UKTV’s home of witty banter was almost called Matt or Tim, the head of the broadcaster has revealed.
Speaking to Such Small Portions Dave channel head Steve North has told how the channel – which was formally known as UKTV G2 – was rebranded when it was bought into the freeview service and relaunched in 2008.
Referring to the channel as his ‘third child’ North explained how the team came up with the new name: “Everyone assumes that we came up with the name after a few drinks down the pub. However the reality is that when you have a board of shareholders to convince you had to research it to the n'th degree.
“We had a whole list of names and in that process the name Dave came up. We said, 'that's a great idea but we'll never do that', because who would call a TV channel Dave, that's insanity, that's the road to being sacked"
Dave, which broadcasts shows such as Mock The Week and Top Gear has also begun commissioning more new content in recent years including Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask, Al Murray's Compete for the Meat, Argumental and of course the new series of Red Dwarf.
A research team for UKTV spoke to over 2,000 people to find out what it was that they wanted from the channel before deciding on the new name.
“They loved the friendly rivalry," North adds. “And we all wish that our friends were as funny as Stephen Fry. So we realised that if people see the channel as being a friend, then we can give that friend a name.”
“Dave works on so many levels. Everyone knows a bloke called Dave, it's hard to find someone who doesn't know a Dave. Dave doesn't alienate people,
“There were lots of other names on the list? Tim, and Matt, Steve. The fact that everybody knew a bloke called Dave helped us in our decision.”