After 10 years, BBC2 controller Jane Root wielded the axe on the world-famous 2s. From November 19 2001, the 2 would always be the same colour - ivory, reside in a yellow environment and would have a personality of its own. Instead of over 30 idents there were now just four, and rumour has it that on launch day one network director moaned to anyone who would listen about the restricted choice! The BBC TWO ident was relegated to a purple box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, starting a trend which would eventually be followed by the other three networks. A change for the better? You decide...


BBC Two Idents - Fish
2001
The 2 is confronted by a shoal of mackerel, and it scares off the fish by blowing bubbles at them. This was the first ident shown at 7am. Your announcer is Jumoke Fashola.

BBC Two Idents - Bounce
2001
Click for larger image Here the 2 falls from the sky and bounces around the screen like a rubber ball.

Click for larger image BBC Two Idents - Logo
2001
Oh dear! Something doesn't look quite right here. Never mind - our hero comes to the rescue and sprouts a pair of robotic arms.

BBC Two Idents - Domino
2001
One of the wackiest 2s so far. But no dominoes tumbling over to form the familiar symbol. Instead, the 2s are all lined up side by side - keep your eye on the picture as the first keels over.

Click for larger image BBC Two Christmas Ident
2001
Click for larger image First shown on 21st December. Using those famous arms, the 2 magics up a fairy which draws a Christmas tree out of sparkling dust. It reappeared in 2002, making history as the first Christmas ident to be reused, and continued to make annual appearances until finally being laid to rest on 4th January 2005, although it came back from the dead on 17 February 2007 as part of the final montage which closed the yellow branding era.


BBC Two Idents - Fish (flipped)
2002
Just two months after its introduction, BBC2's principal ident is inverted so the 2 faces the right way. "Subtitles" now begins with a small S. And after all that hype...

BBC Two Idents - Bounce Sombre
2002
The other modification was made to Bounce after the soundtrack was felt inappropriate for serious programming. The visuals are the same but the score more sombre. Our recording is from 12 Feb 2004, when an unadvertised closedown led to Bounce D being played in full.

Click for larger image BBC Four on BBC Two
from 2002
An interesting variation on "Logo" to herald BBC2's nightly showcase of highlights from BBC4. There is also a BBC3 version, rarely seen though as BBC1 carried most of the BBC3 highlights.
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BBC Two Idents - Screen Clean
2002
The fifth in the personality series premiered February 2002. Don't panic - there may be a black speck on screen but there's nothing wrong with your set. Our star is quick to act when he notices the problem...

BBC Two Ident - Drip
2002
And now the roof's leaking! Watch the 2 slide around trying to avoid the drips. A complete 22-second screening, with Becky Wright's announcement outlasting the time available.

Click for larger image BBC Two Ident - Invisible Walls
2002
Click for larger image A succession of 2s pass through the unseen walls. Reminiscent of the old-style 2s, this animation addresses concerns that some idents were inappropriate for use with serious programmes.

BBC Two Idents - Formation
2002
One of two new adventures for the 2 in June. Well, if BBC1 can have acrobats, why not BBC2?

BBC Two Idents - Remote
2002
Some great comedy here! The 2 commandeers his remote control - with disastrous results, even crashing into the screen! Watch the BBC2 logo at the moment of impact. When the BBC2 URL disappeared from the ident in 2003, so unfortunately did this little touch.

Click for larger image BBC Two Ident - Drum
2002
Click for larger image Introduced to mark BBC2's Jamaica 40 season. The floor acts as a beating drum, causing the 2 to dance maniacally as reggae music plays. There is just one variant.

BBC Two Ident - Paintbrush
from 28.10.2002
We've known for years about the 2's fixation with paint. Here he puts it to good use, creating a masterpiece on the screen. Only one variant, first shown 28 October and overshadowed by the arrival of national ITV1 presentation on the same day.

BBC Two Christmas Ident
2002
Fans were aghast when - for the first time ever - BBC2 recycled last year's ident. But the usual surprise was still there. Ever the show-off, he turns a snowman into a self-portrait, complete with arms. Clever chap!


Click for larger image BBC Four on BBC Two
2003
In the early days of BBC4, BBC2 used to showcase the digital channel's output in the days when many people had not converted to digital. BBC1 did the same for BBC3. A special ident was created for the BBC4 on BBC2 strand.
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BBC Two Idents - Sticky Label
2003
Click for larger image A twist on the "Logo" theme where the BBC TWO logo sticks to the 2's fingers - he tries flicking it off but it lands on his shoulder! First shown 11th March.

Click for larger image BBC Two Idents - The Big Read
2003
These bookworm 2s are taking time out out for a read. While most flick through hurriedly the middle 2 takes more time. Introduced on Saturday 29 March to promote BBC2's "The Big Read" programming. Secondly, we have an automation error in which the pre-roll was unintentionally broadcast in 2004.

BBC Two Ident - Fire
2003
Don't mess with this guy, he doesn't sprout arms but a savage flamethrower. And he's not afraid to use it, as we see here.

BBC Two Idents - Channel of the Year
2003
Yes, BBC TWO's hard work and innovative programmes earned them the accolade in August 2003. And, somewhat out of character, they wanted to show off the fact. So on certain idents the BBC2 purple box flipped over to reveal the message "Channel of the Year" in Gill Sans. And here they are!

BBC Two Idents - Channel of the Year
2003
Two more BBC2 logos are given the Channel of the Year ident.

BBC Two Ident - The Big Read
2003
Big Read fever hits BBC2 again and this time a new ident to mark the festivities. No longer six but a whole screen full of 2s are seen with their noses in a book. But the central 2 remains star of the show. First seen w/c 20 October and hardly used since.

Click for larger image BBC Two Christmas Idents
2003
Click for larger image For reasons best known to themselves, BBC1 did not produce a new Christmas ident in 2003. But there was no sign of Scrooge over on BBC2 and the festive ident appeared as always. This year the 2 is trapped in a block of ice, hopelessly sliding and crashing into the screen! Soundtrack is the same as Invisible Walls. First shown 2035 on Saturday 20 December.


BBC2 40th Anniversary
2004
BBC2 celebrates its big birthday with a marvellous adaptation of Invisible Walls. Each passing 2 contains footage of all your favourite BBC2 idents from years gone by. Some of the regular idents were adapted with the "40 Years" ident, similar to the "Channel Of The Year" idents. Note the wrong soundtrack on Formation; and what's going on in Drum is anyone's guess.

Click for larger image BBC Two Christmas Ident
2004
Click for larger image The 2003 Christmas ident was used in 2004.


BBC Two Idents - Morris Dancers
2005
Following over a year of near-inactivity on the ident front, BBC2 bites back with a troupe of morris-dancing 2s! Launched appropriately on May Day, the ident features rustic music and the dancing is well-executed. As an extra treat, Dean Lydiate treats us to the complete ident at closedown on Monday 16 May. I missed the opening seconds, but there's still 30 seconds worth of handkerchief-waving action - enjoy!

Click for larger image BBC Two Idents - Pedigree Comedy
2005
Signs that the 2 could possibly be venturing out from its enclosed yellow environment! Fluffy Dog gets a makeover for the Noughties to promote the new "Pedigree Comedy" strand on Thursday nights.

Click for larger image BBC Two Christmas Idents
2005
Click for larger image After last year's hugely unpopular decision not to commission a new Christmas ident, the festivities are back with a vengeance. The usual 2 makes way for a spectacular light show, with shooting stars forming the familiar logo. The 2001, 2002 and 2003 idents have finally been vanquished. Merry Christmas!

BBC Two Christmas Closedown & Comic Ident
2005


Click for larger image BBC2 Closedown
1.8.2005
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BBC Two Ident - Winter Olympics
2006
BBC2 is home to all the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage from Turin this year. From 6pm on Friday 10 February, the usual 2s made way for this spectacular Ice Mountain 2, complete with mini-2s climbing the mountain and jumping into the abyss below.
 
(Sorry no video at present)


BBC Two Ident - Venus Fly Trap
2006
As we were still recovering from the rebirth of Christmas 2000, BBC2 delved further into the archive to resurrect Predator, marking the Chelsea Flower Show. But it gets a new name - Venus Fly Trap. Duncan Newmarch, who announces here, wasn't there when the ident was used originally.

Click for larger image BBC Two Ident - The Armstrongs
2006
The surprises continue from BBC2. We now have a special ident for The Armstrongs, which was a hit for the channel in the Spring.

Click for larger image BBC Two Ident - Home
2006
Click for larger image BBC2's lifestyle series was signposted by two special idents, featuring two very different living rooms. First seen on 8 and 15 August respectively.

Click for larger image BBC Two Christmas Ident
2006
Click for larger image Christmas 2006 - They did it to us again! BBC2 recycled last year's (admittedly good) Christmas ident in 2006 and therefore contributed to what overall was a poor year for Christmas pres on the five terrestrial networks. Only BBC1 and five bothered with new Christmas idents, while Channel 4 and even ITV1 played Scrooge.


Goodbye 2 All That
17.02.2007
BBC2's yellow robots were the longest serving idents the channel had seen for some years. Introduced before the advent of the infamous BBC1 dancers and still there when they were ditched in late 2006, they had overseen a long and eventful period in TV presentation history. But the personality 2s couldn't go on for ever, and on 17 February 2007 it was time to say goodbye. Sending them on their way was a two-minute montage of the idents, which included three of the four Christmas symbols but, curiously, not Big Read Crowd. The compilation was preceded by one final closedown announcement from Matthew Jackson. Matthew's use of the phrase "if you're into that sort of thing" in reference to the new look was seen as mocking by some pres fans. One final surprise took place the following day - Formation was the final yellow 2 to be seen, introducing CBeebies programmes at 0600.

Official Website
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