Action Time Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Action Time Productions was a British production company and format distributor that was originally started out as a UK-based broker of US game shows from different British broadcasters such as Paramount Television and Ralph Edwards Productions. It was founded in 1978 by Jeremy Fox and they started operations in 1980 with the arrival of the British broadcaster Channel 4 then the company was sold to Zenith Entertainment (a joint venture of Carlton Television and Paramount Television) in 1987 so they would place the company IPs for sale. The company had a strong format development side led by Stephen Leahy (who took over the company in 1988 after he left Granada Television) and Trish Kinane, which would later leave to form Ludus Productions. In 1996, the company was acquired by Carlton Communications the then-owner of Carlton Television. Despite the new ownership, the company continued to trade semi-independently from Carlton.

After the company's then-management directors Caroline Beaton and Phil Trelease (who replaced Stephen Leahy and Trish Kinane in 2001) left the company in February 2004 following the merger of Granada Media and Carlton Communications, it was announced that Action Time would likely be folded into Granada's own operations. This was finalised the following month, when ITV plc folded Action Time into Granada International.

1st Logo (March 31, 1984-1985)

Visuals: On a black background is the green letter "A" that connects with the white letter "T" on the bottom. Below it has the text "AN ACTION TIME PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" with the copyright stamp below the logo.

Variant: An early variant has the logo against a grey background with a canvas-like texture.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: The ending theme of the show.

Availability: Seen on earlier game shows from this period such as Ear Say.

2nd Logo (May 10, 1985-1986)

Visuals: On the same coloured background as before is a stylised, lime outline of the letters "A" and "T" merged together at the former's crossbar.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: The ending theme of the show.

Availability: Can be seen on early episodes of 6.20 Soul Train.

3rd Logo (1986-1988)

Visuals: As the last scene of the credits appear, grey and green triangles fly from the screen. Both of them conjoin together and spins to the centre to firm a green triangle with a grey shadow. The word "ACTION TIME" wipes in and two green lines fade in above and below the logo. The word "AN ACTION TIME PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" fades in below the logo.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: The end theme of the show.

Availability: Seen on some shows like Solid Soul.

4th Logo (September 5, 1988-October 11, 1991)

Visuals: On a space background like the 1988 CIC Video Warning that zooms out with streaks is a silver box containing the same logo from before, albeit in metallic, with the text and lines is in blue. The word "AN" and "PRODUCTION FOR" is above and below the lines, and underneath is the channel information (either Galaxy, Sky One or Granada Television) is below the logo, also in blue. Red streaks move from the space background.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The end theme to the show.


  • Appeared on some game shows like early episodes of Stars in their Eyes, Runaway and Intellect.

5th Logo (September 3, 1990-1994)

Visuals: On a black background, the blue words "Entertainment from" in a script along with the same triangle from the previous two logos, but now in silver, zoom out and the camera pans out to reveal the text "ACTION TIME" in the same font as the previous two logos, which also pans out. The camera then rotates as a blue shadow of a triangle pans out and two blue lines alode from the left and right settled to the centre. Then the logo shines and either the copyright disclaimer or the channel info (either the BBC, Granada Television or Sky One) is shown underneath the logo also in blue.


  • Sometimes, the logo is still.
  • On the UK version of Remove Control, the triangle stands to the left on the logo and appears next to the 1990 Granada logo. Underneath it reads "AN ACTION TIME/GRANADA PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR".
  • On the Dutch version of Love at First Sight, a silver version of this logo was placed in the end credits.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A warbling synth theme with drumbeats.

Audio Variants: Sometimes, the ending theme of the show plays over it or may be silent.

Availability: Seen on the UK version of Love at Frist Sight and Remove Control and the Dutch version of Love at First Sight.

6th Logo (1993-1994)

Visuals: Simply a custom in-credit notice saying "An ACTION TIME Production for" with either the Carlton logo or the text that read "CARLTON TELEVISION" or "THE FAMILY CHANNEL", with a copyright info below the logo.

Variants: Each show that used this in-credit logo used a different variant:

  • Lose a Million - Behind the sailboat used in the show's opening.
  • Michael Ball - the logo is behind spotlights with the 1989 ITV logo on the bottom right.
  • Family Catchphrase - This short-lived spin-off to Catchphrase used a special animated variant done in the style of an actual Catchphrase puzzle used in the show. A clock drops down with Mr. Chips wearing a visor and holding a megaphone. The clock ticks and Mr. Chips taps his foot while looking at it. Once the clock reaches half past seven, Mr. Chips starts shouting the word "Action!" which flashes, and the text is shown below the logo.
  • Catchphrase (Series 10) - A static screenshot of Mr. Chips saying "Action!" through a megaphone, while standing next to a sand timer, all set on a blue background. This is an alternative static version of the Family Catchphrase variant.
  • Trivial Pursuit (Series 1) - Appears behind a blue background with an image of a butterfly in it.
  • Trivial Pursuit (Series 2) - Appears on a teal background with a dark circle and wallpaper of the game's circle board behind it.

Technique: A still image. For Family Catchphrase, 2D animation in the same style as the show.

Audio: None or the ending theme of the programme.


  • It was seen on Michael Ball, Trivial Pursuit, Lose a Million, Family Catchphrase, and the tenth series of Catchphrase.
  • The first four shows have not reran in years, but the latter frequently airs on Challenge.

7th Logo (October 3, 1994-January 3, 1998)

Visuals: On a grey stony background is a blue circular line with an large "A". The text "ction Time" (the "A" being filled in by the blue 3D "A") is seen next to it.


  • On some shows, a copyright date and/or the co-producer of the show appears below the logo.
  • Sometimes, the logo is shown on a box.
  • There could be co-producer variants with Carlton UK Productions (on Catchphrase) or Yorkshire Television (on Raise the Roof).

Technique: A still image.

Audio: Same as the last logo.


  • Seen on the 1995-1996 season of Catchphrase.
  • The logo also appeared on the Sky One game show Spellbound, Jeopardy! UK and Wipeout episodes from this time period.

8th Logo (January 10, 1998-May 5, 2000)

Visuals: On the same grey stony background from the seventh logo, there's a purple text that says "action time" with "A" on the top and "Production" on the bottom.


  • Starting with the 1998-1999 series of Catchphrase, the text is on the bottom and reads "An Action Time Production".
  • On Wipeout, the 1997 BBC Manchester logo is shown below the logo.
  • On 1999 episodes of Catchphrase, the logo is shown with the 1999 Carlton logo.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: Same as the last logo.

Availability: Seen on series 12 and 13 of Catchphrase (except for the first episode of the former series, which uses the previous logo) as well as Wipeout until series 7 and The Mole episodes from the era.

9th Logo (January 7, 2000-December 19, 2002)

Visuals: On a white background is the word "action time" in the same font as the previous logo, also in purple. The words "An and "Production" is shown above and below the logo.


  • On Series 14 and 15 of Catchphrase (the former is the first to feature Nick Weir as presenter), the logo is shown on the same background as the 1999 Carlton with the latter is shown below the logo. In Series 14, the text is white and there is sometimes a URL below the Carlton logo. This version is also in fullscreen.
    • Starting with Series 15, the text is purple, the URL is permanently removed, and the logo is in widescreen.
  • On Series 16 of Catchphrase, the logo is inside a white box with the 2001 version of the 1999 Carlton logo next to it.
  • On Series 17 of Catchphrase, beginning with Episode 23 of the season (early episodes used the standard variant), the boxed version appears on an orange background, and appears in a split-view variant with the credits on the right (A format which all ITV shows, both Carlton and Granada, used at the time)
  • On Wipeout, the logo is on a purple background with the whole text in white and had the 1997 BBC Manchester logo.
  • On The Mole, the logo is in-credit with the text below reads "Production for Channel 5" and have a copyright stamp.
  • On It's Your Chance of a Lifetime, the logo is underneath the 1999 Carlton America logo.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: The end theme of the show or none.


  • Seen on later series of Catchphrase starting with series 14, as well as episodes of Wipeout, the UK version of The Mole and It's Your Chance of a Lifetime.
  • When Nick Weir-era episodes of Catchphrase were re-ran in 2004 on ITV1, the logo and Carlton's were plastered with the Granada logo, but kept the mention of the company.
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