Channel 5 became Britains fifth, and last analogue terrestrial TV channel on Sunday March 30th 1997. Despite having an incredible number of ident relaunches in it's relatively short history, they always kept the basic (5) logo, and 5 colours - until September 2002. Then, in an attempt to appear more upmarket, all that went out, and the channel was renamed 'five'. At least for a few years, before being renamed back to Channel 5 later down the line.
Channel 5 Testcard - 1997
In the run up to launch day, Channel 5 ran two test transmissions on all of its new frequencies, in an attempt to see how it would affect video and satellite equipment and, if necessary, re-tune it. The test card message used to repeat twice then the advert below would come on. By the way, I wouldn't recommend ringing the number(god knows what it may lead to now!)
Channel 5 Pre-launch Promo - 1997
This was the other test transmission broadcast before launch. A few seconds are missed off the beginning and end (mainly with the date Sunday March 30th) due to tape issues, but otherwise the whole transmission remains in tact here. Within the last few weeks before launch, a cutdown version of this was shown alongside some of the actual channel promos.
Channel 5 - 1997 (Elevator)
Channel 5 - 1997 (Studio)
Channel 5 - 1997 (Suspended)
Channel 5 - 1997 (Flowers)
Channel 5 - 1998 (Happy New Year)
Up until the 'five' rebrand, Channel 5 were the only station which consistently introduced special idents to welcome in the new year. This example is the first new year that 5 had been broadcasting, 1998, and is a variation on the suspended frame version above. The picture quality isn't great on this, though, as the person who recorded it didn't have wonderful Channel 5 reception (Still better than mine!).
Channel 5 - 2001 (Linford Christie)
In 2000, Channel 5 introduced a selection of idents, featuring celebrities saying something. In this example it is Linford Christie. The celebrity bits were eventually dropped from these, possibly when 5 realised how cheesy they were, or possibly just as it became too costly to keep changing as celebrities moved on. After that change, they left just the logo at the end.
Channel 5 - 2001 (Greed)
Channel 5 - 2002 (Orange)
In 2002, yet another new set of idents came along. It must be said that Channel 5 were certainly keen to keep their on-screen look fresh! Even this set ddint last long though (6 months!!). This time they feature coloured squares, and a nice 5-note jingle. There are different coloured idents, corresponding to some of the signature colours of Channel 5.