The BBC One globe idents are a defunct set of idents that ran on BBC One from 1963 to 2002. The set included a series of globes spinning, plus a virtual globe (which appeared from 1991 to 1997) and a sub-set of idents that featured a balloon with a globe painted on it.

As this set of idents was used on BBC One from 1963 to 2002 (39 years), it has become the longest-used set of idents in BBC One history.


The Black & White Globe (1963-69)Edit

BBCtv 1963 initial globe ident

The first incarnation of the BBC One black-and-white globe symbol, used until 1966.

In 1963, the first of the BBC One globe idents appeared on television, replacing the ‘map’ ident that had been used since 1962. It incorporated a spinning mechanical globe taken with a black-and-white movie camera and the words ‘BBC TV’ on top; this ident was retired with the new ‘watch-strap’ globe ident in 1966, where the words ‘BBC 1’ were on the bottom,

The Mirrored Globe (1969-85)Edit


The device used for creating the ‘mirrored globe’ ident

In 1969, the Black and White versions were retired in favor of the new ‘mirrored globe’ idents in color. The first variant had a blue-and-black mirrored globe with the words ‘BBC1 COLOUR’ below it; this continued until the mid-70s when the word ‘color’ was retired in favor of being known simply as ‘BBC1’, and when the colors were changed to the more friendly blue-and-yellow.

The Computer-Generated Globe (1985-97)Edit

BBC1 Virtual globe

The ‘Virtual Globe’, which ran on BBC One until 1997

By 1985, computer graphics had progressed sufficiently to be able to make images form into the shape of a sphere; this has since progressed into Adobe After Effects and Adobe Animate (the software in which the BBC tends to use for their idents today). Thus, any form of electro-mechanical ident had to be retired in favor of the 1st generation Computer-Generated Globe, known as the Computer-Originated World (COW).

In 1991, the first (and earliest) example of making a virtual globe was used by BBC One.