Click for larger image Aquarius
1973
Click for larger image Humphrey Burton introduces LWT's early 70s Arts series, forerunner of "The South Bank Show". This edition from 10/09/1973 is arguably the most memorable of the entire run, containing a brilliant film by Russell Harty and his director Bruce Gowers who had spent a wild weekend in Spain with Salvador Dali. Among the many highlights are the avant-garde soundtrack, a burning stuffed giraffe and fleeting appearances by Dali's reclusive wife Gala.

Click for larger image Aquarius
1970 & 1975
Click for larger image Two other title sequences from a series that ran for seven years in all, largely in a magazine format but with occasional full-length single films. The second clip is introduced by Peter Hall, then and now recognised as a leading theatre director, who took over presenting duties when Burton returned to the BBC. Over the years, the series covered subjects as diverse as the musical Hair, pop star Elton John, documentary maker Denis Mitchell, composer Erik Satie and aviator Amy Johnson. Other than "Hello Dali" above, another memorable single film followed Alfred Hitchcock while he was in London to shoot "Frenzy."

Click for larger image How to Stay Alive
1978
Click for larger image Don't be fooled by the glam rock titles and shiny floor setting, this 1970s programme covered a range of different and sometimes controversial health topics. Hosts Colin Welland and Maggie Makepeace would do their best to explain them with a range of extraordinary visual aids. For instance, by bringing a cow into the studio. Or by characterising venereal disease germs as a parade of cardboard cut-outs to be gunned down in a shooting gallery!

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1978
Click for larger image Having worked on arts series for the BBC during the 1960s and 70s, including "Read All About It" and "The Lively Arts", Melvyn Bragg moved to LWT in 1978 to launch "The South Bank Show" as a successor to "Aquarius." The theme tune is called "Variations", a reworking by Andrew Lloyd Webber of Sergei Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini." This handsome title sequence, designed by Pat Gavin, dates from the first series.

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1981
Click for larger image Another hugely enjoyable title sequence, in which cartoon figures of celebrated authors, artists and composers are shown spelling out the name of the series in semaphore. This vintage edition is introduced, in vision, by LWT announcer Hilary Osborn.

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Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1986
Click for larger image An edition from 12/01/1986 profiling comedy star John Cleese, who had recently made a guest appearance as The Sheriff in Lawrence Kasdan's western movie "Silverado". The excellent title sequence had been in use for at least two years by this stage, and is probably the most memorable of them all. A smirking Mona Lisa floats through the countryside as a giant golden hand zooms along quiet city streets, passing frozen caricatures of famous paintings. It's certainly my favourite sequence from the series.

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Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1987
Click for larger image Pat Gavin's animation of the South Bank Show titles was always innovative and electric in movement. Here, ferocious scribbles bounce around behind Groucho Marx, Karloff's Frankenstein monster glares at us and William Shakespeare transforms himself into a Dali-like sphere and cones. This edition, from series 11, covers the life of Andy Warhol, who had recently died. (tx 25/10/1987)

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1991
Click for larger image Melvyn's hair is at it's biggest here, as he begins popping up pre-titles with an appetite-whetting link. The titles include the Eiffel Tower and a photo montage that spins around a statue of two lovers... This edition covers Stan Laurel and dates from 06/01/1991.

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1995
Click for larger image Just as Judi Dench was preparing to enter the National Theatre production of "A Little Night Music", along came Melvyn and Nigel Wattis to profile her career. The updated titles now appear to be computer-generated for the first time and include a glorious, leather-clad Marlon Brando, while the Variations theme has been funked up.

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
1997 & 1999
Click for larger image This title sequence started off in 4:3 ratio, but when ITV went widescreen, the images were enlarged and cropped to 16:9. The animation is great at the start, as Marlene Dietrich watches Ken Russell and Laurence Olivier tinkle the ivories. The later section slows in pace, as dozens of cultural icons materialise in the Vatican beneath Michelangelo's painting of God and Man. The logo is, unfortunately, pretty naff. The clips come from editions which profile Humphrey Bogart (05/01/1997) and Blur (21/11/1999).

Click for larger image The South Bank Show
2003
Click for larger image An amazing title sequence for series 26, showing caricatures of Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman sharing a 1930s London Underground escalator. Meanwhile Alfred Hitchcock and Charles Dickens advance on giant ladders under a suspension bridge that's straddled by Marilyn Monroe, surely the epitome of surrealism? This edition about Ang Lee was broadcast on 13/07/2003.

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Click for larger image Weekend World
1972 - 1988
Click for larger image Broadcast on Sunday lunchtimes from 1972 to 1988, this political series was first presented by Times journalist Peter Jay, then famously by former Labour MP Brian Walden who anchored between 1977 and 1986. The final host was Conservative MP Matthew Parris, who resigned his seat in order to present. In the early days, several stories would be covered each week, but the series developed into an in-depth interview format. "Weekend World" is well-remembered for its raging theme music, "Nantucket Sleighride" by the progressive rock group Mountain.