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Lethal Bizzle Dazed
Lethal Bizzle, right, photographed with a host of Channel U – the station that effectively launched the careers of many grime stars Taken from Dazed, March 2005

Grime TV station Channel U is returning to British airwaves

The legendary station was pivotal in breaking some of grime’s best known names

Channel U, the grime TV station which played a key role in breaking British grime artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, Giggs, Wretch 32, and many more, their breaks, is returning to screens.

In 2003, Channel U (later known as Channel AKA) hit the UK airwaves. At the time, grime was largely ignored by mainstream radio and TV stations and most fans had to tune into pirate radio stations or found clips on the internet to get their fix. Channel U pioneered what would take the mainstream more than a decade to catch on to.

Channel U ceased broadcasting in 2018 – two years after founder Darren Platt passed away – after a rocky decade which included voluntary liquidation, a new parent company, and a rebrand and name change to Channel AKA.

But, after 15 years, on November 13, Channel U will fire up the airwaves once again. Returning to its roots with old school grime videos and classic shows, it will also debut the first-ever grime movie and its soundtrack, Against All Odds, which will trace the rise of British grime.

Grime MCs Jammer, Ghetts, and D Double E will star as themselves in the film, and Against All Odds will shine a light on legendary pirate radio stations such as Deja Vu.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1, D Double E said: “Channel U returning is big for the scene, we (grime artists) haven't really got much TV support so it will be good for us.”