Disney Junior (UK and Ireland)

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Disney Junior
LaunchedAs Playhouse Disney:
28 September 1999; 19 years ago (1999-09-28) (block)
29 September 2000; 18 years ago (2000-09-29) (channel)
As Disney Junior:
7 May 2011; 8 years ago (2011-05-07)
Owned byThe Walt Disney Company Limited
Disney Channels Worldwide
(Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share0.24%
0.11% (+) (April 2017 (2017-04), BARB)
CountryUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersChiswick, London
Formerly calledPlayhouse Disney
(2000 – 2011)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift serviceDisney Junior +1
WebsiteDisney Junior
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 607 (HD)
Channel 608 (+1)
Channel 643 (SD)
Virgin Media
Channel 727
Virgin Media IrelandChannel 616
WightFibreChannel 107
Centre Day TVChannel 481
BTChannel 481
PlusnetChannel 481
Streaming media
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (United Kingdom)
Sky GoWatch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Ireland[1] (Ireland)

Disney Junior is a British pay television kids channel owned by Disney–ABC Television Group.


The channel launched under the name "Playhouse Disney", as a block on the main Disney Channel on 28 September 1999. It re-launched as a separate channel on 29 September 2000, the same day as the now defunct sister channel, Toon Disney. In July 2004, the original Playhouse Disney block on the main Disney Channel was disposed of.

The Playhouse Disney brand, which existed as 22 channels or blocks in 156 countries and territories, rebranded as Disney Junior in 2011.[1] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Disney Junior began on Saturday 7 May 2011 with its first show as Handy Manny. At the same time the channel started broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen.

The last show to be airing on Playhouse Disney UK before it became Disney Junior was Jojo's Circus.

A high-definition simulcast of Disney Junior was made available to Sky+ HD subscribers on 9 April 2013.[2]

On 30 May 2017, the channel went 24/7.

Throughout September 2017, Disney XD +1 was turned into a pop-up channel titled Mickey and Pals, which aired various programming from Disney Junior.


When Playhouse Disney was launched, it had the same logo style as Disney Channel, with some of the 2D idents from Disney Channel being used as idents, except the "Disney Channel" text was replaced with a "Playhouse Disney" text.

Playhouse Disney UK originally had live presenters Dave Benson Phillips and Alex Lovell, referred to as "Big Dave" and "Little Alex". In addition to presenting the "Playhouse", both Dave and Alex presented "Music Time", where they sang Disney songs. Dave also presented the children's cookery show, Bite Size, alongside Sophie Aldred and Karl Woolley. In addition, there was the "Circle Time" segment, presented by Jason Canning, where children made up stories from animated drawings that the viewers sent in. There was also "Art Play", where Sara-Louise Harper helped children create a piece of artwork based on a popular Disney movie. Playhouse Disney also used this presentation format in Australia, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany and several other territories outside North America.

Playhouse Disney UK had new graphics introduced in March 2003, coinciding with the debut of the main Disney Channel's new look. In April 2004, the format of the channel changed. 'Circle Time' was removed, and Art Play presenter Sara-Louise Harper was replaced by Olivia Bonnici. From 6pm to 6am, a dedicated nighttime block was introduced called "PJ's Bedtime", presented by Olivia and Big Dave. Eventually, Big Dave and Little Alex both left on 27 August 2006, and Art Play and Music Time were also removed. PJ's Bedtime was disposed of in November 2007 and in May 2008, Bite Size was axed.

New presenters Samantha Pearl and James Sherwood were added to the channel in September 2009; they appeared on air between 6pm and 8pm.

In September 2007, the channel logo in the external promotionals (programme press releases, promos for terrestrial television) were changed to include the inscription "Channel" as in all Playhouse Disney Europe channels, but on the channel itself the logo was not changed. This move was to differentiate the channel from the "Playhouse Disney" block, shown all mornings on the American Disney Channel.

On 11 February 2019, Disney Junior UK Rebranded and the logo colour changed from red to yellow.

Disney Junior +[edit]

A one-hour timeshift service of the channel, Disney Junior +, launched on 30 October 2007 as Playhouse Disney +, replacing the now defunct channel ABC1. It launched on the same day that the Disney Channels were reshuffled on Sky, involving Disney Cinemagic and Disney Cinemagic +1 moving down the EPG, to enable Playhouse Disney to move up the EPG to allow Playhouse Disney + to launch next to it on Sky 611 and 612 respectively. Playhouse Disney + was initially a 25-minute timeshift service until 11 April 2011 when it became a 1-hour timeshift service.

Playhouse Disney Live Tour[edit]

A live tour took place in 2008. It was shown in several cities, across the United States and Europe. In the United Kingdom, the tour included Bristol, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Brighton.



  • Magical Mondays - Magical Mondays was introduced in 2013 and runs on Monday afternoons. It shows programs with more magical themes, such as Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.



Original series[edit]

Acquired from Disney Junior (US)[edit]

  • Fancy Nancy (7 January 2019 – present)
  • Goldie & Bear (4 January 2016 – 2018)
  • The Lion Guard (13 April 2016 – present)name="launch">"Disney Junior sets U.K. launch". Variety. London. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.</ref>
  • Muppet Babies (2018 series) (27 August 2018 – present)
  • Miles From Tomorrowland (11 May 2015 – 2018)[4]
  • Mission Force One
  • PJ Masks (Spring 2016 – present)
  • Puppy Dog Pals (22 January 2018 – present)
  • Sofia the First (8 March 2013 – 2018)[5]
  • Vampirina (October 2017-present)
  • Gigantosaurus (29 April 2019-present)



Other acquired series[edit]

  • Paprika (1 October 2018 – present)
  • Trulli Tales (11 December 2017 – present)

Acquired from Disney Channel (UK)[edit]

Upcoming programming[edit]

Former programming[edit]


  1. ^ "Disney Junior to replace SoapNet, Playhouse". C21Media. 26 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Disney, Sky bow co-branded movie net". C21Media. 21 February 2013.
  3. ^ Zahed, Ramin (24 January 2013). "'Henry Hugglemonster' Arrives on Disney Jr. in Feb". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ Cath, Nicky (23 April 2015). "Disney May Highlights". Baby World. Retrieved 18 October 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Methven, Nicola (1 March 2013). "Fairy good for mouth of Minnie Mouse: Legendary Disney actress Russi Taylor to voice fairy godmother for Sofia the First". Mirror. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Disney Junior TV Listings". TV Guide UK. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ Callan, Patrick (23 September 2015). "The Hive returns for second season". Kidscreen. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  8. ^ Rusak, Gary (24 October 2008). "Mighty Sprouts grow into Playhouse Disney UK slot". Kidscreen. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  9. ^ Zahed, Ramin (25 July 2013). "Sprout Adopts Cyber Group's 'Zou'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

External links[edit]