Click for larger image BBC1 Symbol
1974
Click for larger image In the mid-70s the colour scheme changed to a more cheerful yellow-on-blue as more people has colour sets. But instead of using the "twin-striped" BBC1 ident first seen in 1974, the powers-that-be opted instead for the familiar bold typeface, Futura Bold.
 
As you can probably tell, the first version of the "new" globe was the same model as before. But sometime before 1978 a new model was made with some modifications. Not only was there a greater gap between the globe and the BBC1 legend, the globe itself had been redrawn. On the new version the North Pole is significantly smaller, the main continents filling more of the sphere, while the reflection has a flatter appearance.


BBC1's much-loved mirror globe epitomises BBC identity for many fans. Designed and built by Murray Andrew in 1969, the first impression hit our screens on 15th November that year. But how was this symbol - and the accompanying clocks - brought to the screen?



The globe itself was a small mechanical model, the size of a shoebox. It was internally lit with a 10V festoon bulb inserted at the top of the globe. The reflection was achieved by placing a concave mirror behind the sphere. The channel ID was a transparency lit from behind, making it easily interchangeable. Normally, mechanical idents such as clocks were illuminated by the lamp on the NODD camera, but this would have caused the globe's reflection to distort on screen. So an internal light source was needed. Both the globe light and the ident light could be adjusted by two seperate controls at the back of the device.
 
The land masses on the globe were clear areas, while black metallic paint represented the sea. Apparently the heat from the bulb frequently caused the paint to peel, so touch-ups were oftne required to ensure the continents maintained the correct shapes. And those numerous small "islands" in the mirror globe? Contrary to popular belief, these were part of the design and not caused by flaking paint or dust!
 
Murray Andrew designed several prototypes of the mirror globe, including one with raised continents and another with the South Pole visible.




So what was NODD? It was the system which generated BBC ident symbols in the 1970s (pronounced "Noddy"). This consisted of a black-and-white robotic camera which pointed at a display of twelve stacked ident symbols, clocks and fault captions. NODD was a BBC acronym (Nexus Orthicon Display Device) referring to the electronic method of adding colour to the symbols. Contrary to popular belief, "Noddy" was not so called because the camera nodded from symbol to symbol (even though it did!) The photo below shows BBC1's NODD; the mirror globe and the Schools And Colleges dots are clearly visible.
 
At the touch of a button, the announcer could point the camera to any one of the displays. The colour for each ident was added electronically further down the transmission process; so it would have been very easy to play around with different colours (imagine a globe with shocking pink land mass!) By 1982 the globe remained the sole mechanical symbol. BBC1's globe is now rumoured to have pride of place in the office of the Head of Presentation.


Further continuity examples of the symbol in action...


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late1970s
BBC1 Symbol
late1970s
BBC1 Symbol
1980
BBC1 Symbol
1981


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1.11.1980
BBC1 Symbol
1978
BBC1 Symbol
1980
BBC1 Symbol
c1979



Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Symbol
1975
Click for larger image It looks like last year's globe - it is last year's globe - save for the new Christmas BBC1 legend incorporating the new twin-striped BBC1 logo.

Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Ident
1975
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Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Symbol & Clock
1976
Santa's on his way again, and the theme this year is a giant revolving snowflake - not unlike those hanging ones you can buy for your tree. The logo is the same as last year apart from the colours. 1976 also saw the first festive test card music (still in use 19 years later), and - here - a Christmas clock. Enjoy these very rare clips recovered from Super 8 footage.


Click for larger image BBC1 Start-Ups
1977
Two lunchtime startups. Plenty for testcard fans here. The left clip provides 90 seconds of Test Card F and the right clip shows the countdown clock which would often appear for the final 10 minutes of trade tramsissions.
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Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Symbol
1977
Click for larger image For the first time in colour, the simplest idea provided one of the best-loved BBC Christmas idents of the 1970s. With the globe on its holidays a Christmas pudding takes its place in front of the concave mirror. All with a sprig of holly atop!


Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Symbol
1978
Click for larger image Possibly one of the most sinister BBC1 Christmas idents ever. A double-faced Santa Claus head marks the festive season on BBC1 that almost wasn't due to industrial action which the BBC only managed to contain in time for Christmas. This particular ident could be seen being assembled during news reports about the strike. The Stage criticised BBC1's choice of symbol, likening it to the severed head of Barney Colehan.

Click for larger image BBC1 Schools Clock
1978
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Click for larger image BBC1 Closedown
1979
Click for larger image For many years, until the mid 1980s, there was no weather bulletin at closedown on Friday nights - it was broadcast after the late evening news summary which preceded the traditional Friday night late film. Therefore, Richard Straker goes straight into the clock after a holding slide mentioning next week's late film. Closedown weather summaries on Friday nights began in late 1984 when BBC1 dropped its late night news summary.

Click for larger image BBC1 Closedown
17.11.1979
Although BBC1 often ended Saturday night, as well as Friday night, with a late film, BBC1 still broadcast a weather bulletin at closedown on Saturdays due to there not being a late night news summary at the weekend.
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Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas
1979
Click for larger image Twelve months later, a group of Victorian carol singers encourage us to join them in celebrating Yuletide. Comparisons have been made to the 1973 ident which was similar in its idea. We're pleased to finally have some clips for you; a link into the weather forecast with Tim Nichols announcing, with Bruce Hammal at the mike in our second example although sorry for the rather savage servo disturbance.

Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Closedown
1979
Twelve months later, a group of Victorian carol singers encourage us to join them in celebrating Yuletide. Comparisons have been made to the 1973 ident which was similar in its idea. We're pleased to finally have some clips for you; a link into the weather forecast with Tim Nichols announcing, with Bruce Hammal at the mike in our second example although sorry for the rather savage servo disturbance.


Click for larger image BBC1 Clock
1980
Click for larger image Taken from a Schools interval, the next programme is on certain transmitters only.

Click for larger image BBC1 Clock
1980
Click for larger image Another schools link for the BBC1 clock, which was shown after every schools programme whilst the announcer said what the next programme was and how many minutes there were before said programme started.

Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas
1980
A very charming ident for Christmas 1980, featuring four Victorian skaters whizzing around a snowman. The mechanical model was bigger than it looks and took up a whole coffee table when featured on "Swap Shop" two months later.

Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas Idents
25.12.1980
Click for larger image The 1980 ident was also (we think) the first Christmas symbol to have day and night-time versions. There might also have been a dusk version, featuring a purple sky.

BBC1 Christmas Closedown
24.12.1980
And to complete our look at the 1980 festive season, here's the BBC1 closedown from Christmas Eve. Robin Whitting is your announcer who signs off with a warm, seasonal wish.


BBC1 Closedown
21.04.1981
From the Futura age, Peter Brook signs off for the night. In later years he never bothered to namecheck if he was the late announcer. Notice how the clock cuts to the globe - you might think the NODD used two cameras, but it didn't. The globe is being played off tape in this instance.

Click for larger image BBC1 Closedown (Incomplete)
1981
Click for larger image A closedown from 1981, the final year of this version of the BBC1 globe and clock, which was updated in September of 1981. Apologies for this clip being incomplete.

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