Remembering the launch of BBC One’s circle-themed idents

At 10am on Saturday 7th October 2006, BBC One launched a new on-air identity. On the thirteenth anniversary of their on air debit, we take a look back at comments from those involved in the commissioning and production of the sequences. And there’s some footage of the original versions of the idents, as well as a few of the 2009 edits.

Charlie Mawer, executive creative director at Red Bee Media – the design company behind the channel’s new presentation scheme – discussed the project with Broadcast:

“Our brief was to try and ensure that what we emerged with at the end – within the tight constraints of idents: twelve seconds and a living hold – was something that would reward repeat viewing.

“The pitch-winning idea was a simple one and was born directly from how controller Peter Fincham talks about his vision for the channel. To celebrate BBC One’s unique ability to bring people together, we highlighted magical moments when people come together as one.

“We chose the symbol of a circle for a number of reasons. Throughout history it has been an emblem of unity. It’s the shape we make when gathering to listen to a story. And it’s a subtle reference to BBC One’s own history. Its very first idents, even before the globe, always referenced a circle in some way.

“We also thought that we should try and live that ideal in how we made the idents, so they became a huge collaborative project themselves.

“Idents are funny things. For storytellers they are frustrating because they don’t have a defined end. Imagine making a programme that has to make sense if it’s cut away from at any point. Also imagine that you were making a programme and you had no idea what voiceover was going to be added to it.

“But on the positive side they also have a great freedom in terms of creative possibilty.”

VIDEO: the original ‘circles’ idents. SUPPLIED BY: YouTube Channel – Des and Mick Online – TV & Radio. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Naomi Gibney, head of marketing, BBC One:

“In developing the new BBC One identity, the key for me was simplicity. Out of an incredibly challenging brief, Red Bee has created a simple, true, idea with the branding at the heart of the execution.

We chose this idea from Red Bee as it celebrated BBC One’s unique ability to bring people together, and their executions beautifully convey magical moments when this happens.”

Peter Fincham, controller, BBC One:

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace a channel needs to stand out from the crowd and I believe our new identity is just what’s needed for BBC One.

“It’s set in the everyday but shows people doing extraordinary things. It’s got variety and range – everything from daredevil motorbikes to synchronised hippos. It’s warm and it’s dynamic.

“The circle, which is at the heart of this campaign, has been familiar to BBC One viewers over the years, but what we’ve got here is modern, forward looking and surprising.”

Directors: Howard Greenhalgh for Surfer, Football and Moon; Stuart Douglas for Bikes and Ring-a-Roses; Matthias Hoene for Windows and Kites and Charlie Mawer and Mike McGee for Hippos.

Music composed by: Imran Hanif.

Designers: Grant Gilbert; Amy Doherty.

Typeface: Jason Smith – Fontsmith.

Acknowledgements

FEATURE IMAGE:

PICTURED: BBC One ident: Hippos. SUPPLIED BY: Online. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Posted by The Clean Feed Team

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