UTV - Idents


Since 1959, Ulster Television have used different logos, or idents on-screen:

  • 1959 The station's first on-screen logo was an oscilloscope pattern made up of seven dot joined together by six lines. The logo animated to a jingle based on the local folk tune The Mountains of Mourne. According to UTV's website, the original logo was designed as part of a competition, and the winner among over 450 entrants was Mr Roy Irwin of Ballycarry.
  • 1970 With the imminent launch of UHF colour broadcasts, Ulster Television redesigned its first logo. - the oscilloscope pattern was retained; but the dots were removed, and the lines were encased in a television-screen shape. Monochrome and colour versions of this ident were produced, the colour using a yellow logo and text on a blue background, which were adopted as the station's colour scheme. UTV's ident at this time did not animate and was not accompanied by a jingle. The logo type introduced on this ident was retained until 1993.
  • 1980 To celebrate their 21st anniversary, UTV commissioned a new ident featuring a model the station logo embedded on four faces of a cube, coated in silver with a pole skewering the top and bottom of the cube. This model was then filmed on video with a black cloth background as it revolved on a turntable. When it appeared on screen, it was accompanied by a synthesised jingle, and the words "Ulster Television" wiped on screen in yellow text. The ident made its on-screen debut on 31 October 1980, and was used until c. September 1988.
  • 1987 In c. September 1987, to coincide with the launch of the stations's new evening magazine programme, Six Tonight, a new ident was used to introduce the programme, featuring a computer animated silver station logo on a blue/green backdrop. After five seconds, the logo faded into the background as the titles of Six Tonight began. This ident, UTV's first attempt at a CGI ident, was later adapted as a temporary station ident in the last few months of 1988, with a video freeze used as the logo sank into the background.
  • 1988 The 1980 ident was eventually replaced by a new ident using computer animation, the last to feature the logo first seen in 1970 and the "Ulster Television" name. The ident began with a panning shot over a grey and white plate, with a light blue background at the back. The Ulster Television logo rises out from the plate, and the lines of the oscilloscope pattern are formed with a wipe. In this ident, the lines of the oscilloscope are yellow, with the rest of the logo (the television screen shape) in blue. When the lines are formed, the logo turns and reveals on screen, as a grey banner flies in underneath bearing the words "Ulster Television" and settles underneath the station logo. This ident was accompanied by a new jingle, and was used until 4 June 1993.
  • 1993 At 18.00 on 4 June 1993, UTV officially unveiled a new logo. This consisted of an italicised Times Roman capital U forming on screen from different component parts, settling on a blue and yellow plate with "TV" written in italicised red Futura Condensed text. A new jingle was also introduced with a distinct Celtic sound. Since the start of 1993, continuity announcements and trailers referred increasingly to "UTV", and the station's news service was rebranded as UTV Live. With the new logo, the use of "Ulster Television" to identify the station was consigned to history.
  • 1996 UTV introduced a new series of idents in October 1996, which showcased scenic locations in Northern Ireland. These include the Giant's Causeway, a waterfall at Glenarriff, and Portaferry harbour. These are supplemented in 1998 with a set of idents featuring people playing the UTV jingle on various musical instruments. Some of the idents featured UTV personalities.
  • 2000 On 1 July 2000, the day when programme presentation and commercials shown on the four main UK television channels switched from the 4:3 aspect ratio to 14:9 on analogue broadcasts and 16:9 on digital broadcasts, UTV introduced a new set of idents using footage from the 1996 "landscape" idents, the break filler films used on its short-lived sister channel TV You, and a UTV corporate advertisement where a shoal of fish grouped together to form the UTV logo. This collection of idents were the first to be created and transmitted in 16:9 aspect ratio, on digital terrestrial and digital cable providers. This was the last set of idents which used the 1993 logo, and they were phased out shortly before Christmas 2000.
  • 2000 The 1993 logo is replaced with a similar flatter and wider logo. The "U" is rendered in yellow on a blue oblong, with the "TV" in red on a yellow oblong contained inside the blue oblong. This remains the present station logo. Its first use was in UTV's Christmas ident in 2000. In January 2001, a new series of idents shot at various locations across Northern Ireland, including the Silent Valley Reservoir in County Down, Great Victoria Street in Belfast and the Hands Across the Divide sculpture at the Craigavon Bridge, Derry. This was complemented by further idents in 2002 featuring people walking towards the camera and touching the screen with their fingers to make the UTV logo appear.
  • 2002 On 28 October 2002, most of the regional ITV companies adopted a common look with the ITV1 brand replacing the various station logos. This was marked with a series of idents showing actors, presenters and newsreaders associated with ITV appearing in idents. At the same time, UTV decided to adopt these idents, but replaced the ITV logo with their own station logo. The soundtrack used on these idents was identical to those heard on the ITV network versions. This is the nearest that UTV have come to using identical idents to the rest of the ITV network. Around Christmas 2002, UTV broadcast a similar collection of idents showcasing their own presenting talent, shown in addition to the national idents. By early 2003, the network and local celebrity idents were phased out, and a generic ident showing the UTV logo on an animated blue background was used in all junctions.
  • 2003 UTV replaces its network-inspired graphics in November 2003 with a series landscape films of Northern Ireland in their idents, in the form of a panorama shot as the camera revolved around a location. Among the scenes used in this series of UTV idents included the Mourne Mountains, Enniskillen and Lurgan Park. These idents primarily used one of the ident jingles until 3 November 2005, when UTV reprised its 1993-2002 station jingle.
  • 2006 To coincide with the introduction of a new identity across ITV plc stations on Monday 16 January 2006, UTV replaced its 2003 idents with a brand new set. The new idents featured newly-recorded films shot across Northern Ireland, again in the form of panoramas. The landscape films used in these idents were updated in July 2007 and October 2008, with the background of each ident changing from black to white in December 2008. Special variations of the UTV idents were used to promote the 2006 North West 200 event, 2006 Special Olympics, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the UTV Rewind series. Further updates to this collection of idents have seen new landscape films and changes in the background design.

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