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 (Water) - 1991

One of the original launch batch of 2 idents in February 1991, Water features the 2 logo sitting in water at a 45 degree angle. A subtle variation of this one also existed, where water reflections could be seen on the 2 itself.

BBC2 (Paint) - 1991

One of the launch set of idents for the 1991 BBC2 rebrand in which teal coloured paint falls sideways across a large 2. This particular one would survive through the 1997 rebrand.

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 (Slide) - 1991

The next slide style for BBC2 introduced with the '2' rebrand of 1991. Here being used to mention shows elsewhere in the schedule (or not at all in the first case), as well as giving a chance to see the variation in placement of the 2 logo in the top left from one slide to the next.

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!

BBC2 (Balloon) - 1995

One of the simpler idents from this era, the two is formed from a floating silver balloon. This particular one didn't survive the 1997 rebrand, possibly due to the launch of a more prominent balloon as the signature image over on BBC One.

BBC2 (Closedown) - 1995

At just after 1.30 in the morning, Matthew Jackson closes down BBC2 for the night in 1995. After the clock, the Diary ident makes an appearance.

BBC2 (Promo) - 1995

A ten-pin-bowling themed 2 makes up the trailer style here for BBC2 in 1995, with all clips from shows themselves unusually being shown in a frame rather than fullscreen.

BBC2 (Diary) - 1996

2-shaped pages peel away from the background for this ident. Although this one initially survived the BBC corporate logo changeover in 1997, it didn't last right through until the end of the set in 2001.

BBC2 (Car) - 1996

The much rarer seen variant of the BBC2 Car ident. Two versions of this were first introduced in 1993, with the more commonly used one featuring the remote controlled toy car appearing from the left hand side of the screen, whereas this variant has it appear from the right. This ident (or at least the left hand version) would survive the 1997 rebrand.

BBC2 (Closedown) - 1996

Michaela Saunders closes down BBC2 for the night in 1996. Featuring the fading out clock, before going in to a long playout of Optics to finish off the night.

BBC2 (Affairs To Remember) - 1996

A logoless-copy of Shadow leading into a special afternoon movie strand on BBC2 from 1996, titled 'Affairs To Remember', with a large animated heart. Brand commissioners at ITV were rumoured to be a big fan of this segment!

BBC Two (1997-2001)

BBC2 1997 - Dog

When the corporate rebrand came to the BBC in 1997, the money spent on the corporation-wide update and of filming all new sequences for BBC One didn't leave a lot left for BBC Two. So many of the existing filmed '2's were repurposed, albeit with some different cropping for widescreen and the new BBC TWO text overlaid at the bottom, but with some additional idents created to increase the size of the set. First introduced in 1993, the fluffy dog was one of the idents to survive the mini rebrand. Clip recorded here 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 (Aerial) - 1998

One of several new additions to the BBC Two set in 1997, this time around the 2 logo is represented by a fuzzy television with an aerial being tuned in.

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.

BBC Two (Time Season Promo) - 1999

A trailer for BBC Two's 'Time Season'. Part of the BBC's Millennium celebrations kicking off in 1999, thus complete with the special Millennium branding that was applied throughout the countdown year.

BBC Two (Kebab) - 2000

Introduced in 2000, in this ident the 2 is formed of a large piece of kebab meat, set against flames. Used here to logically lead into a programme about food.

BBC Two (Powder) - 2000

Another of the early '2' idents from 1992, which was kept after the 1997 BBC rebrand. A large 2 is dropped into powder.

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, although there was a lighter variant as well. These were to be the last new regular idents created in this look, excepting the Christmas 2000 one.

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...

BBC Two (Excalibur) - 2001

In another ident from the 'final' batch of this era, the 2 shape emerges from water positioned sideways.

BBC Two (Water) - 2001

One of the original batch of 1991 idents, still going strong in 2001. Albeit with some minor graphical updates to bring it into line with the newer era.

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!).

BBC Two (Comedy Promo) - 2001

A general promo for Monday Comedy on BBC Two from 2001, using the tagline 'Save it for Mondays'.

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!)

BBC Two (Natural History Night) - 1/1/2000

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Slide) - 2000

On the very first evening of 2000, BBC Two dedicated their evening to a themed 'Natural History Night', with links to shows introduced by David Attenborough. Idents consisted of the lesser-seen Gorilla ident, alongside 'compass' themed graphics and programme titles. Here a next slide with continuity from the evening, using the compass theming.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Gorilla) - 2000

One of the Gorilla BBC Two idents get an airing into this junction. In this variant, the gorilla stands the yellow 2 upright, before wandering off.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Sting) - 2000

Introducing a show on Natural History Night in 2000 comes a short graphical title sting using the compass device. Each variant was themed around the type of programme set to follow. This time an appropriate watery theme as they lead in to a water-based documentary - but first a word from David Attenborough.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - ECP) - 2000

A slide with the compass theme makes an appearance as an ECP for Natural History Nights, from a time before ECPs were commonplace on the adult BBC channels.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Gorilla 2) - 2000

In the second Gorilla ident, used here on Natural History Night in 2000, the Gorilla predictably knocks over the yellow 2.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Sting) - 2000

Another sting from Natural History Night in 2000 to lead in to special commentary from Attenborough. Using the compass theme again, but this time mixed in with leafy imagery.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - ECP) - 2000

Another ECP from Natural History Night (2000) on BBC Two, using more compass themed graphics.

BBC Two (Natural History Night - Sting) - 2000

Snow is added to another compass themed sting for Natural History Night on BBC Two in January 2000.



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