FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: Dave Baldwin
BBC One is celebrating 60 years of the BBC.
[00:00:00] TEST CARD: the numeric countdown is shown on the test card, signifying how many minutes to go before BBC One resumes programmes.
The countdown wasn’t quite as intuitive as it first appeared though. Somewhat confusingly perhaps, when ‘0’ appeared, it meant one minute to go before the test card faded to black.
We’d then have 30 seconds of black and silence, until the BBC One symbol appeared.
Can you identify the test card tape playing here?
[00:02:18] IDENT: a rather lengthy on-screen run for the ’60 Years’ version of the BBC One symbol, whilst we hear a piece of music from 1950s BBC children’s television, played by the Eric Robinson Orchestra.
This wasn’t normal for a start-up back in those days. It was much more common for the symbol to appear briefly, as the announcer welcomed viewers back to BBC One, before moving on to either a menu slide (and quickly walking through the listed programmes) or a ‘Follows Shortly’ programme slide, and playing music for a couple of minutes, before the programme eventually got underway.
During the week of 60th celebrations, BBC One showed quite a few of the old Interlude films that were used in the 1950s and 1960s to fill the gaps between programmes, or provide something vaguely entertaining when a programme suffered a technical breakdown.
You can find a selection of Interlude films on the BBC Archive Website.
PICTURED: BBC One ident. COPYRIGHT: BBC.