History of the BBC's Idents

Pages: 5 (1805 words) Published: June 1, 2010
For this assignment I will be talking about the history of the BBC’s idents throughout the years since the channel was first broadcasted and also why they changed.

Station identification is the practice of radio or television stations or networks identifying themselves on air, typically by means of a call sign or brand name (sometimes known, particularly in the United States, as a "sounder" or "stinger", more generally as a station or network ident). Over-the-air (OTA) transmitters may be required by a governmental licensing authority to identify themselves at regular intervals; this requirement can apply to any form of transmission over the radio spectrum by any means, not merely mass-media audio or video broadcasters. Non-OTA broadcasters, such as cable or pay TV networks, may also practice regular identification as a form of branding.

History of the BBC ONE Idents
Since the launch of the channel in 1964, BBC ONE has seen nine different incarnations of the on-screen identity. 1964 - The first ident was a continuation of the BBC-tv ident of 1963. It featured the globe on a white background. The original ident had a BBC-tv logo. This was changed to just BBC when the channel was launched. 1966 - While the BBC 1 ident symbol remained, a "watch-strap" globe was introduced in 1964, showing the globe in the middle of a striped band. In 1968, the channel converted to colour - the globe and BBC 1 logo remained. 1969 - The first colour ident was introduced. A blue and black mechanical globe rotated while a curved mirror placed behind made up the famous image. 1972 - The globe and colour scheme remained the same, but a rounder, italic font was used for the ident introduced in 1972. 1978 - A new blue and yellow globe was introduced. The colour was added using electronics and a new big bold font was introduced. 1981 - A colour change was made to the globe - yellow became green. The caption also changed to a double line version (similar to the BBC 2 logo of the time). 1985 - The new rotating gold and blue BBC 1 globe was introduced. Called COW, for Computer Originated World, it was the first time that BBC 1 had abandoned mechanical models and still slides and used a completely computer generated image. 1991 - The COW globe was replaced with a new on-screen image designed by Lambie-Nairn (who worked on the Nine O’Clock News ident). The design was a swirling world of shadows and reflections. 1997 - The new style BBC ONE ident and logo was dominated by the red and yellow globe balloon. The balloon was filmed flying over 10 different British locations.

BBC ONE today (Tuesday 26 March) unveiled a new, energetic and vibrant on-screen look which puts it firmly in step with contemporary life.

The new channel idents explore the universal theme of rhythm, dance and movement through different activities, moods and world cultures. From the power and grace of a Brazilian dance to the raw energy of a festival, from the high elegance of ballet to the speed and agility of basketball players, the idents bring a new feel to BBC ONE.

Shot on location around the UK, the films capture stunning urban and rural backdrops and subtly use red, the channel’s vibrant colour identity, to match a new on screen logo. The films will also have a common musical theme, but each individual ident will have its own arrangement of the theme to reflect the specific idents.

The original BBC Television Service launched in November 1936 and was taken off the air at the outbreak of war in September 1939, returning in June 1946. As the only public television service in Britain, and initially in the world, there was no need for a station ident in the early days. However, with the imminent arrival of commercial television in Britain, 2 December 1953 saw the arrival of the first ident, nicknamed the 'Bat's Wings'. This was an elaborate mechanical contraption constructed by Abram Games, which featured a tiny spinning globe in the centre,...
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