The Lambie-Nairn team created the latest BBC1 ident. Featuring a hot air balloon, with the distinctive BBC1 globe pattern printed on it. Filmed over six weeks during July97 the red and yellow hot-air balloon was shot at 10 locations around the UK including London's Canary Wharf, Scotland's Forth Bridge, Cardiff's City Hall and Northern Ireland's Grey Abbey. In all 47 different idents were produced.
 
As part of the 500,000 project, the balloon was shot from a helicopter by cameraman Simon Werry. "..the pace of change within the broadcasting industry now means that BBC1 needs an identity which is more flexible and appealing. The globe has always been associated with the BBC's flagship channel and the choice of a hot air balloon seemed to us an imaginative way of emphasising the universal appeal of BBC1. Alan Yentob Director of Television


Click for larger image BBC One Globe - First TX
04.10.97
Click for larger image Up Up and away - BBC1 launches a flying globe. Saturday 4th October 1997 marked a new era in BBC1's history. To coincide with the launch of the BBC's new corporate logo, the familiar revolving globe was banished after 34 years. In its place was the globe-shaped hot air balloon, sailing over various locations in the UK.
 
Here are the idents used that first morning:


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Snowdon - 7:05am
04.10.97
Snowdon - 7:24am
04.10.97
Cardiff - 7:30am
04.10.97
Scottish River - 12:12pm
04.10.97


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Cumbria - 12:15pm
04.10.97
7th Ident
04.10.97
8th Ident
04.10.97
9th Ident
04.10.97


Click for larger image BBC One Clock - First TX
04.10.97
Click for larger image Since 1993 there had been a move away from station clocks and fans were concerned BBC1 had decided to take this route. In 1991 the clock appeared before the new globe. But we needn't have worried; the new clock appeared at 5:20pm complete with the familiar tones of Andy Cartledge.
 
Right clip - another example of the clock from the same month


more examples of the balloon in action here from 1997 - 2001...


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Balloon Ident
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident
1999
BBC One Balloon Ident
2001


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Balloon Ident
2000
BBC One Balloon Ident
2000
BBC One Balloon Ident
2000
BBC One Balloon Ident
2000


Click for larger image BBC One Final Closedown
9.11.1997
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Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas
1997
Click for larger image As BBC1 no longer had a single ident, it was logical that there would be multiple Christmas symbols too. The theme for 1997 was "The Twelve Days Of Christmas", and to start with here's that partridge and his pear tree, then Five Gold Rings: A young gymnast, her face not visible in this sequence, spins not five but two gold rings on her arm.

Click for larger image BBC1 Christmas
1997
Click for larger image Eight Maids A-Milking: Well only one actually! And it's a good job she's standing still as there's something of a tempest inside that milk churn!

There were no less than 47 variations of the BBC1 balloon. All are filmed in widescreen though viewers could not see them as such until October 1998. The balloon collection is divided into four sets - English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. Below is a selection from the original 47.


English 1 (South Downs)
1998
English 2
1998
English 3
1998


English 4
1998
English 5
1998
English 6
1998


English 7
1998
English 8 (Swinside Stone Circle)
1998
English 9 (Fast - Swinside Stone Circle)
1998


English 10 (Thames)
1998
English 11 (London)
1998
English 12 (London Docklands)
1998


English 13 (Canary Wharf)
1998
English 14 (Thames)
1998
Irish 1 (Lough)
1998


Irish 4
1998
Irish 5 (Fields/Lough)
1998
Irish 8 (Grey Abbey)
1998


Scottish 1 (Lake)
1998
Scottish 2 (Eilean Donan Castle)
1998
Scottish 3 (Loch)
1998


Scottish 4 (Trees)
1998
Scottish 5 (Eilean Donan Castle)
1998
Scottish 6
1998


Scottish 7 (Forth Bridge)
1998
Scottish 10 (Forth Bridge)
1998
Scottish 11 (Eilean Donan Castle)
1998


Welsh 2
1998
Welsh 3
1998
Welsh 5
1998


Welsh 6
1998
Welsh 7
1998
Welsh 9
1998


Welsh 10
1998
Welsh 11
1998
Welsh 12
1998



BBC1 Widescreen Clock
from 01.10.1998
And with widescreen idents came the 16:9 clock. Although identical in looks to the 4:3 version, this one used different software and the minute hand moved just once a minute. In some regions it moved every 15 seconds.

BBC One Idents
from October 1998
Click for larger image One year after the balloon made its debut, a further four idents were added to the collection. And with digital TV now launched, viewers could now see the balloons in widescreen!

English 18 (St Michael's Mount)
1998
English 19 (Blackpool Tower)
1998
Irish 9 (Dunluce Castle)
1998


BBC One Christmas
1998
Digital television has arrived, and with it, the first 16: 9 Christmas ident! There were four variations featuring a large red bauble amidst a gentle flurry of snow.

BBC One Christmas Ident
1998
BBC One Christmas Ident
1998
BBC One Christmas Ident
1998


BBC One's collection of balloons continued to grow in 1999, and were changing in style slightly. Not content with hovering over deserted landscapes, the balloon would now drop in on people about their business. Left: The Angel of the North, Gateshead.


English 20 (Angel Of The North)
1998
Scottish 12 (Armadillo Building)
1998
Welsh 14 (Second Severn Bridge)
1998


Click for larger image BBC One - Solar Eclipse Ident
1999
Click for larger image The main event of Summer 1999 was a total eclipse of the sun, the first in Britain since 1926. BBC1 got in the spirit with this very original balloon. But why did they bother, you might say, as it was not used to introduce the channel's live eclipse coverage.

Click for larger image BBC One - Walking With Dinosaurs Ident
1999
Click for larger image In celebration of the groundbreaking documentary series, the balloon demonstrates its ability to time-travel. Unfortunately the ident did not appear when the series was repeated a year later.

Click for larger image BBC One - Christmas Ident
1999
Click for larger image A holographic Santa Claus rings in the new millennium. This is a clean (but not full) version - listen out for his "ho ho ho"!


Click for larger image BBC One Ident - Bungee
2000
Click for larger image A new quartet of BBC One idents were first shown in April 2000 and signalled a change of tack for the balloon. Instead of flying over specific locations, the globe hovered over footage of people at work and play. It was even hijacked by a bungee jumper!

Click for larger image BBC One Ident - Carnival
2000
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Click for larger image BBC One Ident - Skateboard
2000
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Click for larger image BBC One Ident - Market
2000
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Click for larger image BBC One Football / Euro 2000 Ident
2000
Click for larger image The universal language of football brings viewers flocking to BBC One during June and July. Perhaps the sight of our favourite balloon prevents this goalie from saving the ball!

Click for larger image BBC One Olympics Ident
2000
Click for larger image During the period of the BBC balloon, BBC1 sometimes had the balloon flying over places where major events were taking place. In this case, to mark the 2000 Olympic Games, the globe was pictures flying over Sydney Opera House.

Click for larger image BBC One Christmas
2000
Click for larger image One of the most magical BBC1 Christmas idents. Above a wintry skyline, Santa drops presents from the balloon which sail down to earth on parachutes. A great musical score for full orchestra too.


Click for larger image BBC One - Blue Planet Ident
2001
Click for larger image To mark BBC One's groundbreaking nature series "Blue Planet", BBC One adds another balloon to the collection. The globe is filmed underwater from a shark-infested sea, haunting sound effects give a great dramatic feel.

BBC One - Walking With Beasts Ident
2001
Another ident for Walking With Beasts in 2001

Christmas Ident - Dog (full 30 seconds)
2001
It might look like one ident...but there are three subtle variations! A cosy indoor setting shows the balloon flying past the window. In the foreground a dinosaur, Del-Boy's Robin Reliant and a toy dog float on balloons. In each variation, one character plays to the camera while the others drift on by.
 
These well-received idents were designed by Aardman Animations, creators of Wallace and Gromit - and directed by Stefan Marjoram. They were also the first BBC1 Christmas idents to remain in use until the New Year.


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Christmas Ident
2001
BBC One Christmas Ident
2001
BBC One Christmas Ident
2001
BBC One Christmas Ident
2001


Click for larger image BBC One / News 24 Handover
2001
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BBC One - Bug alert!
2002
In the run-up to the launch of the CBBC Channel, BBC1's balloon was invaded by some rather curious green bugs!

BBC One - Final balloon
28.03.2002
It was all over for the balloon - and the globe on BBC1 - at 2:10am on Good Friday. Rather fitting that English 12 - showing the balloon landed in London's Docklands - was the final ident.
 
Wales and Northern Ireland gave its balloon a cracking send-off, even treating us to a final showing of the clock. However it was not to be for English viewers - business as usual, with a standard "Through the night now on BBC1 with BBC News 24". What a shame.


Click for larger image BBC News - End of the BBC One Balloon
2002
Click for larger image BBC News reports on the end of the BBC One balloon

Here's 11 clean versions of the '97 idents in all their full glory


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997
BBC One Balloon Ident - Clean
1997



Official Website
www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone