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.
1950s - 1960s
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.
Above images of Jack Armstrong, Peter Walker and Bert Foord
1970s - 1980s
1985 - 1980s
1988 - 1996
BBC Daytime introduced regular short bulletins in the mornings, with presenters in an informal setting, sporting nice jumpers against floral arrangements!
In late 1992 a new front page is introduced to the weather
1996 - 2000
2000 - 2005
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.
2005 - Present
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Quotes from BBC News: "They have been introduced after audience research found viewers felt the current graphics were out of date."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."