The much awaited Sky Digital launch of Al Jazeera English has taken place.

The channel launched at midday with a slight technical hitch. There was a lip-synching problem immediately after the channel went live. The channel’s new official UK website also went down due to heavy traffic.

Al Jazeera English is the first global English language news and current affairs channel with headquarters in the Middle East. The channel was launched from its headquarters in Doha, with Shiulie Ghosh and Sami Zeidan the first news anchors to appear. The channel will move around the world moving to its broadcast centres strategically placed around the world in Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC where presenters Veronica Pedrosa & Teymoor Nabili, Felicity Barr & Stephen Cole, Ghida Fakhry & Dave Marash will present the news respectively. There will be two integrated news hours with input from all four centres.

Nigel Parsons Managing Director of Al Jazeera English said: ” I am absolutely delighted to have launched Al Jazeera English. I firmly believe there is a gap in the market which we will exploit, and that the world needs Al Jazeera in English to bring a new perspective and understanding to world events. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project including all those distributors who are carrying the channel from day one”.

Yesterday our sister site SkyDigiOnline.co.uk reported on the name change for the channel. Previously called Al Jazeera International, it was renamed to Al Jazeera English 24 hours before launch.

Al Jazeera English is available on Sky EPG channel 514.