BBC One (Pre 2002)

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~ 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. Clip courtesy of James Hadfield.


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. Thanks to James Hadfield for this!!


BBC1 1988 (Subtitled)

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


BBC1 1992

In 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 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.


BBC Select 1992

BBC Select was a largely encrypted service which ran overnight on BBC1, catering to specialist audiences (such as nurses and lawyers). This file features some of Testcard F, and a short section of the holding music used between programmes. Thanks to Iam Burn for this.


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 went for a total revamp of their corporate logo, probably with the expectation this would be the last one for many years. The signature letters B B C were made into squares, rather than the slanted ones that had preceded it and had been in use in various forms for many years before. Coinciding with this, instead of the plain computer generated globes, the BBC 1 balloon was introduced. Filmed on a large number of locations, it was the first time the BBC had experimented with a large number of idents for their flagship channel and continued to be added to over the following years. This variant comes from 2001, after the addition of the website address.


BBC1 1998 (Bridge)

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, of which this is an example.


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 (Blackpool) - 1999

An copy of a balloon ident from 1999, this time pictured with Blackpool 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.


BBC1 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.


BBC1 2001 (Blue Planet Balloon)

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


BBC1 2001 (Walking With Beasts Balloon)

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


~ Acknowledgements ~