Failure to supply these recordings is a serious and significant breach of the broadcaster’s licence. This will be held on record," the regulator noted.[4]

The Hits Radio

Main article: Hits Radio

In 2003, companion radio station The Hits Radio was launched. It ceased broadcasting on 4 June 2018.


Prior to digital switchover, 'BBC Two Scotland' and 'BBC Two Scotland (Digital)' were listed as separate channels by some guides, but were effectively the same channel, broadcasting identical feeds as part of the transition to digital television.

On 24 February 2019, the BBC launched the BBC Scotland channel, a new autonomous service that broadcasts a nightly lineup of Scottish programming. In preparation for its launch, BBC Two Scotland was discontinued and replaced by the national version beginning 18 February. BBC Scotland officially broadcasts from 19:00 to 00:00 nightly, but simulcasts BBC Two daily from 12:00 to 19:00, and may opt out for sport and political broadcasts of regional interest during this period.[5][6][7] BBC Two Scotland remained on the Sky EPG on channel 970 until 28 February 2019. From 18 to 27 February 2019, BBC Two Scotland simulcasted BBC Two (England region).

Similarly to BBC One Scotland, BBC Two Scotland offered differing programming from the UK-wide network specifically aimed at Scottish viewers. Often, this was more specialised programming such as Artworks Scotland, Holyrood Live and the Gaelic strands branded as BBC Two (Dhà) Alba.

During the daytime and overnight schedules, BBC Scotland replaced some of the national education programming for shows better targeted at the separate Scottish education system and replacing some politics strands with coverage of Scottish politics. BBC Sport Scotland would sometimes use BBC Two Scotland to broadcast live coverage of more minority sports, such as athletics and shinty, with some sports such as mountain biking and cross-country showcased in The Adventure Show.

Additionally, on Sunday nights, BBC Two Scotland had become the regular home for Sportscene's highlights of the SPFL, preceding Match of the Day 2.

The Music Show was launched on BBC Two Scotland in November 2005, presented by Shantha Roberts. Its programming included live performances from a wide range of musical styles, with bands filmed around the country at different venues and unusual locations, rather than in the studio. Musical styles included indie, jazz, folk, funk, hip hop and electro pop.[8] Its last shows were broadcast in November 2014.[9]


  1. ^ "The Hits to be renamed 4Music". Digital Spy. 20 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Media Week - C4 set to launch music channel".
  3. ^ "The Hits will become 4Music in August". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  4. ^ "Ofcom".
  5. ^ "New BBC Scotland TV channel launches". BBC News. 2019-02-24. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  6. ^ "Where to find the new BBC Scotland TV channel". BBC News. 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  7. ^ "BBC faces strict quotas to ensure it delivers on promises on Scottish content on new channel". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  8. ^ "The Music Show New On BBC2 Scotland". Werkre. 10 November 2005. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Music Scotland - The Music Show". BBC. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2021.