the BEN ELTON show
Each episode of the comedian's 1998 series started with a spoof BBC ONE balloon ident. These actually replaced the normal idents, and were voiced-over live by the BBC ONE continuity announcer.
The ident would then dissolve through to the studio band playing the title music, and an off-stage Ben would read a "witty" introduction as the "BBC ONE" logo transformed into "the BEN ELTON show" (as in the animation above-right). I wonder what Lambie-Nairn made of all that?
|Show 1 - "Police"
"And now, from Television Centre in the heart of London's London, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
No-one tuning in could have been expecting the BBC ONE balloon to be stopped for speeding over Canary Wharf!
TX: 2220 16/4/98, Repeated 2330 18/4/98
|Show 2 - "Castle Animation"
"And now, from Television Centre, at the very centre of television, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
A rather bad bit of flying results in some nasty damage to Grey Abbey.
TX: 2220 23/4/98, Repeated 2330 25/7/98
|Show 3 - "Balloon & Two
"And now, from glamorous Shepherds Bush in the shadow of the glitzy A40, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
A mischievous Blade "2" channel-hops and lands on top of the balloon, before slicing it along its length, and sending it spiralling out of control.
TX : 2225 30/4/98, Repeated 2335 2/5/98
|Show 4 - "Balloon Face Animation"
"And now, from Television Centre, just a short bus ride from London's glamorous West End, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
Not particularly funny this one, just a bit of an ego trip for Mr. Elton. Who else would want to see his face on a hot-air balloon, albeit only in a computer?
TX : 2200 7/5/98, Repeated 2320 9/5/98
Show 5 - "Forth Bridge Animation"
"And now, it's Thursday, it's ten o'clock, unless of course it's Saturday and you're watching the repeat, but either way, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
Probably the most bizarre traffic jam you're ever likely to see, as Scotland's Forth Bridge gets clogged up with balloons. Damn roadworks get everywhere.
TX : 2200 14/5/98, Repeated 0000 16/5/98 (17/5/98)
|Show 6 - Untitled
"Welcome to BBC Television Centre, home of laughter, magic and song. And now, it's The Ben Elton Show!"
Slightly different this week. Starting with one of the short "animations" that appear between trails (and the smaller BBC ONE that accompanies it), we then see the balloon getting a little bit too high. I don't really think it was designed for lunar orbit.
TX : 2200 21/5/98, Repeated 0045 23/5/98 (24/5/98)
|Show 7 - "Airplane"
"Take a song, some laughter, sprinkle on a little bit of stardust and what do you get? It's The Ben Elton Show!"
Quietly hovering over the Thames, the poor balloon is buzzed by a jet from Ben Elton Airways, and gets caught in its slipstream, sending it down towards the river.
TX : 2205 28/5/98, Repeated 0000 30/5/98 (31/5/98)
|Show 8 - Untitled
"And now, for the final time, stop hoovering, stop eating, stop snogging and start giggling, because it's The Ben Elton Show!"
Possibly getting short on ideas (or money), most of the elements from the previous shows converge over a Welsh lake, culminating in a crowded (and noisy) ident.
TX : 2200 4/6/98, Repeated 0025 6/6/98 (7/6/98)
Last Update 29 Mar 2000