ITV Play






Continuity Announcer: Gavin Inskip


ITV Productions (Granada), Big Game TV Productions, Ludus, Fremantle Media, Hamma + Glamma Productions, Two Way TV for ITV Play, 19 April 2006 - 6 March 2007


Cashing in on the success of Channel 4's Quiz Call, ITV came up with their own gaming channel, principally made up of other channels gaming shows such as Quizmania, as well as home grown ITV spin-offs such as This Morning Puzzle Book and a quiz set in Coronation Street's Rovers Return.

It was interesting, but only because there seemed to be a deluge of minor hosts from years past turning up to host, such as Emma Lee from Reactive and Simeon Courtie.

But the controversy surrounding the whole channel never did go away. Though the station made £9 million profit in its first six months, calls dropped 60% after parliamentary hearings into the sector revealed the low odds of winning anything. ITV plc first suspended the channel for a week whilst a review of ITV's premium-rate phone-ins was taking place, then re-opened it for one night (well, to simulcast Glitterball on ITV1) before closing it down for good.

The Play brand did continue for another nine months on ITV1 before the game was up.


This Morning Puzzlebook (first programme to be broadcast): 19th April 2006 - December 22nd 2006
The Daily Quiz: 19th April 2006 - 19th May 2006 (see Big Game TV)
Extra Mint (think The Mint, but cheaper): 19th April 2006 - 14th May 2006
Quizmania: 19th April 2006 - 14th January 2007. (N.B. Quizmania started on ITV1 on 16th December 2005. Beforehand, it appeared on various digital channels from 12th August 2005)
The Mint: 19th April 2006 - 14th February 2007. (N.B. Before the start of the ITV Play channel, The Mint began on ITV1 on 1st April 2006 - if only it was an April Fools joke...)
ITV Playalong: 20th April 2006 - 5th March 2007
Friends Reunited: The School Run: May 2006 - 30th July 2006
Rovers Return Quiz Night (later Rovers Return Pub Quiz): May 2006 - 13th October 2006
Love Island Live: July 2006 - 28th August 2006
The Common Room: 31st July 2006 - 10th November 2006
The Mint Extra (same as Extra Mint!): 9th September 2006 - 14th February 2006
Make Your Play: 29th September 2006 - 23rd December 2007
Playalong Live (think ITV Playalong, except with a live voiceover from Nigel Mitchell): October 2006 - 9th December 2006
The Call: October 2006 - December 22nd 2006
Playdate: November 2006 - December 15th 2006 (this show had started a month before on ITV2. After the last ITV Play show, it was broadcast for a further two nights on ITV2 before being axed.)
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!: November-December 2006
Play DJ: 11th December 2006 - 5th March 2007
Play DJ Late (think Play DJ, except it's on late!): 15th January 2007 - 4th March 2007
Glitterball (final programme to be broadcast): 19th February 2007- 30th September 2007
Glitterball Extra (only seven programmes!): 20th February 2007 - 5th March 2007
The Zone (only six programmes!): 26th February 2007 - 5th March 2007
The Debbie King Show: 5th March 2007 (that's it, just one programme!)


In its very brief life, the channel also carried delayed feeds of Love Island and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.

Ironically on its last full night of transmission (though we didn't know it at the time), a dismal new series called The Debbie King Show starring Quizmania presenter Debbie King (clever isn't it?) started...and finished.

If that wasn't enough, the ultra-cheap text-based show Play DJ made much out of its new look studio on the same night. Well, it wasn't a new look at all. They just painted the wall, stuck a few more bits in and that's it!

The channel was officially replaced on Freeview on Thursday 15th March 2007. It was replaced by ITV2+1, a temporary channel broadcasting ITV2's programmes an hour later (clever, hey?). The channel had already been airing on Sky since 2006.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


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