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Colour Mechanical 1969 - 1985

The famous mechanical globe was produced with mirrors, one to be precise, specially curved. Essentially the same model was used for sixteen years, with different colours and typefaces. The model was actually filmed in black and white, with the colour added later. This made the changes very easy to achieve.

The first colour globe from 15th November 1969. The mechanical globe rotated and a curved mirror behind made up the famous image.
The first BBC1 colour clock. The markers for the hours got progressively thicker as we move around the clock face.
Same globe, same colour scheme, but a different caption font for this globe introduced in 1972. The colours were presumably chosen for compatibility with black and white, which still made up the majority of television sets. BBC2 made much better use of colour in its ident symbols of the period.
A new globe was introduced in 1978. The globe is actually the same one as before, which was filmed in black and white. The colour was added afterwards using electronics, making this change to yellow relatively easy to achieve. A new big bold font was introduced.
The clock from the same period, using the big bold font again. Same design as before, and most probably the same mechanical model with a new caption placed in front. All of these devices were held in the "noddy" room , with one camera placed in front of an array of clocks, globes and captions. The camera would "nod" from side to side and up and down to show the desired on screen effect.
A regional variant of the globe, from the North-West (Manchester). We assume that each regional centre had their own mechanical globe, ready for local news and regional opt-outs. Some have reported that regional continuity was more common in the seventies and eighties.
Same mechanical clock as before, different time. This will have been from after the mornings schools programmes and before the lunchtime news programme.
A new style of globe introduced in 1981. The colour has changed from a warm yellow to a strange shade of green. The caption has changed to a double line version, possibly in sympathy with BBC2 which was using a double line ident at the same time.
The clock that went with this globe was a new design, using double markers for the three hours and a single marker for the intervening hours. The major change for this clock was the method of binging it to screen. Out went the mechanical clock in the noddy room, this was the BBC's first electronically generated on screen clock.
bbc1_clock_bf32.gif (43137 bytes) Same clock again from a different source. The other element of change in this design is the centre which is solid instead of the polo mint style of earlier clocks.

Hopefully the version on the left is animated.

Some regional variants of the BBC1 globe of this period. I'm not sure why the midlands received such a stylised version, all of the rest were rather plain lettering. This style mirrored the "Midlands Today" titles of the regional news programme.
Did the colours really vary this much from region to region, or is this just the effect of ageing video tapes and different capturing devices?
Regional continuity was the norm in this period, especially in the national regions, where the London announcer was rarely heard.
Celebrating sixty years of the BBC, my maths dates this special ident as 1982. It was used before most programmes for one week only. BBC1 Sixty Years
BBC1 1984 Olympics This is a rather naughty ident used during the 1984 Olympics. Naughty because the BBC were not supposed to play with the Olympic symbol in this way!
Daytime favourite of the seventies and the eighties, Pebble Mill at One brought a mixture of chat, features and entertainment, live from Birmingham. The standard programme still of the early eighties was this design, with a black border. The Orange/Yellow double lined lettering had more in common with BBC2 than BBC1, but every programme seemed to have this style of slide prepared.
Commonly seen before daytime programmes, when there were short interludes, this style of "Follows Shortly" slide was often shown accompanied by some music. This dates from early eighties.
Finally, three radically different forms of programme stills, used with voice over to announce forthcoming programmes. All date from the early eighties. BBC1 - Swap Shop

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BBC1 Tonight - International Golf

By 1985, Mechanical Models were out, virtual globes were in. Find out more in the next chapter...

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Last Update 29 Mar 2000