BBC One‘s 2017 ‘oneness’ idents started, officially, on New Year’s Day, but we had an occasional set drolled out over Christmas to lead into specific programmes such as Doctor Who’s Christmas Day episode. For those not familiar with the term, they appear just before a programme starts.
No-one’s ever forgiven them since they abandoned the globe idents back in 1997, but while most sets of idents have lasted around 4.5 years, the BBC’s cost-cutting meant that the last lot of ‘circles’ ran for around ten years.
The problem is that anything with people as the primary focus shows that familiarity quickly breeds contempt as, before long, you just want to smash the faces in of some of them. A similar thing happened with Lloyds Pharmacy’s The Chase promos with the two giggling harridans that popped up more often than was necessary, but which eventually disappeared once they got the message. I like to think they’re down in a cellar and both chained to the same radiator as the son from the Tesco adverts, who disappeared some time ago.
The ‘circles’ ones included “Windows” with a lot of people looking out of windows… as the name suggests, including some close-ups. The same happened with the kites ident, but while the former was ditched, the latter was just relegated to a short piece of people from a distance with kites circling impossibly above them. Two of the most used from the last set include cyclists in the rain and hippos performing synchronised swimming… as you do.
Thanks to photographer Martin Parr and BBC’s PR spinner and bullshit deflector Charlotte Moore, sorry, Director of BBC content, they then stuck a wholesome phrase to the channel name of ‘oneness’, and that “BBC1 is a channel with its finger on the pulse of a fast-changing modern Britain.”
So what’s fast-changing about showing people in a zumba class or heading into the sea for a cold New Year swim? These are things that have been around for years.
She adds she wants “BBC1 to continue to evolve creatively and so it’s important that the channel idents continue to move with the times too” – utterly meaningless. How did she get a job? Like ITV’s film department, run by an individual who – I’ve had it confirmed – always attempts to crop as many films as possible to 16:9 instead of showing them in the original theatrical widescreen aspect ratio, they are depriving a village of an idiot.
ITV tried something similar back in Janury 2006, with a set of idents including one of a man losing his wig whilst trying to change his clothes on the beach, almost losing his towel in the process. ITV referred to these as “Emotion” idents, which illicit “an emotion response in all of us” – exactly the same cockamamie nonsense Ms Moore is giving us.
One of these emotion idents was called Surprise. In detail: “A bucket of water is thrown over two people sun-bathing, then two children jump out of a cardboard box, followed by a newspaper blowing past a pedestrian’s face, then finally a man comes out of a tent in a field and starts chasing several cows.” Really – just how much cocaine does one have to shove up one’s hooter for that to make any sort of sense?!
Anyhoo, these terrible screen blemishes were curtailed after just 10-11 months. I hope the near-naked, octogenarian swimmers go the same way.
You can see a number of the new BBC One 2017 idents in the video below: