Linford's Record Breakers (1998)

Concept and creative process

Producer Choice was the internal market introduced by John Birt during his tenure of the post of BBC Director General from 1992-2000. Following the policy’s introduction, producers were free to spend their budgets inside or outside of the BBC on any service they required to make their programmes. As a consequence of this policy, BBC Children’s Programmes commissioned the broadcast design team at BBC Resources at New Broadcasting House in Manchester to produce a new identity, including logo, onscreen design system and title sequence, for the reboot of the classic Children’s TV programme ‘Record Breakers’. The programme, which covered amazing record breaking feats recorded in the Guinness Book of Records had previously been presented in the 1970s by the popular entertainer Roy Castle. In 1995 British Olympic Champion Linford Christie was chosen to host his own version of the show. The client at BBC Children’s was executive producer Melissa Hardinge. BBC Resources designer Gregory Millar was supported by senior designer Mark Allen. The wow factor of ‘Record Breakers’ was that it was about new record breaking achievements by people all over the world. The programme title sequence creative concept visualized Linford Christie as a monumental Statue of Liberty-like figure, standing on the highest place on Earth, the snow-capped Himalayan mountain range with Linford holding aloft a burning torch. As we fly around him in a helicopter we see various clips of ‘Record Breakers’ action. We eventually fly up and over the torch to reveal the star-shape of ‘Linford’s Record Breakers’ new logo. The live action shots of Linford Christie were shot at Peerless studios in Covent Garden, London and then composited by Red Vision in Manchester in a 3D computer-generated landscape also produced at Red Vision. An updated version of Roy Castle’s classic ‘Record Breakers’ theme song ‘Dedication’ was re-recorded for the new series.