VH1 is a British pay television channel from Viacom. The channel broadcasts to the United Kingdom and Ireland. The channel is based on the original VH1 American channel of the same name. On 24 November until 26 December 2017, VH1 was renamed temporarily as VH1 Christmas.
VH1 UK together with VH1 Germany was first launched in Spring 1995 as an alternative to the youth-orientated MTV. Between June 1999 and 2001 it was temporarily rebranded by VH1 Export, also broadcasting on mainland Europe. In 2001 VH1 Export and VH1 Germany merged into the Pan-European VH1 channel. VH1 UK became a separate local television channel.
As a music channel, VH1 targeted an audience between 25 and 44-year-olds, and aimed to be "mature, sophisticated and totally stylish for viewers who still feel young and want to keep in touch with what is happening on the music scene today." The music they played consisted of music from the 1970s right through to today.
Until 2008, much of their programming was taken from the American version. The channel was then focused entirely on music videos, with many Top 20 and Top 40 countdowns. Between its UK launch and the late 1990s, the channel played many 1980s videos including the present day at the time, while the logo was displayed in the top right-hand corner with "MUSIC FIRST" displayed underneath it.
The channel also at the time would dedicate particular days to an artist. Examples of these included "Jacksons Day", "Beautiful South Day" and "Elton John Day". A "Madonna Day" in 1998 featured a full-length concert, alongside her music videos on the then daytime Upbeat programme.
In July 1998, the channel ran a "Pop Up Video Marathon". Another feature which would run on the channel was Ten of the Best, in which an artist's video is played and then the actors themselves are on camera selecting their ten best videos, in which they would say why they like it along with the song with a description of the video that the viewer would be shown.
After the show ended on VH1, the same idea was then transferred to VH2, in which alternative artists like Feeder and Athlete would choose the videos. The videos shown were usually bands like The Pixies, Elbow and Biffy Clyro. Despite VH2 later ceasing to exist, VH1 has not re-considered the concept.
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