BBC Choice (UK)

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Background: BBC Choice was a BBC TV station which launched on September 23, 1998 and closed on February 9, 2003, when it was succeeded by BBC Three. It was the first British TV channel to broadcast exclusively in digital format, as well as the BBC's second non-terrestrial channel launch (following on from the BBC News channel in 1997).

1st Logo (September 23, 1998-July 2000)

Nicknames: "Differences", "Hearts"

Logo: On a red/black gradient, green, blue, or red background, we see three things that belong to the same word but have different apperances/meanings. The camera faces the things, and when the camera cuts one last time, we fully see the things with the BBC Choice logo below.

Variants: The three things change from ident to ident:

  • Hearts: Heart of stone, heartburn and lightheart.
  • Mouse: A furry mouse, a clockwork mouse and a computer mouse (or mice).
  • Punch: Punch as in Judy, punch as in boxing, and punch in a bowl.
  • Fan: A fan, a footy fan and an electric fan.
  • Trumpet: An elephant trumpeting, a trumpet flower and a trumpet instrument.

FX/SFX: Very nice and creative animation by Lambie-Nairn.

Music/Sounds: Sounds that go with the things, along with some music, followed by an announcer.

Availability: No longer current.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo (July 2000-July 2001)

Nicknames: "The Cheap Heart"

Logo: Against a coloured background (this depends on the variant), a redesigned version of the last logo's heart zooms in and out as if it were beating. There are some very fast paced (and rather simple) effects as the background changes colour. The BBC Choice logo fades in at the bottom of the screen, and the heart shines slightly.

FX/SFX: Animation that involved some parts of the last logo, which was designed in-house by BBC Broadcast.

Music/Sounds: Heartbeat-like sounds followed by a lot of short electric sounds, ending with a gentle synth hum and some quieter echoing heartbeat sounds.

Availability: No longer current.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo (July 2001-December 9, 2002)

Nickname: "Boxes"

Logo: We see three orange boxes doing various things, such as moving or punching, around a green background. The BBC Choice logo (the BBC logo next to the word "Choice") is seen at the bottom.

Variant: From December 2001, the background color was blue.

FX/SFX: Good CGI.

Music/Sounds: A hip-hop/dance-like tune.

Availability: Extinct, preserved by tape/DVD enthusiasts.

Editor's Note: None.

4th Logo (December 9, 2002-February 9, 2003)

BBC Choice (Ident 1, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 2, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 3, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 4, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 5, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 6, 2002)BBC Choice (Ident 7, 2002)

Nickname: "Under Construction", "Countdown to BBC Three", "The Building Site"

Logo: There is a gray construction site with a blue scaffolding, an "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" sign and two builders working inside the scaffolding. The BBC Choice logo (same as the last 3 idents) is at the bottom.

Variants:

  • For Christmas 2002, the building site was given some christmas lights and the builders were seen walking away wearing either a reindeer hat or a santa hat.
  • Later on in 2002, an ident started airing which briefly flashed the "THREE" sculpture that would be used for the first BBC Three idents.
  • From January 2003, there was a sign that counted down to the BBC Three launch date (February 9, 2003).

FX/SFX: Live action.

Music/Sounds: The sounds of a building site - reverse beeps, welding sparks and hammers.

Availability: Extinct. These were temporary idents while the first BBC Three idents were being prepared.

Editor's Note: These idents were a very creative and clever way to count down to the BBC Three launch.

Final Note: BBC Choice was renamed to BBC Three in 2003.