Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1968 Launch Ident
By the time it launched on 2nd August 1968, the London Television Consortium had decided against adopting the name "Thames Television" (just as well it did, for Thames Television!) in favour of one that neatly summed up everything it stood for: London Weekend. The first ident was ultra-basic, a still with white letters on black, which would appear as a caption on the front of every programme. We also have a clip, seen on launch night, which shows the caption zooming up from the centre of the frame, accompanied by an electronic jingle.

Click for larger image London Weekend
1969 Ident
A new monochrome ident and tune appeared in 1969. The design is apparently a disc seen in profile, rather like a modern 1 coin. A pillar of horizontal stripes rotates to reveal an oval shape. The letters "from London Weekend" appear in its centre.

Click for larger image London Weekend
1969 First Colour Ident
With the introduction of colour to London Weekend in the autumn of 1969, came a brand new version of the spinning disc, now in a delightful shade of cream on an orange background. Another change may be detected in the tune itself. It seems to have been re-recorded at a slightly higher pitch and with an extra bong on the end. This difference enabled viewers with monochrome TV sets to know that the show had been recorded in colour... As if they needed any further encouragement to go and buy a colour set?!

Click for larger image London Weekend
1971 'River' Ident
Graphics designer Terry Griffiths had noted the similarity between the course of the river Thames, as seen from above, and the initials "L" and "W". His creation of a new station identity for the Seventies lead to the famous 'river' ident. Animated and teamed with a great tune of xylophones and brass, composed by Harry Rabinowitz and mixed by Graham Hix, this ident became LWTs most famous.

Click for larger image London Weekend
1974 'Russell Harty Plus' Ident
Click for larger image Terry Griffiths amended his animation for Russell Harty's chat show title sequence. The ident drew itself out as usual, but then as Harty's music chimed in, the river unwrapped itself. A second set of stripes drew themselves out over the top, forming a multi-coloured ring: highly appropriate for Harty.

Click for larger image London Weekend
1976 'Just William' Ident
Click for larger image When LWT brought Richmal Crompton's naughty, catapult-toting schoolboy Just William to the screen, someone had the great idea of having William come crashing through the LWT ident just as the opening titles began. William continued to wreak havoc throughout the rest of the sequence, as can be seen in the clip on our programme pages. For this sequence, Griffiths collaborated with LWT's other graphics guru, Pat Gavin.

Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1978 'River' Ident
The company had been known as "London Weekend" on screen since 1969, but in 1978 its name was changed to include "Television." Terry Griffiths was called upon to tweak his ident animation, so that the stripe would break apart to form the individual letters of the acronym. Graham Hix remixed the original tune and, in this version, it seems that the xylophones are given less of a thrashing, the brass section is treated with less reverb, and the drum roll at the climax is made more apparent.

Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1979 Spoof Idents
Click for larger image In 1979, Andrew Marshall and David Renwick created the sketch series End of Part One at LWT, and developed their reputation for satirising continuity. Two examples include a LWT ident that goes horribly wrong (left) and The Best of the LWT Ident (right), which I could happily watch looping for hours! More clips from End of Part One can be seen in the LWT Programmes pages.

Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1982 'Nightlife' Ident
Click for larger image It's a Saturday Night Showbiz Alert! This ident was introduced circa 1982 for regional presentation, and was not affixed to the front of LWT productions. A series of glowing dots draws out the letters LWT, colour by colour, as if they are neon tubes illuminating the entrance to a Texan rodeo or a Soho strip joint. The tune is very L.E.
 


Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1986 'Genesis' and 'Solari' Idents
By 1986, the scratchy river ident telecine was wearing thin. With computer originated graphics making an impact - notably on BBC1 and Channel Four - LWT commissioned a new ident from The Computer Film Company. It played out with a new tune composed, it is thought, by Rod Argent and Peter van Hooke. While the striped letters and colours remained similar, they were animated in a brand new way, on a dappled grey background. Two versions of this ident were made: (left) Genesis, in which the stripes fold on letter by letter, seen across the ITV Network, and (right) Solari, a vertical venetian blind effect seen in the London region only.
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Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1986 'Genesis' Short Ident
Click for larger image A second, shorter version of Genesis was also made up, with a shorter edit of the music and with the animation condensed, so that the letters fold onto the screen in unison, rather than individually.

Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1986 'Childrens' Ident
Click for larger image Fabulous as they were, Genesis and Solari looked a little staid in front of such LWT youth programming as The Smurfs or My Little Pony. So what could be more appropriate than this funky, "down on da streets" LWT ident, complete with a beat-breakin' re-arrangement of the Argent van Hooke ident jingle? Something like this perhaps? Both examples are voiced by Keith Harrison.

Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1989 '21st Birthday' Ident
For one great weekend in July 1989, Gloria Hunniford hosted a trip down memory lane, as a special 21st birthday celebration. Repeats included The Gentle Touch, Budgie, Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Within These Walls and On The Buses too. All were linked together by this special ident, an animated sundial over which the hands of time tick backwards, which wipes into the 1986 Solari ident with a vertical 'venetian blind' effect.
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Click for larger image London Weekend Television
1989 'ITV Corporate' Ident
Click for larger image In 1989, an ITV Network Centre had been established to centralize commissioning and establish a definitive corporate brand: the first step towards a single ITV company. Each region was allowed to retain its name, but on screen the various logos dissolved and formed an ITV logo. LWT had certainly earned its stripes and it kept them, safe and sound within the "V" of the ITV corporate ident. The tune was composed by David Dundas, who also composed the original music for Channel Four.

Though the corporate ITV logo lasted until 1999, and the idents and David Dundas tune lasted in some regions for almost as long, LWT despatched it as soon as possible, in favour of something a little more jazzy. Our history of LWT idents continues on page 2.