FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: YouTube: Kaleidoscope
An intriguing clip appeared on YouTube this week of a BBC One closedown from August 1984.
Why the intrigue? Well unusually a late-night Open University programme was being shown on BBC One and a distinct closedown routine was followed.
After the National Anthem, a caption appeared and one of the regular Ceefax/test card tapes was played for a few minutes.
So why was the OU simply not shown as if it were the last programme of the night? And why the gap?
As I have explained before the BBC merely broadcast programmes on behalf of the OU – they were not supposed to be seen as part of the normal schedule.
Hence the decision was taken to show these programmes after BBC One had “closed” for the evening and bid viewers goodnight.
There is an obvious explanation for the interval too.
At this point, the nations ended the evening with their own news summary. The interval allowed them to do this, follow their own closedown routine then rejoin network for the OU.
Because of the special arrangements for OU broadcasts, it would have been inappropriate for the nations to timeshift the programme – say playing out their own copy a few minutes later or recording it to show later.
Incidentally you will notice the duller blue on the BBC One OU ident – it doesn’t match the normal BBC One colour scheme of the period.
This anomaly is merely the result of the OU ident being generated from a 35mm slide. You’ll notice the shade of blue even varies between the two slide versions of the OU ident in this clip.
It’s thought a BBC One branded OU ident was only introduced in 1983 or early 84.
Incidentally late-night intervals before the OU were quite common on BBC Two, especially in the summer months. They only ended in 1988.
There the reason they happened was different.
The BBC agreement with the OU saw the late-night programme transmitted no earlier than 11.30pm. Where a gap existed after Newsnight, it was simply filled by a caption and music – the OU was not brought forward.
PICTURED: BBC One/Open University ident. COPYRIGHT: BBC.