BBC Weather is perhaps the most unique weather presentation in the world. Today the BBC produces over 100 weather programmes every day for every BBC tv channels and radio, plus internationally for BBC World, BBC Arabic and BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Services) and online through it's extremely popular website. The BBC weather presenters are actually employed by The Meteorological Office (The Met Office). The BBC handles the presentation and style of forecasts.


The first weather bulletin broadcasted in November 1936, at this time forecasters hand-drew their charts with wax crayons. The first set of basic weather symbols were introduced in 1967. They were based on international standards - with triangles for showers, and round dots for rain.


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Above images of Jack Armstrong, Peter Walker and Bert Foord


Click for larger image BBC Weather
1960s
Click for larger image The weather presenter in this clip is Graham Parker


Click for larger image BBC Weather - Barbara Edwards
1974
Click for larger image Our earliest recording we have featuring Barbara Edwards (pre the familiar symbols) from 23rd December 1974

Click for larger image BBC Weather
1979
Click for larger image On Saturday, August 16 1975 a brand new clearer set of symbols were first launched, based around the use of a cloud symbol. They were designed by college student, Mark Allen. The symbols (over 36 of them) were rubber, with a magnetic back and used by forecasters against steel boards. They also became known for failing to stick and falling off the maps!
 
The forecaster here is John Sherwood


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
1977
Keith Best
1977
Michael Fish
1979
Bill Giles
1980


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
25.12.1982
Bill Giles
1976
Ian McCaskill
3.5.1979
Jim Bacon
25.12.1980


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Anne Purvis
26.12.1981
Anne Purvis
1982
Michael Fish
1983
Michael Fish
14.5.1982


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Anne Purvis
1981
Jack Scott
1981
Jim Bacon
1981
Bill Giles
1980s


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Bill Giles
7.12.1982
Jack Scott
1981
Anne Purvis
1982
Michael Fish
1.4.1984


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
1980
Jack Scott
1980
Jim Bacon
1980
Jack Scott
1982


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Ian McCaskill
1982
Jim Bacon
1983
Jim Bacon
1980s
Bill Giles
1980s


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Jack Scott
1980s
Anne Purvis
1982
Bill Giles
1982
Ian McCaskill
1984


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Ian McCaskill
c1985
Ian McCaskill
c1985
Weather Summary
1982
BBC1 Closedown
1983


Click for larger image BBC Weather Summaries
1983
A couple more weather summaries following the news from 1983

Click for larger image Mindstretchers - Weather Feature
1980s
Click for larger image Jim Bacon here with a short extract from the BBC Schools programme "Mindstretchers"

Click for larger image Last Ever Magnetic Symbols Forecast
1985
Click for larger image the very last weather broadcast before electronic graphics are introduced


Click for larger image Bill Giles
18.2.1985
Click for larger image Monday, February 18th 1985, electronic graphics were introduced to replace the magentic symbols. (This was also the same day the famous BBC1 mirror globe ident was replaced with computer graphics)

Click for larger image Blue Peter - Behind The Scenes
1985
Click for larger image Blue Peter takes a look behind the scenes at the new electronic graphics in the BBC Weather Centre

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
1985
Ian McCaskill
1988
Michael Fish
1987
Bernard Davey
1987


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Click for larger image Weatherview
1986
Click for larger image Weatherview was the late night extended forecast shown on BBC2.

Click for larger image Breakfast Time Weather
1985
Breakfast Television began in Britain on 17th January 1983 and with it, a new breakfast weather service including a fresh new face Francis Wilson, (now with Sky News)
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Click for larger image Breakfast Time Weather
1988
Click for larger image A couple more clips from a few years later..


Click for larger image BBC Weather New Look
1988
Click for larger image On May 30th 1988 more technological advances were made to allow the introduction of 'Rain Radar' where the heaviness of the rainfall could be shown as an animated sequence. Shown by using shades of blue, yellow and green, deepening from light to dark. Later in '88 the flat map look disappears, instead new map designs featuring mountains and land shaded are introduced.

BBC Daytime introduced regular short bulletins in the mornings, with presenters in an informal setting, sporting nice jumpers against floral arrangements!


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image John Kettley
1988
Suzanne Charlton
1988
Bill Giles
1988
Ian McCaskill
1989


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Click for larger image Super Channel Good Year Weather Forecast
1989
Click for larger image The Super Channel weather forecast was produced by the BBC and presented from both the daytime studio and from the weather map. It utilised the usual BBC weather forecasters of the time, and was the BBC Weather Centre's first commercial contract.

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Click for larger image No Limits - Weather Feature
1987
Click for larger image No Limits was a youth and entertainment music programme presented by Tony Baker and Jenny Powell. Here Jenny gives us a behind the scenes look at the BBC Weather Centre..

Click for larger image BBC News - Weather Report
1987
Remember the storm of 1987? where Michael Fish famously reassured a viewer who phoned the BBC that there wouldn't be a hurricane? Well technically he was right, but the forecasters and Met Office did get it wrong.
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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
1988
Bill Giles
1989
Bernard Davey
1988
Bernard Davey
1988


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Bill Giles
1988
Suzanne Charlton
1989
Ian McCaskill
1989
John Kettley
1988


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Ian McCaskill
1990
Bernard Davey
1991
Ian McCaskill
1992
Bernard Davey
1992


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image John Kettley
1991
Michael Fish
1992
Peter Cockroft
1990s
John Kettley
1992


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In late 1992 a new front page is introduced to the weather


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Suzanne Charlton
1993
Rob McElwee
1993
Penny Tranter
1993
John Kettley
1992


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Bernard Davey
1992
Penny Tranter
1992
Ian McCaskill
c1992
Michael Fish
c1992


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Michael Fish
1993
Suzanne Charlton
1992
Peter Cockroft
1993
Richard Edgar
c1993


Click for larger image Weather Watch
1992
Click for larger image Educational series presented by Craig Charles looking at different aspects of the weather.

Click for larger image BBC2 Weather Night
1992
Click for larger image Bill Giles is your host for "Wet & Windy" a themed evening of weather on BBC 2 in 1992. Broadcast on 9th May 1992


Click for larger image BBC Weather
1996
Click for larger image In 1996, BBC weather introduces new animations and graphics including Weather Advice and a subtly modernised set of new symbols. The maps also show more topographical definition and more natural shading on the land. A year later in 1997 with the introduction of the new BBC logo, the weather also adopts the BBC corporate typeface Gill Sans. Widescreen forecasts were also introduced in 1999.

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image John Kettley
1999
Helen Young
2000
Penny Tranter
1999
David Lee
1998


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Helen Willetts
2000
Peter Cockroft
1997
John Kettley
1997
David Braine
2000


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image David Braine
1999
Sarah Wilmshurst
1999
Isobel Lang
1997
David Braine
2000


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Click for larger image The Weather Show
1998
Click for larger image Bill Giles presented the first series of The Weather Show looking at how weather affects our lives.
 
The series ran from 1996 - 1999


Click for larger image Weather Promo
1999
Click for larger image A quick BBC One presentation promo for BBC Online's weather service.

Another tweak to the graphics in 2000, the symbols also now have a slight 3D look, using subtle shading with highlights and shadows. New title pages and warning graphics are introduced. 2004 also marked the end of an era for Michael Fish who presented his final forecast on October 6th.


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Tori Good
1999
Penny Tranter
2001
Helen Willetts
2001
Michael Fish
2001


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Click for larger image BBC World Weather
2002
Click for larger image Brian Cummins with the BBC's international news channel weather. The opening features a rather nice weather sting using the symbols.

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image David Braine
2002
Peter Gibbs
2005
Helen Young
2000


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On May 16th 2005 the BBC rolled out a brand new look across all it's channels and the web. BBC Weather bought Weatherscape XT, sophisticated software from Metra to exploit advances in 3D graphics and animation to visualise the weather. Sadly the friendly symbols are history and now cloud and rain are represented as 'real' shadows and 'real' raindrops on a desert sand coloured map of the UK. We feel the redesign was a backwards step, as you now have to watch the entire weather bulletin to understand what is happening, and to make sure you don't miss your part of the country as the map flies around the screen. The old presentation might not have been as visually dynamic, but it was much easier to understand 'at a glance'. Let's hope it becomes fashionable and gets re-introduced!
 
Quotes from BBC News: "They have been introduced after audience research found viewers felt the current graphics were out of date." "The new system will introduce more realism, movement and clarity," said the BBC's lead presenter Helen Young.
 
Unsuprisingly the contoversial new look did not go down well with viewers. Over 4,000 people complained that the North, and especially Scotland was really badly represented because they were so small on the map compared with the South of England. It only took the BBC less than 2 weeks to change the titled perspective map back to a more head-on version. Even the former head of the BBC Weather Centre, John Teather voiced his opions in the press, saying "he was depressed by the 3D graphics, which did nothing to help viewers understand the forecast, those responsible for the 1 million makeover had shown a wilful disregard for all that we learnt over the past 25 years."


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Helen Young
2005
Elizabeth Saary
2005
Alex Deakin
2006


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Peter Gibbs
2007
Susan Powell
2007
Carol Kirkwood
2007


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Daniel Corbett
2006
John Hammond
2006
Jay Wynne
2007


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image John Hammond
2008
Nick Miller
2008
Louise Lear
2007


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Darren Bett
2005
Philip Avery
2008
Jay Wynne
2009


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Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Daniel Corbett
2006
Laura Tobin
2008
Tomasz Schafernaker
2009


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Click for larger image Rob McElwee
2009




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Official Website
www.bbc.co.uk/weather