Pokémon in the United Kingdom
|Pokémon in United Kingdom|
|Original anime airdates|
|EP001||29 March 1999|
|AG001||6 June 2004|
|DP001||4 February 2008|
|BW001||27 February 2011*|
4 June 2011*
|XY001||19 October 2013*|
5 April 2014*
|SM001||20 November 2016*|
11 April 2017*
|JN001||25 May 2020*|
1 September 2020*
The Pokémon franchise first reached the United Kingdom in 1999 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the airing of the anime dub, both in English.
All Pokémon games that have been released in the United States have also been released in the UK, with the exception of Hey You, Pikachu!. Additionally, English-language versions of Pokémon Tetris and Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure have been released in the UK, despite these titles having never been released in North America. Prior to release dates becoming simultaneous globally, the UK release dates tended to be some time after the U.S. release dates, with the exceptions of Pokémon Dash, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and Pokémon Black and White, which were released in the UK before the United States.
Games that are released in the UK are inconsistent with British English spelling. For example, spelling variations such as color and center are not changed to colour and centre for the UK releases. This is due to most games using a single English translation as localised by The Pokémon Company International in the United States. However, the English translation of Pokémon Sword and Shield contains some British words such as "rubbish", "mum" and "chaps", as the Galar region is based on Great Britain.
Prior to Generation IV, event Pokémon were sporadically released in the UK. An event in 2005 known as "The Hunt for Deoxys" was held at Vue cinemas for two days each across the country, where players of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen and Pokémon Emerald were able to download the AuroraTicket. The introduction of Wi-Fi events in Generation IV has allowed UK players access to many events, including previously unavailable event Pokémon; prior to this, very few event Pokémon were made available to UK players, and when events at malls and other stores were held, many parts of the country were overlooked. Since Generation V, in-store events have become much more widespread across the country.
Sky One was a British pay television channel owned and operated by Sky, a subsidiary of Comcast, that first began broadcasting on 26 April 1982 and served (along with sister channel Sky Atlantic) as the flagship channel for Sky UK and Sky Ireland. The channel ceased broadcast on 31 August 2021 and was replaced with two new channels; Sky Showcase and Sky Max.
Season one of the anime first began airing on Sky One on 29 March 1999, on weekday mornings at 9am. Sky One was the first-run and main broadcaster for the Pokémon anime for the first seven seasons.
In May 2004, Sky One's first-run pay rights to the first three seasons expired, with 4Kids Entertainment signing a third-window deal with Cartoon Network to also air the seasons on the Toonami channel in addition to Sky One. Sky One retained the rights to first-run season seven.
In 2005, 4Kids' deal with Cartoon Network was extended, which fully moved the pay-rights to new episodes of the Pokémon anime to Toonami starting from season eight. Despite this, Sky One continued to rerun older episodes until their rights fully expired in the middle of 2008.
Sky Replay (originally Sky One Mix, then Sky Mix and Sky Two) is a British pay television channel operated by Sky as a sister channel to Sky Showcase, Sky Max and Sky Witness, and repeats programmes from these three networks.
The channel launched in December 2002, and between then and the anime moving to Toonami, episodes were aired on Sky One Mix on an irregular basis.
ITV is a British free-to-air television network first launched on 22 September 1955. The network is split into 14 regional licences and a "national breakfast time" licence. These licences were originally awarded to separate companies that would produce local programming for their region as well as sharing programmes across the network. However, these companies eventually merged and by 2015 the network was made up of three channels owned by two companies; ITV1 and UTV owned by ITV plc and STV owned by the STV Group (with the UTV channel being fully absorbed into the ITV channel in 2020). The two channels broadcast largely the same content, although there continue to be local news broadcasts in the 14 regional areas.
From 1999 to 2001 and in 2003, the Pokémon anime aired as part of the program SM:TV Live, a Saturday-morning children's television programme which aired between 29 August 1998 and 27 December 2003 across the ITV network. Between 1999 and 2001, the Who's That Pokémon? segment of anime episodes was replaced by former SMTV hosts Ant & Dec (and often other celebrity guests) performing a "PokéRap" or "Pokéfight" sketch instead.
Between 1 January 1993 and November 2009, the "national breakfast time" licence was held by GMTV (who were then acquired by ITV plc).
Between September 1999 and April 2003, GMTV would air the Pokémon anime each Saturday morning at 8:50am. During this time, episodes from season one, two and three were broadcast.
On 6 June 2004, season six began airing on GMTV's Sunday Up on the Roof block, with one new episode being shown every week up until Brave the Wave in mid-October that year when the show was removed following news of its cancellation.
CITV (short for Children's ITV) was a late afternoon children's television block on the ITV network from 3 January 1983 until late 2006.
Beginning in 1999, Pokémon aired regularly during the block, starting with season one and two.
On 11 March 2006, CITV launched as a separate channel, owned and operated by ITV plc, that broadcasts from 6am to 9pm daily. Between 2006 and July 2010, the CITV channel (including Pokémon episodes) was often simulcast on ITV 4 during that channel's GMTV2 block.
Since its launch, the CITV channel has shown the terrestrial premiere of season nine and was the main British broadcaster for Pokémon the Series: Black & White, Pokémon the Series: XY and Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, including their respective movies. In the mid-2010s, CITV also reaired Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, alongside their respective movies, and aired Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness.
Between 27 May 2014 and 30 May 2014, all four episodes of Pokémon Origins aired on the channel and on 9 April 2016, to mark the beginning of series 19, a mini-marathon including the Mega Evolution Specials, movie three and movie 18 aired. On 1 January 2019, the channel held the UK television premiere of movie 21.
On 23 April 2020, it was announced that season 23 of the anime would air exclusively on rival channel POP from 1 September 2020. With this, the show no longer broadcasts on CITV.
ITV Hub (originally ITV Player) is an ad-supported streaming video on demand service, owned and operated by ITV plc, that launched as a unified service on 5 December 2008. The service offers programmes shown on the ITV network and its sister channels (including CITV). The service is available via the ITV website and dedicated apps for iOS, Android or Smart TV devices.
Episodes of the Pokémon anime were available on the service for up to 30 days after their broadcast on the CITV channel. On 1 September 2020, season 23 began airing on POP, and Pokémon stopped being available on ITV Hub shortly thereafter.
Cartoon Network Too
- Main article: Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network Too was a children's channel owned and operated by Turner Broadcasting System Europe (a subsidiary of WarnerMedia) that aired between 24 May 2007 and 1 April 2014 (having previously been broadcasting as Toonami since September 2003).
In May 2004, Toonami began re-airing the first three seasons of the anime as part of a new third-window deal with 4Kids Entertainment.
Between 11 May 2005 and 5 October 2005, Pokémon Chronicles had its world premiere on the UK Toonami channel, and the channel then began airing season eight of the anime. Toonami / Cartoon Network Too then went on to air seasons nine and ten as well as broadcasting episodes from previous seasons, beginning with season three.
In 2008 season 11 premiered on rival channel Jetix, although Cartoon Network Too continued to show repeats of older seasons until late 2010.
- Main article: Disney XD
Disney XD (UK) was a British children's channel owned and operated by Disney Channels Worldwide that aired between 2 October 1996 and 1 October 2020. Originally named Fox Kids, the channel was rebranded as Jetix in January 2005 and then as Disney XD in August 2009.
Beginning in late 2008, season 11 began premiered on Jetix as part of a global deal between Jetix Europe and The Pokemon Company International. The anime continued to be broadcast on the rebranded Disney XD up until season 17 in 2014, with the channel also airing movies 10 - 16 during this time. The series was then dropped by the channel and CITV became the exclusive home of season premieres until season 23.
POP and sister channel POP Max, are children's television channels owned and operated by Narrative Capital. POP launched on 1 October 2002 as Toons & Tunes before rebranding in May 2003. POP Max launched as Kix! on 19 May 2008 before rebranding in August 2017. Both channels were launched by CSC Media Group, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Television on 15 August 2014. On 25 May 2021, Sony Pictures Television sold its UK channels to Narrative Capital.
On 1 January 2018, POP Max began airing episodes from Pokémon the Series: Black & White, and from 29 October 2018, episodes from Pokémon the Series: XY. These seasons were also shown on POP, and beginning 4 March 2019, POP and POP Max started airing Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl followed by the original series in May 2019. In May 2020, POP began airing Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, while POP Max re-aired Pokémon the Series: XY.
The POP website features a Pokémon Picture Puzzler sliding puzzle game based on Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, as well as a page about the Pokémon 25th Anniversary.
On 23 April 2020 it was announced that POP would gain the exclusive first-run rights to the Pokémon anime, and on 25 May 2020 the first four episodes of season 23 aired on the channel as a preview. On 1 September 2020, the season premiered on the channel.
POP Player is streaming video on demand service, owned and operated by Narrative Capital that launched on 4 December 2017. The service features shows from Tiny Pop, POP and POP Max and is available via dedicated apps for iOS, Android, PlayStation 4 and other Smart TV platforms.
POP Player features recently broadcast episodes of season 23 as well as a selection of ten episodes each from seasons 17 - 21.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is the world's oldest national broadcaster, having been founded on 1 January 1927, and is the primary public service broadcaster in the UK. The BBC, and its subsidiary BBC Studios, operate several national and international television and radio services, extensive online services, and its BBC News division is the world's largest broadcast news organisation.
On 20 July 2021, the BBC acquired rights to Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon the Series: Black and White for BBC iPlayer and the rights to air the eight movies linked to those series on the CBBC channel as well as iPlayer.
In July 2022, the BBC acquired rights to Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon and the respective movies to the series.
BBC iPlayer is a video on demand service, owned and operated by the BBC, that launched on 25 December 2007. The service is available to television licence holders, offers programmes shown on the BBC's channels in the last 12 months, archived content, shows from Welsh language broadcaster S4C and programmes exclusively made or acquired for the platform.
Season 10 and season 11 of the Pokémon anime, alongside The Rise of Darkrai and Giratina and the Sky Warrior, were added to BBC iPlayer on 2 August 2021. Since then, additional seasons and movies have been added on a bi-monthly basis. Season 12 and Arceus and the Jewel of Life were added to iPlayer on 22 October 2021, followed on with Season 13, Season 14, Zoroark: Master of Illusions, Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom on 3 December 2021. The final content to be added - season 14, season 15, and the movies Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice and Genesect and the Legend Awakened, were added on 18 February 2022.
Season 20 alongside I Choose You! and The Power of Us were added to iPlayer on 14 July 2022. Season 21 was added on 11 November 2022.
CBBC (short for Children's BBC) is a children's television channel owned by the BBC. The channel launched on 11 February 2002, and broadcasts from 7am to 9pm daily. Between 1985 and 2013, CBBC was also a block on the BBC One and BBC Two channels with BBC Two reviving the block in 2017.
On 7 August 2021, the CBBC channel first aired The Rise of Darkrai, followed by Giratina and the Sky Warrior on 14 August 2021. The rest of the premieres wrapped up with Arceus and the Jewel of Life on 23 October 2021 and Zoroark: Master of Illusions on 11 December 2021.
For the Black and White movies, both versions of M14 premiered on different days in December 2021, with White—Victini and Zekrom airing on the 18th, and Black—Victini and Reshiram airing on the 21st.
The first four episodes of Series 10 premiered on CBBC on 1 January 2022, as part of a mini-marathon with Black—Victini and Reshiram. Two episodes aired on the channel's morning schedule every Saturday afterwards.
Series 11 began airing on 14 February 2022, with two episodes airing every weekday during the half term. The series has since aired in random blocks on the network.
Series 20 premiered on CBBC on 25 July 2022, with episodes airing every weekday during the summer holidays.
Other digital distribution
The Pokémon anime is also available on Pokémon TV, Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, the iTunes Store and Now in the UK.
|See: Pokémon TV|
|See: List of digital home video releases of Pokémon anime|
The first three Pokémon movies, Mewtwo Strikes Back, The Power of One, and Spell of the Unown: Entei, as well as the 20th, I Choose You! and 21st, The Power of Us, were released theatrically, accompanied by the same Pokémon Trading Card Game promotions as the U.S. releases. Mewtwo Strikes Back was released on 14 April 2000 to coincide with the two week Easter school holidays; The Power of One on 22 December 2000; Spell of the Unown: Entei on 6 April 2001; and The Power of Us on 24 November 2019. The first three movies were released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray; and the 20th and 21st on DVD and Blu-ray.
Every movie after the first three would be released on an irregular basis. Both the 4th, Celebi: The Voice of the Forest and 5th, Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias were released directly to DVD in 2003 and 2005 respectively, while the 6th, Jirachi: Wish Maker's DVD release came in 2006. In the same year, the 8th, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and 9th, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea aired on Cartoon Network, but would not make video releases until 2015, when they were released on iTunes. In 2008, the 10th movie, The Rise of Darkrai was released on DVD. All of the movies from the 11th, Giratina and the Sky Warrior onward would be aired on television a reflectively short time after the U.S., on both CITV and Disney XD. In 2012, seven years after the U.S. release, the 7th movie, Destiny Deoxys, finally saw the light of day in the UK when it was released on DVD.
Additionally, the special episode Mewtwo Returns (marketed as a direct-to-video movie outside of Japan) saw a UK release on VHS. The DVD version was never released for unknown reasons.
The live-action Detective Pikachu movie was filmed in London. It was released in the UK on 10 May 2019.
The 22nd movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution was released in the UK on Pokémon Day, 27 February 2020, while the 23rd, Secrets of the Jungle was released in the UK on 8 October 2021.
Movies 20 - 23 and Detective Pikachu are available for download on Netflix (Subscription required).
Pokémon manga licensed and translated into English is distributed in the UK by VIZ Media, including Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! and the popular Pokémon Adventures series.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is sold throughout the UK, with releases matching those in the U.S..
When it was first released, the game was very popular among British children. Like in many other countries, the TCG was eventually banned in most schools, because they became a "classroom distraction". Conflict between students when trading also resulted in the cards being banned from some schools. Its popularity faded as it was soon replaced by other popular crazes such as Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, although it has seen a resurgence in recent years.
In 2000, the Base Set fourth print run mirrored the Unlimited print, with the only difference being the copyright date, which reads "1999-2000". The English version was exclusively released in the UK. In 2020, the Pokémon Futsal was exclusively released in the UK.
The UK receives some of the same Pokémon merchandise that is available in the United States, such as plush toys which have been released in major department chains, though merchandise given away in fast food restaurants has become non-existent, as the Pokémon movies are no longer shown at cinemas. Some collectibles, such as the Pokémon Advanced Action Cards, were sold in the UK and Europe but not in North America. Despite Pokémon's decline in popularity, merchandise can be found in UK stores, such as GAME and W H Smith.
In 2001, a promotional CD-ROM was released in the Daily Express newspaper. When played in a CD player, it would play a sample of the song Gotta Catch 'Em All by 50.Grind. When played in a computer, additional features could be accessed, such as desktop wallpapers, the music video to Gotta Catch 'Em All and other content.
In 2004, Pokémon Official Magazine was launched. It was intended to have a quarterly release schedule, but it was cancelled after its second issue due to low sales. In February 2013, Future Publishing announced that Official Pokémon Magazine would be returning, with a publishing schedule of 13 issues per year. It was cancelled after 13 issues.
On 29 March 2017, Pocket World magazine launched, although it did not exclusively cover Pokémon, being made up of several other franchises that involve 'cartoon brands starring monsters' (such as Moshi Monsters, Bakugan and Redakai). It finished in 2015 with Issue 174.
Pokémon fan, Lisa Courtney, holds the Guiness World Record for having the largest collection of Pokémon memorabilia, over 17 thousand items.
An eight-city tour was held in the UK in commemoration of the Pokémon 10th Anniversary. Ten event Pokémon were distributed at the events — Charizard, Pikachu, Articuno, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Latias and Latios. These ten Pokémon were chosen by Nintendo of Europe following a popularity poll earlier in the year. Other activities at the events included Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Trading Figure Game stations and anime episode screenings.
|14-15 October 2006||Southampton, West Quay|
|21-22 October 2006||Manchester, Trafford Centre|
|23-24 October 2006||Newcastle, Metro Centre|
|26-27 October 2006||London, Lakeside|
|28-29 October 2006||Cardiff, Capitol|
|4-5 November 2006||Glasgow, Buchanan Galleries|
|11-12 November 2006||Milton Keynes, The Centre|
|18-19 November 2006||Birmingham, The Bull Ring|
Between 18 October and 15 November 2019, a temporary Pokémon Center opened at the Westfield London mall in White City, London to celebrate the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield games.
2022 World Championships
- Main article: 2022 World Championships
The 2022 World Championships were held at ExCeL London from 18 to 21 August 2022. It was the seventeenth invitation-only championships for Pokémon Trading Card Game players, the twelfth for Pokémon video games players, the fifth for Pokkén Tournament players and the first for players of Pokémon GO and Pokémon UNITE.
Initially intended to be held in August 2020, they were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, first moved to August 2021, subsequently moved to 2022.
A pop up Pokémon Center was opened during the 2022 World Championships.
- Pokémon Black and White were represented in the UK by The X Factor finalists One Direction. The group promoted the games through television commercials and concerts, and its members have been life-long Pokémon fans. They are one of a number of acts representing Nintendo as ambassadors in the UK, which has also included Alexandra Burke, JLS and The Saturdays.
- ↑ Comcast completes Sky deal - Financial Times (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 3rd window UK deal for Pokemon - C21 Media (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 4Kids in New U.K. Pokémon Deal - World Screen (archived from the original 14 March 2006; retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ On This Day - 1955: New TV channel ends BBC monopoly - BBC News (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ ITV buys Irish broadcaster UTV for £100m - The Independent (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ B*Witched - PokéRap - SM:TV Live 2000 - VHS-Portal (YouTube) (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ Bryan Westlife Pokemon- Ant & Dec - Julesy83 (YouTube) (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ Up On The Roof Axed! - PKMN.NET (retrieved 20 May 2020)
- ↑ CITV set for classic kids TV weekend - BBC News (retrieved 21 May 2020)
- ↑ CITV to launch on Sky in May - Media 247 (archived from the original 1 March 2006; retrieved 21 May 2020)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Pokémon Company International Reveals New Animation Trailer and Details for Pokémon Journeys: The Series - The Pokémon Company International (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ ITV's Catch Up rebranded ITV Player - Campaign (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Toonami UK snags Pokémon: Advanced Battle - Bulbanews (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Disney is eliminating Disney Channel in the UK, moving titles to Disney Plus - The Verge (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ ABC Cable Networks Group, Fox Kids Europe And Fox Kids Latin America Launch Jetix As New Global Action-adventure Kids Programming Business - Jetix Europe (archived from the original 22 February 2015; retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Jetix to become Disney XD - Digital Spy (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Sony closes CSC deal, ups Kate Marsh - Television Business International (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Sony Pictures Television U.K. Channels Sold to U.S. Investment Firm Narrative Capital - Variety (retrieved 21 June 2021)
- ↑ Pokémon Picture Puzzler - POP (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Pokémon Day | Celebrate the 25th anniversary - POP (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ POP Player - POP (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ History of the BBC - 1920s - BBC (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Pokémon is heading to the BBC for the first time as iPlayer catches series and movies - Licensing.biz (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ 5 years on: How the BBC iPlayer sparked a TV revolution - TechRadar (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ CBBC digital channels go live on Monday 11th February 2002 - BBC Press Office (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai - CBBC (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ Giratina and the Sky Warrior - CBBC (retrieved 18 September 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon-Diamond And Pearl - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon: Arceus And The Jewel of Life - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon the Movie: White-Victini - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon The Movie: Black-Victini - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon The Movie: Kyurem Vs. The Sword of Justice - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon The Movie: Genesect And The Legend Awakened - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ Watch Pokemon Detective Pikachu - Now TV (retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ The largest collection of Pokémon memorabilia - Guinness World Records
- ↑ A Pokémon Center Pop-Up Store Opens in London This October - Pokemon.com (archived from the original 13 August 2019; retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ We Interview Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield - Pokemon.com (archived from the original 14 June 2019; retrieved 22 February 2021)
- ↑ 2020 Pokémon Championship Series Canceled - Pokemon.com (archived from the original 3 April 2020; retrieved 20 March 2023)
- ↑ Play! Pokémon 2021 Championship Series Information - Pokemon.com (archived from the original 2 July 2020; retrieved 20 March 2023)
- ↑ Next Pokémon TCG, Video Game, and "Pokkén Tournament DX" World Championships Moved to 2022 in London - Pokemon.com (archived from the original 9 February 2021; retrieved 20 March 2023)
- ↑ Pokémon World Championships in London - Pokémon Center UK Official Site (archived from the original 20 March 2023; retrieved 20 March 2023)
- ↑ X Factor star’s One Direction revealed as ambassadors for Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version - TTKN (archived from the original 29 April 2011; retrieved 20 March 2023)
- ↑ The Saturdays become Nintendo ambassadors in latest TV campaign - Nintendo Insider (archived from the original 30 July 2021; retrieved 20 March 2023)
|The Pokémon franchise around the world|
|The Americas:||Brazil • Canada • Latin America • United States|
|Asia:||Greater China • Indonesia • Japan • Malaysia • Philippines • Singapore • South Asia • South Korea • Thailand • Vietnam|
|Europe:||Albania • Belgium • Bulgaria • Croatia • Czech Republic • Denmark • Finland • France • Germany • Greece|
Hungary • Iceland • Ireland • Italy • Latvia • Lithuania • Netherlands • North Macedonia • Norway • Poland
Portugal • Romania • Russia • Serbia • Slovakia • Spain • Sweden • Ukraine • United Kingdom
|Middle East:||Arab world • Israel • Turkey|
|Oceania:||Australia • New Zealand|
|This article is part of Project Globe, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon franchise around the world.|