The Weather Channel United Kingdom

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The Weather Channel United Kingdom was a version of the Weather Channel that operated in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 1998. Operated by IWP, the commercial arm of the UK's Met Office, it aired on the Sky satellite platform from 6 AM to 11 AM (its channel space was shared with The Racing Channel and Sky Box Office) and on some cable providers 24 hours a day.[1]


The channel launched in June 1996, spurred by reports that Pelmorex would enter the European market; a localized version of The Weather Network was planned for launch a month before the Weather Channel's.[2][3][4] Initially, the channel was launched in cable services in Andover, Coventry, Oxford, Salisbury, and Stafford, reaching 22,000 cable customers.[3] The channel competed with the Pelmorex-operated Weather Network until the two services merged later in the year,[5] the channel started carriage on Sky's satellite service on October 1, 1996.[6][1] The channel's managing director Peter Scott said that the channel would take three years to break even.[7] Low cable penetration in the United Kingdom and the lack of advertising revenue (stemming partially from its failure to get full time coverage on Sky) resulted in the channel's closure in 1998.[2]


Screenshot from 1997.

Segments on the Weather Channel included:[8][9][10][11]

  • Weatherscope, which initially aired at :00, :20, and :40; later cut back to :00 and :30 by 1997
  • A 5 day planner which initially aired at :15, :35, and :55; later airing at :11 and :41 past the hour by 1997
  • A Traffic and Travel report at :15 and :45 past the hour in 1997
  • A Local on the 8s segment on minutes ending with "8" (:08, :18, etc.); Satellite viewers saw regional forecasts and outlooks during this time.
  • A Business Travel Weather forecast, airing at :12 past the hour in 1996
  • A Holiday Travel Weather forecast, airing at :52 past the hour in 1996
  • International forecasts at :34 past the hour in 1996
  • Lifestyle reports for outdoor activities
  • Environmental reports for health
  • Coverage of flood and gale warnings


Presenters on the Weather Channel included:[10][12][7][13]

  • Nadine Dereza
  • Fiona Farrell
  • Tanya James
  • Bill Keneely, also on the US Weather Channel
  • Carol Kirkwood, now with the BBC[14]
  • Louise Lear, now with the BBC[15]
  • Andrea McLean, later with ITV


  1. 1.0 1.1 TVARK page on the Weather Channel
  2. 2.0 2.1 Batten, Frank (2002). The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing. pp. 174–181. ISBN 1-57851-559-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Frean, Alexandra (June 1, 1996). "Tough forecast for TV rivals who just want to talk about the weather". The Times (of London).{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Culf, Andrew (March 14, 1996). "Stormy outlook as cable rivals plan competing weather stations". The Guardian.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Snoddy, Ray (September 20, 1996). "TV weather outlook clears". Financial Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Sky Recommended Line-Up from 1996". TV Ark.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Culf, Andrew (September 30, 1996). "All clear for Weather TV launch". The Guardian.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Diamond Cable Channel Hopping- 24th October 1997 (items at 3:17, 7:12-7:20, 7:34)
  9. "The Weather Channel promo". TVARK.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 "TVARK | The Weather Channel (archived)". TV Ark. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012.
  11. "UK The Weather Channel 1996". YouTube. April 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. Lyall, Sarah (September 15, 1996). "The British Weather Channel: Better Than a Yule Log". The New York Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "The Weather Channel bloopers. Carol Kirkwood, Tanya James, Andrea Mclean 1996". YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. "Carol Kirkwood on Twitter". Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "Louise Lear". BBC Weather. September 10, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

See also

The Weather Channel in Europe:

External links