This page has been produced in conjuction with Chris Bowden-Smith
of Transdiffusion, Gavin Sutherland,
Joey Summerskill and Dave Jeffery.
Here is Lew Grade's Associated Broadcasting
Company logo. What's *this* all about?
Notice that the shadowed eye part of the ident has vertical lines
very much thinner than on later versions.
(Image courtesy of the Transdiffusion archive)
As a result of the Associated-British Corporation's
court action, Lew Grade was forced to
re-name the station Associated Television (ATV), and had five
days to re-do all of their idents. This one was incorrectly drawn
in the rush. The ATV name was used from 6th October 1955.
This logo is much wider than the ATV logo we know,
and the letters are vertically symmetical, not so on later versions.
The MPEG downloadable here has no sound. As far
as is known this was never broadcast in silence but it was
used at start-up with the Sound
and Vision start-up music (the film would have had to
have been carefully timed to synchronise the Sound and Vision
music (on gramophone) with the appearance of the letters 'ATV')
and at closedown with the last part of Sound and Vision
followed by the National Anthem.
At all other times the text 'Associated TeleVision
Ltd' was not present on the ident but was accompanied by the ATV
Joey Summerskill says that for a while this ident
was used at the same time as the ATV Three-Bar one below, although
it was never attached to the programme film/tape.
Variations on this, the Three-Bar ATV ident, were used for
all frontcaps from (roughly) 1956-1959.
The MPEG here is the first variant used. Later on (about 1957-59)
two other variants were used - one that said 'Midlands Monday
to Friday' only on it, and another that said 'London Saturday
& Sunday' only.
The Midlands version of the later variants was used for programmes
broadcast during the week and the London one for programmes
shown during the weekend.
The eyes look a bit 'pointy' on this ident.
This is the first of the ATV Zooms,
the generic name given to ATV idents, as the ATV logo zooms in
from the distance.
The Transdiffusion archives say that this was used from 1959
until July 1964.
The spaces for the letters are blank as it zooms, but the letters
appear one at a time in time with the ATV chimes.
This was used on all ATV programmes.
Note the smaller diameter of the circles within the eyes compared
with later versions.
This Zoom, for the London franchise, is the first variant, which
was used up to July 1964. It is not known exactly when it was
introduced, but an educated guess puts it at 1959.
(Image used with permission from Transdiffusion)
The Transdiffusion archives record that this Zoom
was used from July 1964 until the introduction of colour in November
Notice how the ATV shadowed eyes are bigger than in the previous
These idents (both the Midlands and London versions) were introduced
as a result of the franchise awards (announced by the ITA on 8th
January 1964 and coming into force on the 1st August) and the
region that the ITV companies were based in became more prominent
on their idents.
It was used from July 1964 until the end of ATV's London franchise.
London Weekend took over the London weekend franchise after Tuesday
30th July 1968.
There was another ident similar to this, says Chris, that was
used for (for example) Star Soccer where the ATV ident
would be in place and the word 'PRESENTS' (in the same typeface
and size as the word LONDON) would slide in quickly from the right.
No copy of this is known to exist - please get in touch if you have one.
The ATV logo remained stationary whilst the word
'MIDLANDS' zoomed its way towards the viewer to end up like this.
There was another version of this with a slightly different 'S'
This Zoom is a black and white version
of the famous 'In Colour' Zoom, with shortened music.
Joey says that it was used to precede black and white programmes
shown after the introduction of colour.
She remembers that ATV got a bit slapdash in remembering to use
this one before monochrome programmes and that ATV would proudly
declare using the In-Colour Zoom that the next programme was in
colour and then proceed to show a black-and-white programme!
Robert Greenway says "I remember two programmes, Cuddles
and Company (Keith Harris and Cuddles) and Play Better
Bridge - with Shaw Taylor, both of which (well into colour
days) started with a static ATV logo and the music from the [vibraphone]
onwards. The former not having a box round the symbol and the
latter one having it.
"Anyone else remember
This is from the front of an advertising magazine.
These were broadcast in the early days of ITV, but were forced
off-air by legislation in the mid-1960s.
This is likely to have been a one-off frontcap.
Robert Greenway adds "[This] may have come from The Strange
World of Gurney Slade. It was repeated [in the early-mid nineties].
Here's an MPEG of an ATV optical, or break bumper, used for
separating the adverts from the programmes or separating each
Don't blink or you'll miss it!
If you were scared of the ATV ident when you were young, imagine
yourself watching this when you were a kid!
This was actually coloured yellow-on-blue but time and encoding
has taken its toll.
quality version: 445kB
quality, VideoCD resolution: 2.30Mb
4th January 2004
Here you can download the ATV 'In Colour' Zoom ident, the one
everyone knows and loves!
It is referred to as a Zoom for historical reasons, as it doesn't
actually do any zooming (although the light-spots zoom in, I suppose).
This Zoom ident has the 'light-spots' on a grey background.
Shift-click here to download an early
orchestration of the music used with this animation.
The jingle used here is called Zoom 2 (Extended) - the actual
composer's manuscript is below.
This is another Zoom ident, this time with the light-spots
on a light blue background.
If you know why there were two variations, one grey and one blue,
please let me know!
I do know that a blue Zoom was broadcast before the last
ATV Today - perhaps the blue Zoom is a later variant.
A possible explanation is that the blue Zoom preceded programmes
made in Birmingham and the white Zoom came before programmes made
at ATV's Elstree Studios in London.
Chris seems to remember that the blue Zoom preceded, more often
than not, schools' programmes.
Of course, any (or none, or both) may be true, and the original
purpose for there being two was abandoned, meaning that it was
the programme producer's personal choice would be used.
Mark Boulton writes: "An important point to make about colour
telecine machines from the 70s and 80s - whereas some machines
(the more expensive), scanned all three primary colours (Red,
Green and Blue) using dichroic filters and three separate tubes,
some of the cheaper machines scanned only two of the primary colours
(Red and Blue) - and Green was derived by subtracting the Red
and Blue output from the monochrome output. Studio cameras also
did this - Green was picked as the colour to derive since it has
a higher luminance ratio than Red and Blue. Also, the monochrome
tube used for the b/w image from which the green was derived would
very often be a more old-fashioned (and hence cheaper), tube as
developed for the black and white studio cameras.
"This resulted in some studio recordings and, some telecine
outputs, to show a marked tendency towards a green wash where
in actual fact the colour SHOULD be grey.
"The 'white' in the middle of the light-spots is brighter
than the so-called 'white' background which actually a slight
blue-green tint anyway. I think the 'green' tendency probably
brings this out more. There is, however, probably more blue than
green in the backdrop colour."
There was in fact more than one version of the In Colour Zoom
made - more to come on that later, so it's entirely possible that
a different coloured background was used as well. A deeper analysis
is to come.
This Zoom has been restored by myself from a truncated
off-air copy. The first few frames have been manually recreated.
Can you tell though? :-)
quality version: 404kB
quality, VideoCD resolution: 2.09Mb
Shortly after ATV became Central in 1982, ATV's programmes for
schools were shown with the Colour Zoom but with this slide preceding
As far as I can remember this went on until about 1984-ish.
Did this caption appear for general programmes or was it just
shown for schools programmes? The thing is that schools programmes
were the only type of programme repeated year on year; most programmes
after 1982 would have been new or made with the Central ident
for broadcast after 1982, so it may have been general practice
but much rarer.
You can also download the full junction that this came from from
one of the ITV Schools pages.
Here's the manuscript for the music to the ATV 'In
Colour' ident, so if you have some trumpets, trombones, some timpani
and a vibraphone lying around you can recreate it in your own
It is dated 21st July 1969.
Gavin Sutherland says that "the jingle was [...]
composed by Jack Parnell, and orchestrated by Wally Stott."
An early orchestration of this can be downloaded
It is thought that:
- Zoom 2 (extended) is the In Colour Zoom music;
- Zoom 2 is the music for the version of the In Colour
Zoom for monochrome programmes (see above);
- Zoom was just a name for the current ident (any animation
with its jingle (as a package) after 1959) whichever it was.
Central's ident was also known as the Zoom internally, too.
Click on the image to see a bigger, more readable
sent in a remix of the ATV
Zoom 2 music - who'd have thought it possible?!
David Hemsley sent in a jingle
that was used on Forces Radio BFBS that also boasts an imaginative
use of Zoom 2!
(Thanks to Gavin Sutherland for the image)
I didn't think I'd ever see this again - the logo-smashing
introduction to the ATV Thursday Picture Show.
It's a fond ribbing of the famous Rank muscle-man-bashing-a-gong
It's difficult to see here, but the gong-smasher
here is a non-muscley man in an old-fashioned swimming costume
and a cloth cap! The gong sound isn't so much a gong - more
a tinkle :-)
There's a movie - shift-click to download! (399kb)
The MPEG supplied here was a promo used by ATV
to promote the new UHF Oxford transmitter.
It will have been broadcast shortly before the
opening of the Oxford main station on 15th June 1970.
This has everything - the ATV logo, some funky
music and it's about a transmitter!
The music is called X-Cert, composed by
Johnny Hawksworth. [Simon McLean]
You can download a version with no voiceover on
it by shift-clicking here.
What about a bit of fun with the promo? Try out
your voiceover skills by having a go at the promo on the ATV
Oxford page, which has a transcript and embedded file for
your convenience (it's because of the unique way we're funded
that makes it possible :-) ). Send in your efforts, and we'll
post them here for all to enjoy!
Again, shift-click on the picture to download
the movie. (903kb)
"...or even Princes Risborough!"
There is also a page about ATV Clocks, including
Click on the image to get to it.