On 4 October 1997, the globe was dramatically updated when it left the confines of the indoors to take the form of a hot-air balloon. Initially filmed over various landmarks throughout the UK; later additions saw the balloon added digitally over a wider range of landscapes. The idents featured the new name of the channel: BBC One – a naming convention in line with the rebranding of other BBC channels. Over the next two and a half years, no fewer than 59 different variations of the BBC One balloon ident were produced.
From June 2000 the URL of BBC Online – later bbc.co.uk – was included in all BBC One and BBC Two idents. Appointed in late 2000, then-controller of BBC One Lorraine Heggessy took the decision to abandon and replace the identity. This saw the balloon globe icon become the shortest-lived ident package of the colour television era – lasting only 4 and half years – and marked the end of the channel’s illustrious 39-year association with the globe symbol.
With thanks to Benriggers, Daniel Mullins, Robert Williams TVbits and TVajb for their contributions on this page.