BBC2 2001-2007

On 19th November 2001, in came an entirely new set of computer-generated idents. The famous '2' lived on, but it had now gained a personality. There were just four idents to begin with; more variants were introduced in subsequent years, but all employed the same ivory-coloured '2' which would be seen in various situations in its own yellow world. In many cases, it would sprout robotic arms to carry out its various tasks.

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

Click the following links for Christmas and some of the special idents from this era.

A compilation of video clips of the idents from this era can be found at our YouTube channel.

For much of this period, viewers to the digital versions of BBC2 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were able to watch a block of dedicated programming for each of those nations, which opted out of the standard BBC2 schedule each evening. This replaced a similar service on BBC Choice, which ended in March 2001. Viewers wishing to watch the normal schedule for BBC2 in their nation had to switch back to analogue.

Northern Ireland's version was known as BBC2 NI, and in February 2002 it introduced some of its own versions of the personality idents. The two shown here were inspired by the Giant's Causeway and the Ulster Fry respectively.

The analogue and digital versions of BBC2 in Northern Ireland ceased to be separate in October 2006.

In Wales, the opt-out service was branded as if it was a separate channel, and came with its own distinct presentation style. Known as BBC 2W, it launched on 5th November 2001, and opted out of BBC2 digital each evening for an hour-and-a-half of dedicated programming for Wales.

Shown here is a rather lurid green graphical ident from BBC 2W's launch, along with a series of live action idents introduced by early 2003, where the green box in the corner is revealed to be part of the action. One was filmed on location in the left-hand corner of Wales, on a railway owned by the Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Ltd.

From 2007, the standard BBC2 Window on the World idents were used - a sign, perhaps, that 2W was being run down? As it turned out, its days were indeed numbered - BBC 2W closed altogether on 2nd January 2009. With digital switchover starting in Wales later that year, BBC2 on digital reverted to the BBC2 Wales service as seen on analogue.

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