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ITV 2002
a new look hails the end of regional identity

Created  Tu 19-Nov-02
Revised  Fr 19-May-06

In October 2002, ITV began to finally achieve its aim of a common look for the entire network. The old idea of dual branding had gone. In England, at least, there were no regional company names on screen for most of the day. The only brand to be seen before programmes was that of "ITV1". A few months later the "personality" idents spread to Scotland, which meant there was now no escape from them wherever you were in the UK!

It wasn't only the images that were the same in England, so were the announcements. From Plymouth to Newcastle, Dover to Carlisle, the only voices to be heard originated in London, just like with BBC One and BBC Two. All this happened despite assurances by Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, that ITV's regional identities were safe. Still, you can't trust politicians, can you?

The screenshots shown contain graphics that are copyright of the ITV company portrayed and/or the ITV Network.

 

 National Continuity

ITV launched it's new unified look on Monday, October 28th, 2002. Around 70 idents were filmed for the branding, for use just before the start of each programme. They all featured the stars of the network, supposedly captured in off-duty moments. With different edits, and with the addition of the regional versions, the final tally ran into the hundreds.

England, the Borders and the Channel Islands: For the first time, all of the English regions, including Border as well as Channel Television, got the same idents and announcements throughout the day. A national team was put together in London to replace the continuity announcers in each region whose posts were made redundant. The only exception to the rule is for regional programmes, such as the news bulletins. Here a recorded announcement (made by one of the London team) played over the top of a regional version of an ident. You can see examples of these below.

The London region is a special case. The licence to provide ITV programmes in London is held by two companies. It used to be that the Carlton name would appear during the week, and LWT would be seen at the weekend. But now neither name would appear and the London versions of the national idents were banned from use. Instead it was left to the announcer to tell you that you were watching "ITV1 for London".

ITV1 Cilla Black (9K)

Cilla Black, Blind Date

This meant that the LWT logo would now only be seen on the production caption at the end of its programmes. The Carlton name, on the other hand, lived on in the Central and Westcountry regions, which were now referred to as the Central England and West Country regions. (A subtle move away from the identities of the two broadcasters which were prominent before the Carlton take-over.) At the same time, Carlton's other company, HTV, was reduced to being simply the name of a news programme. HTV West's programmes now began with an ident captioned "ITV1 West of England". Snappy title!

Wales: The Welsh were shown more consideration. Despite the loss of the HTV name in the idents, the name of the country returned to the screens after a long absence. All idents throughout the day (not just the regional ones) are now branded with an "ITV1 Wales" logo.

Wales also kept its own regional announcements. (Although all this changes in the small hours, when ITV1 Wales joins up with the main ITV1 service.)

ITV1 Wales (11K)

Robbie Earle, The Premiership

So far, the new ITV1 set-up matched that of its main rival. BBC One is the only name seen on screen in England, except for regional programmes, and in Wales viewers see BBC One Wales. But this is where the similarity ends...

Northern Ireland: With Carlton and Granada between them controlling all of the ITV regions in England and Wales, it wasn't difficult to agree a common look (especially since centralising the presentation meant a reduction in costs). But UTV is fiercely independent and rejected both previous attempts to impose an ITV corporate look.

So it was perhaps surprising that this time, it decided to play ball. Sort of. Like Wales it used the same images available to the rest of the UK, but it replaced the ITV1 logo with its own. Its announcements also remain regional. Later it filmed its own personality idents, on a mock-up of the ITV1 set, featuring familiar faces from UTV's programmes.

UTV Frank Skinner (14K)

Frank Skinner, The Frank Skinner Show

 

Scotland: Scottish and Grampian, both owned by SMG, were the only ITV companies who didn't adopt any of the new ITV look in 2002. Their idents continued to reflect aspects of Scotland and Scottish life. But on Monday, January 6th, 2003, another chapter in the erosion of ITV's unique regional flavour came to a close when SMG adopted the ITV idents package.

Like UTV, SMG decided to keep the regional company names on screen rather than use the ITV1 branding. And mixed in with the ITV network celebrities are familiar faces to the Scottish and Grampian regions.

SMG also adapted the company logos from being squares with the names at the bottom, to being rectangles, similar to ITV1's logo. That way, the logos could form on the screen out of blocks in the same way that the UTV and ITV1 logos appear.

All this means that the UK's first commercial television network has finally achieved the impossible - a common look throughout the UK. After two failed attempts to introduce corporate branding, it seems that it is third time lucky for ITV.

Scottish Gabby Logan (15K)

Gabby Logan, The Premiership


Grampian Davina McCall (12K)

Davina McCall, The Brits 2003

 How They Work

The national ITV celebrity idents came in four flavours. Each one was shot on a different set and had its own style of jingle. The jingles also came in two forms, one featured a full theme, the other a short theme, allowing the announcer to come in earlier and, if necessary, talk for longer.

The only rule was that the people in the idents should not feature in the programme following it. But this rule was soon discarded.

   

Long

Short

The first set featured a stage and some steps. Only a few select stars got to appear on this set. As well as Cilla Black (see above), you could see both Chris Tarrant and Fern Brittan messing about with a feather boa. Des O'Connor was always spotted on this stage. The jingle begins with a drum roll.

 MP3 

 MP3 

Set two has a brick wall background and seems to be the home to the news and sport stars of ITV1. The jingle is a cool jazz affair with strings and cymbal.

 MP3 

 MP3 

The third set appears to be backstage. Some of the films featured a comfortable leather armchair. This is where the stars of ITV's dramas such as The Bill and Cold Feet could be seen. Gabby Logan, Ron Atkinson and Frank Skinner also made an appearance. The jingle is a slow piano piece.

 MP3 

 MP3 

Finally there was the wall of blue and yellow tiles sometimes with a corridor made of moveable white walls. Davina McCall, Ant & Dec plus young stars of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and SM:tv Live appeared between the walls. The jingle is a funky little number.

 MP3 

 MP3 

Many thanks to Steve Lowry for helping complete this jingle collection

 

 Regional Variations

Here are some examples of the regional versions of the idents, allowed only before regional programmes.

Anglia (11K)

Glynis Barber, Night & Day

The idents of Anglia and the other companies owned by Granada end with a split screen showing the name of the company, but sadly not its logo.

Border (10K)

Ally McCoist, The Premiership

Border (4K)

As well as the split screen versions, Border also used the ident above before news programmes. Even stranger is that, at first, the jingle used was the same one heard in the old "hearts" idents. This was soon fixed, but you can see how it looked and sounded in the following clip...

Real Media 8 format. (7s, 306k)

Real Media 8

MPEG format. (7s, 273k)

MPEG

Central (9K)

Martin Kemp, Serious and Organised

In 1999, Central television became Carlton in the Central region. All of the idents for Central and Westcountry were exactly the same as those used on weekdays in London. Following the 2002 re-brand, the Carlton logo is still in use but the name of the region has been changed very slightly. The announcer now describes it as "Central England".

Channel (10K)

Katie Derham, ITV News

Channel didn't use a split-screen regional ident in 2002, opting instead to use its 40-Years-of-Broadcasting celebratory ident. In 2003 it began using a new ident - sometimes to introduce network programmes - which doesn't feature the ITV1 logo.

Real Media 8 format. (12s, 228k)

Real Media 8

MPEG format. (12s, 443k)

MPEG

 

Channel's clock (5K)

Channel Television was also having trouble letting go of the hearts theme. As well as the hearts slogan on its regional ident, it also retained its old hearts-themed clock for much of 2003, seen here in use before Channel News, weeknights at 6pm. It remains the only ITV company to use an on-screen clock.

Granada (9K)

Cilla Black, Blind Date

ITV1 West (7K)

Davina McCall, Popstars: The Rivals

HTV News lives on, but HTV as a station is no more. New owner, Carlton, somehow resisted adding its own logo to the idents. Now HTV West is "ITV1 in the West of England".

Meridian (10K)

Glynis Barber again

Tyne Tees (9K)

Derek Fowlds, Heartbeat

Westcountry (7K)

Davina again

Carlton Westcountry's idents match those from the Central region. Here too there was a name change, but it was even more subtle. Previously it was the Westcountry region. But now it's the West Country region!

Yorkshire (11K)

Carol Vorderman, Soap Star Lives

 

 Alternative Idents

Alternative idents were also made that don't feature any celebrities.

For some reason, this one, featuring a cloudy sky, was being used in the Scottish sub-region of Border Television whenever its programme schedule differed from that of its English sub-region. It was later widely used to introduce the ITV Lunchtime News. The example below is a shortened version - the beginning of the animation is missing.

Real Media 8 format. (9s, 183k)

Real Media 8

MPEG format. (9s, 356k)

MPEG

An alternative ITV1 ident (8K)
Grampian's Daytime Graphic ident forming up (4K) Grampian's Daytime Graphic ident (4K)

You can see the full animation in this second alternative ident. This time the cloudy sky has been replaced with a dark background. The jingle remains the same. This ident could be seen before evening news bulletins and current affairs programmes. As with the clouds ident above, versions were also made for ITV1 Wales, Scottish TV and Grampian TV.

Real Media 8 format. (10s, 191k)

Real Media 8

MPEG format. (10s, 387k)

MPEG

The ITV1 alternative ident forms up (3K)  
Another alternative ITV1 ident (5K)
  ITV1 Wales news ident (4K)
Scottish Graphic ident forming up (3K) Scottish Graphic ident (4K)

 

 Break Bumpers

ITV1's Break Bumper (5K) ITV1 Wales' Break Bumper (3K)

The 2002 re-brand saw the introduction of a new break bumper (a very short film introducing the adverts) - an ITV1 logo creeping slowly towards you.

Less than a month after the new-look launched, ITV1 Wales got its own break bumper.

ITV1's Reborn Break Bumper (8K)

This is a special break bumper used to promote the launch of Reborn in the USA. A few days after this was used, another special break bumper could be seen to promote the climax of a Coronation Street story. The caption said "Killer Corrie".

ITV1's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Break Bumper (10K)

ITV1 also used a break bumper to promote the launch of the second series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, just as it had done for the first series the year before. This time, there was also a matching ident. The koala puppets returned for the end of the series, to promote the grand final.

ITV1's Break Flash (2K)

Some regions are also using a break flash between each commercial.

UTV's Break Bumper (5K)

This break bumper is occasionally used on UTV. A longer version is also sometimes used to introduce programmes.

Channel's Break Bumper (4K)

This break bumper is seen at certain times of the day on Channel TV. It was introduced in 2003.

Scottish TV's Break Bumper (3K) Grampian TV's Break Bumper (3K)

These are the break bumpers introduced by Scottish and Grampian in 2003. Longer versions were initially also used as idents to introduce ITV News programmes. Unlike the break bumpers for the rest of the network, the logos are shown without a reflection underneath.

 

 The New Logo

As part of the new look, ITV's logos were all revised, taking on a solid 3-D form. I'm not sure what the reflections are supposed to represent - to me it makes the logo look like a chocolate wrapped in cellophane!

So not only has ITV1's look changed, but also the ITV Sport logo, ITV2's idents and even the ITV News Channel's permanent on-screen logo.

(On Monday, July 14th, 2003 ITV2 had another makeover and the style of its logo changed again.)

ITV Sport (10K)
ITV2 (8K)

 

 Christmas

ITV1 Christmas (4K) ITV1 Wales Christmas (11K)
ITV2 Christmas (7K) UTV Christmas (6K)

The ITV1, ITV1 Wales and ITV2 idents were modified for the Christmas period with the addition of shooting stars orbiting the logos.

UTV modified its logo with a snow shower.

 

 Brits 2003

For the second year running, ITV1 promoted its coverage of the Brit Awards with special idents on the day of the programme. Some featured actors wearing large heads caricaturing artists appearing at the awards. Others featured presenter Davina McCall. And some even featured both...

ITV1 Brits 2003 - Davina, Nelly and friends (7K) ITV1 Brits 2003 - Nelly and friends (8K)
ITV1 Brits 2003 - Jamiroquai's JK (6K) ITV1 Brits 2003 - main ident with Davina (9K)

 

 Little Ant & Dec

ITV1 Spoof ident featuring Little Ant & Dec - week 1 - 22-Feb-03 (6K)

ITV1 Spoof ident featuring Little Ant & Dec - week 2 - 1-Mar-03 (6K)

ITV1 Spoof ident featuring Little Ant & Dec - week 3 - 8-Mar-03 (6K)

ITV1 Spoof ident featuring Little Ant & Dec - week 4 - 15-Mar-03 (9K)

The second series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, shown in early 2003, introduced us to the hosts' young stand-ins, Little Ant and Little Dec. These boys would visit big stars, asking cheeky questions, because big Ant & Dec "couldn't be bothered". After a commercial break, one part of the show would begin with a spoof ITV1 ident where Little Ant & Dec once again stood in for their adult counterparts. A different edit was shown each week for four weeks. Here is the version seen in week one.

Real Media 8 format. (13s, 265k)

Real Media 8

MPEG format. (13s, 401k)

MPEG

 

 I'm A Celebrity...

The second series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! was promoted using a special ident before programmes on its launch night and then again at the end of the show's run, the night of the grand final.

ITV1 I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (18K)

 

 End Production Captions

A Carlton Production (8K)

Carlton

To coincide with the network's new look, Carlton modified its end production captions.

A Carlton Production for Central England (6K) A Carlton Production for London (8K)

Regional programmes now identified the region name on the caption.

HTV's (English language) programmes were also now also labelled as Carlton productions.

A Carlton Production for the West Country (7K)
A Carlton Production for the West of England (6K)
A Carlton Production for ITV1 Wales (7K)
An Anglia Television Production (7K)

Granada

The Granada companies continued to use their purple captions, which had been gradually introduced towards the end of 2001.

A Border Television Production (7K)
A Granada Television Production (7K) An LWT Production (7K)
A Meridian Production (7K) A Tyne Tees Production (7K)
A Yorkshire Television Production (6K)
A Channel Production (8K)

Channel

In 2002, Channel Television's production caption had hearts in the background. One year on and it was amended to match the background of the ITV1 corporate break bumpers.

 

 Who Did It

According to the official press release...

The channel's new on-screen look was the initiative of Jim Hytner, ITV's Marketing and Commercial Director, and created by Bruce Dunlop and Associates (BD&A) and ITV's in-house Network Promotions Unit (NPU).

BD&A were responsible for redesigning the on-air environment while the Network Promotions Unit created a series of new channel idents featuring ITV1 talent.

The new channel idents enable all ITV regions to adopt a unified ITV1 brand whilst still allowing for on-air regional distinction around local news and regional programmes.

BD&A have modernised the ITV1 logo and created a new portfolio of on-screen graphics including a break bumper, break flash, promotional packaging and a new end-credit promotion format. These incorporate a new branding device of four coloured blocks that resolve into the modernised version of the ITV1 logo.

 Timetable

The 2002 network idents (as well as those featuring the local personalities from Granada and Carlton's companies) were all filmed at the London Studios, in the space of a few weeks, back in July and August 2002. Not all of them were shown.

In September 2003 a whole new batch of celebrity idents replaced the existing ones as ITV1 tweaked its new look. See the ITV 2003 page for more.

 

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