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5* (pronounced “five star”) is a television channel in the United Kingdom owned by Northern & Shell. The channel was launched as “Five Life” on 15 October 2006, and was rebranded as “Fiver” on 28 April 2008, and “5*” on 7 March 2011. The channel is available on digital television via Freesat, Freeview, Sky, TalkTalk TV and Virgin Media It was originally launched alongside 5USA by Channel 5, in order to create a multi-channel strategy, which all other analogue broadcasters had already achieved. 5* broadcasts between 13:00 and 00:00. 5* is a sister channel of Channel 5 and 5USA.


Five Life (2006-2008)

Five Life was originally intended to be a female-oriented channel with an emphasis on lifestyle programming. Channel 5 announced that programming on Five Life included The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Love My Way, Windfall and Angela’s Eyes, as well as a weekday double-bill of the chat show Trisha Goddard and new episodes and a weekly omnibus of Home and Away. Repeats of teenage drama Dawson’s Creek started showing in December 2006.

The first programme broadcast on Five Life was Inside the Priory, a documentary about The Priory clinic, at 8pm. The launch of Five Life marked the start of Five’s digital multi-channel strategy designed to compete with similar strategies from its rivals Channel 4 and ITV plc.

On 11 January 2007, it was announced that Five Life had acquired the multi-channel rights to air popular axed ITV dramas, Bad Girls (Series 4-8) and Footballers’ Wives from Spring 2007.

On 28 August 2007, Five Life launched a timeshift channel named Five Life +1.

Fiver (2008-2011)

At 06:00 on 28 April 2008, Five Life relaunched as Fiver with a new on and off-air identity and a raft of new shows added to the schedule. These included Celebrity Rehab, Dirt and re-runs of Sex and the City.

5* (2011-present)

On 7 March 2011, the channel was rebranded as 5*, supported by a new logo and branding to underline the fun-loving image of the channel. On 11 April 2011, 5* reduced its broadcast hours to 13:00 to 00:00, replacing the lost hours with more teleshopping. Milkshake! programmes (for children aged 7 and under) are no longer broadcast on this channel because of this reduction, but Milkshake! continues to broadcast on Channel 5.

On 18 January 2012, 5* received its highest-ever rating for the channel since it launched in 2006. 5* began broadcasting Live from the House, the one hour live feed for Big Brother that airs after every eviction. It started out well with over three hundred thousand viewers, but on 18 January, this increased to 1.04 million viewers (994,000 on 5*, and 41,000 on 5*+1) with an audience share of over 5%.

Launch night

The schedule for the primetime shows on the launch night of Five Life was as follows:

Time Programme name Notes
Inside the Priory
This show attracted 39,000 viewers
Make Me a Supermodel Extra
This show attracted 18,000 viewers
Love My Way
This show attracted 49,000 viewers
(0.33% audience share)

The launch of Five Life was at the time ranked as the worst received multichannel launch for a terrestrial broadcaster, only managing to achieve a primetime share of 0.21%.


Current programming

  • $h*! My Dad Says
  • 5* Access
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • A Girl’s Guide to 21st Century Sex
  • American Idol (from January 2013)
  • Alphas
  • Archer
  • Banged Up Abroad
  • Big Brother
  • Big Brother: Live from the House
  • Big Brother’s Bit on the Side
  • Celebrity Big Brother
  • Celebrity Big Brother: Live from the House
  • Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Side
  • Chuck
  • Dallas
  • Dharma & Greg
  • Everybody Hates Chris
  • The Gadget Show
  • The Gilmore Girls
  • Home and Away
  • The Hotel Inspector
  • Human Target
  • Knight Rider
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • My Name Is Earl
  • The Mentalist
  • Neighbours
  • Police Interceptors
  • Sex and the City
  • Sex Lessons
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • Two Guys and a Girl

Relaunch night (as Fiver)

The schedule for the primetime shows on the launch night of Fiver were as follows:

Time Programme name Notes
Animal Zoo
Home and Away
Normal time as it was shown on Five Life.
This is the episode that was to air on Channel 5, the next day at 14:15.
Episode number 4601.
Home and Away
The reason for the extra episode was to boost ratings figures on the first night.
This episode was repeated the next day in its ordinary 18:30 timeslot, and aired on Channel 5, two days after its initial airing.
Episode number 4602.
Repeated from Channel 5.

Former logos

Five Life logo (15 October 2006-27 April 2008).
Five Life logo
(15 October 2006-27 April 2008).
First Fiver logo (28 April-6 October 2008).
First Fiver logo
(28 April-6 October 2008).

Final Fiver logo (7 October 2008-6 March 2011).
Final Fiver logo
(7 October 2008-6 March 2011).

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