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ITV 1999
TV from the Heart

Created  Fr 19-Nov-99
Main Content Last Revised  Mo 3-Apr-06

In 1999, ITV decided that the network should have a common look no matter where in the country you were watching. It commissioned a new idents package for each of the fifteen ITV companies, which took the existing company branding and added ITV's corporate logo. The package was based on a new slogan, TV from the heart of life.

The last time ITV tried to integrate its corporate logo with those of the regions was in 1989. Then, many regions opted out of dual branding, refusing to broadcast any of the network's idents. Ten years on, would it now be time for all of the ITV licensees to pull together?

With thanks to those named below for supplying or granting permission to use their vidcaps.

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


 How They Work

The ident package was quite flexible. Before each programme there were three main versions of the ident that could be shown.


The first type starts with a short film that cleverly incorporates a heart shape at the end. This then fades into a blue background of spinning hearts, upon which the regional ITV company's logo is superimposed. Most regions stopped using these versions in November 2001.


The second type begins with the blue background of spinning hearts. The regional logo then forms up on top of this out of horizontal and vertical lines. There are now two variations of this. One has a more pronounced fanfare, allowing a small announcement; the other, used in the Border, Granada, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire regions, has a jingle with a different bed, allowing the announcer to come straight in and waffle on about what's coming up later, or even on other ITV channels.

LWT lines form-up version (3K) Tyne Tees lines form-up version (3K)

Thirdly, we have the spinning hearts background with a static logo. This allows total flexibility for announcements, allowing the voiceover to be short and sweet or to go on and on.

There was also a fourth option - sometimes ITV companies had no ident before a programme at all.


 We Begin At The End

Here we see how the ITV companies' logos were adapted for use over the spinning hearts background.

Anglia (8K)


See Anglia use a hearts ident for the very first time below.

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Hear an Anglia announcement over the alternative jingle, which opens with a piano rather than strings.

Download and play in MP3 format. (130 276 bytes, 8 s)


Border (7K)

Vidcaps by Kevin Halstead

Border used the new look to discard their "chopsticks-in-a-bowl" "B" symbol. The company was also using the hearts style in its end captions, which were sometimes animated.

A Border Production (3K)

However, by the summer of 2002, Border had fallen into line with the other Granada-owned companies, and was using a static, purple production slide, which saw the return of the discarded Border symbol.

Channel (6K)

Channel - Heart of the Islands (8K)


With many thanks to Tom Liddle for the material


Channel Television's heart idents are different from those used by the other companies. First its company logo in the blue square is animated and secondly, the jingle is completely different.

See Channel's version of the funfair ident below.


Channel also used its own local ident, which incorporated its new globe/heart logo, launched on June 1st 1999, with the spinning hearts background, but no ITV logo. It was also used for 'coming next' announcements.

See the local ident in action below.

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Play Now (10s)

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Granada (9K)

Vidcap by Jamie Matthews

Initially, Granada mostly used the static logo over the spinning hearts during peak time, with the lines form-up version before the news. The film variants were seen during the day.


Granada - fully loaded (9K)

Here we see a fully loaded Granada ident, announcing subtitles and promoting the ITV web site. The logo in the bottom right-hand corner would sometimes briefly appear whilst the announcer told us what we can see on ITV2. A logo for the ITV Sport Channel was also available for the same purpose.

HTV (7K)

Vidcap by David Cobley


HTV Carltonised opening (4K)

HTV Carltonised middle (3K)

HTV Carltonised nearly (2K)

HTV 2001 (3K)

HTV's idents changed on July 2nd 2001 to reflect that the company was now owned by Carlton. The blue spinning hearts ending was kept, but was married with the various hearts themes seen in the other three Carlton regions. The Carlton jingle also replaced the original music.

LWT Nov. 99 - March 00 (9K)

LWT from March 2000 (9K)

There was a daytime variant of the ITV idents, which ended with what seems like a sunny surrounding added to the usual hearts background. Different endings were also shown at Christmas and New Year. In 1999 these featured a flying fairy.


Some viewers thought that as a result of adopting the corporate look, LWT was left with its worst ever idents. Perhaps in response to this, LWT broke rank and on March 24th 2000 replaced the official hearts package with a new set of idents of its own.

LWT adapted the idents to advertise what was coming next on LWT and ITV2.

LWT / ITV2 Coming Next (3K)


The spinning hearts background wasn't in the early designs of the new idents. A video clip on English & Pockett's old web site shows an ident with a light blue background, with a very blurred spinning background - but no hearts can be seen.


LWT / ITV2 Coming Next - new version (4K)

The replacement LWT idents featured a crowd gathering in front of a giant video wall. The only hearts are the occasional flashes of the funfair and motorway films on some of the screens.

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Play Now (13s)

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Meridian (5K)

Vidcap by Dave Hastings

Meridian 2001 (7K)

Tyne Tees (6K)

Vidcap by Lee Redmayne

Tyne Tees also used its own idents before regional programmes such as the local news. You can also see they updated the Tyne Tees logo.

Tyne Tees - local (4K)

Yorkshire (6K)

Vidcap by Asa Hicks

Yorkshire also used its own idents before its regional programmes.

Yorkshire - Local 1 (4K) Yorkshire - Local 2 (4K)

ITV Generic (5K)

This generic ITV ident was seen overnight in most regions.

ITV1 Generic (5K)


 Break Bumpers

ITV's Break Bumper (4K) Anglia's Break Bumper (4K)

The hearts theme made its debut in October 1998 when a new style of network trail was introduced promoting the programmes. At the same time, the Granada-owned companies in the North began using a short film at the beginning of every commercial break. Londoners also saw the heart dropping into the liquid, but only at weekends. It wasn't until September 1999 that the Carlton-owned companies would begin showing it, making it visible in London throughout the week.

Meridian, Anglia and HTV, then all part of the United News and Media group, began using the heart splash break bumper when the new hearts idents launched in November. Their bumpers were customised with the graphics from the idents.

Meridian's Break Bumper (4K) HTV's Break Bumper (4K)
ITV1 - the standard break bumper (4K) ITV1 - a Granada break bumper (4K)

In March 2000, alternatives to this heart-drop break bumper were spotted on Yorkshire and later on Granada, Tyne Tees and Border. The day of the week determined which alternative was shown. Some of these new designs were dropped in August 2001.

Survivor break bumper (5K)

The Premiership break bumper (7K)

Vidcap by Dave Hastings

Two other special break bumpers were also widely used in 2001. In the Spring, a heart of fire with the Survivor logo in it promoted ITV's new 1m reality game show. And in August a football with a 7 in it was used just before The Premiership launched in its 7pm prime-time Saturday slot. For the latter no attempt was made to incorporate a heart theme.

ITV1 World Cup 2002 break bumper, England v Sweden, 4 days to go... (6K)

ITV1 World Cup 2002 break bumper, England v Sweden, 2 days to go... (6K)

In 2002, two more themed break bumpers sprang up. First, in June, there was a countdown to ITV1's main World Cup game: England versus Sweden...

ITV1 I'm A Celebrity break bumper, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (5K)

ITV1 I'm A Celebrity break bumper, Nell McAndrew (5K)

... Then in August stills were shown of the ten star contestants from the forthcoming I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

"I'm A Celebrity" vidcaps by Alan Britton


 The Opening Films

Chef (5K) Chef Heart (4K)

Chefs School Graduation Photo

Full marks to whoever realised that a group of chefs make a heart shape when viewed upside down through a camera lens!

X Files (5K) X Files Heart (5K)

Men in a Dark Forest

This film seems to be inspired by E.T. and The X Files. Sadly there isn't a heart-shaped alien at the end.

Moving (5K) Moving Heart (6K)


The family's blue sofa and tasteful lamp make a heart. Is the family moving house or are they taking her stuff down the tip?

Mowers (5K) Mowers Heart (4K)

Keep Off The Grass

Two men mow the stripes into a football pitch (or rugby or hockey or whatever). The sprinkler plus the stripes make a heart, somehow!

Platform (4K) Platform Heart (6K)

Raining In My Heart

A bit of romance on a rainy day as two strangers meet on the platform of a station and laugh, despite the weather and the cancellation of their last train home due to the wrong kind of water on the line.

Aurora (5K) Aurora Heart (5K)

Thunder Bolts and Lightning Very Very Frightening

We look to the heavens again in this one, as Curly Watts and his friends gather to view the Northern Lights through their telescopes.

Drive (5K) Drive Heart (4K)

Motorway Madness

Mum turns round to tell the kids off for playing up in the back and is distracted from the map on her lap. Judging by the end of the film, her lousy map-reading skills mean they end up in a foreign country where they drive on the right.

Fairground (9K) Fairground Heart (11K)

All The Fun of The Fair

A day at the funfair goes horribly wrong when two Ferris wheels spin out of control.

Plan (7K) Plan Heart (5K)

Plan It

There appears to be a construction theme for some of the films. Here it looks like we have an architects office. The man on the left is next to a model and the woman on the right is measuring from a blueprint.

Build (6K) Build Heart (5K)

Build It

From the blueprint we move to the plans and the skeleton of a building.

Sparks (6K) Sparks Heart (7K)

Grind It

And here another man in a hard hat is working on what seems to be an iron gate.

Corner (4K) Corner Heart (4K)

Bodge It

While staining his floorboards, this DIY expert has managed to paint himself into a heart-shaped corner.

Lido (4K) Lido Heart (4K)

In The Swim

A man dives into an outdoor pool, then we see two ladies whose wakes form a heart shape.

Beach (3K) Beach Heart (4K)

On the Beach

Two young ladies in short dresses on a beach form a heart with their footprints.

Washing (5K) Washing Heart (5K)

Hanging Out the Washing

As neighbours yack over their garden fence, the camera pulls back to reveal that the clothes on the washing lines form a heart shape.

CCTV (4K) CCTV Heart (3K)

Caught on Camera

Two youngsters leap over a gate while a security ignores his CCTV monitor in favour of reading his newspaper.

Thanks to Asa Hicks for helping complete this collection


 Who Did It

The hearts idents and ITV logo were designed by English & Pockett. The music to accompany the idents was composed by David Dundas (who also composed the C4 theme and jingles for its launch in 1982). If all this sounds familiar then perhaps it's because the same agency (then known as English, Markell and Pockett) and composer were responsible for the last corporate ITV logo and its regional variations back in 1989.

Post-production was done by SVC. Taking into account all the film and music variations plus the number of different ITV companies, the company claims it had to deliver 3 500 versions.

The idents were re-worked a number of times before agreement was reached on the final look. Even then, Carlton decided not to use the package and instead asked Lambie-Nairn to design a different take on the hearts theme.

On the right, you can see what the background looked like on the Anglia ident before it was changed.

The new Tyne Tees logo and Yorkshire's regional idents were designed independently of the corporate rebrand by Rob Curtis.

Test ident (4K)



Wednesday 30th September 1998
ITV reveals its new blue and yellow logo featuring "friendly" lower case lettering together with its new symbol - a heart. In a press release, John Hardie, ITV's commercial director says, "ITV is the channel closest to the heart of the nation. This is emphasised by its proud history as a strong regional network, reflecting the lives and concerns of heartland Britain. This will not be a sentimental Valentine-type heart. It will be a much more subtle and adaptable image designed to reflect the breadth and depth of our programme output - ITV at the heart of the action, at the heart of current affairs, at the heart of the nation."

Monday 5th October 1998
The new logo and heart device begins appearing on network trailers and, for the Granada companies, it appears in a break bumper. We had been promised the heart symbol would appear in many guises, including a spinning Union Jack pendant, a rotating cake and a number of sparklers. But these failed to make it to the screen.

Tuesday 1st June 1999
Channel is the first ITV company to adopt the hearts theme, replacing the old CTV logo with a rotating orb circled by two comets, the tails of which form a heart shape.

Monday 6th September 1999
Carlton launches new idents based on the hearts theme and designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn's company. But this is not the 'official' package commissioned by ITV. Carlton's parent company also owns two other ITV companies and viewers in the Central and Westcountry TV areas were in for a shock - all of their programmes would now also begin with one of the new Carlton idents. The Central and Westcountry names were effectively dropped, killing off the regional identity of both companies.

The old ITV corporate logo (2K)

The previous ITV logo from 1989

ITV's new corporate logo (3K)

The new, friendlier ITV logo.

Planet Channel Islands! (6K)

Carlton's new ident (3K)

Thursday 7th October 1999
Speaking at ITV 2000, a presentation to advertisers and agencies held at London's Strand Theatre, John Hardie, the network's Marketing & Commercial Director, reveals that ITV will move to dual branding of the channel across the network in November. Already launched in the Carlton region, the ITV logo would now appear on screen alongside the individual ITV company logos on all continuity breaks. According to the press release, a total of sixteen brand new ident sequences, each customised for the appropriate ITV region, would be available for transmission from November 8. "The effect of this dual branding is that watching ITV will be a much more consistent experience," John Hardie said. "We are presenting ITV as the hallmark of quality, while the heart symbol will dramatically support the idea that ITV is television from the heart of British life."

Monday 8th November 1999
The new ITV idents package launches at 0925, after GMTV. But the three Carlton regions don't use it, neither do Scottish, Grampian or UTV. Viewers in London have to wait until Friday night when LWT begins broadcasting to see the spinning blue hearts for the first time. In the Channel Islands, Channel TV's hearts idents use a completely different jingle, and are the only company to have their logo animated. It also has a version without the ITV logo on, but which features the slogan: Heart of the Islands.
Monday 28th February 2000
Scottish and Grampian launch their own common look, based on blue squares rather than hearts. Their new idents do not mention ITV at all.

Friday 24th March 2000
After only four months, LWT ditch the official ITV hearts package and go with their own, based on a video wall.

Thursday 14th June 2001
MediaGuardian reports that John Hardie has quit ITV and is to join Walt Disney Television.

Scottish grass (5K)

Vidcap by Mark McMillan

Grampian grass (6K)

Vidcap by Paul Taylor


LWT's giant video wall (4K)

Monday 2nd July 2001
HTV, now owned by Carlton, changes its idents by mixing together the Carlton idents to provide the opening with the existing HTV spinning hearts ident to provide the ending. (The jingle is the same as the Carlton jingle.)

Monday 2nd July 2001
ITV announces it will shortly be re-branding itself as ITV1. The news comes ahead of the launch of the ITV Sport Channel and the re-branding of ONdigital as ITV Digital.

Tuesday 10th July 2001
ITV announces it has poached Jim Hytner from Channel 5 to replace John Hardie as Marketing and Commercial Director.

Saturday 11th August 2001
The hearts package is updated to replace the ITV logo with a much larger ITV1 logo, as the network is re-named. Carlton's idents follow suit. However, Channel stick with their original idents saying ITV, perhaps because there's no digital TV through an aerial in the Channel Islands, and hence no ITV2. At the same time, Anglia switches to using a different arrangement of the standard jingle for the live action idents and the Granada companies in the North introduce a new variation the lines form-up ident with a different jingle to allow the announcer to start talking much earlier, and hence for longer. They also drop some of their special break bumpers.

Thursday 4th October 2001
MediaWeek reveals that one of Jim Hytner's first moves at ITV will be ditching the hearts idents, which had received a mixed reaction from agencies and advertisers. But he refused to criticize the branding, saying: "At Channel 5 we couldn't believe the ITV shareholders had agreed a common ident. It was fantastic that they'd recognized the need to get as close to a single brand as possible. Although I'm not yet sure what is going to replace it, I will be working on making ITV1 the hero brand in a family of brands."
November 2001
At the beginning of the month, the hearts package is updated again as an animated itv.com logo is added. Carlton follows suit. At the same time most of the regions drop the use of the live action idents, which means the spinning hearts are on screen for longer. This allows companies extra time in which to fade in and out an ITV2 and/or ITV Sport Channel logo, so the announcer can talk about what's on these other ITV channels.

Anglia ident with itv.com plus Sport Channel logo (5K)

Carlton ident with itv.com added (4K)

Wednesday 5th December 2001
MediaGuardian reports that ITV is today ditching its TV from the Heart slogan. It quotes Jo Walker, head of viewer marketing at ITV as saying that the network has not yet decided whether to continue with the heart symbol. The heart logo and slogan apparently cost ITV 1m.
Christmas 2001
ITV1 uses a computer-generated Eskimo in programme promotions. Perhaps due to the Christmas sprit, which brings everyone together, every single ITV region uses the Eskimo in one way or another. Meanwhile the Granada-owned companies have a common Christmas ident, which doesn't refer to the individual regions, only the ITV1 brand. It is left to the announcers to mention the regional company names.

Granada companies' common Christmas ident (8K)

Thursday 21st February 2002
ITV1's coverage of The Brit Awards brings a special ident based on a loudspeaker to our screens. As at Christmas, the Granada companies use a common ITV1 ident. The three Carlton-branded regions, have the same ident but with the Carlton name added. Similar idents are seen in Scotland.

Granada regions' Brits ident (5K)

Carlton regions' Brits ident (5K)

Wednesday 4th September 2002
ITV1 announces details of the forthcoming re-launch of its on-screen identity. The most radical change will be that the regional company names will now only appear on screen before regional programmes, despite Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell's assurances that ITV's regional identities would be protected. The rest of the time, viewers throughout the country (or at least in the regions run by Granada and Carlton) will see new idents featuring a 3-D ITV1 logo and the stars of the station, such as Ant & Dec, Trevor McDonald and Davina McCall, in "off-duty" moments. Jim Hytner says: "This is the most extensive rebrand ever undertaken by ITV and creates a new feel for the channel. As we face greater competition, it's vital that we express the channel's personality and what better way to do that than through our talent. The new idents show some of the biggest names in television being themselves, off-screen, in a way that viewers will find instantly warm and engaging."
Monday 28th October 2002
The ITV1 re-launch takes place. See the ITV 2002 page for more.


Other pages in the TV Logos section...

Right to Reply logo

Branding on Right to Reply

ITV's new image is touched upon in a short film I made for C4's Right to Reply. In it we look at how sophisticated TV companies' brand images have become and ask whether sometimes the slick logos have higher production values than the programmes. And as broadcasters increasingly turn to marketeers for their on-screen look, how long before we see them influence the shows as well? The item includes an interview with Jim Hytner, then Marketing Director of Channel 5, who later moved to ITV to introduce national continuity using celebrity idents. The page contains a transcript and video to download/play.

TV Logos
Programme Delivery Control Explained
Public Information Films
Channel 5
DOG Watch
Digital TV - Beyond the Hype
TV Room
TV Logos
Channel 5


625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)