BBC Alba

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


BBC Alba is a Scottish Gaelic language channel jointly owned by the BBC and MG Alba, which was launched on Friday, 19 September 2008, after a BBC Trust consultation into a partnership with MG Alba in 2007 determined that a Gaelic language channel would be suitable to launch. As a Gaelic language channel, it is notable for having most of its content produced locally within Scotland, as well as being the only BBC channel ran as a partnership. The channel runs daily for up to seven hours a day, and despite having most content available in Gaelic language only, it is available to watch across all of the United Kingdom on satellite and cable platforms.

1st ID (19 September 2008 - 19 September 2018)

Visuals: Across various scenes in Scotland, we can see objects and people slowly floating and moving, as if under zero gravity, pointing towards a lone star in the sky. The star is revealed to be the stylised star within the MG Alba logo, which quickly expands and shrinks back down, and the new BBC Alba logo, with the 1997 BBC logo on top and the ALBA text underneath, appears in the center of the screen.

Trivia: These idents were all made by Glasgow based agency Design Is Central.


  • Urban: Starting out with an establishing shot of a city skyline at sunset is shots of a traffic light's shadow and various streetlamps looking up, followed by some street cones floating off the ground, and tied shoes on a powerline spinning around. The camera cuts to the final shot, featuring some houses with their terrestrial and satellite receivers turning towards the star.
  • Rural: Beginning in a field with two women slowly floating into the air is shots of some potatoes in a truck floating upwards, two wooden posts bending and looking up, a road sign that reads 'Aiseag' in Gaelic slowly moving to point upwards, and a pair of swings slowly being lifted up. The final shot is a large lake area at sunset, with two telescopes looking towards the star.
  • Statues: Starting out on a timelapse shot of the Commando Monument in Lochaber, there is the Mannie in the Green statue in Aberdeen, the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Memorial, part of the Gladstone Memorial Monument, and Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh, all moving in some way. The final shot ends on the William Wallace Statue in Aberdeen, moving his hand as if he was holding the BBC Alba logo.
  • Cars: The camera zooms over to two cars, one yellow and one white, both with the number plate reading ALBA. There is a bobble head dog in the yellow car look up, followed by a fluffy dice air freshener and some sunglasses moving on the interior of the white car, and the windscreen wipers on the white car being pulled upward. The camera cuts to the wheel of the white car as it slowly begins to levitate, and the final shot shows the yellow car floating and pointing in the direction of the star.
  • Vents: There is a timelapse shot of overhead clouds building up and becoming darker, as it begins to rain we see an aerial shot of a bustling city as rain falls. The camera cuts to the ground, where we see a puddle full of water, before cutting to a phone box with a phone that slowly begins to levitate upwards. The final shot ends on a rooftop with three vents looking out onto a city skyline, and the three vents begin to move and point towards the star.

Technique: Live-action and CGI.

Audio: Each ident features a different synthesised ambient tune, with instruments such as guitars and violins against a synthetic ambience. When the BBC Alba logo appears, a four note descending jingle is heard.

2nd ID (19 September 2018 - 20 October 2021)

Visuals: There is various scenes from around Scotland depending on the variant, before two colored stars (stylised in the same way as in the MG Alba corporate logo) fade in and slowly rotate on screen. One of the stars fades away, while the other one stops on the right side of the screen as the BBC Alba logo fades in letter by letter, followed by a smaller star fading in to the top right of the BBC logo.

Trivia: These idents were all made by Corran Media, also based in Glasgow.


  • Fishing Boat: The sequence starts underwater, with the camera following a fishing basket as it is pulled up by a rope. The camera cuts to the ship, which shows a man leaning over to grab the basket as a dog watches. The fishing basket is pulled out of the water as we get a shot of the blue boat, and a shot of some seagulls flying through the sky. There is two more shots of the fishing basket, before the camera cuts away to a full view of the boat, where the BBC Alba stars appear in blue.
  • Music: Starting out with an establishing timelapse shot of a small village across a lake is shots of people setting up an indoor musical event interspersed with more timelapse shots of the sun setting. Eventually we see the musical event itself, with shots of people dancing as well as various performers on stage playing instruments such as a bagpipe, violin and a synthesiser. The final shot shows a wide view of the crowd dancing, where the BBC Alba stars appear in blue and green.
  • Loch: There is various hikers gathered at the highest point of Ben A'an at sunset, before cutting to various shots of rural Autumnal nature and people performing activities such as cycling and walking. The final shot shows a dock across a small lake, where the BBC Alba stars appear in yellow and orange.
  • Queensferry Crossing: Starting out with a shot of the Queensferry Crossing Bridge looking out towards Edinburgh, the camera cuts to closeups of various parts of the bridge, including the structure and the cars driving across it. There is some more shots of the bridge and the surrounding roads, ending on a wide view of the bridge as the BBC Alba stars appear in purple and pink.
  • Bass Rock: There is a wide view of Bass Rock with the nearby Drift Cafe overlooking it, before cutting to various shots of people within the cafe performing activities such as yoga as well as talking and drinking. In the reflection of the window we can see the surrounding beach as well as Bass Rock itself. The final shot shows Bass Rock out at sea, where the BBC Alba stars appear in green and yellow.
  • Glasgow: There is various shots of people and places around Glasgow, mostly focusing on the River Clyde and its various bridges, with the final shot showing the IMAX Theatre at the Glasgow Science Centre, where the BBC Alba stars appear in purple and grey.

Technique: All live action shots from around Scotland, followed by simple animation for the stars appearing on screen and the BBC Alba logo fading in. The color of the stars varies depending on the ident.

Audio: Each ident features the same composition played out using different instruments, ending on a descending three note jingle when the BBC Alba logo appears.

3rd ID (20 October 2021 -)

Visuals: Same as above, except now the stars animating in have been removed. Instead, the new 2021 BBC logo animates in on the top of the screen, and ALBA (now in Reith) appears at the bottom with the iconic star placed to the right of it.

Trivia: This ID uses the Chameleon branding design.

Variants: Same as above, except the colored stars have been removed.

Technique: Same as above, except the animation now consists of the BBC logo appearing instead.

Audio: Same as above.

Availability: Can be seen on the BBC Alba channel when it is on air.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.