BBC News Channel

The BBC launched their UK rolling news channel, shortly before the advent of Digital, although it was planned primarily as a Digital channel. Initially launched in 1997 as BBC News 24, it was later renamed as the somewhat more mundane 'BBC News Channel' (although the word channel rarely appears on air). The channel often appears on the main terrestrial channels as filler material in late hours, or even as mainstream material during breaking news. Over the years the look of the channel has closely followed that of BBC World, their slightly older counterpart news channel for an international audience. At launch, both channels had a look very distinct from the news on the rest of the BBC based on a flag motif, however from late 1999 onwards they have all followed a very similar corporate look.

With continued cuts to licence fee funding and a move towards more use of digital platforms, in Spring 2023 the channel was effectively soft-closed and instead replaced with a rebranded version of the international BBC World News channel just with additional simulcasts from BBC One to maintain claims of the channel being tailored for the UK.

BBC News 24 (9/11/1997 - 25/10/1999)

BBC News 24 (Handover) - 1999

In the early years of its broadcasting, BBC News 24 carried dual headed presentation live throughout the night. This meant when BBC One joined them for the overnight simulcast as shown here during the initial 'flags' era of presentation, they were easily able to welcome viewers and recap headlines.

BBC News 24 (Headlines) - 1999

An example of a rundown menu being overlaid over a short piece of holding music, before heading in to the top of the hour overnight headlines on BBC News 24.

BBC News 24 (Sting) - 1999

BBC News 24 (Sting) - 1999

Another set of flags feature in another sting for BBC News 24.

BBC News 24 (Promo - Sarah Montague) - 1999

One of several 'presenter profile' style promos produced for BBC News 24 and in use in 1999. Here Sarah Montague talks candidly as she takes a brief look behind the scenes in the newsroom. Then still based at BBC News Centre, part of the iconic Television Centre in London.

BBC News 24 (Promo - Gavin Esler) - 1999

Another 'presenter profile' style trailer, this time featuring Gavin Esler talking about news coverage from the US.

BBC News 24 (Promo - Overnight) - 1999

Actually having full live news coverage overnight on BBC News 24 in those early days was considered such a big feature for the channel they even had dedicated promotions put together just to promote said coverage.

BBC News 24 (Promo - Dark Text) - 1999

The original Lambie-Nairn promo brand guidelines for corporation-wide rebrand of 1997 allowed for both white text and logos over most images, or alternatively the lesser-used black text and logos if the background colours were mostly light so the graphics would otherwise be lost. The inverted colourscheme features in this trailer, with an additional brief flash of the flags following which would be used to separate trailer items.

BBC News 24 (Weather) - 1999

In the early years of the channel, although similar the graphics on weather forecasts on BBC News 24 differed from that on the national bulletins. And presenting from a location where the hustle and bustle of the newsroom couldn't be heard in the background was also not considered a high priority.

BBC News 24 (10/1999-9/12/2003)

BBC News 24 - Main Titles (4:3) - 2002

The main titles from 2002, used every hour after the headlines on News 24.

BBC News 24 - Main Titles (16:9) - 2002

The opening titles from 2002, as they appeared when broadcast in widescreen!

BBC News 24 Countdown 2002

Leading up to the hour, a countdown is used. Sometimes, as in this example, they overlay a menu. The full playout of the countdown lasts 90 seconds, of which we usually saw about 30 or 40.

BBC News 24 Countdown 2002 (Longer Version)

This example is close to the full 90, starting at 75 seconds. It also has no menu overlaid!

BBC News 24 Countdown 2002 (16:9)

Another countdown, this time in widescreen, starting from 32 seconds!

BBC News 24 Promo - 2002

To fill in breaks, aside from other channel promos and countdowns, adverts like this were used. Basically, snippets of the days headlines were used, with the slogan 'Because the news never ends' added. They could often be repeated twice in one junction, which was possibly a little overkill.

BBC News 24 - Breakfast - 2002

The titles for the Breakfast programmes on News 24. For many years, the Breakfast programme has been simulcast with BBC One.

BBC News 24 Countdown 2003

The January 2003, several new countdown sequences were introduced on News 24. It had the same music, however the visuals now featured that thing that branding people love so much - people! Lots of shots of people, possibly filmed by somebody who just realised how to use time-lapse cameras! This version starts at 35 seconds.

BBC News 24 Countdown 2003 (16:9)

A different version of the countdown, this time starting at 20 seconds, and shown here in Widescreen.

BBC News 24 - Iraq War Titles 2003

For the war in Iraq in March/April 2003, this set of special titles was introduced to News 24.

BBC News 24 (9/12/2003 - April 2008)

BBC News 24 Opening - December 2003

After several weeks in a virtual studio (and one pushed back launchdate), BBC News 24 finally unveiled a brand new set and graphics package on the 8th December 2003. This file features the end of one of the new countdowns, building upon the existing style, a run down of the headlines, then into the new opening titles. Whatever the current top headline is, its animated into the opening sequence. In this case, it's the Rugby World Cup celebrations.

BBC News 24 Countdown - December 2003

Another variant of the new countdown sequence, this time starting at 20 seconds.

BBC News 24 (Countdown and Headlines) - 2004

Another countdown from overnight on BBC News 24. At this time of the night, though other graphics still mention News 24, the title sequence is generic without the 24 numeric.

BBC News 24 (Promo) - 2004

A general promo for the coverage that can be found on BBC News 24.

BBC News 24 (Promo) - 2004

A short promo from News 24 in 2004. Demonstrating just how amazingly off the proper template it is possible to make a promo appear with this one produced by the Talking Movies team.

BBC News 24 Countdown - 2005

2005 dawns, and whilst the title sequence remains unchanged, a new set of countdown sequences are unveiled. Various images from the BBC around the globe are seen whilst red bands fly around, all set to another remix of the music. This clip cuts in at 47 seconds.

BBC News 24 Countdown - 2005

A second variant of the sequence, cutting in at 28 seconds this time.

BBC News 24 Countdown - 2005

And a third variant on the same theme, cutting in at only 19 seconds this time.

BBC News Channel (April 2008 - March 2013)

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2009

In April 2008, BBC News 24 was renamed. Generally referred to onscreen as just 'BBC News' from this point, although verbally the term 'BBC News Channel' has often popped up to distinguish which part of BBC News is being referred to. The channel countdown sequences continued in a similar style, albeit now branded up as 'BBC News'. Somewhat annoyingly, the music was also initially offset by a few seconds so that it could sync up with the end of an animated BBC News logo, resulting in a countdown starting at 57 seconds, the 10 second part of the music coming in at 7 seconds, and the whole sequence not actually ending at 0. Thankfully this decision would eventually be reversed!

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2009

A second variation of the BBC News Channel countdown from 2009, this time coming in at 40 seconds. Finishing once again with a shot of Television Centre at night.

BBC News Channel (Intro) - 2009

The headlines and titles from the BBC News Channel in 2009, presented by Tim Willcox. Headlines include a terror raid in the North West, reporting on the G20 protest death, and the crew of a vessel retaking control from Somalian Pirates.

BBC News Channel (New Broadcasting House Move) - 18/3/2013

BBC News Channel (Last TVC) - 2013

On 18/3/2013, the BBC moved broadcasting of the News Channel, and BBC One bulletins from Television Centre, to their New Broadcasting House studios (by now only referred to officially as 'Broadcasting House'). The last broadcast from Television Centre was for the 12pm-1pm news hour. In the final ten minutes, presenters Simon McCoy and Sophie Long lead into a pre-recorded interview with Esther Rantzen from the reception area of TVC as they reminisce over times in the building.

BBC News Channel (TVC Close) - 2013

After a short interlude for the last weather report from Television Centre (which can be found on the BBC Weather page), Simon and Sophie return to close off the final hour from TVC. The lights dim down on the old studio, before cutting to an exterior shot of Television Centre with a rarely seen copyright caption.

BBC News Channel (First NBH News at 1) - 2013

The first news to come from New Broadcasting House at 1pm on 18/3/2013 was the News at 1, simulcast between both BBC One and the BBC News Channel. Sophie Raworth presents.

BBC News Channel (Move Report) - 2013

From the 1 O'Clock bulletin, Sophie leads into a pre-prepared piece on news with Nick Higham, before joining him live in the Newsroom behind her as he takes a look around. Nick would be doing this walk many times over the course of the day!

BBC News Channel (First NBH) - 2013

At 1.30pm, Jane Hill and Matthew Amroliwala take over the reigns for the first regular news channel bulletin to come from New Broadcasting House.

BBC News Channel (Move Report - Business) - 2013

Jane and Matthew link into another report from Nick Higham, this time with him grabbing Rory Cellan-Jones on his lunch to talk to him about what he's working on, and of course his thoughts on the new complex. Before continuing to give a tour of some of the other areas in NBH.

BBC News Channel (Move Report - Weather) - 2013

Nick Higham drops in on the Weather Centre, meeting up with John Hammond to discuss how things are changing with the move to New Broadcasting House from a weather presentation point of view. Although you can change the technology and the studios all you like, but you cannot change the British weather itself.

BBC News Channel (Move Report - Newsroom) - 2013

Nick Higham takes another look around the newsroom, this time catching up with Mary Hockaday, the then head of the newsroom. With a somewhat prophetic remark at the end from Jane Hill about how much longer they would have two chairs for the presenters in the news studio too...

BBC News Channel (Move Report - Andy Griffee) - 2013

Huw Edwards introduces another report on the move from Nick Higham. After a repeat of the earlier pre-prepared piece on how news has changed over the years, Nick then interviews Andy Griffee, the project director for the W1 move.

BBC News Channel (March 2013 Onwards)

BBC News Channel (Countdown - First NBH) - 2013

In March 2013 the countdown was revised for the move of the BBC News operations from Television Centre to New Broadcasting House in London. The general style of showing 'the news being made' with red lines flying through has been retained, albeit now with lots of smaller white lines spurring off to show their additional mobile reach now. As well as updated footage being used throughout, the finishing shots now focus on the new building at NBH. Additionally music timing has been restored back to the original 'finishes on zero'. This is a long playout of the channel countdown, used to fill the junction between the last TVC report and the first NBH report at 1pm on 18/3/2013.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2013

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2013

Another countdown for the BBC News Channel, and it's starting to get a little later in the day around New Broadcasting House.

BBC News Channel (Titles) - 2013

The headline and title sequence from the top of the hour on the BBC News Channel. Headlines for this day, from the first day at New Broadcasting House, include a deal being put together over press regulation, bailouts in Cyprus and a look back at ten years since the Iraq War.

BBC News Channel (Coming Up) - 2013

A brief look at what's still coming up on the News Channel, shown on the half hour.

BBC News Channel (Sportsday) - 2013

To fill the regional slot on the News Channel simulcasts of the main BBC One bulletins, an extended version of their sports news coverage is presented from studios up in Salford, with branding more closely aligned to BBC Sport than BBC News. The opening titles to Sportsday from 2013.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2017

Although the location shots with the lines flying through them don't change very often, the inbetween news shots are frequently swapped out or reordered over time to keep them current. The countdown sequence from 2017 here still following the same style, and finishing on New Broadcasting House this time as it's getting darker in the day.

BBC News Channel (Countdown + Breakfast) - 2017

A day like any other - counting down to the start of the broadcast day on the 20th anniversary of the launch of the news channel on 11/9/2017. Then it's into BBC Breakfast.

BBC News (Countdown - Royal Wedding) - 2018

An updated BBC News countdown to mark The Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. Aired here into the 4pm top of the hour on 17th May.

BBC Breakfast - 2018

June 2018 saw updated titles for the joint BBC News Channel/BBC One breakfast show. Drone footage from around the MediaCityUK complex was in, albeit in a very brief manner.

BBC News Channel (20th Anniversary) - 9/11/2017

BBC News Channel (Birthday Launch) - 1997/2017

At 5.30pm, marking exactly 20 years since the launch of BBC News 24, the BBC News Channel revisits the original launch footage complete with countdown and flags from the very first branding package. Before leading into a retouched studio for the occasion.

BBC News Channel (Birthday Countdown) - 1999/2017

Marking 20 years since the launch of the original BBC News 24 this time with the red countdown from 1999. Or rather a mocked up HD recreation of it which had first appeared on TV Forum a few years earlier, and which the BBC decided to put out on broadcast as part of their celebrations.

BBC News Channel (Birthday Countdown) - 2003/2017

To celebrate 20 years of BBC News 24/BBC News Channel on November 9th 2017, a series of old countdowns from the channel were used into various junctions. Here the 2003 version makes a return, albeit complete with some slight zooming.

BBC News Channel (Birthday Countdown) - 1997/2017

Filling up the top of the hour with one more way of marking their 20th anniversary. A montage of classic program titles plays before going into the original 1997 flags presentation once more.

BBC News Channel (July 2019 Refresh)

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2019

15th July 2019 saw the long anticipated rollout of the new BBC Reith font across the BBC's news service, bringing with it refreshed graphics. Countdown sequences on the News Channel were also updated to take advantage of the new font, with the first playout at 9am giving a chance to see a long version of the countdown.

BBC News Channel (Headlines) - 2019

The refreshed headline and title sequence for the BBC News Channel from the 9am news on 15th July 2019.

BBC News Channel (Coming Up) - 2019

A refreshed 'coming up' menu for the BBC News Channel, now using the Reith font.

BBC Breakfast (Opening) - 2019

With Reith having launched on the news channel at 9am on the 15th, Breakfast didn't receive its refresh in the new font until the following morning. From the 16th July 2019, fonts were changed over to the new style on graphics, although the overall style of the titles remained unchanged.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2020

To mark the Thursday 8pm Clap For Our Carers across the UK, which started during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to give thanks to Key Workers, the BBC replaced the regular countdown with footage cut together of people clapping throughout the country. This was refreshed and changed each week, as well as giving it a long and extended playout in the junction.

BBC News (Filler Loop) - 2020

For BBC News Channel junctions which cannot be timed to fill with trailers and the regular countdown, or which sit off the top of the hour (both of these often the case with short notice simulcasts joining BBC One) a version of the 'countdown' without any actual count overlaid exists. The footage and music in this can be looped for extended periods of time and just faded out when needed, allowing them to fill any length of gap until they can join a bulletin. Here being used for nearly 2 minutes ahead of a news special on October 31st 2020.

BBC News (Countdown - Sombre) - 2021

A more solemn version of the BBC News Countdown. Used here ever so slightly past the top of the hour to lead into a news simulcast around 11.02am on the day of HRH Prince Philip's funeral, 17th April 2021.

BBC News (Countdown - Sombre) - 2021

A longer playout of the BBC News Channel sombre countdown from the noon junction on April 17th 2021.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2022

A mix of older and newer clips feature in this evening countdown for the news channel from 2022.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2022

Scenes from the BBC's coverage of the war in Ukraine features in this BBC News Countdown from March 2022.

BBC News Channel (April 2022 Refresh)

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2022

On April 25th, an interim refresh was made to the BBC News output to introduce the newly styled BBC blocks logo. One of the refreshed countdown sequences used from that date.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2022

The refreshed Ukraine variation of the BBC News countdown, used after April 2022.

BBC News Channel (Headlines) - 2022

The refreshed headline sequence as used from April 2022, now featuring the new BBC logo on both the opening titles and ticker. The particular headlines here date from the day of Boris Johnson's resignation on July 7th 2022, with coverage being presented on location rather than in the studio.

BBC News (Queen Announcement) - 2022

Following news of declining health earlier in the day, BBC One and the BBC News channels were already broadcasting coverage around The Queen on 8th September 2022. When the official announcement of her death was released at 6.30pm, the news was very briefly announced by Huw Edwards before they brought up a slide to allow a consistent join point for all BBC channels globally. Continuity over this slide continued to be provided by Huw, before the always dreaded 'This is BBC News From London' announcement began.

BBC News Channel (Sombre Queen Countdown) - 2022

In mid September, about a week after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the sombre version of the BBC News Countdown was updated. Using scenes that had aired throughout the previous week, set to the sombre remix of the music.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2023

In April 2023, following a month of 'soft' trials, the BBC News Channel in its original form was replaced by a single channel showing a rebranded version of the international BBC World channel with a small number of UK optouts for large stories. As part of this, both channels were rebranded as 'BBC News' with a clunky rollout of the Chameleon graphics. The same countdown sequences continued to be used just now with refreshed graphics overlaid.

BBC News Channel (Countdown) - 2023

Another variation of the BBC News Channel countdown from after the 2023 refresh and merger.



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