UKTV confirms new entertainment channel

UKTV will launch a new general entertainment subscription channel in the autumn, it has been confirmed.

The as-yet-unnamed channel will feature a new primetime chatshow fronted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, as previously announced.

"Its schedule will combine high quality contemporary BBC shows including Torchwood, Mistresses and Larkrise To Candleford with movies and the new Richard and Judy primetime show," said UKTV. "The channel will aim to operate as a linear catch-up service for modern classics."

At the same time, UKTV will carry out a major shake-up of the rest of its pay TV channels.

UKTV Gold - presently carrying "golden oldie" shows - will be renamed simply Gold and focus on comedy of all ages.

Meanwhile, UKTV Drama will be dedicated solely to crime drama "from the traditional and languid Miss Marple to the slick and contemporary Waking the Dead".

"We’ve already got the number one pay channel, Gold, in entertainment," said UKTV controller Matthew Littleford. "Building on that position of strength, we’ve decided to take the bold decision to launch two new entertainment channels and re-brand Gold, all by Q4 this year. The scale of change at UKTV demonstrates the magnitude of our ambition and will future-proof our business as we head towards 2012."

It is thought one of UKTV's time-shifted +1 channels will be taken off air to provide capacity and programme guide space for the new entertainment channel.