A Fleeting Glimpse…
In October 2008, insiders on TV Forum revealed that BBC Two were planning to modify their presentation. As part of a round of tweaks, the Cappuccino, Chase, Tent and Mirror A idents were to be axed.
The new look Sunroof was broadcast at 6am on 1st October 2008.
As the above clip shows, the teal box was nowhere to be seen, apparently succeeded by a BBC logo positioned in the bottom right corner of the screen. But then something perculiar occurred: the following junction at 11am saw the box mysteriously reappear. An eleventh hour reprieve? That certainly seemed to be the case and save for an erroneous midnight playout of Seascape presented in the format above, no sign of any new presentation was seen for the remainder of the day or the days that followed.
Postponed or cancelled? No-one knew.
The original presentation then remained in use until…
The June 2009 Refresh
Once again, a BBC insider revealed that modified BBC Two presentation would be launching at 6pm on 17 June 2009. The BBC Two box survived the refresh this time but found itself relocated to the opposite corner of the screen. In a reversal of its prior role, the box logo now appears from the start of each ident before fading out when the 2 is revealed, the one exception being Mirror where the box continues to fade in mid-way through the ident.
Without explanation, the Chase and Cappuccino idents were withdrawn from use.
A new trail design accompanies the new look, alongside a series of 5 second stings (or ‘blips’). The refresh proved controversial amongst TV pres fans with some claiming that it is the worst presentation package in the channel’s history.
Seascape was the first modified ident broadcast, with the box fading out as the waves crash through the 2.
Tent Festival was next out of the blocks. Always proves a handy ident for Glastonbury, as the announcer alludes to in the first video.
The futuristic adventure continues but the Zoetrope is now unbranded.
The new look Sunroof first appeared at 8pm prior to Springwatch Holidays.
In amongst this set’s many pratfalls, it’s easy to forget just what a lovely ident this one is. All the elements are there: the “2” as the central focus, interaction with the environment, a fitting musical score. A real shame more could not have been produced to this standard.
Goes by a few names including “Explorers” and “Arctic”, the revised version of this variation was first broadcast on the following day, during the junction that preceded Newsnight.
Thanks to the preferential treatment BBC Two directors give to certain idents we had to wait a while before Tent’s variations were aired. Tent Beach finally reappeared late on Friday night, prior to highlights of the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup.
The fact that Tagging Football survived the refresh when other idents with much higher production values were cast aside says a lot about the current state of BBC Two presentation.
Channel of the Year
BBC Two was named terrestrial channel of the year in August 2012, and updated several of its ident to reflect this award.