BBC Two (1991-2001)


~ BBC Two (1991-2001) ~

In 1991 a new set of idents designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn were introduced on BBC2, showing the return of the numerical '2'. Instantly becoming well loved, many of the original batch of idents lasted right through until November 2001, surviving the corporate change in 1997 with little more than a change to the BBC identifier underneath, and some adjustments to accommodate widescreen. Many were sad to see them finally retired in 2001...

... at least until they returned again with minor amends in 2014!

BBC2 (1991-1997)

BBC2 1991 - Optics

This variant, introduced a little later than the first batch, features a two made up of fibre optics (clip dates from 1994).

BBC2 1991 - Copper Cutout

Known to the world as Copper Cutout, though I've never really understood why. From the original batch, basically its just the '2' with sparks coming off it. The clip itself dates from around 1994.

BBC2 1991 - Silk

The '2' underneath what looks like a sheet of silk, from 1994.

BBC2 - Screen 2 - 1993

A special 'Screen 2' ident. Screen 2 was a strand for some films on BBC2, in a sort-of similar vein to the idea of Filmfour on Channel 4. Didn't prove anywhere near as successful though! Clip courtesy of Iam Burn.

BBC2 Closedown - 1995

A shutdown from BBC2 in 1995. It gives us a rare glimpse of the BBC2 clock, which did survive the corporate logo change in 1997, but was very rarely seen afterwards. Thanks to James Hadfield for the clip.

BBC Two (1997-2001)

BBC2 1997 - Dog

When the corporate name change came, although BBC1 had new idents, they must have decided they couldn't top their '91 idea, and stuck with the same BBC2 idents (either that, or they simply didn't have enough spare cash). The only change to existing idents was that the font underneath the 2 was changed. Originally the web address wasn't present, as that was added later. They did, however, introduce a few new idents. This one, not one of the newly introduced ones, is the Dog version, which survived the corporate change. Clip recorded in 2001.

BBC2 1997 - Blade

This example shows one of the idents which had came in the first batch in '91, and survived over the corporate logo change. From 2001 again hence the addition of the web address.

BBC2 1997 - Blue Light

This is another of the original idents, which survived the change.

BBC2 1997 - Fly

In this variant of the 2 ident, a fly meets with an untimely death!

BBC2 1997 - Paint Tin

"When a mommy paint ident and a daddy paint ident love each other very much..." In this one, lots of tiny 2's hit a paint tin. For many years a shot from this ident was also used as the basis for the channel breakdown slide.

BBC Two (Blade) - 1999

A copy of Blade from 1999, devoid of the BBC web address and still using the '888' legend rather than the more platform-neutral 'subtitles' one they would later swap to.

BBC2 2001 - Waves

Around the turn of the millenium, a few new idents were added to BBC2's wide selection. One of these was the waves version. This example is the dark version (possibly for night time?), although there is a lighter version as well. These were to be the last new idents created in the look (besides the Xmas 2000 version!)

BBC2 2001 - Woodpecker

Another from the last batch. This time showing the Two on Springs, sliding down poles. Perhaps designed to represent a woodpecker, or is that particular arrangement of notes just coincidental...

BBC2 2001 - Excalibur

Another ident from the final batch. I still prefer to call this 'sideways water', but who am I to argue with the common name!

BBC2 2001 - Swans

This shows the swans ident, which was introduced earlier than 2000 actually. The reason it appears here is because it was to be the last ident shown at closedown, before the New look idents came in on the 19th of November 2001. It dates from Sunday the 18th(early morning!).

BBC2 2001 - Last Old Look Ident - Paint

Look your last.... the very final appearance of the old BBC2 idents, showing one of the original batch 'paint' at 12.40am on Monday 19th November. Or it would have been had the BBC been running to schedule that night! And after that, it was gone! (Or... at least for 13 years before the whole package would be reused once more in 2014, but we'll ignore that bit!)

~ Acknowledgements ~