Made in Birmingham

Made in Birmingham
Launched 28 February 2015
Owned by Made Television
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
Audience share Local TV Macro Network:[Note 1]
0.01% (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Broadcast area Birmingham, the Black Country, Wolverhampton, Solihull
Headquarters The Goldmine Centre, Walsall
Sister channel(s) Made in Bristol
Made in Cardiff
Made in Leeds
Made in Liverpool
Made in Tyne & Wear
Freeview Channel 7
Virgin Media Channel 159

Made in Birmingham is a local television station, serving Birmingham, the Black Country, Wolverhampton and Solihull. The station is owned and operated by Made Television and forms part of a group of six city-based TV stations. It broadcasts from studios and offices at the Walsall Studio School.


Big Centre TV

Kaleidoscope TV Limited were granted a licence to establish a local television station in November 2014, following the collapse of City8, a proposed station centred on the Birmingham area, which went into administration after failing to secure sufficient funding.[1][2] Kaleidoscope were given ten minutes notice that their bid had been successful before an official announcement was made by the regulatory body Ofcom.[3]

The new licence, initially known as Kaleidoscope TV, was given an Ofcom deadline of Saturday 28 February 2015 to launch Kaleidoscope TV to bring local television to Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull from 2015, Initially, Big Centre TV was jointly launched by Chris Perry and former ATV announcer and television executive Mike Prince, the station's director of programming. Prince also served as the station's chairman.

Big Centre TV's studios at the Goldmine Centre in Walsall were located alongside the town's studio school, where students were able to gain work experience with the channel as part of their studies.[4]

The station launched at 6pm on Saturday 28 February 2015, preceded by a testcard and music, ending with the Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky". Opening night programming included an hour-long introduction to the channel, a special edition of the local news programme The Midland, a 1981 episode of Crossroads, and coverage of an ice hockey league match. These were aired alongside two of the station's feature programmes, Life Stories and Project M'

The first news bulletin attracted criticism from Birmingham Mail TV critic Roz Laws, who noted that many of the reports concerned stories from several days before the channel's launch.[3] The news bulletin was also beset by technical problems, with poor sound quality and an out-of-focus studio camera. The Black Country-based Express & Star observed that the launch programme had been "more corporate video than glitz and glamour" consisting of the channel's executives "sitting in front of their computers and discussing a business plan before the station was blessed by a clergyman".[5] Responding to the criticism, then-channel director Chris Perry argued that Big Centre TV's teething problems were similar to those experienced by the larger channels, and urged viewers to stay with the station.[5]

In April 2015, the station announced that Canadian media company Trek 2000 had invested in Big Centre TV.[6] The station later opened a satellite studio at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham for sports coverage.

Made in Birmingham

On 3 October 2016, Made Television, who were unsuccessful in bidding to run the franchise in 2012, announced it had brought Big Centre for an undisclosed sum, subject to approval from OFCOM.[7]

Big Centre TV ceased broadcasting at midnight on Friday 4 November 2016 and reopened and relaunched as Made in Birmingham at 6pm on Tuesday 8 November 2016.[8] The channel is due to launch on Sky in January 2017.


Made in Birmingham is required to broadcast 41.5 hours a week of first-run local programming.[9]

The station's flagship programme is the twice-nightly news programme, Birmingham News, airing each weeknight at 6pm and 9pm respectively, with hour-long review editions airing on Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm.[10] The main feature programme is the nightly magazine show, The Lowdown Birmingham, which airs at 6.30pm on weeknights.

Other local feature shows produced by the channel include rock music show Amp'd and sports programming including The Goalzone with Tom Ross, Icing Tonight and Jumpers for Goalposts. Programmes produced by the other Made TV stations in Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and Tyne & Wear also air on the channel along with acquired programming from other broadcasters, including local TV stations around the UK.

Archive programming

During its first six months on air, Big Centre TV also aired a selection of archive programming, including the children's television series Ivor the Engine and Terrahawks, Jack Hargreaves' rural documentary series Out of Town, and the surviving episodes of Midlands-based soap opera Crossroads.[11][12] The station also produced a number of nostalgia-based entertainment shows including The David Hamilton Show, The Ads Show, Crossroads Check-In, Tiswas Pies Again and The Long Lost Shows Show.

As the channel went on air, plans to repeat Crossroads were at the centre of a disagreement over the amount of royalties to be paid to its former actors – Paul Henry (who played Benny Hawkins) reportedly threatened to take legal action over the issue.[13] The station discontinued Crossroads repeats in September 2015 and latterly phased out its Kaleidoscope-related archive output and nostalgia programming.

Big Centre TV continued to air archive programming from other sources until it ceased broadcasting in November 2016. As with the other Made TV channels, it now broadcasts a selection of acquired output, including Channel 4 lifestyle programming and documentaries.


  1. Audience data for Local TV channels across England, Wales & N. Ireland are measured and reported together, as "Local TV Macro Network".
  1. "Birmingham local TV firm City TV in administration". BBC News. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  2. "Kaleidoscope – the men who found our 'lost' TV archives". BBC News. BBC. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. 1 2 Laws, Roz (28 February 2015). "Big Centre TV: Rushed, repetitive and not exactly gripping". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  4. Walsall Studio School – Big Centre TV
  5. 1 2 "New West Midlands TV channel experiencing 'learning curve', argues boss". Express & Star. Midland News Association. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. Knight, Dominic (29 April 2015). "International investment for West Midlands TV channel Big Centre TV". ATV Today. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  7. Big Centre TV acquired by rival network 18 months after launch, Birmingham Mail, 4 October 2016
  8. Made TV network acquires eighth TV station, Made Television, 3 October 2016
  9. Ofcom allows five local TV stations to cut local programming commitments, Press Gazette, 13 April 2016
  10. The 6 and The 9, Made in Bristol
  11. "Birmingham local channel Big Centre TV launches". BBC News. BBC. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  12. Cannon, Matt (15 February 2015). "Big Centre TV: See the shows viewers can expect from new Birmingham TV channel". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  13. Lockley, Mike (28 February 2015). "Big Centre TV launch marred by Crossroads repeats row with stars, including Benny actor Paul Henry". The Sunday Mercury. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
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