ITV has announced that it is taking its children’s TV channel CITV off the air after 40 years.

The network’s kids channel first launched in 1983, and hosted shows such as Horrid Henry, Rosie and Jim and Ant and Dec’s SMTV Live.

It will come off the air in the autumn, after a new streaming-only channel called ITVX Kids launches in July as part of a “continuing drive to supercharge its presence in streaming, delivering content to audiences however they want to watch it”.

Craig Morris, managing editor of ITVX, said in a statement: “We’re really excited to launch this dedicated destination for kids on ITVX, which will be home to a wealth of content including new series, recognisable brands and existing favourites for a range of ages, all in one child-safe area, with editorial curation to guide viewing.

“The wealth of content will be available to stream for free, with the option for parents to choose ad-free viewing, through a subscription to ITVX Premium.”

ITV studios in White City, London were evacuated CREDIT: Alamy

ITVX will provide streaming only content aimed at children between the ages of six and 12.

Included in the programming will be a number of new shows including old favourites TeleTubbies, Bob The Builder and more. ITV’s LittleBe pre-school segment will remain and be broadcast on ITVBe.

Over 100 titles will feature on a dedicated homepage on the ITVX Kids platform, featuring over 1,000 hours of programming.

In the announcement, ITV cited data from BARB which showed that, despite viewing figures of kids TV channels decreasing by 62 per cent since 2019, figures of “unmatched” viewing have risen over 30 per cent.

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