Five's original programming will now be shown in full on YouTube, after the UK channel agreed a major deal with the Google-owned video site.

Under the terms of the deal, videos will go live 'shortly' after being aired – with not only programmes like The Gadget Show and Hotel Inspector, but also famed Aussie soaps Neighbours and Home and Away.

Five joins Channel 4 as the only broadcasters globally to put its full content on YouTube in this manner, and potentially reach a UK YouTube audience in excess of 20 million unique users.

This "provides the broadcaster with additional advertising inventory and reach, tapping into growing consumer demand to watch Five's programming online," says Five.

UK only

The programmes will only be available in the UK, but will be free as they are supported by advertising.

"Five will have a branded presence on YouTube and its sales team will be able to sell both display and video advertising (typically pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements and sponsorship bumpers) around the content available on the site," adds Five.

There are also a few gimmicks involved; in the New Year UK residents will be able to audition via YouTube for a guest role on the popular Australian daily drama Neighbours, and Five will block uploads of other Five content on YouTube.

Exciting times

"The past few weeks have been exciting for all of us who love British TV, and we're delighted that our users can now find even more of their favourite programmes in YouTube's new Shows section," said Google's Nikesh Arora.

"This landmark partnership with Five places them at the forefront of the new opportunities around full-length content online, and their shows will see increased reach and revenues.

"This kind of agreement is great for consumers, who now have new safe and legal ways to watch the shows they love whenever they want."

Extending reach

Dawn Airey, Chairman and Chief Executive of Five, added: "This is a tremendously important deal for Five because in one fell swoop it extends the reach of our content beyond linear TV and our own existing websites to a new audience of younger, upwardly mobile and web-savvy individuals – an audience that advertisers are equally desirous of attracting.

"Importantly it extends the availability of legally available long-form content online thereby dealing a blow to web piracy."