BBC Choice

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


BBC Choice was launched on September 23, 1998 as the first British TV channel to broadcast exclusively in digital format, as well as the BBC's second non-terrestrial channel launch (following on from the BBC News channel in 1997). At launch, BBC Choice mainly existed to supplement existing programming on BBC One and Two, with some low-profile original programming of its own.

Faced with low ratings for both Choice and sister channel BBC Knowledge, the BBC changed its digital strategy in 2000. Under new controller Stuart Murphy, the channel began to aim specifically at a young adult audience. The BBC ultimately planned to replace the channel with the higher-profile BBC Three, which after some delay, began broadcasting on 9 February 2003.

1st ID (23 September 1998-10 July 2000)

Visuals: On a red/black gradient, green, blue, or red background, there are three things that belong to the same word but have different appearances/meanings. The camera faces the things, and when the camera cuts one last time, we fully see the things with the BBC Choice logo below.

Variants: The three things change from ident to ident:

  • Hearts: Heart of stone, heartburn and lightheart.
  • Mouse: A furry mouse, a clockwork mouse and a computer mouse.
  • Punch: Punch as in Punch & Judy, punch as in boxing, and punch in a bowl.
  • Fan: A paper fan, a footy fan and an electric fan.
  • Trumpet: An elephant trumpeting, a trumpet flower and a trumpet instrument.

Technique: Computer animation by Lambie-Nairn.

Audio: Sounds that go with the things, then a three-note tune, followed by an announcer.

2nd ID (10 July 2000-6 July 2001)

Visuals: Against a colored background (this depends on the variant), a redesigned version of the last logo's heart zooms in and out as if it were beating. There are some very fast paced effects as the background changes color. The BBC Choice logo fades in at the bottom of the screen, and the heart shines slightly.

Technique: Computer animation designed in-house by BBC Broadcast.

Audio: Heartbeat-like sounds followed by a lot of short electric sounds, ending with a gentle synth hum and some quieter echoing heartbeat sounds.

3rd ID (6 July 2001-November 2002)

Visuals: There is three orange boxes doing various things, such as moving or punching, around a green background. The BBC Choice logo is seen at the bottom.

Variant: From December 2001, the background colour was blue.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A hip-hop/dance-like tune.

Availability: Preserved by tape/DVD enthusiasts.

4th ID (November 2002-9 February 2003)

Visuals: There is a grey construction site with a blue scaffolding, an "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" sign and two builders working inside the scaffolding. The BBC Choice logo is at the bottom.


  • For Christmas 2002, the building site was given some Christmas lights and the builders were seen walking away wearing either a reindeer hat or a Santa hat.
  • Later on in 2002, an ident started airing which briefly flashed the "THREE" sculpture that would be used for the first BBC Three idents.
  • From January 2003, there was a sign that counted down to the BBC Three launch date (9 February 2003).

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: The sounds of a building site - reverse beeps, welding sparks and hammers.

Availability: These were temporary idents while the first BBC Three idents were being prepared.

BBC Choice
BBC Three
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