ⓘ BBC One Circle idents. The BBC One Circle idents were a set of on-screen channel identities used on BBC One from 7 October 2006 to 31 December 2016. They also f ..

BBC One Circle idents

ⓘ BBC One Circle idents

The BBC One Circle idents were a set of on-screen channel identities used on BBC One from 7 October 2006 to 31 December 2016. They also featured on the BBC Worldwide channel, BBC America. The idents contained images of circles being formed by nature, or people and their actions.


1. Launch

The Circles ident package was announced on 26 September 2006 as the replacement for the Rhythm & Movement idents that had been in use since Easter 2002. When BBC One channel controller changed to Peter Fincham, he hinted in August 2005 that the dancers would be changed soon. He announced at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that "It may well be that the time is coming to look at a new way of doing it. No date or direct decision has been made but its under review".

The new idents would come into force alongside a revised schedule for the channel. The idents themselves were designed and produced for the BBC by Red Bee Media and marking the end of Lambie-Nairns time at the BBC after fifteen years. Imran Hanif composed the original music for all idents, having been selected from a shortlist of 12 composers and bands.


2. Components of look

All the idents revolved around a circular theme and all featured a scene which is revealed to end in a circle formation. The circle symbol was decided upon as a symbol of unity, but it was also a nod towards the channels heritage and in particular, the classic globe icon used in various styles for much of its history. The idents would involve people, plants or animals moving, or whose interaction causes a circular shape, which is revealed at the end of the ident. The circle would then be emphasised by white lines and a red eclipse animating around it and revealing the BBC One logo at the end. The new BBC One logo featured a large lower case one in the centre of the circle, with a smaller BBC logo to the upper left of the one. The channel uses this logo on its idents and promotions, however uses a box logo, similar to the last look, for promotions where the BBC One logo appears alongside other channels. This boxed logo features the BBC logo above the lower case one in a red box. The box closely relates to the logos of BBC Two and BBC Four.

As with the previous look, no clock ident was used, a trend repeated across nearly all other channels in the UK, however the Generic, Helicopter, Capes and Kites idents may also be used for introduction into the news, following criticisms in the previous look that the dancers didnt have an ident suitable for this purpose.

Promotion style featured the BBC One logo appear at the bottom of the screen, similar to the 1997 look, before switching to the centre of a shaded red end-board, with the logo appearing in the centre. Static slides, now very much a rarely seen occurrence, featured the image as a cut out eclipse in the right hand side of the screen.

In July 2008, the Kites, Moon, and Windows idents were dropped, but the Kites ident was reinstated on 2 May 2009.

On 2 May 2009, all the idents were made shorter with new adaptations of the original Imran Hanif music, with the exception of Generic, Hippos and Surfers.


2.1. Components of look Idents

Despite the Circles packages being taken out of rotation in January 2017, the Kites ident was mistakenly used to introduce Reggie Yates: Hidden Australia on 7 September 2017.


2.2. Components of look Christmas

  • Wallace and Gromits Runaway Sled – Christmas 2008 – Wallace and Gromit were the subject of the Christmas ident this year, due to their new short A Matter of Loaf and Death debuting on Christmas Day. Gromit is seen pushing Wallace up a hill on a sled before Wallace slides down the other side of the hill and lands head deep in snow. Gromit then takes his place, performing tricks on the sled as it slides round the circular indented hill containing the BBC One logo. Written by Rachel Webb and James Spence and created by Aardman Animations using stop frame animation, the ident first appeared at 18:10 on 13 December. There are different versions of the ident: in one version, Wallace can be heard talking, whereas he is silent in another. A version was also made which preceded news and serious programming had slightly slower music, did not feature the characters and cut straight to the circle in view. The ident was last aired at 2:00 a.m. on 2 January 2009.
  • Christmas Lights – Christmas 2010 – An ident showing people enjoying Christmas on the streets and turning on Christmas lights on the houses in a circular cul-de-sac. Variations featuring different starting films were used, was a news version which went straight into the circular ending with slower music and the lights on the roofs dont turn on and off. The ident was first aired at 18:00 on 11 December, and was last seen in the early hours of New Years Day introducing the BBC News Channel.
  • Doctor Who – Christmas 2009 – David Tennant, as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor from Doctor Who, is the theme this year to mark the Doctor Who story "The End of Time", which would be Tennants last appearance as the Doctor. The ident sees the Doctor walking through a snowy forest, and using a herd of reindeer to pull his TARDIS free from the snow and to use it as a sleigh. Another version was created for the second part of the episode, featuring Tennant doing a voiceover introduction in character as the Doctor. This version used a slightly more sombre tune at the end. A news ident was also created featuring a darker sky, the same music as the Part Two ident, and all traces of Doctor Who removed. The ident package first aired on 12 December at 18:45 and was last aired in the early morning of 2 January.
  • Christmas Trees – Christmas 2014 – A set of idents based around popular TV shows being broadcast over the Christmas period, shown as Christmas trees. Three versions have been created, a blue TARDIS tree for Doctor Who, a glitterball tree with a dancing fairy for Strictly Come Dancing, and a cake tree with gingerbread men decorations for The Great British Bake Off. These idents consist of people coming together in a forest to decorate individual trees, then panning out, revealing the circular formation of the trees. A shortened version that features just the forest of trees is used to precede the news and other serious related programming e.g. The Queens Christmas Day Message. These idents were first shown at 20:15 on Saturday 6 December 2014 and was last used at 23:15 on Wednesday 31 December with the glitterball tree being the last one used. Later on at 00:30, a month long set of presentation entitled "Enjoy 2015" was used.
  • Sprout Boy – Christmas 2015 – 2015 saw the BBC launch their festive idents with the story of Sprout Boy as "not the most loved Christmas vegetable". The short story is narrated by Peter Capaldi, as Sprout Boy goes all over to find someone to like him, until he stumbles upon a gathering of BBC all-star cast, as he is shown to be part of the group and is welcomed by all. The ident was first shown on Tuesday 1 December around 19:30 after The One Show was aired. The all-star BBC cast were all done in CGI animation, including Sprout Boy himself, and was developed by ad agency RKCR/Y&R. The CGI cast include Capaldi as the Doctor from Doctor Who, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson from Sherlock, from The Voice, Idris Elba as John Luther from Luther, Mary Berry from The Great British Bake Off, Graham Norton from The Graham Norton Show, June Brown as Dot Cotton from EastEnders and Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman from Strictly Come Dancing. Other variations featured the titular character pulling a cracker with a gold ring landing on his head and another where he falls over whilst writing a gift tag and gets a bow ribbon stuck to his back. A variation featuring just a forest background with lanterns was used to precede the news and the Queens Royal Christmas Message. A version featuring the city skyline was used only on BBC One Northern Ireland to precede the news, but it was also used as a "Coming Next" message on all the BBC channels. The presentation was last used on Thursday 31 December at 23:30, linking into Bryan Adams Rocks Big Ben Live. The regular idents were restored immediately afterwards, at 00:45 on 1 January 2016.
  • Its Showtime – Christmas 2012 – Reflecting the theme of the channels promotional trailers for this Christmas season, the ident features a long line of sparkly dust forming a Christmas tree on the backdrop of a show curtain before forming the BBC One circle, with the BBC One logo itself re-painted in a shade of gold for the first time in the history of these idents. A second ident, to be used before the news, replaces the tree with an already-drawn snowflake that morphs into the BBC One logo and removes the background music. A longer version of the Snowflake variant, with background music was later introduced, along with an additional ident that used fireworks as the backdrop to reflect the New Year. Special variants were also used to precede the film premieres of Shrek Forever After featuring Shrek, The Princess and the Frog featuring Prince Naveen as a frog and Up featuring Russell. The main idents featured Rob Brydon as a producer backstage, trying to get all the stars ready, including the casts of Mrs. Browns Boys, Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Britains Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey, the child cast of Outnumbered, Lee Mack and Miranda Hart. First shown at 20:00 on Friday 14 December and was last used in the earlier hours of 2 January 2013. The regular idents were restored the next day with the addition of "Love 2013".
  • BBC Oneness – Christmas 2016 – Sunday 4 December saw the official BBC launch of their 2016 festive ident titled Oneness before an episode of Planet Earth. These idents consist of: a zoom-in clip of several men in a pub, whereby one of them reveals his Christmas jumper with a flashing Rudolph nose on it which becomes the BBC One ident, a clip with a grandfather falling asleep in his armchair and his head becoming the BBC One logo, a family seated around a table enjoying the Christmas meal with a person attempting to light a Christmas pudding with the BBC One logo forming in front of it and another with a red bauble being hung on a lit Christmas tree which doubles up as the variant to introduce the news. The Winning Weekend variant - used on the weekend of 17 and 18 December - has a gold bauble being hung on a lit Christmas tree. All of these idents appear with snowflakes flying from them. For Christmas Day, a special set of Oneness idents were used to introduce all of the channels afternoon and evening programmes - namely for the Royal Christmas Message, the film Frozen, The Great Christmas Bake Off, Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, Call the Midwife, EastEnders and Mrs. Browns Boys. The presentation was last used on Saturday 31 December at 23:25 - the Christmas Pudding being the last ident to be used. It was replaced at 01:00 on 1 January 2017 by a new set of idents based around the Oneness theme.
  • Snowball – Christmas 2006 and 2007 – A community coming together to build a giant snowball. Filmed in Greenwich using various sized polystyrene snowballs, the largest of which was 6 metres 20 ft high. The ident first aired on Saturday 16 December at around 18:00, finishing in the early hours of New Years Day when the original idents were restored. This ident was revived for Christmas 2007 to run alongside the Penguins which also debuted on Saturday 15 December, and was last shown introducing Weatherview on New Years Day 2008 around 02:20.
  • Have A Wonderful Christmas – Christmas 2013 – A sparkly-looking BBC One logo is drawn up on a sheet of wrapping paper, reflecting the theme used in the channels promotional trailers for the festive season. Four versions were created for the look: one with robins on the paper, angels either side of Christmas trees, a kaleidoscope snowflake, and another that featured reindeer. A fifth variant was later introduced featuring baubles with the Toy Story characters inside, to reflect that the channel had all three films from the Toy Story series being shown over Christmas. A silent version of the snowflake ident with just the sound effects is used ahead of the news. At first, the Capes and Kites idents was used ahead of the news. First shown at 19:10 on Saturday 7 December, and was last used just before 23:15 on Tuesday 31 December. The regular idents and presentation were restored the following day with the addition of "Love 2014".
  • Consider Yourself One Of Us – Christmas 2011 – A mixture of idents were used this Christmas. The main ident featured many celebrities who would be featuring in programmes on the channel that Christmas, such as Sir Bruce Forsyth, Michael McIntyre, David Jason, Brendan OCarroll, Lee Mack, Frank Skinner, Alexander Armstrong, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, a Cyberman, Graham Norton and the Outnumbered kids in a homefront setting with a crackling fire, singing "Consider Yourself" from the Broadway musical Oliver. After all the celebrities have appeared they all stand in a circle. The backdrop then disappears to reveal a snowy landscape with carol singers and sledgers gathering round them. They all sing together and look up into the sky. The circle is blurred out and large snowflakes start to fall from the sky as the logo forms. A news version was made which cut straight to the blurred out circle. Shortened versions were made, which showed a group of celebrities before cutting to a cake to make the circle. All variants featured instrumental music used in the main ident. The ident package originally debuted as a trailer 30 November after programmes until the ident was first shown on Saturday 10 December at 17:35. A version was made to promote The Gruffalos Child movie, with the two main characters playing in the snow. The same music is used. The Gruffalo also appears in the window in the main Consider Yourself advert. The main ident is currently the longest in ident history as the actual feature runs for 1:15 before the logo appears. The whole package was last used in the early hours of New Years Day 2012, the original idents were restored the next morning.
  • Penguins – Christmas 2007 – Filmed at an ice-rink in Romford, 3D animated penguins skate round the decorated ice rink alongside human skaters. The ident first aired on Saturday 15 December at 18:10, and was last seen before linking into BBC News 24 on New Years Day at 02:25. The ident was re-introduced in February 2008 as a regular ident.


2.3. Components of look Other

  • EastEnders – February to September 2010 – Also known as Albert Square. This ident promoting EastEnders 25th anniversary, it features the regular cast members looking in amazement as the Albert Square turns into Albert Circle. Written and Directed by James Spence, it was first aired on Monday 15 February on the 25th Anniversary week, and continued to air at the start of most of the programmes to celebrate the 25th Anniversary year. This ident was last aired on 10 September following set changes as part of a story arc, namely the fire at the Queen Vic pub. The ident was reintroduced in 2015 to be shown before every episode of EastEnders, albeit a shorter version, as many of the characters featured in the original no longer appear in the show.
  • Love 2014 – Similar to the Love 2013 ident, but with a different soundtrack. The BBC One logo gives way to a rippling background with the words LOVE 2014 written inside a heart shape. First used at 00:30 on New Years Day 2014.
  • Planet Earth Live – An ident used to introduce and promote Planet Earth Live. Similar to Frozen Planet, the earth is seen, before the camera zooms in, to reveal a desert with birds and elephants.
  • BBC Won Wales 2008 – February 2008 – Ident seen on BBC One Wales to celebrate Wales win over England in the 2008 Six Nations Championship. This ident uses the Bike ident music and reads BBC Won instead of BBC One.
  • St Davids Day 2012 – Shadows of people walking towards the sunset are shown. Only seen 1 March 2012 on BBC One Wales. The soundtrack is the original unedited music from Forest.
  • Daffodils – 1 March 2007 – 2012, 2013–2016 – A special Saint Davids Day ident used on BBC One Wales only. This ident used the Moon ident music from 2007 to 2009; from 2010 onwards this was replaced by the edited Roses ident music, which is an adaptation of Imran Hanifs original composition and definitive three note signature counter tune that has graced all the circle idents since 2006.
  • BBC Won Wales 2013 – An aerial view camera zooms in onto the Millennium Stadium. A rugby ball can be seen flying out of the stadium, leaving behind it a trail of smoke. The camera pans around 180 degrees and after a firework explodes, BBC Won Wales appears. March 2013.
  • Robert Burns – 25 January 2009 – Shown to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, this ident features two mice circling on an untidy heap of manuscripts, in reference to a poem by Burns, To a Mouse. Seen on BBC One Scotland only.
  • Frozen Planet – An ident used to introduce and promote the Frozen Planet documentary series. A group of penguins are seen. The logo forms around the sun. It was used between 26 October 2011 and 28 December 2011, which was the series run.
  • Planet Earth II – These three idents are introduced to promote the six-part nature documentary Planet Earth II, in the first ident, mountains are staying still and it changes the sky from daytime to nighttime during the Time-lapse with clouds drifting away and turns into stars at night, in the second ident, two goat-sized Nubian ibexes are walking steadily across the steep of rocky mountains, female ibex is supported by a young male ibex to follow the tracks as the camera zooms slowly to see some Nubian ibexes walking the rocks, and the final one, a band of flamingoes strides quickly towards the single flamingo in the water, albeit with an audio is the same as Glitterballs, but more joyous than the other two idents. First aired on 6 November 2016 and it was last aired on 11 December 2016.
  • Enjoy 2015 – Various items and themes related to the month of January, such as high street store sales and a fireplace are shown before the BBC One logo appears on a plain red background, with a mug of cocoa in the O of the logo. Another ident showing the two people riding at the ice skaters and the gloves showing the two are shown before the BBC One logo appears on a plain red background, with birds eating a suet ball that forms the O of the logo. First seen at 00:30 on New Years Day 2015 and was last used airing into BBC News on 1 February 2015.
  • Wild Week – An ident used on the Wild Week season on BBC One Northern Ireland. The ident focuses on a duck and uses the Forest ident music.
  • Life Story – This special ident is used from 23 October to 27 November 2014 features the male pufferfish creates an amazing display of circles to attract females where the BBC One logo forms. It was used to promote the coverage of the epic six-part Nature documentary, Life Story narrated by David Attenborough.
  • House of Fun – Ident promoting the new Saturday night schedule consisting of Over the Rainbow, Doctor Who and Total Wipeout. Features cartoon versions of Graham Norton, Charlotte Church, the Eleventh Doctor and Richard Hammond representing each programme respectively. Created by Aardman Animations, it was used on Saturday Nights from 24 April to 19 June 2010.
  • The Voice UK – Special ident to introduce the second series of the talent competition, The Voice UK, in 2013. The four coaches are seen in their revolving chairs before the camera rests on the view of the stage from behind the microphone.
  • Ashes to Ashes – April to July 2009 & 2010 – Used to promote the second and third series of Ashes to Ashes, it featured the characters of the programme seated in an Audi Quattro set in 1982. It premiered on 11 April 2009 and was directed by Tim Pope and conceived by James Spence and Joe Lee.
  • Commonwealth Games 2014 – Panoramic views of some of the venues of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are seen before the camera rests on the roof of the SSE Hydro where the BBC One logo forms. The music from the Capes ident is used. Introduced the channels coverage of the Games from 23 July to 3 August. Scotland continues to use this ident.
  • Glitterballs – November to December 2009 – Ident promoting and shown directly before Strictly Come Dancing. In this ident, the circle is centred around a glitter ball and uses a variation of the shows theme music as the idents background music. First shown on 7 November and not seen after 12 December 2009. A new version, with gold glitterballs instead of the original silver, debuted on 23 September 2016 with the same music.
  • Rio 2016 – In this ident, an anteater is swinging a wooden hammer in the Amazon rainforest. This ident was used for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. First seen on 5 August 2016 and it was last seen on 21 August 2016.
  • BBC Onesie – A bunch of people dressed up in onesies walk up some curved stairs. BBC Onesie appears. Used to link in Comic Relief 2013 back from BBC Two after the 10 O Clock news.
  • Love 2013 – The BBC One logo gives way to a rippling background upon which is written LOVE 2013. A variation was also made for spring entitled Love Spring.
  • Planet Dinosaur – Ident promoting the new dinosaur documentary series Planet Dinosaur. The ident uses an edited clip from the programme; a Camptosaurus is seen eating plants whilst the camera moves to reveal an Allosaurus, whose zoomed in eye is where the logo forms. It was used between 14 September 2011 and 19 October 2011, which was the series run.
  • Africa – The BBC One logo appears on top of an African night sky, and separately on a flock of flamingoes.
  • Torchwood: Children of Earth – It begins with many different idents, but while it zooms back, it eventually lost its signal like the TV would do, which was replaced withthings from Torchwood series in glitches.

In addition to the idents above, some modifications were made to existing idents to promote other programmes. A chameleon, which caught and ate a fairy, was added to the Forest ident to promote Life in Cold Blood in February 2008; and to promote the BBC One Wales series Rolf on Welsh Art, the Forest ident was again modified to have a paint like appearance. In addition to this, red noses were added to some of the hippos in the Hippos ident for Comic Relief programmes in 2007 and 2009, and an animated Pudsey Bear was added to the Ring-a-Roses ident for the BBC Children In Need appeal for 2010. A modified version of Mission Control was made for Doctor Who episode The Bells of Saint John with the end of the ident appearing as if it had been hacked into by the Great Intelligence. In preparation for the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor, various idents throughout November have featured a rewind effect, with the Eleventh Doctor intruding and informing the viewer that "the clock is ticking". A similar modification was made in August 2014, to promote, and which featured, the first episode to involve the Twelfth Doctor.


3. BBC America

All of the idents were also used on BBC America, the BBCs outlet in the United States. The BBC America versions of the idents featured the words One World in the same font and position as the One in the BBC One logo before animating itself into the current stacked BBC America logo. These idents were cut down compared to the original British versions, however they retained their original soundtrack when the British versions were changed in May 2009.


4. Replacement

After a little over 10 years in use, the Circle idents ceased at the end of 2016, with their final appearance on 4 December 2016.

The presentation was replaced by the Oneness idents, created by Martin Parr, essentially continuing on from the theme of the Christmas idents from 2016; as such, the Christmas idents that year could have been seen as a preview to the full new look that was revealed in the early hours on New Years Day 2017.