CD:UK (ITV, 1998-2006)
Following on from The Roxy and The Pepsi Chart, here’s a look at a third chart music show on a commercial TV channel that attempted to become a rival to BBC1’s Top Of The Pops. CD:UK (I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t officially a part of CITV) launched in 1998 to replace The Chart Show which had been in its Saturday afternoon timeslot for almost a decade and was one of my favourite music shows, and I’ve decided to stop being bitter about it for a moment to look back at this show.
One thing that CD:UK promised to have that The Chart Show never did was live studio performances from the biggest pop acts around, along with regular features including various videos, interviews, competitions and the latest chart. Ant and Dec (who know a thing or two about having hit pop records themselves) hung around from their CITV Saturday Morning show SM:TV Live (which launched on the same day) to host CD:UK along with Cat Deeley who was also a presenter on MTV at the time.
As the years progressed, a lot of pop stars did take part making the show a good archive of who was big on the music scene in the late-90s/early-2000s, and after Ant and Dec left at the end of 2001, Deeley continued as host and was joined by various others. There were even a couple of compilation CDs released under the CD:UK name. Every edition ended with the Top Ten being announced (but again not using the official chart), with the Number One act receiving a special award. As there was a rather high turnover of chart-toppers during this era, a lot of them must have been given out!
However, I much preferred the spin-off show that launched in January 2003 on ITV1 which was called CD:UK Hotshots. This was shown in a much later timeslot (usually around midnight) and it featured a rather unpredictable variety of music videos that you would be much less likely to see on the main show, such as more alternative acts, or videos that were just plain unsuitable for the daytime show.
CD:UK ended up running for almost eight years before finally ending in 2006, and by this point I didn’t watch it much any more, and it seemed to have lost its way a little with the presenting lineup changing rather frequently (including a big relaunch in 2005 when Lauren Laverne and Myleene Klass became presenters), and by this point YouTube was on the rise so being to access a wide variety of music videos and performances was becoming easier than ever. It certainly made an impact with a lot of viewers though.