BBC Four


~ BBC Four ~

BBC Four launched as a replacement for BBC Knowledge on Digital on the 2nd March 2002. It was a nearly a year before BBC Choice finally became BBC Three to fill the gap in the numbering - a gap that would be reintroduced in 2016 when BBC Three ceased as a broadcast channel. Whereas BBC Knowledge was devoted to education, BBC Four is designed to cater for the 'culture and the arts' (ie - music and painting, and all that stuff!). For the launch night, the BBC fed out BBC Four live on BBC Two, so that non-digital viewers could get a taste of the channel.

BBC Four - Launch Night (2/3/2002) - 2005

BBC2 Handover to BBC4

Just before 7.00pm on Saturday, the BBC2 character appeared on screen to hand us over to BBC4. A nice little use of the ident by the BBC, and something that was very easy with the bottom right box style logos of the time.

BBC4 Ident - Squares

A few minutes later, and the first BBC4 ident appeared. All the BBC4 idents broadcast on BBC2 were altered slightly to include the announcer mentioning 'broadcasting on BBC2 tonight'. The idents themselves are a unique idea, taking full advantage of modern computer technology. They are created live in response to the sound from both the background instruments, and the announcers voice.

BBC4 Next Caption

Just before 8.00, we were given a chance to see the next graphics used on BBC4. Notice they follow the same style as the BBC2 slides.

BBC4 Promo

Of course, there were promos on between all the programmes, mostly for BBC4 programmes, with a few for BBC2 mixed in. This advert was shown just before 8.00pm.

BBC4 Ident - Ovals

Then, at 8.00, another ident, using a load of oval shapes which vaguely resemble a nuclear sign. This time the video responding to the audio is more noticeable.

BBC4 News

This edition of BBC Four news was shown during the first night simulcast on BBC2... only they left the ident music on a little bit too long!!! This is a programme normally on during the week, which is streamed out on both BBC4, and the non-UK BBC World.

BBC4 Info

On BBC2 after the news, at 8.30pm, we were shown the 'how to get BBC4' slide.

BBC4 Ident - Bars 1

And then, a few minutes later, up came another ident, this time using bars to respond to the sound.

BBC4 Ident - Bars 2

Skipping forward to 10pm, and another 'Bars' ident was seen, this time with different colours, and positioning of the bars.

BBC4 Ident - Bars 3

At 11pm, the bars ident appeared again. This may be a new one (Although technically every single ident is a new, as they're dependant on sound), or it may just be bars 1 from a different angle.

BBC4 Ident - Circles

Finally, to lead us into the last BBC4 programme on BBC2 at 11.30pm, another new ident, this time using circles to respond to the audio.

BBC4 - Handback to BBC2

At 12pm, the simulcast on BBC Two finished, and back came the BBC Two character to return things to normal. BBC Four, however, continued after this on digital for many more years to come.

BBC Four Christmas 2002

A slight change to BBC Four's idents for Christmas. The audio in the background now has a Christmassy feel.

BBC Four - 2005-Present

BBC Four (Gulls) - 2007

In 2005, a new presentation package was introduced featuring the screen split into 4 segments as an optical illusion, with the BBC Four box moved to the centre. An evening sky features in this ident with seagulls flying all around. For this 2007 example, they have also added the 'Channel of the Year' strapline to herald one of their industry award wins.

BBC Four (Library) - 2007

Books keep falling up off the shelves in a library in this BBC Four ident. Complete with the 'Channel of the Year' overlay again.

BBC Four - Christmas 2009

The main BBC Four Christmas ident was first introduced in 2005 and has reappeared yearly since, with only minor tweaks to the logo itself or additions of award straplines. A garden scene features in the background, with ice spreading over the foreground.

BBC Four (Promo) - Christmas 2009

A Christmas 2009 trailer for BBC Four, which for the most part retains the regular promotional style of the channel, just adding the 'floating' BBC blocks which were used on Christmas presentation across all of the BBC channels that year. Orson Welles has decided to pop in for Christmas this year, a mere 24 years after his death.

BBC Four (Gulls) - 2009

Gulls again, only this time from 2009 and BBC Four are no longer the Channel of the Year.

BBC Four (ECP) - 2009

The ECP style for BBC Four from 2009, still in the BBC's vertically stacked style at this point.

BBC Four (Promo) - 2009

Promo style for BBC Four from 2009. The BBC Four box remains in the bottom right for the majority of the trailer as per the channel launch style, although on the endboard moves to the centre of the screen with a clockwipe effect.

BBC Four (Lake) - 2010

A calm lake scene makes up the BBC Four optical illusion this time around.

BBC Four - Christmas 2016

After 10 years of the same single Christmas ident with only minor tweaks to the centre logo, a second one was added to the BBC Four set for Christmas 2015 featuring reindeer walking through a snowy woodland, brought in to mark a special programme airing on the channel that year. This has similarly seen the centre logo tweaked in the years it's aired since with this example from 2016.

BBC Four (Flowers) - 2017

One of the original batch of idents from 2005 still going strong in 2017, flowers feature in this ident with a bee flying in and out of the picture quadrants.

BBC Four (Houses) - 2017

One of a small batch of additions to the BBC Four ident set in May 2016 and which actually followed the original 4 quadrant style. The rooftops of houses are visible this time round.

BBC Four (Forest) - 2016

Another of the 2016 additions following the original style. In this one, the camera is panning out across a large forest scene.

BBC Four (Space) - 2017

A more recent 2017 addition to the BBC Four set, and any consistency with the regular idents is out of the window - possibly a large 2-shaped window. In this one a large BBC Four logo floats around in space.

BBC Four (Promo) - 2017

The regular 2017 promo style for BBC Four. The logo has finally become boxless on the main part of the trailer, similar in style to BBC Two, and only appears boxed again for the endboard which now features a square patterned background.

BBC Four (ECP) - 2017

The 2017 ECP style for BBC Four, now following the overall BBC style of shrinking the credits to a column and placing promotions to the right. BBC Four specific promotions use the logo against a yellow background.

BBC Four (Gay Britannia Promo) - 2017

From the start of August 2017, a specially branded BBC Four trailer from the Gay Britannia season across the BBC. The season was intended to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

BBC Four (Gay Britannia) - 2017

A very simple animated ident for BBC Four to mark the Gay Britannia season. Used before programming dedicated to the season on the channel.

BBC Four (Breakdown) - 2017

A breakdown during The Proms on BBC Four in July 2017, resulting in several minutes of animated slide with... well nothing else really.

BBC Four (Snowy Landscape) - Christmas 2017

Rather surprisingly, an additional ident for the set for Christmas 2017 on BBC Four. This time featuring a snowy landscape scene, whilst also keeping true to the 'four quadrant' theme of the original idents.

~ Acknowledgements ~