Central Independent Television

Central Television, the Midlands ITV station, started out life as Associated Television. One of the original companies on the ITV network, ATV gained the full time license to the Midlands from the 1968 franchise renewal. Following concerns about their commitment to the region, the IBA required the station to take on a more local approach in order to renew the franchise in 1982, and thus the company was restructured to create Central Independent Television. Central would continue to broadcast throughout the 80s and 90s, before being swallowed up by Carlton and eventually ITV plc. Throughout its life, the station became well known for it's graphics, and for it's large contribution to the ITV network schedule, with several long running gameshow series and famous dramas such as Inspector Morse. They would also be responsible for producing the Children's ITV afternoon section of the ITV schedule, until this was moved out with the closure of the Midlands facilities in the mid 2000s.

ATV - 1981

From the precursor to the company that would become Central, the famous ATV eye ran from the introduction of colour to the station through until the franchise was replaced by the new Central Television in 1982.

Central - 1985

Introduced shortly into the life of the new Central station in 1983, one of the early idents for the station featured a moon lighting up with the colours of the rainbow down the left, all set against a black background. This was also used as the frontcap for networked shows, even after it had been replaced locally, until these were dropped from ITV.

Central - 1988

As computer graphics began to arrive to Central in the mid 80s, the Midlands station really began to play with the new technology available to them. A new logo, affectionately known to many as the 'Cake' appeared, now featuring the logo broke into segments. Very convenient and simple blocks to manipulate, over the next decade the pres department seemed to make it their job to come up with as many different ways to animate these as they could think of. In this example, the Central logo and cake spin around each other, before the word 'Central' settles at an angle.

Central (Next) - 1988

A next slide from the station in 1988. Whilst other ITV regions at the time were still using static slides, Central put the same levels of animated creativity into them as their main ident package.

Central (Endcap) - 1988

With frontcaps being dropped from the network, Central were keen to keep their visual identity on the air across the network. So another of their animated idents was repurposed as an animated endcap (until these were also ruled out by the network). In this one, as the camera pans around, coloured spheres drop onto the colourless part of cake to add in the signature Central colours.

Central - Christmas 1987

The Christmas ident for Central in 1987. Unlike their regular 3D rendered efforts, their festive ident for the year takes on a much more traditional hand drawn style. With a small cake still in the centre!

Central (Promo) - Christmas 1987

An example of the Christmas trailer style from Central, using a much less computer-rendered style than they normally preferred.

Central (ITV) - 1989

Central took some elements of the first generic look introduced on September 1st 1989. However being Central, they were quick to put their own spin on things. One of their own inhouse idents was re-edited to include the generic ITV formup animation as a secondary feature, whilst retaining their logo and jingle at the forefround. With this airing dating from October 1989 just over a month after the network look had debuted, and crashing into yet another programme here on the station.

Central (Programme Change) - 1989

Reminding us they had an ident or slide for every occasion, Central lead into another show with dedicated 'Programme Change' presentation in 1989.

Central (Tonight) - 1989

No, not the news. Central use one of the myriad of graphical slides at their disposal to promote a show coming up 'tonight' in 1989.

Central (Promo) - 1989

Highlighting the new Friday episode of Coronation Street in this 1989 promo for Central. This airing dates from Tuesday 17th October, with the first of the thrice weekly episodes to start later that week.

Central (Promo) - 1989

Another 1989 promo for Central with some different visuals at the start and end. This time around promoting Thames show The Bill.

Central (Tonight) - 1989

Another promo from Central, with another variation of the endboard graphics. Promoting one of their own long-running shows for the network here with a trailer for 'Family Fortunes', even to the extent of telling us the families taking part that week. In this case, it's the Pancholi family versus the Baynham family.

Central (Later) - 1990

Promoting a show later on Central, this animated slide was often used in lieu of any ident into a different show.

Central (Promo) - 1990

Always keen to push their own presentation, Central were happily branding up trailers themselves in 1990 rather than just using ITV network branded ones direct from elsewhere. Here promoting 'Coasting' in the days before WordArt would leave that endboard text a big no-no.

Central (Next) - 1990

A purple branded next slide, devoid of any specific 'next' or 'later' references this time round so it can be used to promote multiple shows.

Central (Next) - 1990

Another purple slide from Central, similar but subtly different to the last. This time the Central logo animates differently before fading out completely, and a different soundtrack features. Aditionally the words 'A Central Presentation' are overlaid allowing it to double up as an endcap to the previous show.

Central (Next) - 1991

Another animated next sequence for Central, here promoting Wheel of Fortune after the break.

Central (Summer) - 1993

A special summer 1993 ident from Central, where their famous cake finds itself replaced by an ice cream lolly instead. Though the station's penchant with crashing into the programmes still persists.

Central (Sports) - 1993

Another Central cake ident from 1993, this time tailored for their Sports coverage.

Central (Promo) - 1993

A 1993 Central promo for their own famous satirical show for the network Spitting Image. No Central-branded endboard style is present in this trailer, however there are hints of the station's colours under the ending text.

Central (Drama) - 1995

A new set of cake idents were introduced on Central in 1994, featuring improvements to the computer graphics as well as some tailored for themes of programming. Here a dedicated 'drama' ident for the station, from 1995.

Central - 1995

A cake made up from a stone effect provides a generic use ident for Central in 1995, used here to lead into the news.

Central (Movies) - 1995

A short ident tailored to films on Central, with film canisters making up a background for the cake logo.

Central (Next) - 1995

An orange slide to promote what's coming up next on Central in 1995.

Central (Promo - Movies) - 1995

Lots of abstract cake shots intersperse film clips, in this general advert for films on Central from 1995.

Central (Promo - Documentaries) - 1995

Another general trailer for Central, with more gratuitous cake shots. This time promoting documentaries on the channel under the tagline 'Central is where it's at'.

Central (Promo) - 1995

An actual programme promotion for Central from 1995, here promoting the short-lived series from the mid-nineties 'Moving Story'. A comedy drama which ran for 2 series, centred around a group of removal men.

Central (Sales Advert) - 1995

Central Television promoting advertising with the station for the festive season in August 1995. One of the few places at that point where the name of their now-owners Carlton UK appears.

Carlton Central - 2001

After several years of creeping Carltonisation in the Central region, in 1999 Carlton finally homogenised all their regions under the same Carlton package, albeit still retaining separate playout and continuity. One of several idents from the Carlton Hearts/Star look here, as it appeared in the Central region in 2001. This was shortly after idents had been updated to feature the ITV1 logo rather than just ITV.

Carlton Central - 2001

A shorter version of one of the Carlton star idents without the full formup, meaning there are no traces of hearts to be seen anywhere. In this variant, the holding state uses more formal shades of blue to lead into the late news in the Central region. Seen here from after the tweak from ITV to ITV1, post August 2001.

Carlton Central - 2001

A mid length Carlton hearts ident, this time including a very short formup with the heart element and some musicla notes. Complete here with an incredibly short and generic announcement for their Central region.

Carlton Central (Next) - 2001

An animated next slide from the Carlton Central region in 2001, which had also been updated with the tweaked ITV1 logo. A similar animated-star background to that of the main idents appears on the left of the frame, with a still shot from the upcoming programme shown on the right.



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