BBC1 1997-2002

The BBC1 globe went off in an unexpected and imaginative new direction on 4th October 1997, in the form of a hot air balloon flying over various UK locations. Around sixty clips were made in all, along with a number of further versions for special occasions.

These were the first BBC1 idents to be produced in 16:9 widescreen, but could not be viewed this way until the start of digital television a year later.

Hover the pointer over each image for more information about the idents.

Idents filmed in England:

Idents filmed in Wales:

Idents filmed in Scotland:

Idents filmed in Northern Ireland:

Lifestyle idents:


These additional clips featuring the balloon, lasting no more than a couple of seconds each, are what are often known as 'stings' or 'bumpers', and appeared in between trailers during junctions. They can be distinguished from the main idents by the smaller version of the channel logo at the bottom of the screen.

From our YouTube channel, two compilations of BBC1 idents from 1997-2002, plus the balloon taking its final flight later in 2002.

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