Channel 4 1982-2004

Channel 4 was launched on November 2nd 1982, over 20 years after the launch of the first independent television station and designed to produce programming with an alternative remit. Initially the channel was funded by advertising sold by the same ITV regions, thus the ability to play out regional content was technically possible (albeit little used outside of Schools Programming in the late 80s), however this all changed in 1993 when Channel 4 gained full independence to sell their own advertising, adopting a cut down set of macro regions for adverts instead. They broadcast to all of the UK since the introduction of digital services. During the analogue days, Wales was covered by a by a special version of S4C instead which included a mix of programmes timeshifted from Channel 4 mixed in with their Welsh languages shows. In more recent years Channel 4 have diversified launched various channels on digital.

Channel 4 Blocks (1982-1996)

Channel 4 1982

Probably the most famous of all Channel 4's idents. A series of coloured blocks join together to make up a 4. They kept it for over 13 years with minor tweaks to audio, before finally abandoning it in 1996. This version is from 1991, and has the original soundtrack. Thanks to James Hadfield for this.

Channel 4 - WorldWise 1986

A totally different formation for the blocks ident, this time with what looks like hundreds of tiny pieces making the '4'. This clip also includes an additional 'World Wise' ident, for a special Channel 4 season in 1986. Clip courtesy of Iam Burn.

Channel 4 (Promo) - 1988

A hand animated art style features as part of Channel 4's trailer style from 1988. Here promoting Go Fishing (not hosted by J R Hartley).

Channel 4 Closedown 1989

Channel 4 was rather late on the scene in terms of all night broadcasting. They used to close down for the night, right up until 1996. This file shows the clock and closedown from 1989. Thanks again to James Hadfield.

4-Tel Advert 1989

An interesting ad for Channel 4's Teletext service in the late 80s. Notice the little animated characters, which also appeared overnight when 4-Tel pages were broadcast in vision during closedown. Courtesy of Ashley B.

Channel 4 (American Football) - 1989

Continuity over a static slide from Channel 4, before launching into a special version of the ident for American Football showings. Although the Fourscore notes still plays, it does so over a completely static rendering of the blocks shaped as a player. Some simple breath added at the very end provides the only limited animation.

Channel 4 - 1990

Another variation of the famous coloured blocks ident for Channel 4, complete with the original Fourscore notes. This time the blocks break apart and spin round, before reforming the 4.

Channel 4 (Cinema From 3 Continents) - 1990

Cinema From 3 Continents was a special set of branding used to lead into foreign language films on Channel 4. Dating here from 1990 and highlighting a movie from Peru.

Channel 4 - 1991

An alternative string section of the Fourscore track used over the blocks ident here - with the audio actually starting before the preceding trailer has faded out. Additionally featuring the Stereo legend, which was commonly highlighted onscreen by all broadcasters in the early years of NICAM broadcasting.

Channel 4 Closedown 1991

Another closedown from Channel 4, with thanks to Ashley for the clip.

Channel 4 Closedown - Xmas 1991

A slight bit of festive decoration adorns this shutdown from Christmas 1990. Clip courtesy of Vincent Lo.

Channel 4 - Fourmations - 1993

A special ident for a strand known as 'Fourmations'. It was used before a series of short arty animations in 1993. Clip thanks to Iam Burn.

Channel 4 1995

This version is from 1995, and has a different soundtrack to the one introduced in 1982, as Channel 4 changed their music, but not their graphics in the early nineties.

Channel 4 1995 V2

An alternative version of the Coloured Blocks ident. The Blocks join together differently. This also has the 90's remix of the music.

Channel 4 1995 V3

A third block form up, once again with the new audio track. Thanks to Ashley B for this clip.

Channel 4 Closedown - 1995

The blocks ident may not have changed much visually by the middle of the 90s, but the clock certainly has. This closedown from December 1995 shows both the updated version of the clock, and the blocks with their new audio track.

Channel 4 Connections (1996-1999)

Channel 4 1996

When they finally replaced the coloured blocks, they came up with Connections. 4 circles, in different arrangements, one of which contained the 4. However it proved to be nowhere near as popular as the blocks. Nobody was interested in shots of a man washing his car, or people in a kitchen. Just a shame Channel 5 didn't learn from this mistake!

Channel 4 Christmas 1996

A Christmas 1996 version of the Connections ident. This is better than the normal ones, in my opinion, especially in its use of sound.

Channel 4 1998

Another of the connections idents - This time with a man washing his car! WOW!!

Channel 4 (City - Brown) - 1998

From late 1998, and the 4 circles drop in to view immediately rather than having a segment of unblurred video first.

Channel 4 (City - Turquoise) - 1998

Another city scene, albeit once again mostly seen out of focus as the 4 circles of connections appear immediately without any short video formup.

Channel 4 (Next) - 1998

A next slide from the Connections era on Channel 4, here promoting a change in the schedule.

Channel 4 Lines (1999-2005)

Channel 4 (Red/Yellow) - 1999

Introduced in 1999, the next evolution for Channel 4's presentation involved placing the 4 logo in a right aligned white box, while coloured vertical lines scroll past in the background at differing speeds. Most commonly these would feature colour only, but it also allowed mixing in of background video footage. Red and Yellow are mixed together in this ident.

Channel 4 (Red/Traffic) - 1999

Red bars for this Channel 4 ident, mixed in with blurred shots of car headlights.

Channel 4 (South Park) - 1999

Based around the South Park series which was airing on Channel 4 at the time, one of several programme-themed additions to the coloured lines presentation package from 1999. Used here with continuity before the break to let you know the show is up next.

Channel 4 (Frasier) - 1999

More programme themed lines presentation. Kelsey Grammer, in his Frasier role, talks about his obsession with the number 4. Conveniently, it's also the next show on Channel 4.

Channel 4 (Blue Green) - 1999

Another of the lines idents for Channel 4, this time set in a bluey-green shade.

Channel 4 (4Later) - 1999

4Later was introduced as Channel 4's overnight strand for a time, after overnight closedowns were dropped, featuring the usual filler mix of cheap imports and low budget movies to fill those dead hours. Presentation during this segment featured a very different ident style to the rest of the day's presentation.

Channel 4 (Purple) - 1999

Revised soundtracks, and some different variations on the lines which included new ways for the Channel 4 logo to animate onscreen were introduced in a small refresh late in 1999. A purple variant here.

Channel 4 (Turquoise) - 2000

As transmitted on the first day of the brand new millennium for Channel 4, a turquoise version here, with an added water feature.

Channel 4 Daytime 2001

While the usual idents featured more use of the bright colours, daytime variants leaned towards the use of live action footage mixed in with the bars. An example from 2001, with the Channel 4 web address now added to the ident.

Channel 4 Xmas 2000-2003

One of the Christmas versions of Channel 4's idents. Despite tweaks and updates to the normal idents, the same Christmas idents from 2000 were dug out again for 2001, 2002 and 2003 with 2004's idents being left completely unfestive presumably due to the impending relaunch a week later. Nice to see C4 putting a massive budget into Christmas Decoration anyway.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Water)

At the start of January 2002, Channel 4 unveiled some new idents. They still followed the lines theme, only this time it was tweaked with more of a live-action look. This version for example shows the logo in water.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Coloured Light)

Another 2002 ident, this time using bars of coloured light.

Channel 4 - 2002 (White Light)

A third new ident, this time using white lights(the 4 logo can also be seen to flicker like a light). Myself, I think this looks more like a Video Machine tuning signal.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Clouds)

A nice ident, showing the sky, with clouds making up the bars(well, its actually those aeroplane vapour trails, but never mind). My favourite of the new batch.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Film)

Shimmering spotlights make up the lines on this ident, usually used to lead into films. Thanks to Ashley for the clip.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Brookside)

A special ident, probably introduced prior to 2002, designed for showing before Brookside.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Menu)

On Channel 4 these days, it has become common practice to include a now and next menu over the ident, usually in Primetime. This shows one of these menus, over what looks to be a fifth new ident based around a heartbeat theme!

Channel 4 - 2002 (Sport)

Another special ident, used before sports programming. Clip courtesy of Ashley B.

Channel 4 - 2002 (Kids A)

One of a rarely seen collection of idents. Channel 4 had a weird set featuring a cartoon character, which were shown before the early morning cartoons (hence the reason few people have seen them!).

Channel 4 - Xmas 2002 (Dinosaur)

Despite the general lack of investment in new idents for Christmas 2002, Channel 4 did produce these special dinosaur versions to go before their programme 'Dinotopia'. Thanks to Ashley B for the clip.



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