BBC One (Pre 2002)

BBC1 is the oldest channel in Britain, albeit not originally named as such until the launch of their second channel some 3 decades later. Launched in 1936, it expanded upon the corporation's previous radio only presence, continuing to be funded by the payment of a licence fee, into the brave new world of television for the first time. Over the years that have followed, it has continued to be the most watched television channel, ahead of it's biggest commercial rival ITV.

BBC1 (1981-1997)


BBC1 1981

The BBC's famous mirror globe ident was in use for several years, with variations to the writing underneath. The entire ident was mechanical, created using an actual mirror and a lit rotating globe.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1983

All the colours of the rainbow as we run down Sunday evening shows on BBC1. A promo here from February 1983, back when Last of the Summer Wine was still only the young age of 10.


BBC1 (Slide) - 1983

A static slide with continuity for BBC1 from 1983. Slides like this were used to briefly promote shows either coming up next, or somewhere completely different in the schedule. In this case highlighting a film coming up tomorrow morning on the channel.


BBC1 1985 (The COW Globe)

This ident, more commonly referred to as the COW globe due to the fact it was computer-generated, was introduced in 1985, and remained in use until early 1991. It continued the use of the globe symbol which had become well associated with BBC1 by this point, but brought it up to date with a world moving towards computer graphics at that time. This example dates from 1990.


BBC1 Closedown 1985

...And here is the shutdown for the BBC from the COW era, showing both the clock, and globe.


BBC1 1988 (Subtitled)

A variation on the COW ident, this time with the word 'subtitles' added underneath.


BBC1 (Slide) - 1986

The promotional slide style from early in the COW globe era on BBC1. Here being used to promote a show on the following week on the channel.


BBC1 (Slide) - 1986

The following year in the COW globe era, and slides for BBC1 are looking somewhat sharper as computer use grows. Here BBC2 continuity provide detail on what's on their big sister channel.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1987

An unbranded BBC1 promo taking a look at what is coming up on Sportsnight in 1987.


BBC1 (Transmitter Slide) - 1987

A brief break from the usual announcements to bring an update on transmitter problems on BBC1 in 1987 over a static slide. Though really it's just to tell you there's nothing anyone can do, so leave it alone!


BBC1 (Daytime Next) - 1988

Continuity over a specially daytime-branded next slide from BBC1 from the late 1980s.


BBC1 (Closedown) - 1989

Nearly 1am on 28th June 1989, and a closedown over the COW globe heralds the end of another day of programming on BBC One. A rather brief and to the point message compared to some, with no namecheck.


BBC1 (Closedown) - 1989

Peter Bolgar closes down BBC1 at the end of another day in August 1989, over the COW globe.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1989

Heading into Autumn 1989 on BBC1, with an example of the trailer style for the season. Making heavy use of the COW globe from various angles throughout, the trailer here promotes the start of the second and final series of 'First of The Summer Wine' - the less successful prequel series to Last of The Summer Wine.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1990

Another season and another trailer style for BBC One, giving us a rundown of a Friday evening in October 1990.


BBC1 (Menu & Closedown) - Christmas 1990

Closing down in the early hours of December 24th 1990, but first a menu for the shows in primetime for Christmas Eve and a brief weather forecast. Although with much of the Christmas Pres still waiting to go live later that day on BBC1, you could easily have missed it was so close to Christmas had they not told you!


BBC1 1991

On February 16th 1991, BBC brought in this new package, still sticking with the globe, but using much more advanced computer graphics in the background, and now played off laserdisc.


BBC1 (Promo - Pre Rebrand) - 1991

Two promos spanning the 1991 Lambie Nairn rebrand. The same visual style is used in and out of the trailer, but with the fonts and BBC1 logo changed as appropriate after the 16th. Firstly from 14th February, a trailer still in the old look.


BBC1 (Promo - Post Rebrand) - 1991

The second of two trailers, this time from 3 days later on the other side of the 1991 rebrand. The surreal art style at the start and end of the trailer is near identical. The only changes are some slight re-framing of the end footage, updated font usage and addition of the new '1' logo. A verbal reference is also made to 'your new look BBC1' - probably a reference to both the changed visuals and a fresh schedule.


BBC1 (Info Slide) - 1991

From early into the 1991 look, an example of the slides on BBC1 being used to put out information, in this case an address to write to for even more information. From those days before they could just direct you to a website.


BBC1 (Promo - With Stereo) - 1991

Broadcast just days before the official launch of NICAM Stereo on BBC1 on August 31st, a trailer for a BBC1 show with the addition of a 'Stereo Where Available' label.


BBC1 (Menu) - 1991

From 20th June 1991, Jane Westrop provides a rundown of primetime shows and the out-of-vision weather for later that day, shortly before closedown in the early hours.


BBC1 (Closedown) - 1991

In the early hours of June 20th 1991, Jane Westrop closes down BBC1 at the end of another day of programmes. Featuring the initial 'larger' version of the BBC1 clock.


BBC1 (Olympics Promo) - 1992

Presented here in stereo, a trailer for the 1992 Winter Olympics on BBC1. Showing stylised graphics as part of the theme.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1992

Promoting 'Television's Greatest Hits' of 1980 on BBC1 in 1992. With both a 'BBC TV' and a decidedly more 90s ITN logo.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1993

In another of the many short stings produced for the channel promos, a science themed '1' is attached to this BBC1 promo from late 1993.


BBC Select - 1993

A long version of the BBC Select holding loop from overnight in 1993. BBC Select was a relatively shortlived subscription service from the BBC broadcasting an encrypted overnights from 1992-1995. The service was aimed at professionals mostly in the nursing and teaching sector, and required the use of a special Videocrypt-S decoder to watch most programming.


BBC1 (Promo) - 1994

With the main BBC1 ident being a fairly plain affair, promos were heavily used to add more life to the '1' symbol throughout the 90s, with the opening and closing animations being frequently changed to keep the branding fresh. Here the '1' is featured in an armoured case.


BBC1 Closedown 1995

A complete version of the BBC1 shutdown from the mid 90s, showing the clock, playing 'God Save The Queen', then fading to black. After 30 seconds the testcard then comes on with accompanying tone. Featuring a later smaller version of the BBC1 clock.


BBC1 - 1996

1996 with the globe, and we have subtitles on page 888 this time round too. Also noteworthy is the transmission date of December 18th. It almost seems hard to believe now that there was once a time when the Christmas ident for BBC1 wouldn't actually appear until Christmas Eve!


BBC1 (Slide) - 1996

A static slide with voiceover announcement to promote a guest on a show the following day. A young faced leader of a political party appears - We'll surely never see that guy again though!


BBC One (1997-29/3/2002)


BBC1 1997 (The Balloons)

In 1997, the BBC underwent a largescale revamp of their corporate identity, with the expectation this would be the last one corporation-wide for many years. The signature 'BBC' letters became square blocks, rather than the slanted ones that had been in use in various forms for many years before. Coinciding with the logo change, instead of the plain computer generated globes, the live action BBC One balloon was introduced to the flagship channel. Initially filmed over a large number of locations across all nations, it was the first time the BBC had experimented with a large number of idents for their main channel and made later additions to the set as time went on, albeit usually using computer generated scenes in later addons. Idents received minor graphical tweaks over the years they were on the air, changing subtitle labeling, and adding the corporation's web address. An example from 2001 here.


BBC One (Scotland - Forth Bridge) - 1998

The introduction of digital in 1998 gave viewers the chance to see more of the scenic landscape in the idents. Occasionally they were fed out in 16:9 letterbox on analogue usually leading into films on the channel, of which this is an example set in Scotland.


BBC One (Scotland - Forth Bridge 2) - 1999

Another ident featuring Forth Bridge in Scotland, with both the balloon and the bridge being shot from further away this time round.


BBC One - 1998

Another of the Balloon globe idents for BBC One, this time shot very close up to the balloon.


BBC One (NI Water) - 1998

When your balloon breaks down over Northern Ireland waters, and you need a boat to give you a tow!


BBC One (Sting) - 1998

A short sting from the BBC One Balloons era, featuring more shots of the iconic hot air balloon over the British countryside.


BBC One (Promo) - 1998

Still in the early years of life after the major 1997 rebrand for the BBC, and trailers on BBC One were still heavily on-brand in their original and clean Lambie-Nairn text-only look.


BBC One - 1998

Another BBC One balloon, this time ditching the countryside for a more suburban setting.


BBC - Perfect Day - Christmas 1998

Originally produced in 1997, the Perfect Day film was put together to celebrate the diverse range of music produced by the BBC under their licence fee charter. A whole host of musical personalities appeared for only a minimal fee to take turns covering Lou Reed's song. The film was so popular that is resulted in a charity release for Children In Need, and continued to be shown for a considerable time afterwards - this slightly wintery version airing coming in during Christmas 1998. Several of those featured have passed away in the years since, including Lou Reed himself, however to this day the film remains one of the corporation's better remembered short pieces.


BBC One (Scotland Lake) - 1999

One of the original launch set of balloon idents, with the balloon actually filmed on location in Scotland, not digitally inserted later.


BBC One Scotland (Lake) - 2000

The same Scottish ident, as it actually appeared when broadcast in Scotland. The main difference being the addition of the nation identifier underneath the main BBC One logo.


BBC One (Scotland - Eilean Donan) - 1999

Filmed in Scotland once more, this time Eilean Donan Castle features under the balloon.


BBC One (Northern Ireland) - 1999

Another balloon ident from the launch set, this time filmed in Northern Ireland.


BBC One (Welsh Mountain) - 1999

Another balloon ident filmed in Wales, featuring a close up shot of the balloon rising by Snowdon.


BBC One (Blackpool) - 1999

A copy of a balloon ident from 1999, this time pictured with Blackpool Tower. This wasn't part of the initial launch batch, but was a later addition where the balloon was added digitally to footage of the tower. In 1999, the web address was not present on the idents and, despite digital television having been launched the previous year, subtitles were still marked with '888' in the corner rather than the more platform neutral 'subtitles' legend they would swap to later.


BBC One - 1999

Another close up balloon shot, showing it appearing above treetops.


BBC One - 1999

From a close up to a distant shot in another BBC One balloon ident. Here being used into a news flash in March 1999.


BBC One - 1999

The BBC One balloon rises through clouds in another ident from 1999.


BBC One (Clock) - 2000

The final version of the network clock on BBC One from the balloons era, prior to it being dropped with the 2002 rebrand.


BBC One (England - London) - 2000

Another English BBC One balloon ident from 2000, this time based in filmed around London.


BBC One (Schedule Changes) - 12/9/2001

After the events of September the 11th 2001, the major networks were thrown into scheduling chaos, as programme listings had to be hastily adapted to allow for the rapidly unfolding news coverage. As such, rather than the usual elaborate promos, both the BBC and ITV produced timetables for the continuity announcers to read out over static menus. This is the amended schedule from the 12th September on BBC1.


BBC One (Blue Planet Balloon) - 2001

Here we have a special balloon ident, introduced shortly before the BBC's groundbreaking wildlife series 'The Blue Planet' went to air.


BBC One (Walking With Beasts Balloon) - 2001

And then another special balloon ident, for another sort-of wildlife program. This time 'Walking with Beasts'.


BBC One - 2001

Another BBC One balloon ident, this time from later in the balloons era after the addition of the website URL. Being used here into the 10pm news, incase anyone ever needed a reminder that they didn't always use the clock.


BBC One (Promo) - 2001

Special "Extreme Sunday" branding features in this BBC One promo from 2001.


BBC One (EastEnders Night To Remember) - 2001

To mark EastEnders going 4 times a week with the addition of a fourth episode from 10th August 2001, that evening's schedule was given over to a celebration of the soap under the tagline 'The Night To Remember'. Between themed programming, BBC One branded films featuring the cast talking about their times on the show aired. Here various stars reminisce about their first days on The Square.


BBC One (EastEnders Night To Remember) - 2001

Another BBC One junction filler from the first night of EastEnders Friday episode, on 10th August 2001. In this shorter film, stars give the viewers a little backstage talk from a gala party event put on to mark the occasion,


BBC One (EastEnders Promo) - 2001

A short BBC One promo from 2001 advertising the new Friday night episode of EastEnders.


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