1964 BBC2 - First ident Launch Night

Concept and creative process

This clip gives a glimpse of the empty studio at Alexandra Palace and the fanfare of trumpets and drums which accompanied the first BBC2 animated channel identity. Unfortunately due to a major power breakdown across Central London on the night of the BBC2 launch, the scheduled programmes were unable to be shown. A makeshift back-up studio was provided from Alexandra Palace with a much interrupted news bulletin followed by apologetic captions and music. It was thought that no recording of the aborted BBC2 opening night existed, as Television Centre had also been incapacitated by the blackout. However in 2003 one was discovered in the archive of BBC Engineering Research and Development at Kingswood Warren in Surrey, which fortunately had not been as affected by the power outage. The 2 inch tape was able to be transferred to digital tape by the BBC Archive and was shown on the occasion of the BBC Two 40th anniversary in 2004.