Thames/LWT/Carlton

Due to it's size and thus huge potential for revenue, London always maintained a bit of an odd distinction on the ITV network of being the only region to retain a seperate Weekday and Weekend franchise. After the franchise renewal round of 1968, this fell into the hands of Thames Television during the week, formed from previous holders Associated-Rediffusion and ABC. The weekend franchise went to London Weekend Television.

This arrangement was to last throughout the 70s and 80s, with both Thames and LWT becoming major contributors to the network schedule, right through until the controversial franchise renewals in 1991. Although LWT survived, Thames lost their ITV franchise, being replaced by Carlton (with no production credentials but a bigger chequebook) from 1993. Thames continued as an independent producer, and now under the ownership of Fremantle Media ironically still produces some of ITV's biggest shows. LWT was taken over by Granada in 1994 as part of their expansion drive, leaving the weekday and weekend London franchises in the hands of Carlton and Granada until 2002, when both names were subsumed into a single ITV name all week. The Carlton name lasted a little longer outside of London, and on their cinema screen business, before eventually disappearing and falling dormant - the mark being re-registered by a private individual in 2016.

Originally both LWT and Thames Television had their own separate facilities with a hard switch between the sites performed at the weekend. With the arrival of Carlton, they also set up base in the South Bank studios alongside LWT. As a result, The London Studios largely ended up as the home of ITV right up to the closure of the complex in 2018 for redevelopment.

Thames Television (1968-1992)


Thames - 1985

Thames Television's most famous skyline ident consisted of a selection of London landmarks reflected over water. This was to last the station over 20 years and, due to it being so recognisable globally, is still generally applied to all archive material sold by FremantleMedia, even productions dating into the 90s. Here being used as a frontcap for a 1985 production repeated on CITV's Old Skool Weekend, due to the large amount of children's productions Thames had been responsible for.


Thames - Christmas 1991

Initially Thames had used the generic ident supplied to them in 1989, however not long after the loss of their franchise had been announced they switched to using their own creation full time. Here an airing from Boxing Day 1991, with audio sounding subtly different to usual in a variant which seemed to only appear for a few days around Christmas. And a... very.... spaced... out continuity announcement.


Thames (Break) - 1991

The break bumper for Thames from 1991, still throwing back to the generic 1989 look.


Thames (Menu) - Christmas 1991

A Christmas themed menu for shows on Boxing Day night on Thames. Although verbally continuity refers to Thames, onscreen ITV branding is used.


Thames (New Year Promo) - 1991

A New Year's Eve themed promo from Thames Television in 1991, reminding us that Peter Falk did play roles outside of Columbo.


London Weekend Television (1968-2002)


LWT - 1986

The identity for London Weekend for much of its life consisted of the initials LWT made out of Red, White and Blue. Here they were making their mark with the newly available computer graphics software in the mid 80s. One of a few variations on the 'blinds' animations used to form up the letters, this one from 1986 was used here as a frontcap on productions for the network until these were dropped network-wide in 1987.


LWT (Promo) - 1989

A trailer for LWT from 1989, still using their blinds branding at this point. Here promoting the thriller Star Trap.


LWT (Next) - 1989

A next slide from LWT in 1989 promoting News At Ten, although so devoid any of station branding it could have been used anywhere on the network.


LWT - 1993

LWT originally took the generic ITV look in 1989. However a few years later to mark their continuation past the franchise renewal, they decided to replace what had been supplied to them with their own alternative creation. The LWT logo takes centre stage once more alongside a much smaller ITV logo, complete with a punchier remix of the 1989 David Dundas theme.


LWT - 1993

A static version of the 1993 ident, complete with very generic continuity.


LWT (Next) - 1993

A short but attention-grabbing animated slide to promote the next show up on LWT in 1993.


LWT (Break Bumper) - 1993

The break bumper from LWT in 1993. Still heavily borrowing from the generic IT\* look with its use of the triangle device.


LWT (Promo) - 1997

The 1997 promo style for LWT. Here promoting the Stars In Their Eyes Live Final during the week in Carlton's airtime.


LWT - 2002

With the arrival of the 1999 ITV Hearts look, LWT initially took the same idents as the other Granada-owned regions on the network. However a short while later they were allowed a little autonomy, and broke away to create their own 'Videowall' ident. Still featuring throwbacks to the hearts, but with a decidedly more LWT-esque glitz to it. This lasted through to 2002, with only minor tweaks to add things like the ITV1 name and the ITV.com address. LWT stalwart Glen Thompsett provides continuity.


LWT (Next) - 2002

Next slides towards the end were a little less creative than they had been in earlier years for London Weekend, now consisting of a formed up version of the videowall ident with continuity. Glen provides continuity again here.


LWT (Next) - 2002

Another famous LWT voice Trish Bertram provides continuity over this next slide. This time with an additional ITV2 logo present as they cross promote shows on the sister station to ITV1.


Carlton Television (1993-2002)


Carlton (Promo) - 1993

A 1993 Carlton branded promo, with a presentation endboard style matching that of their initial ident set.


Carlton (Slot Machine) - 1997

A new set of idents were introduced to Carlton in 1996, only a year after their last set had appeared. Bold colours continued to be used, but people were gone - replaced with simple animations and text effects centred around the large Carlton logo. Here a slot machine briefly animates the 'Carlton' lettering into place.


Carlton (Sun) - 1997

One of several variations of textual ident where a small sun animates into place in the Carlton logo. This was also one of a small number of idents in the set to feature the word 'LONDON', in an attempt to hammer home the fact they were your ITV station for London.


Carlton (Turquoise) - 1997

Another 'LONDON' ident, this time just with the letters animating right to form CARLTON.


Carlton (Sun) - 1997

Another Sun ident variation from Carlton, from daytime and without the word London this time round.


Carlton (Promo) - 1997

The 1997 promo style for Carlton, here promoting 'Bodyguards'. A small Carlton logo features in the top left, before finishing with an endboard style matching that of the other slides in use by the station. These endboards were available in a variety of colours.


Carlton (Next) - 1997

Next slides for Carlton in this package were available in a range of colours, and all featured a main primary colour with large white text over the top. A yellow version here, promoting Coronation Street.


Carlton (Next) - 1997

A red version of Carlton's next slide, with continuity promoting the ITV Movie Premiere of Accidental Hero.


Carlton (Next) - 1997

A purple next slide from Carlton with continuity promoting daytime show Afternoon Live.


Carlton - 2001

Whilst initially involved with the creation of the ITV Hearts look in 1999, Carlton decided to drop out of the main project and commission their own new look for the regions they owned at that point. The result was the Lambie Nairn creation which included hearts, but made it clear Carlton was the 'star' of the ITV network. Themed around different genres, this set would last through until the end of the Carlton name in London in 2002, being updated like Granada's to include both the ITV.com website and the 'ITV1' brand during their lifetime. Lights make up the hearts in this ident, before ending with a purple endboard.


Carlton - 2001

Hearts splashing, exploding out of fireworks, and finishing with a balloon in this Carlton ident, finishing with an orange endboard.


Acknowledgements

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