From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Pokémon franchise first reached the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1999 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the airing of the anime.
Pokémon video games
All Pokémon games that have been released in the United States have also been released in the United Kingdom except Hey You, Pikachu!, with the addition of the Europe and Japan-exclusive Pokémon Tetris. The UK release dates tend to be some time after the American release dates, with the exception of Pokémon Dash, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and Pokémon Black and White, which were released in the UK before the US.
Games that are released in the United Kingdom 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.
Event Pokémon have been released in the UK sporadically. 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 recent introduction of Wi-Fi events has allowed UK players access to many 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.
Pokémon Black and White are currently being represented in the United Kingdom by the X Factor finalists One Direction, a boy band. The group is promoting the latest Pokémon games through television commercials and concerts, and have been life-long Pokémon fans. They are one of a number of acts representing Nintendo as ambassadors in the United Kingdom, which has also include Jedward, JLS and The Saturdays.
Sky1's current logo, introduced in 2008
The original series and Advanced Generation series aired on Sky1, a British channel which is owned by BSkyB.
Pokémon also aired on ITV1, a public service network station that broadcasts in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is currently owned by ITV, formerly Carlton Communications and Granada plc, and some of its branding is also used by Channel Television. ITV is the only company that has broadcast the anime on UK terrestrial television. Currently, episodes do not air on ITV1. However, sister channel CITV continues to show episodes, originally simulcast upon ITV4 until June 2010, when the GMTV2 block on ITV4 was removed.
GMTV is an early-morning programming block on ITV1. Episodes of Pokémon used to air every Saturday beginning at 8:50 and ending by 9:25. It was shown in this time slot from September 1999 until sometime after the Generation I games were released in the United Kingdom.
SM:TV Live was a live Saturday morning entertainment show that started at 9:25. It would replace the Who's That Pokémon? segment with small sketches that featured the hosts, Ant & Dec, having their own "PokéFight". Some later episodes featured the duo performing their own Kanto Pokérap.
ITV1 has, on more than one occasion, skipped episodes or canceled television shows mid-series. These are planned as the TV guides published over a week before date of transmission reflect this. This has happened to ReBoot and Cardcaptors before the Pokémon series aired, and Digimon following the cancellation of Pokémon. This is not limited to children's animation, with the initial run of Season 1 of Pushing Daisies being the most prominent example of a non-children's program.
Pokémon has been stopped twice; once during the Orange Islands saga and once just after Pokémon: Advanced started. Neither series has been seen on ITV1 since.
Currently, the anime airs on CITV, a United Kingdom TV digital network station currently owned by ITV. It shares its name with the former programming block on ITV1, CITV's parent channel. This channel is free to view on almost all UK Digital TV systems. It is also available over the internet as streaming television on their website.
As its own channel it has shown every dubbed episode of the Pokémon anime from Pokémon: Battle Frontier to the first fourteen episodes of the Pokémon: Black & White series, as well as simulcasting episodes shown on ITV1. They have also shown all four Diamond & Pearl series movies, as well as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness.
As of October 2012, it is transmitting episodes of Pokémon Black & White: Rival Destinies in late weekend morning programming slots. Episodes that are shown on CITV are usually repeated several months later on Disney XD.
Disney XD currently shows Pokémon: Black and White and Black & White: Rival Destinies. Disney XD has also shown Giratina and the Sky Warrior and Arceus and the Jewel of Life on May 28 2010. Previously Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension and Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles were shown but were replaced their successors Sinnoh League Victors and Black and White in the Autumn and Winter of 2011 respectively. Pokémon in the UK was previously shown on Disney XD's predecessor, Jetix.
Pokémon manga translated into English is distributed in the United Kingdom by VIZ Media.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
The Pokémon Trading Card Game, although declining in popularity, is still being sold throughout the UK.
When first released, the game was very popular among UK children. Like in many other countries, the TCG was eventually banned in most schools, because of "classroom distraction". Conflict between students regarding Trading Cards also resulted in the cards being banned from some schools. Its popularity faded out as it was replaced by other popular crazes such as Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
The United Kingdom 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. Despite Pokémon's decline in popularity, merchandise can be found in UK stores, such as GAME and W H Smith.