BBC Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

1st Logo (6 October 1980-31 October 1988)


  • Opening: Against a black background, many coloured parallelograms come from the top and bottom of the screen towards the middle, where a white four-pointed star is being drawn, with the smaller one starting with the top spire, while the large one starts with the left. The coloured shapes stop coming from the bottom as an orange line with a "V" shaped bend in the middle arrives, accompanied by a "shadow" effect. It stops below the star, and the parallelograms return from the bottom as the letters "BBC" and "IDEO" are drawn in white at either side of the "V", with the outsides first, then the insides on the left, then the reversed happening on the right. The line with the "V" is also traced over with white. After the logo forms, all the parallelograms eventually stop as a light shines inside the star and leaves a blue after-shadow.
  • Closing: The rainbow parallelograms are flying towards "BBC VIDEO", which disappears as if it was being played backwards; that is, it's sort of being "drawn away". The parallelograms stop and the 4-pointed star remains. As a copyright notice appears (in the Futura typeface) reading "© BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION and BBC ENTERPRISES LTD. (year in Roman numerals)", the star "shines" and is drawn away too, leaving a small light which flashes a few times and then fades.


  • The amount of time between the words finishing drawing in and the parallelograms stopping may vary.
  • On 101 Great Goals, the logo is superimposed onto a football match. At the end, a still of the normal opening logo with a copyright stamp is used.
  • On widescreen releases, the words "This is a wide screen film" fade in shortly before the star stops shining.
  • The copyright date (in Roman numerals) may be in a different font other than Futura. It also appears that the 1981 and sometimes 1982 versions are the only ones that appear to be "natural" as the rest appear with some kind of video effect.
  • On later tapes, the closing logo has a shadow effect added when the star is being drawn away. This was originally used during 1983 and early-1984 before becoming permanent in 1985.
  • On some tapes, the closing logo is shortened, starting from when the copyright disclaimer fades in.
  • On Watch With Mother, the logo turns grey-scale when the "V" comes in; the closing starts in grey-scale but turns into colour before the text is drawn away. Another version of this exists where it fades to the B&W effect as well on some other releases.
  • On a promo variant, the logo seems to fly backwards as it finishes.
  • On a trailer/promo VHS, the regular logo is seen for a few seconds until it cuts to a black background with a blue book sideways with the print logo of the time. At the bottom (or in the end of the tape, the top), "NEW VIDEO TASTIES" is seen in yellow. The closing logo starts when the text is drawn away, and the copyright date uses a 1982 version at its base, with an extra "I" added to the end of the copyright date to read instead as "MCMLXXXIII", and it fades out.
  • On rock concert releases, the text "ROCK FLASHBACK" appears in black, with a white outline. Another version has this in an orange Revue font with a yellow outline. The latter variant has an extra copyright added reading "Original recording © Deep Purple MCMLXXIV" below the normal copyright in a Helvetica font.
  • On most U.S. video releases distributed by CBS/Fox Video or Playhouse Video, [Examples?] the copyright disclaimer in the closing version is blacked out due to legal reasons.

Technique: Advanced Scanimation.

Audio: There were five main versions each for both opening and closing variants:

  • Opening:
    • (1980-1984) A big band marching band-type tune, with kettle drums, in B♭ major. Used from the beginning until 1984.
    • (1980-1984) A Moog synth tune with a marching-band flair (sounding similar to the first tune), also in B♭ major. Used in tandem with the first tune.
    • (1981) An orchestrated version of the first and second tunes in a different key (C major), led by violins.
    • (1981-1984) A laid-back rock version of the first and second tunes in a different key (D♯/E♭ major).
    • (1984-1988) A bouncy synthesized theme that ends with drawn-out synth notes and a 3-note synth-horn fanfare. A "whoosh" is also used to mark the appearance of the "V". This is the one you are most likely to find and has been composed to match the animation as close as possible. Used from 1984 until the end, and was composed by Peter Howell, who also arranged the 1980's version of the Doctor Who theme.
  • Closing:
    • (1980-1984 variant 1) A re-arranged version of the marching band-type tune with a powerful flourish.
    • (1980-1984 variant 2) A re-arranged version of the Moog synth tune with a longer beginning and more grand ending.
    • (1981) A slower re-arranged version of the string-led tune.
    • (1981-1984) A slower re-arranged version of the rock tune with an electric guitar strum.
    • (1984-1988) Ascending synth notes and chimes that lead into a shorter version of the opening logo's music with an extended, rather sombre ending.

Audio Variants:

  • On the Mister Smith's Garden trilogy, an extended version of the first track plays.
  • On The Queen's Birthday Parade, the end theme to the feature (a marching band) plays instead. The opening uses the first track.
  • On Watch with Mother, a music-box tune plays at the beginning and end.
  • On the shortened closing variant, the logo is silent.

Availability: Seen on BBC-owned releases during the time-period until October 1988.

  • Original Tracks: All of these tracks appeared on a majority of Laserdiscs released by BBC Video and very early pre-cert VHS releases.
    • First Track: Mister Smith's Vegetable Garden, Mister Smith's Flower Garden, Mister Smith's Indoor Garden, Great Railways 1: Flying Scotsman (opening only), Sea Power, The Queen's Birthday Parade (opening only), Little Nezha Fights Great Dragon Kings, Snooker Century Breakers, The People's Champion, Botham's Ashes, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin 1, Fundamental Frolics, The Good Life, Deep Purple: California Jam - Rock Flashback, Animal Magic Presents Keeper Johnny Morris, Play Golf with Peter Alliss, Harry Carpenter's Videobook of Sport: Volume 1, The Goodies and the Beanstalk, The Gillette London Marathon,
    • Second Track: BBC Children's Favourites, Beebtots, Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen (also found on the DVD release as an Easter Egg), Toyah At the Rainbow, Toyah: Good Morning Universe, Eric Clapton on Whistle Test, John Martyn: In Vision 1973-1981, Play School, The Magic Roundabout, Doctor Who: The Brain of Morbius (pre-cert release),
    • Third Track: The Story of British Furniture, Delia Smith's Home Baking, Treasures Of The British Crown, Lyn Marshall's Everyday Yoga, All Creatures Great and Small, High Noon, Sky at Westminster Abbey,
    • Fourth Track: The BBC Videobook of British Garden Birds, Falklands - Task Force South, Open All Hours, Abigail's Party, Great Railways: Flying Scotsman (closing only)
  • 1984-1988 Track: Appeared on releases from the company after replacing the original marching band tracks up until 1988. Some later reissues of tapes (such as the 1994 UK VHS re-release of Arsenal 1886-1986, among others) from this era may plaster this with the 3rd logo instead while still keeping the 1984 track (which is faintly heard over the 3rd logo and it's warning screens due to poor plastering).
    • It appears on the original Fawlty Towers tapes, and the three Postman Pat 1986 VHS releases too.
    • The opening and closing logos appear on the 1986 Playhouse Video issues of the BBC Video release of Doctor Who.
    • Strangely, the 5th closing variant also made a surprise appearance on early Netflix prints of the BBC version of The Secret Garden, possibly due to using an old video master; however, it was then taken out of later Netflix prints with the 2009 logo appearing at the start of the programme instead.
    • It also appears on early releases of Series 1 of Last of the Summer Wine, including the first DVD releases (which have the episodes as compilation films for some reason).
    • The shortened closing variant appears on the 1981 UK pre-cert VHS release of Col. Culpeper's Flying Circus, the 1987-88 BBC Wildlife Specials releases, both 1987 Dad's Army releases (Asleep in the Deep and The Day the Balloon Went Up), and the 1988 UK VHS release of The Young Ones: Oil, Boring, Flood, respectively.
    • This logo was used concurrently with the next one from June to October 1988.
    • It also appears on the 1985 UK VHS releases of Ivor the Engine and the Elephants and Ivor the Engine and the Dragons, the 1986 UK VHS release of Animal Farm, the 1987 UK VHS release of Jimbo and the Jet-Set 1, and the 1988 UK VHS releases of Fireman Sam: The Hero Next Door and Fireman Sam 2: Lost Cat, respectively, among many others.

2nd Logo (6 June 1988-11 November 1991)


  • Opening: Fading from the warning screen, a map of the world fades in, metallic gold (land) on blue (sea), which waves up and down. The map then folds into a rotating globe (which is a modified version of the BBC1 "Computer Originated World" ident from 1985-1991). The reverse of the globe can be seen through the "sea" of the globe. From the front and bottom of the screen, "BBC VIDEO" in a copper Times-like font flies in. When it stops below the globe, two of the letters sparkle before the programme starts.
  • Closing: The sequence reverses, with the "BBC VIDEO" text flying out and the globe unfolding back into a map. The same copyright text from the previous logo appears, now in the ITC Avant Garde Gothic font.


  • On Australian releases, the tape's OFLC rating certificate appears in place of the copyright info.
  • Starting in late 1990, the font for the copyright text is changed to Helvetica Condensed. It also has a drop shadow.
  • A rare extended variant was seen on some UK VHS releases, in which the globe turns for longer.
  • A shortened version of the closing variant also exists, which only has the ending part with the copyright text over the map (similar to the previous logo's short closing variant).
  • On BBC Video World tapes, the warning text has a different layout, and the "BBC Video" text is replaced with "BBC Video World".
  • On certain UK VHS releases such as Bill & Ben Flower Pot Men, as the text finishes sparkling, it would cut to a promo card.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: An ominous sounding bass drone which builds into a calm synth tune with tribal beats. For the closing version, each section of the opening logo's music plays in reverse order. The music samples "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" by Isao Tomita while the beginning may also sound like the song "Hallelujah" by "Enigma".

Audio Variants:

  • The closing variant could rarely have the music from the 1984-1988 version of the 1st logo.
  • A stereo mix version exists, but is rarely used. This version has been spotted on Blackadder Goes Forth as well as some 1990-1991 UK VHS releases, including Fireman Sam 5: Norman's Pitfall, Fireman Sam 6: All in a Good Cause and Pingu: Barrel of Fun, respectively.
  • On some UK VHS releases such as Captain Pugwash: Seafaring Tales and the 1988 UK VHS release of Postman Pat's Big Video, among others, the music would continue playing throughout the tape's title card.
  • On the 1988 UK VHS release of The Ashes '72: Fast and Furious, the shortened version of the closing variant of this logo is silent.

Availability: Appears on BBC material in the UK from the time, and also appears on some older CBS/Fox releases in the United States.

  • Blackadder Goes Forth is one video that has this logo.
  • The 2020 Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 26 (UK/Australia)/Doctor Who: Sylvester McCoy Complete Season Three (US) Blu-ray box set also retains this logo on the alternate 1991 VHS cut of the Doctor Who serial "The Curse of Fenric".
  • On the logo's final four months, it was used in tandem with the next one.
  • It also appears on the 1988 UK VHS releases of Postman Pat's Big Video, Rupert, Stoppit and Tidyup, and Play School: Replay, the 1989 UK VHS releases of Trumpton 1: The Greenhouse and Camberwick Green 1: Mickey Murphy the Baker, the 1990 UK VHS release of Edd the Duck: Awesome Dood!, and the 1991 UK VHS releases of Ivor the Engine: The First Story and Pingu: Barrel of Fun, respectively.
  • It also appears on the Fireman Sam UK VHS releases from Fireman Sam 3: Sam's Day Off to Fireman Sam 6: All in a Good Cause.
  • It also appears on the UK VHS releases of Fantastic Max and The Further Adventures of SuperTed, respectively.
  • The short closing variant appears at the end of the 1988 UK VHS release of The Ashes '72: Fast and Furious.

3rd Logo (1 July 1991-26 November 1997)


  • Opening: On a black background, a blue streak comes in from the right of the screen and a green streak comes in from the left of the screen. The two streaks then intersect to form a red line in the middle of the screen and they leave behind green and blue lines afterwards. The BBC boxes fade in rather dimly before fully brightening up as they form a CGI version of the 1988 BBC logo used at the time. The letters also appear to have shadows underneath them and the lines have glows on the bottom of the blocks.
  • Closing: Same as the opening, except with the BBC Enterprises copyright disclaimer appearing on the bottom. Starting in 1995, "BBC ENTERPRISES" is replaced with "BBC WORLDWIDE".


  • Before going onto usage for BBC Video, the logo was created by designers Sue Worthy and Brendon Norman-Ross in 1989 as an ID for the end of BBC trailers and promos at the time. As the streaks animate inwards, the words "TELEVISION" and "RADIO" in the then-current BBC corporate font (Futura Bold Condensed Italic) fade in and out above the smaller 1988 logo as it appears. Said ID can be viewed here, if you're in the UK; for people outside the UK, said ID can be viewed here.
  • The 1988 BBC logo (which was designed by Michael Peters) first appeared on-air the very same year on the BBC Sport titles and some regional news programmes. The logo then appeared on copyright tag of television programmes and radio station in 1990 and appeared on the rebranded BBC1 and BBC2 on 16 February 1991.


  • On the 1996 UK VHS release of Bottom Fluff, a tape containing outtakes and unused footage from the sitcom Bottom, silhouettes of the show's stars, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson can be seen messing around at the bottom of the screen during the second half of the logo.
  • On the 1995 UK VHS release of the Doctor Who episode "The Five Doctors", the logo is snatched up by the Time Scoop (the device that kidnapped the Doctor's incarnations and his companions at the beginning of the story).
  • Early releases with this logo have the copyright disclaimer in a different font (e.g. Helvetica or Gill Sans).
  • Starting in mid-1997, the closing variant has a different caption, saying "Distributed under licence by BBC Worldwide Ltd." and underneath there is an copyright date saying "© BBC (in its print logo) (year in Roman numerals)".
  • On They Think It's All Over: No Holds Barred, the closing logo had a different copyright notice reading:
(year in Roman numerals)
  • At the end of the BBC TV Cooks video series, the copyright stamp below the BBC Worldwide disclaimer reads "© BBC Worldwide (year in Roman numerals)".
  • On The Best of The Mrs. Merton Show: Series One and Two, and Neverwhere the closing logo removes the "BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION" caption.
  • At the end of The Wrong Trousers on the 1997 USA laserdisc release of all three Wallace & Gromit short films, the closing variant is still.

Technique: Simple CGI.

Audio: A sombre 9-note piano piece, followed by the sound of a choir holding the final note. This was composed on a Korg M1 synthesiser.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, the theme is extended.
  • A low tone version of the music exists. On this version, the music comes in when the green and blue streaks merge.
  • On the "Five Doctors" variant, a spinning whirl sound is heard when the Time Scoop steals the BBC logo.
  • At the start and end of the 1997 UK VHS release of Diana: A Celebration (one of the last tapes to use this logo), it is completely silent, which is likely to pay respect to Princess Diana, who died a few weeks prior. This also occurs with Poldark Series 1 Volume 1.
    • This also happens at the end of the former's USA VHS release due to the next logo appearing at the start instead.
  • On some re-releases (mainly from those that originally contained the 1984 version of the 1980 logo) such as the 1994 UK VHS re-release of Arsenal 1886-1986, if you listen very closely, you might hear the 1984 music from the 1980 logo playing faintly over the logo and warning screen, due to poor plastering.

Availability: Appears on some BBC programmes on UK VHS releases from the era, like Series 1 of Yes Prime Minister and The Animals of Farthing Wood, among others.

  • The Doctor Who variant is also included on the 2008 DVD release of "The Five Doctors", not as the opening logo, but as an Easter egg. To find it, go to "Special Features" on Disc 2, then highlight "Nationwide" and go left.
  • This logo is intact on the DVD release of Wallace and Gromit in Three Grand Adventures from DreamWorks Home Entertainment (around 2004, but not seen on the later HiT Entertainment reprint).
  • This also appears on former Netflix prints of A Blackadder Christmas Carol, possibly due to using a video master; presumably, it also appeared on PBS broadcasts of the same, as the CBS/Fox release followed this with the 1991 BBC Lionheart Television logo.
  • It can also sometimes plaster previous logos on re-releases, and is seen on all Pingu VHS releases at the time in the UK (Barrel of Fun used the last logo though, although a rare print contains this logo instead which also exists).
  • A silent variant (with the 1993 (MCMXCIII) copyright date) is also included at the end of the UK DVD release of Poldark Series 1 Volume 1 released by Playback in 2003 due to it coming from the 1993 video master.
  • The closing logo (with the 1994 (MCMXCIV) copyright date) is also included at the end of the DVD release of Doctor Who: More Than 30 Years in the Tardis from the Doctor Who: The Legacy Collection DVD box set released in 2013.
  • The closing logo (with the 1995 (MCMXCV) copyright date) is also included at the end of the 2007 UK DVD release of Red Dwarf Smeg Outs on the Red Dwarf: Just the Smegs.
  • Both the opening and closing variants are also left intact on "The Colin Baker Years" when it was re-released in full as a special feature on the Doctor Who Season 22 Blu-ray boxset released in 2022.
  • This logo also appears three times on the 1997 USA Laserdisc release of all three Wallace & Gromit short films, both before and after A Grand Day Out (albeit in low tone), one with the still variant mentioned above, and one at the end of A Close Shave.
    • However, the next logo appears instead at the beginning of the latter.
  • This logo also appears on the 1993 UK VHS release of The Very Best of the Clangers, the 1994 UK VHS releases of The Little Polar Bear: The Ice Floe, Blinky Bill: The Movie, and BBC Children's Christmas Cracker, the 1995 UK VHS releases of Felix the Cat: The Leprechaun King and The New Adventures of Skippy, and the 1997 UK VHS releases of Teletubbies: Here Come The Teletubbies, Teletubbies: Dance with The Teletubbies, Toybox 1 and Toybox 2, respectively, among many others.
  • So far, the only known appearance of this logo on DVD during its lifespan was at the end of a UK promotional DVD release for Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave, released by Panasonic in June 1997.
  • In the logo's final month, it was used in tandem with the 5th one.
  • It was also used in tandem with the next one on North American tapes, with North American tapes using this at the end of tapes that have the next one at the start.

Legacy: This logo is rather infamous among the logo community for its nature, its piano piece and its limited animation. The Doctor Who variant is also infamous for its appearance of the Time Scoop and sounds.

4th Logo (September 1992-1999)

Visuals: Against a white marble background, three black boxes swing in from the right. As they turn sideways, the letters "BBC" enter each one. Once the 1988 BBC logo is formed, three coloured streaks (one blue, one red, and one green) pass under it and leave similarly coloured lines under the boxes. Finally, the word "VIDEO" in grey appears under the completed logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the previous logo.

Audio Variant: At the start of the U.S. VHS release version of Diana: A Celebration, it is completely silent.

Availability: It appears at the beginning of some CBS/Fox and Fox Video North American home video releases of BBC programmes (with the closing variant of the previous logo appearing at the end), such as Absolutely Fabulous.

  • This logo was used in tandem with the previous one.
  • The only known UK VHS release to use this logo was of Red Dwarf V.
  • In the logo's final months, it was used in tandem with the next one.
  • One of the last tapes to contain this logo was volume 3 of To the Manor Born.
  • This logo is also retained on the Wallace and Gromit short "A Close Shave" on the 1999 U.S. DVD release of Wallace and Gromit: The First Three Adventures, likely because a VHS master print was used.

5th Logo (3 November 1997-2009)


  • Opening: On a navy blue background, there are several ribbons moving from top right and top middle of the screen and the bottom middle of the screen highlighted in red, blue, and green. The 1997 BBC logo (in white) fades in.
  • Closing: Same as above, except when the BBC logo fades in, the BBC Worldwide copyright disclaimer and copyright date fade in. This was used on VHS and DVD releases until 2005 (although it remained on some children's releases until 2006).

Trivia: The background and colours of the ribbons are based on the flag of the BBC between 1997 and 2021.


  • Sometimes, the logo can be in widescreen; also, the ribbons move differently. This is mostly seen on DVD releases of shows with the widescreen format.
  • An Italian variant (presumably a prototype) exists, where the ribbon is thicker and only moves a little bit before looping. The background is also black and the 1997 BBC logo is slightly different, with shorter squares and black text.
  • On The Best of BBC Comedy, the text "BBC Worldwide & The Sunday People Present The BBC Comedy Collection" appears on the background in Gill Sans. BBC Worldwide and The Sunday People have their logos represented instead, and they, along with "BBC Comedy Collection" are also much larger.
    • At the end of the tape, a line-up of BBC Comedy videos of the time is shown on the animated ribbons background. After a while, the line-up fades over to the closing version of the BBC Video ident.
  • Starting in 2001 on widescreen releases, the BBC copyright stamp doesn't have "BBC" in its print logo anymore.
  • There is a slightly altered variant where the ribbons are further away; this can be seen on blue and black backgrounds.
  • On the Polish VHS release of The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit, the logo is shortened so that only the remaining animation (with the 1997 BBC logo) is shown. At the end of the tape, the logo is static.
  • On a promo for Walking with Dinosaurs, found on the U.S. VHS release of Lake Placid, a rare variant appears with "VIDEO" written below the logo.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A calm synth-string/harp theme with a hi-hat clash that's actually a slightly more upbeat arrangement of the 1991 theme.

Audio Variants:

  • For the logo's first year, the music is slightly different.
  • The "prototype" variant is silent.
  • On The Best of BBC Comedy variant, an announcer says "You're watching The Best of BBC Comedy, a hilarious compilation prepared exclusively for readers of The Sunday People."
    • At the end of the tape, the same announcer says "We hope you enjoyed this selection of The Best of BBC Comedy, specially compiled for the readers of the Sunday People. Why not watch them in full with your very own collection of BBC comedy videos? Available from all good video retailers." After he finishes, the BBC Video theme plays out over the closing.
  • On the Polish VHS release of The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit, the Wallace & Gromit theme plays over the logo. At the end of the tape, it is silent.

Availability: Seen on VHS and DVD releases released by the company from 1997 to 2009. One example is the 2003 DVD release of Great Wildlife Moments with David Attenborough.

  • One of the last releases to use this logo was the Warner/2 Entertain Region 1 DVD of Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection - Remastered.
  • The 2000 closing variant is also strangely seen on the 2005 Region 4 DVD Release of Wallace and Gromit: 3 Cracking Adventures (possibly because the master is likely taken from the original 2000 UK DVD release, it is also likely a reprint of the original 2001 region 4 DVD).
  • The 2020 Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 26 (UK/Australia)/Doctor Who: Sylvester McCoy Complete Season Three (U.S.) Blu-ray box set also retains this logo on the alternate 1998 VHS cut of the Doctor Who serial "Battlefield".
  • Surprisingly, the 2006 closing variant also appears at the start of the 2006 Australian DVD release of BBC Children's Favourites.
  • The "prototype" logo appears on DeAgostini releases of Teletubbies in Italy.
  • The altered ribbon variants were found in the game files of the PC version of Play With the Teletubbies!.
  • This logo also makes an appearance on the 2013 DVD release of the Doctor Who episode "The Ice Warriors" as part of the "VHS Links" bonus feature, due to it being taken from the 1998 VHS master.
  • The 2000 closing variant was also seen on a 7 November 2022 airing of the Only Fools and Horses episode "The Longest Night" on GOLD.
  • The opening variant was also seen at the end of a July 9, 2023 airing of S3E01 of Red Dwarf on KERA.
  • This logo also appears on the 1998 UK VHS releases of Toybox 4, Teletubbies: Favourite Things and The First Snow Of Winter, the 1999 UK VHS releases of Toybox Bumper Video, Michael Owen's Soccer Skills and Teletubbies: Teletubbies and The Snow, the 2000 UK VHS releases of Adventures With Romuald The Reindeer and The Big Knights: The Big Adventures, the 2001 UK VHS releases of Teletubbies: Animals Big and Small, New Toybox and El Nombre: El Nombre To The Rescue, and the 2004 UK VHS release of The Little Polar Bear: Series 1, respectively, among many others.
  • The full-frame opening variant of the logo also makes a surprise appearance on the 2016 Australian DVD releases of The Sooty Show and Sooty Christmas Special, likely due to a fault on local distributor Roadshow Entertainment's part.
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