- This article is for the real life television station, and not Dave Lister, who it is fictitiously named after in Back to Earth.
Dave (formerly UKTV Gold 2) is a television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is available on satellite, cable, IPTV and Freeview platforms.
The Dave channel is owned by parent company UKTV, a joint venture between mass American broadcaster Discovery Inc. along with BBC Worldwide, the international subsidiary of the BBC. UKTV has existed since 1992, and is one the largest television companies in the UK.
The Dave channel took its current name in 2007, but the broadcast service had been on air under various identities and formats since its initial launch on 2nd October 1998. The channel has previously been known under the names UK Gold Classics, Gold 2, UKG2, and UKTV G2.
Current home of Red Dwarf
Dave is the current broadcast home of Red Dwarf, originally broadcast on the BBC, and premieres the recent series as well as frequently airing reruns of the first eight BBC series. As such, following TV broadcasts, episodes of Red Dwarf are also temporarily hosted on the on-demand service UKTV Play, which released Series XI a week prior to their broadcast on TV.
After the poor reception to Series VIII in 1999, the BBC made the decision to not green-light another series of Red Dwarf. However, the rights holders Grant Naylor Productions continued to search for a new channel to produce and air new series, a process which took a decade.
In April 2009, Dave aired and commissioned three new installments of Red Dwarf, titled Back to Earth. This marked the Dave channel's first foray into scripted original programming. During the airing of the Red Dwarf miniseries, the Dave Digital on-screen graphic in the top left corner of the screen had the word 'Lister' added after it in the same font after the show's lead character Dave Lister; during the show it is even suggested that the station is named after him. Back to Earth brought Dave record breaking viewing figures, not just in the context of Dave's past, but for digital television in general.
In April 2011 it was announced that Dave had commissioned a new series of Red Dwarf and that the new episodes would air in October 2012. The episodes once again brought record viewing figures for Dave; the average rating for the series on the digital channel itself was 1105167 viewers per episode, with Dave Ja Vu viewings bringing it up to 1158333 viewers per episode. "Trojan" is also now the second highest rated UKTV program ever, behind "Back to Earth, Part One".