It always amuses me when people refer to ITV(1) or an ITV station as channel 3.
In mathematics the number three follows the number two and dose not precede it.
The first television channel in Britain was the British Broadcasting Company in 1936.
Later to become the British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC for short.
Then in 1955 came the various ITA / ITV / IBA regions starting with Rediffusion in London.
TV was in black and white 405 line analogue VHF.
Then in 1964 we switched to colour 625 line analogue UHF, stereophonic sound and teletext pages.
With UHF was born the new third channel called BBC2. (Later renamed as BBC Two)
(Starting one day late due to a powercut at Battersea Power Station)
So the first BBC channel was renamed BBC1. (Later BBC One)
Channel 4 or S4C was the next forth channel to be added slowley over a number of years.
As the UHF main transmitters and relay transmitters where only designed to transmit four stations,
the next channel (Channel 5) was only slowley added to the main horizontal transmitters and no or very few
vertical relay transmitters can transmit it.
By 2013 we should get the fifth channel called Channel 5 as we switch to digital.
At the same second we will also get BBC3, BBC4, BBC HD, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and a load of other channels.
So as they all come in as a joint fifth position, are they all a fifth channel?
In fact BBC(1) London was on VHF channel 1,
but Rediffusion / Thames / London Weekend was on VHF chammel 9.
So channel 3 is channel 2 and called ITV1 but was channel 9 on VHF.
Channel 2 is channel 3 and is called BBC2 and had no channel number on VHF.
And there are lots and lots of different channel fives.
(Other BBC and ITV reagions had other channel numbers)
So when someone says, 'Did you see on channel 3 ...'
Ask them if they mean channel 2 or channel 9.
Or just say
"I can't get BBC2 on my 405 line VHF TV yet".