We join this closedown junction at the end of the regional news. It’s just a little after midnight.

What’s interesting about this closedown is that there’s no BBC One globe or clock (the announcer references the lack of the latter).

BBC Northern Ireland was celebrating its 60th birthday at the time. The continuity suite was being upgraded. These rather dated Noddy-style captions – passed through a colour synthesiser – were about to be consigned to history.

Within days (possibly from Saturday 6th October), the new continuity set-up would go live, and BBC Northern Ireland would be generating captions by entirely electronic means.

Although the old mechanical globe symbol remained for a few more months, Belfast would become the first BBC playout operation outside of London to install an electronically generated clock.

The mechanical globe was actually being updated too – to include an updated version of the ‘BBC1 Northern Ireland’ logo, incorporating a ’60 Years’ logo.

VIDEO: BBC One Northern Ireland closedown. Announcer: David Gamble. TX DATE: 4th October 1984. COPYRIGHT: BBC. VREF: 98-01.

Video content

[00:00:00] PROGRAMME GRAPHIC: for the late news.

[00:00:29] PROGRAMME GRAPHIC: this weather caption was known to be the subject of political comment when the border was sometimes almost invisible. Note how even in this clip, it’s difficult to spot initially. A difficult balancing act, as making the border clearer also has the effect of diminishing the legibility of the ‘WEATHER Northern Ireland’ text.

[00:01:14] IDENT: BBC One Northern Ireland. This back-up ident was wheeled out when there were problems with the mechanical globe. As mentioned above, in this case, the globe was being updated for the 60th anniversary of BBC Northern Ireland.


PICTURED: BBC One Northern Ireland ident. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Posted by The Rewind Team

Leave a Reply