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Channel HistoryCBBC

Last updated 09 July 2022

CBBC is the BBC's digital channel for children aged 6-12.

It was originally launched in 1985 to bring children's programmes on BBC1 under its own 'umbrella', with links between the shows presented from "The Broom Cupboard" by a dedicated presenter, the first of which was Phillip Schofield, joined by Gordon the Gopher.

CBBC continued on BBC1 throughout the rest of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, where in 2002 the BBC introduced a dedicated digital channel for children, continuing the CBBC name. Programming continued on the main channel, retaining flagship shows such as Newsround and Blue Peter, which also broadcast on the new channel alongside brand new programming to fill the 7:00am-7:00pm schedules.

For Doctor Who's second series the channel launched Totally Doctor Who, a programme that looked behind the scenes of the show, presented by Barney Harwood and Liz Barker and featuring a guest from the series each week. It was commissioned for a second series for David Tennant's following year. The channel then went on to show The Sarah Jane Adventures, eventually becoming the premiere channel for episodes, and also showed a special retrospective show during its fourth series, The Sarah Jane Alien Files, which also included new linking material in character by stars of the show. On 23rd April 2011 it broadcast a special memorial for the show's late star, Elisabeth Sladen.

Children's programming on BBC1 ended in 2013 owing to cost-cutting exercises, but CBBC started broadcasting in HD from 10th December 2013.