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CBBC facts for kids

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CBBC (2023).svg
Logo used since 2023
Country United Kingdom
Broadcast area United Kingdom and other services worldwide
Network BBC One (until 2012)
BBC Two (until 2013 and then later revived in 2017 and 2022)
BBC Alba (in Scottish Gaelic only)
Headquarters MediaCityUK, Salford, England
Language(s) English
Picture format 1080i/1080p HDTV
(downscaled to 576i for the SDTV feed)
Owner BBC
Sister channels
Launched 9 September 1985; 38 years ago (1985-09-09) (block, as Children's BBC)
11 February 2002; 22 years ago (2002-02-11) (stand-alone channel)
Freeview Channel 201 (SD)
Channel 204 (HD)
Streaming media
BBC iPlayer Watch live (UK only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (Ireland only)
UPC TV Watch live (Switzerland only)

CBBC is a British free-to-air public broadcast children's television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It is also the brand used for all BBC content for children aged 6 to 15. Its sister channel, CBeebies, is aimed at children aged 6 and under. It broadcasts every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., timesharing with BBC Three (originally BBC Choice until 2003.)


Launched on 11 February 2002 alongside its sister channel CBeebies, the CBBC name (a contraction of Children's BBC) has been used used from 1997 onwards to brand all content on BBC One and BBC Two aimed at children. It has continued to be used as a brand on these channels even after regular weekday broadcasting was discontinued in 2012.

Prior to the dedicated channels' launch, there were CBBC strands on other cable and satellite stations. First, on Nickelodeon as CBBC on Nickelodeon between 1996 and 1999, and on BBC Choice with exclusive programmes as CBBC Choice between 1998 and 1999 and airing repeats as during the daytime as CBBC on Choice from 1999 to 2002.

CBBC was named the Channel of the Year at the Children's BAFTA awards in 2008, 2012, and 2015. The channel averages 300,000 views per day.

The channel broadcasts from 7:00 AM—7:00 PM, seven days per week and from the launch of the channel until 8 February 2003 it timeshared with BBC Choice. From 9 February 2003, the channel timeshares with BBC Three due to the closure of BBC Choice. On 22 August 2008, it was announced that the channel would be available live on its website from 16 September. CBBC's reach further expanded with the addition of the channel on Sky in Ireland on 12 May 2011. The British Forces Broadcasting Service have provided viewers with CBBC and CBeebies since 1 April 2013, when they replaced BFBS Kids.

From 11 April 2016 until 4 January 2022, CBBC's broadcast hours were extended by two hours to 9:00PM due to the hiatus of BBC Three as a linear channel. It was stated that the additional hours would be used to provide programming for teenagers.

On 2 March 2021, ahead of the relaunch of BBC Three as a broadcast channel, it was announced that CBBC's broadcast hours would be reduced by two hours. From 5 January 2022, the channel now closes down for the day at 7:00PM and timeshares with BBC Three once again, as was the case prior to the 2016 relaunch.

On 15 March 2023, CBBC rebranded its on-screen bug and identity to match the BBC's 2021 logo, dropping the 2016 logo which had been used for seven years.

Proposed closure of the channel

On 26 May 2022, the BBC announced plans for CBBC and BBC Four to be discontinued as a linear television service in 2025 as part of cutbacks and other changes focusing on creating a "digital-first" BBC. Under the plan, CBBC would exclusively operate as a content hub on iPlayer, as BBC Three had done before it was relaunched in 2022. However, the plan to discontinue CBBC was cancelled.


Along with CBeebies, CBBC is operated by the BBC Children's and Education department. BBC Children's was originally based in the East Tower of BBC Television Centre since the department's inception, but moved to MediaCityUK in Salford in September 2011, and the live presentation links used throughout the day are now recorded and broadcast from there.


The remit of CBBC is to provide a wide range of high quality, distinctive content for 6–12 year olds, including drama, entertainment, comedy, animation, news, and factual. The great majority of this content should be produced in the UK. CBBC should provide a stimulating, creative, and enjoyable environment that is also safe and trusted. The service should have a particular focus on informal learning, with an emphasis on encouraging participation.

2016 CBBC Remit

CBBC's programming output is very similar to the strand previously shown on BBC One. CBBC often complements this strand with programmes shown earlier than on the terrestrial channels, repeats, or whole series shown in a day, alongside other exclusive commissions.

Most viewed programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on CBBC, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB.

Rank Series Episode Date Viewers
1 The Sarah Jane Adventures "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (Part 2)" 3 October 2009 1,090,000
2 "Lost in Time (Part 1)" 8 November 2010 1,000,000
3 "Death of the Doctor (Part 2)" 26 October 2010 960,000
4 "Death of the Doctor (Part 1)" 25 October 2010 920,000
5 My Mum Tracy Beaker "The Person I Most Admire" 12 February 2021 883,000
6 Tracy Beaker Returns "Shadows" 13 January 2012 875,000
7 "Slow Burn" 6 January 2012 856,000
"Big Brother" 20 January 2012 856,000
9 My Sarah Jane "A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen" 23 April 2011 830,000
10 Tracy Beaker Returns "Full Circle" 8 January 2010 826,000

Educational programming

As part of CBBC's original remit, CBBC needed to show 1,000 hours of factual and schools programmes per year. The service managed this by introducing Class TV, which would air educational programming for two hours each day in the late morning, with normal programming resuming in the early afternoon. Much of this programming was old BBC Schools programming shown, in some cases, decades before and which was for the most part still relevant. Very little new schools programmes were commissioned. Class TV ended in March 2008, following a change to CBBC's remit. However, in December 2019, CBBC brought back Class TV with 'Live Lessons' presented by the CBBC presenting team on late weekday mornings.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools around the country, CBBC broadcast educational programming for primary school children. This included a mixture of programmes which were new or they aired on CBBC many years before, with a focus on learning as well as newly recorded content. It was hoped that this might help children without the financial means to participate in lessons over the internet.


CBBC has had a relatively similar presentation to that of its strand counterpart. The logo has consistently remained the same until 2016 as the service; green coloured blobs at the beginning of its life and the green and white logo used from September 2007 to March 2016. The logo used from March 2016 to March 2023 is multicoloured unlike its predecessor. The current logo has returned to being fully green. CBBC has mainly utilised presenters from the main service, with a few presenters appearing mostly on the new channel; Gemma Hunt and Anne Foy being notable examples and appearing consistently until August 2007. At the beginning of September 2007, along with the relaunch, the same presenters of CBBC would also feature on CBBC on BBC One and Two.

When CBBC launched, presentation was located in TC2 at BBC Television Centre, where the channel shared studio facilities with CBBC's original magazine show Xchange. This changed in autumn 2004, when CBBC moved to TC9 following the normal CBBC links move to TC10; however, this was changed in March 2006 so that all CBBC and CBBC channel links were located in TC9. A further change was to take place in December 2006 when all output moved to a Chroma key set within TC12, and was presented by only one presenter. This short live decision lasted until the relaunch in 2007, which involved a new 'office' set being constructed, initially in TC12 and later in a new studio facility in the East Tower of Television Centre.

In 2011, CBBC moved to television studios HQ5 and HQ6 at Dock10 studios in MediaCityUK, and has been presented from there since September 2011. The Office has been through a number of revamps since then, two in 2015, the first one being a minor change because of the Go CBBC app, and another one in May which entirely changed some of the structure, adding a post chute and an Up Next screen, one in 2016 due to CBBC's new look, gaining a smaller desk, an extra Up Next screen, and being renamed as CBBC HQ, and one in 2023, following CBBC's rebrand, in which the logo, the desk, and the studio's color scheme were updated.

Other services

CBBC Extra

CBBC Extra was a free interactive television service from CBBC provided by the BBC Red Button. It was accessible from CBBC by pressing red and then selecting CBBC Extra from the main menu. It can also be accessed from any other BBC channel by pressing red and going to page number 570. The service differs across digital platforms, for example Sky viewers can access a video loop. After a brief stint with a temporary producer, the channel really took off under producer and director Brendan Sheppard who spearheaded its success. After Sheppard had finished work on the BAFTA nominated Nelly Nut Live, he was asked by CBBC controller Gary August to work on CBBC Extra, and under Sheppard, the show received a new brand look, idents, graphics, and it introduced feature items such as Ask Aaron and a Halloween special with Basil Brush. There was a Doctor Who special with sequences featuring K9 that had to be cut at the last minute, and a documentary series called Really Living It! Sheppard was then asked to direct DinoSapien in Canada, and a new producer was installed after Sheppard moved on to Doctor Who. Its availability on Freeview was dependent upon BBC Red Button not showing other interactive services, such as major sports events coverage. The service offers numerous features including Newsround, horoscopes, Chris/Dodge's blog, viewer content, jokes, and other interactive elements.

From 2013 to 2016, CBBC Extra was available on the CBBC website, until the channel was discontinued in May 2016.

CBBC Online

The CBBC website provides a wide range of activities for viewers aged 6–15, such as games, videos, puzzles, printable pages, pre-moderated message boards, and frequently updated news feeds. It contains pages for the majority of its current programming with various content on each. There are also micro-sites from Newsround and MOTD Kickabout, providing children with news and sport, as well as the CBBC on BBC iPlayer to replay CBBC programmes for up to thirty days.


CBBC HD logo (2013–2016)

In July 2013, BBC announced that CBBC HD would be launched by early 2014, and it launched early on 10 December 2013. CBBC HD broadcasts on the BBC's existing HD multiplex on Freeview and shares its stream with BBC Three HD as they air at different times.

Before launch, the majority of CBBC HD output was broadcast on BBC HD before its closure in March 2013. CBBC HD was added to the Sky EPG in Ireland in 2017.

From July to August 2014, CBBC HD was temporarily removed from Freeview during the 2014 Commonwealth Games to let BBC Three and BBC Three HD broadcast 24 hours a day, similar to how BBC Parliament was removed during the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics.

From March to April 2018, CBBC HD used downtime mode to let BBC Red Button HD broadcast 9 pm to 5:30 am on Sky and Freeview. After the close, CBBC HD began to broadcast 24 hours a day again.

Since the launch of BBC Scotland, CBBC HD began finishing at 19:00 in Scotland on Freeview, due to the channel timesharing with BBC Scotland HD, which starts at 19:00, however, CBBC SD continued to finish at 21:00 in Scotland until hours were cut nationwide in January 2022.

Following the closure of CBBC HD, the BBC has decided to cut back CBBC's air time from 9 pm to 7 pm, this is also due to BBC Three making a return to linear TV after it being online only since 2016.


In September 2018, as part of a branding strategy, the unbranded 2-hour children's block on BBC Alba was split into CBeebies Alba and CBBC Alba, with the former airing during the first hour and the latter airing during the second hour. This block features its own presentation, presenters, and shows, all dubbed into Scottish Gaelic.

Previously, a similar block called Children's BBC Scotland was aired in the Scottish school holidays on BBC One Scotland and BBC Two Scotland throughout the 1990s, where the block (like CBeebies Alba and CBBC Alba) featured its own presentation and presenters (as an opt out from the network) linking into various shows airing on BBC Scotland's regional versions of the summer holiday mid-morning slot, the Children's BBC Breakfast Show and the summer holiday children's programme Up For It, until the CBBC Scotland opt outs were discontinued by July 2000.

International versions


On 15 March 2021, it was announced by Australian provider Fetch TV that they would launch a channel called "BBC Kids" (unrelated to a Canadian BBC-branded channel of the same name) on 24 April 2021 to replace Cartoon Network and Boomerang. It is essentially a version of CBBC for the country, as it is aimed at the same target audience as CBBC and airs children's programmes from the BBC Studios catalogue.

United States

On 11 January 2022, an American version of BBC Kids launched as a FAST channel on Pluto TV. This version, as is the Australian version, airs children's programming from the BBC Studios catalog, and also airs preschool content from CBeebies as well. A version of the channel that airs Spanish-dubbed programming titled "Niños por BBC" was launched on the same day.

Former logos

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: CBBC (canal de televisión) para niños

  • BBC Children's and Education – BBC's children's division that holds CBBC.
  • CBeebies – BBC's children television channel; serves under-6-year-old children and is a sister channel of CBBC.
  • CBBC idents – identities used by the channel.
  • BBC Three – BBC's youth television channel; serves viewers aged 16–34
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