14 Facts About BBC Four


BBC Four is a British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by the BBC.

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BBC Four began originally as a late schedule to BBC Two, before it received its own channel, along with BBC Three.

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Curiously, BBC Four had to launch before BBC Three as a result of the government delaying approval plans.

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The BBC Four plans were approved earlier, and as a result launched before BBC Three.

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BBC Four was different from the old BBC Knowledge: the channel would be more heavily promoted with more new and original programming and the channel would not be broadcast 24 hours a day.

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On 12 May 2011, BBC Four was added to the Sky EPG in the Republic of Ireland on channel 230.

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On 4 November 2020, due to Ofcom proposals regarding certain PSB channels requiring greater prominence on each UK TV provider's channel listing, BBC Four moved to channel 24 in Scotland, while every channel from that number to channel 54 moved up one place.

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On 9 April 2021, the day that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died, BBC Four was suspended for a whole day so the BBC could continue coverage of the Duke's death across its television, radio and online services.

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BBC Four was notable for first showing Larry David's Seinfeld follow-up, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Armando Iannucci's cutting political satire, The Thick of It, The Chaser's War on Everything, Flight of the Conchords, Mad Men and Danish thriller The Killing.

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Until the middle of 2020, BBC Four broadcast a global news bulletin on weekdays at 19:00 which most recently was a simulcast of Beyond 100 Days Monday–Thursday and an edition of World News Today on Fridays which was produced by BBC World News.

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Some output from BBC Four was for a time repeated on BBC Two in a 'BBC Four on Two' branded area, although this was often in a late night broadcast slot after Newsnight and has since been discontinued.

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BBC Four is widely available on cable, IPTV and digital satellite television in the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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On 10 September 2005, the channel began showing new idents comprising a central BBC Four logo surrounded by four quadrants which show different stages of the same footage thus making for a sort of optical illusion; for example, a swimming pool where a person on an inflatable ring appears in the bottom-left corner, though ripples don't enter the remaining quarters.

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In March 2019, BBC Four added several new idents inspired by "oddly satisfying videos" in tandem with the quadrants theme, originally premiering for a programme season honouring the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

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