On 15 November 1969, BBC1 began transmitting in colour, and introduced the first version of the “mirror globe” ident (this style was often used within Monty Python’s Flying Circus). The inclusion of the word “colour” in the station ident could be viewed as a subtle reminder to the vast majority of viewers, still watching in black and white, to buy a colour TV set and the much more expensive colour television licence which financed the BBC.
The “mirror globe” ident was revised in 1972 to use a more ornate font, from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s the BBC1 ident comprised various fonts reading ‘BBC1’ below variations on the mirror globe, with a deep blue background. The idents were generated by the Nexus Orthicon Display Device, or NODD for short, which worked by filming an image in black and white and electronically adding colour before the image was aired. This made it very easy for technical crew to manipulate the colours of the image for whatever reason (like a logo revamp) and meant black and white cameras could easily swing to photograph a different picture with the touch of a button.
With thanks to Benriggers, DELTIC1976, Sdaonline and TVajb for their contributions to this page.
60 years of the BBC
1984 Olympic ident
1984 Olympic ident with Ceefax
An electronically-generated timepiece was introduced in November 1981