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Home of the spinning globe, BBC1 has used the world as an ident symbol since it was born in 1964. The 1997 Balloon stretches this a little, but the idea is the same.

The Black and White Years

The BBC Television Service (or BBC tv as it was then known) became BBC1 when BBC2 was launched in April 1964. This section covers BBC1 symbols from then until the introduction of colour in November 1969.

The Mechanical Age

The curved mirror globe underwent numerous colour and caption changes but the basic design stayed the same through the seventies and in to the eighties. This section remembers the globes and clocks of this period.

The Virtual Age

The old style mechanical globe eventually gave way to the progress of technology, as BBC1 introduced computer generated symbols. This section covers the 1985 computer generated globe and clock, and the 1991 laser playout symbol.

The Balloons

It's big, it's bold, it's orange. 47 balloons fly over 10 locations in this balloon ride around Britain.

The Ben Elton Balloons

The 1998 Ben Elton Show started off each programme with a spoof balloon, the full set is revealed here.


Recommended Links
A more extensive collection of BBC One idents can be found at the TV Room including the post-baloon idents.

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Last Update 29 Mar 2000