From Audiovisual Identity Database


BBC Two is the secondary channel of the BBC. The channel was established in response to the 1962 "Pilkington Report" which claimed that ITV programming lacked any cultural relevance and therefore, the UK's third TV service should be run by the BBC. The channel launched on 20 April 1964. The launch was infamously plagued by a major power failure in London that night, meaning the first proper programme wasn't shown until the following morning. BBC2 was technically ahead of the existing stations in the UK, broadcasting on a higher resolution 625 lines UHF system instead of the standard 405 line VHF system. In July 1967 BBC2 became the first British TV channel to regularly broadcast in colour, with the switch coinciding with that year's Wimbledon tournament. BBC2 became known for airing high class programs and dramas, though in more recent years it has aired more mainstream content as BBC Four fills its original role. Notably, the most popular program on the channel for many years was the 2002 reincarnation of Top Gear.

Unused Logo



1st Logo (April 21, 1964-December 2, 1967; October 31, 2013-December 2016)

Logo: A series of black and white stripes cross each other then reform further from the screen to make two bands. Two boxes, one containing a large white "2" and the other containing the BBC logo of the time, then slide in from the top and bottom respectively, and place themselves on the bands.


  • Accompanying clock ident: The clock looks identical to the alternate logo, but instead of stripes on the right of it, a large clock with Roman numerals (though the 4 is represented by "IIII" rather than "IV") is seen to the right.
  • Another logo would run in tandem with the animated one during this era. The design consisted of the following: on the left, there was a divided dark grey box with a white border, housing the "2" within the top division and the BBC logo within the bottom. On the right was a longer, lighter grey rectangle with white stripes running across it. The logo, printed on cardboard, would flip over to reveal a large, white solitary "2" on a black background.
  • There was also a static variant.
  • There is an in-credit version used on Match of the Day with the BBC logo extended with the number "2" in a fourth parallelogram.
  • A widescreen-cropped version of it existed used in the Afternoon Classics strand on only on the BBC2 network but also used in Northern Ireland for the 90th anniversary

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A trumpet fanfare with a rolling drum throughout, based on the morse code for "BBC2". The variations were silent, however (aside from the in-credit one, which uses the opening or closing theme to the show).

Availability: Extinct.

2nd Logo (July 1, 1967-December 28, 1974, 1993, April-May 2012; 2013-2016 [1972 logo]; 2015-2017 [1967 logo])

Logo: Three dots, colored green, red and blue respectively, appear on a black background. They shrink and merge into one white dot just above the centre of the screen. A {{color|blue|blue} "2" is then drawn around the dot, and when it is completed, the word "COLOUR", in white, appears below. The "2" then starts rotating around, and one at a time, three more "2"s (in the same style) appear, coloured red, green and white respectively, before the {{color|blue|blue} "2" reappears. The rotation continues for the rest of the logo.

Trivia: Although the logo itself was introduced on 1 July 1967, the animated ident did not appear until 15 November 1969, the same day BBC 1 and ITV began colour broadcasting. Until then, holding slides with the logo were used to introduce programming.

  • Variants:
  • Accompanying clock ident: Same as before, but the entire thing was chroma-keyed to cyan, and the "2-cube" with the BBC 2 logo and "COLOUR" below it tacked on to the side. This was used from 1967 to 1969. From then, they just used the BBC 1 clock with the BBC 2 branding and colours.
  • Circa 1972, the logo underwent considerable change. All the "2"s, plus the dots in them, were coloured light blue; the font for "COLOUR" was altered in the same manner as for BBC 1's mirror globe logo of the time; and a white horizontal line was added between the word and the "2"s.
  • By 1973, further changes had taken place, with the background colour now dark blue and "COLOUR" and the horizontal line in light blue to match the "2"s.

A final change took place during 1974, with the "2"s in bright blue against a navy background, and "COLOUR" and the horizontal line reverting to white. This variant was briefly brought back in 1993 during BBC 2's '70s season and again in between 2012 and 2016.

  • Christmas Idents:
    • Christmas 1967-1971: On a black background, we the "2-cube" from before in white/red. Underneath the two is the text "B B C 2", followed by the text "COLOUR" also in white/red. Right next to it would either be a snowflake or a Christmas tree.
    • Christmas 1972: The same "2-cube" is seen rotating in the screen. Separated by a line, the text "CHRISTMAS in colour" is seen below, and the sides are covered with several stars. Unknown how it was coloured.
    • Christmas 1973: A variant of the logo lacking the large dot from the "2", with stars coming from inside the cube and a caption that stated the day ("Christmas Eve", "Christmas Day" or "Boxing Day") underneath the 2-cube. Unknown how it was coloured.
    • Christmas 1974: Same as before, but the "2" is orange. This was the final time the 2-cube was seen.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: If you want to count the continuity announcer.

Music/Sounds Variant: The '70s season variant used the jingle to the "Silk" ident in the 6th logo package.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

3rd Logo (December 28, 1974-April 1979, April-May 2012; October 3, 2013-December 2016)

Logo: A "2" consisting of blue and white stripes deforms on a blue background and the blue stripes rotate to the left and the white to the right. They then reform with the stripe colour inverted into the "2".

Trivia: The logo was actually a mechanical model, like BBC One's mirrored globe at the time. The device was made up of 23 discs that were stacked on top of one another, with white and blue stripes painted on. Twelve stripes were white and started from the right side, while the eleven blue stripes sandwiched in between them started from the left. As the discs rotated inward, the "2" as you see above would form on-screen. Apparently, the device now lives on as a coin-operated amusement in the foyer of BBC Television Centre.


  • Accompanying clock ident: Much like before, it uses the BBC1 clock at the time, but with the BBC 2 branding and colours.
  • There was a variant with a black background. This was introduced in 1978.
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 1975: A big yellow "2" made of two stripes (very similar to the next BBC 2 logo) on a red background. Unknown how it animates.
    • Christmas 1976: A shiny and multicoloured sequined layout of the striped "2", which constantly moves.
    • Christmas 1977: A cube of red "2"s composed by stripes, rotates in the same manner as the previous BBC 2 ident, above a "CHRISTMAS" caption.
  • Special idents:
    • A variant introduced in 1977 has the usual deforming animation, but reforms into a map of the UK and Ireland. This was seen before Open Space.
    • The logo was remastered in widescreen and HD for BBC Two's '70s season in April 2012. It was also used for Afternoon Classics between October 2013 and December 2016.

Technique: Practical effects; see Trivia.

Music/Sounds: See the 2nd logo.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

4th Logo (December 1978, April 1979-March 30, 1986, May 2010, October 10-22, 2012, 2013)

Logo: On a black background, two orange stripes write in. Then, a two-striped "2" writes itself in. The another set of orange stripes write in. The entire logo has golden/black gradient trails.


  • Accompanying clock ident: From April 1979 to February 5, 1981, it had the standard clock for the time in orange, with a flat and larger version of the BBC 2 logo at the time with longer stripes, and sometimes the 2 in orange. The clock would be replaced with the new digital one in 1980, and the logo was changed to the standard logo, but smaller and longer stripes.
  • Starting in 1983 with the debut of school programming, the logo was placed on a yellow background, starting with white and ending with black.
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 1978: Six medieval trumpeters appear rotating, with the new "2" logo on the flag of the trumpets.
      • Note: This was the first time we see the 2 in this form as it came before the ident package came out in 1979. It also was lost until it was found in December of 2017.
    • Christmas 1979: A revolving Perspex snowflake rotates over a white version of the logo at the bottom of the screen. The clock was also changed to be white with a green 2.
    • Christmas 1980: Similar to last year, a more colourful Perspex snowflake rotating above a different Christmas BBC2 caption.
      • Note: This 2 has a similarity to the 2 used in the 1990 package for BBC2, which would become a mainstay for the channel.
    • Christmas 1981: Three red translucent candles spinning around with the caption "Christmas 2".
    • Christmas 1982: Three green Perspex Christmas trees with a hand-drawn, angular "BBC2" caption.
    • Christmas 1983: Another similar theme to last year. Three metallic Christmas trees spinning against the "Christmas 2" caption.
    • Christmas 1984: A pink bauble with the "2" on it remains stationary, suspended by a fuzzy green stick, while a stylized ribbon spelling "Christmas" rotating around it.
    • Christmas 1985: A blue tinted, snowy landscape scene rotates around a magenta "2".
  • Special idents:
    • The logo was remastered in widescreen and HD for BBC Two's '80s season in 2010. For BBC Two Wales, the ident had the word "WALES" under the "2".
    • The remastered version was also used on BBC Two in October 2012, including the last Pages From Ceefax. It was seen again for Afternoon Classics between 2013-2016 and last appeared during the network junction into White Gold in 2017.

Technique: Early computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A cheerful 18-note synth fanfare. In other cases, silent.

Music/Sounds Variant: "Feuillages" by Joël Fajerman and Yan Yrssen was used when this ident was brought back for BBC2's '80s season, but the Wales variant retained the original jingle. The original jingle itself was also used for 70s season in 2012 and for Afternoon Classics in 2013-2016 and last heard during the junction into White Gold in 2017.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

Legacy: It's seen as revolutionary for its time, as this was the UK's first electronically generated ident, and probably the world's first computer animated ident, though the Christmas idents were still mechanical.

5th Logo (March 30, 1986-February 16, 1991, May 2010)

Logo: On a white background, the word "TWO" emerges from the wall as segments that are in white. As you can notice, the second part of the "T" is red and the first two parts of the "W" are green and blue. Despite the "TWO" in the ident, the channel was still officially called "BBC 2".


  • Accompanying clock ident: The clock has the logo below, and the hours are bars emerging from the background. The hands are in the red/green/blue colours as well.
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 1986: Snow constantly covers and uncovers the "TWO" in waves going left to right.
    • Christmas 1987: A transparent ball hangs in front of the camera as two people throw snowballs at each other with backgrounds of trees. The ball then pans up to reveal an all-white "TWO" logo, with a red dash above and a large green triangle stretching the entire length of the TWO above that.
    • Christmas 1988: A white-powdered person with green hair in the style of a Christmas tree cuts to a picture of a green and red "TWO" with the sections separated and frozen in ice.
    • Christmas 1989: Three figures seemingly made of wrapping paper move the sections of the "TWO" into position, which themselves seem to be made out of wrapping paper in the logo colours. The end board is accompanied by a synthesised nursery tune and rotating sheep in the background.
    • Christmas 1990: An upside-down triangle, square and circle burst open to reveal the letters "TWO" made out of items such as crackers, wheels and other assorted materials, accompanied by a soundtrack of two notes, the final note being dragged out for the length of the announcement. These idents were designed to follow on seamlessly from a similarly styled promotional trail.
  • Special idents:
    • A "TWO" ident recoloured blue and red, with occasional powdered colours of blue and red, was used to mark a series of programs on the French Revolution.
    • A version with the letter spelling "THE" was used before the first episode of The Late Show.
    • A spoof version of the logo, spelling "THREE" was used on BBC One prior to their showing of Roland Rat: The Series.
    • This ident was remastered in HD for BBC Two's '80s season in 2010 alongside the 4th logo. It was also used for Afternoon Classics from 2013-2016.

Technique: Computer animation.

Music/Sounds: None, except a continuity announcer. The Christmas variants had their own jingles, and the 80's season variant used the Christmas 1987 jingle. The jingle made a surprise appearance for Afternoon Classics in 2015.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

6th Logo (February 16, 1991-November 19, 2001, July 9, 2014-September 26, 2018)

Regular Idents
Special Idents
Halloween Idents
Christmas Idents
Regular Idents
Christmas Idents

Logo: Various, though all of the idents revolve around a numeral "2" set in Gill Sans Bold.

  • From the launch of the ident set until October 3, 1997, the BBC corporate logo from 1988 in white appeared at the bottom of the screen.
  • From October 4, 1997 until November 19, 2001, the new BBC Two logo (the 1997 corporate logo with the word "TWO" next to it, set in Gill Sans) fades in at the bottom of the screen a few seconds in.
  • From July 9, 2014 until 2015, the BBC Two box logo from the 8th logo in white appears on the bottom-right side of the screen, and after 1.5 seconds, the box spins to reveal the words "50 YEARS" next to the boxed logo.
  • From 2015 until September 26, 2018, the 2007 BBC Two box logo from the 8th logo in teal appears on the bottom-right side of the screen (on BBC Two Northern Ireland, the local BBC Two channel for Northern Ireland, instead of using the boxed logo the channel instead opted to take the logo out of its box and place it at the bottom centre of the screen, similar to that of the 1991-2001 idents).


  • This logo was designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn's self-named firm, after then BBC 2 controller Alan Yentob, noticed that the 1986 logo was taking a toll on its image, making them look "dull and unworthy".
  • A special documentary named "The Tale of 2" shows how they created the idents and the music. This is part of a series named How Do They Do That? (not to be confused with How Do They Do It?) on the channel.
  • The 1999 Christmas ident won the Royal Television Society Craft & Design Award for the Best Channel Ident that year.

Technique: Depends on the logo.


  • For programmes with Ceefax subtitles, the 888 caption appears in the top right. Beginning in July 1999, this was changed to "Subtitles", following the uptake in digital television and the increased use of the new BBC Text service.
  • Accompanying clock ident: The clock used the GNAT-designed clock first shown on BBC1, now on a disk with a white/cyan hue, black clock hands, and the dots and dashes inverting to darker to lighter hues. The disk stands on a cyan floor with a white light on a black background, causing a visible shadow to appear. This would be used up to 2001, where it was converted to widescreen when possible.
  • There were two slight variations of the clock design, commonly used on the channel's closure for the night. The first variant, used from February 16, 1991 to mid-November 1991, appeared more close-up. The second variant, used from mid-November 1991 to October 3, 1997, appeared more further out. The overall design of the clock remained the same (even through the next logo).
  • Paint: A white polystyrene '2' is on a black & white background, splashed by a blob of viridian paint which hurtles in horizontally from the right side of the screen. This illusion was created by moving the '2' and the camera onto its side by 90 degrees anti-clockwise, to make it appear as though the paint was falling sideways. The first and (officially) the last ident to be used in England and Northern Ireland.
  • Water: An aqua-coloured '2' is on a teal coloured background, half submerged in a pool of water at a 45 degree angle. Using a similar method to Paint, the '2' and camera are both at 45 degrees, giving the impression of the water flowing diagonally when the shot of the '2' is upright. One of the four original idents to be shown throughout the run of the whole series.
  • Blade: A sharp, metal '2' falls onto a viridian-coloured block and impales it on its edge, before it begins to wobble from the impact.
  • Sign: Also known as "Neon". A '2' is on a black background with seven viridian neon lights attached to it, flashing in random sequences.
  • Copper Cut Out: A teal-coloured copper cut-out of a '2' on a similarly designed background emits sparks and glows from its edges.
  • Glass: A glass-cut '2', which reflected light - with some noticeable viridian colour - in various directions.
  • Silk: A swathe of viridian silk drifts over the top of a '2' shape, as if they were ocean waves.
  • Paper Cut Out: On a completely grey, paper-like foreground, a '2' is primarily a 2-shaped cut-out in the middle. The background behind it features a colourful blue sky, with white clouds that move, albeit slowly and subtly.
  • B/W Copper Cut Out: Essentially the same as Copper Cut Out, but it was recoloured black-and-white with viridian sparks.
  • Shadow: The shadow of a '2' on a viridian coloured wall slowly rotates as it grows and shrinks in size.
  • Water Reflection: It's the same as the Water ident, but the lighting is adjusted so that there is a reflection of the water on the upper half of the '2'.
  • Garden: With the aide of time-lapse photography, a flower bed blossoms white flowers which form together to create a '2'.
  • Powder: A "2" zooms out past the red and blue lights and falls onto a white sheet of powder. The impact causes viridian powder underneath to rise and be sent flying.
  • Optics: We see several optic fibres highlighted in viridian, pink and red, swaying side-to-side, quickly at first, but slowing down to form a "2".
  • Car: A remote-controlled teal '2' car drives around in random directions across a yellow background.
  • Dog: Also known as "Fluffy Dog". It features a fluffy green '2' whirring, yapping, and doing back flips in the manner of a toy mechanical dog.
  • Balloon: A silver, helium-filled balloon in the shape of a '2' bobs around gently in a fixed spot. There were two versions. The difference was only in the soundtrack. One had a loud trill at the start.
  • Crystal Ball: A crystal ball rolls over the "2", severely distorting the image as it passes. Only used for a couple of weeks from November to December 1993.
  • Firecracker: The firecrackers explode in sequence, causing the base "2" to be thrown about in different directions. A hidden cable stops the "2" from being blown away completely, and there is one firecracker remaining that does not explode.
  • Diary: We see a white "2", with several paper layers peeling off and drifting away in different directions through blue and orange lighting.
  • Steam: We see a viridian, metallic "2" at a hot temperature. Several drops of water splash on the "2", evaporating in steam.
  • Aerial: We see a dark green "2" with aerials attached to it in a red studio, appearing in random places between flashes of static, before finally appearing in the centre of the screen.
  • Duck: This ident depicted a soapy setting, from which a yellow '2' resembling a rubber duck emerged, giving a little squeak. Beginning in June 2000, later versions of Duck has the 'BBC TWO' DOG's colour changed to black in order to be visible on the lighter background.
  • Paint Pot: A follow-up of Paint, except it has a silver paint pot being bombarded by lots of small viridian "2"s, falling sideways.
  • Zapper: It has a fly zapper shaped like a "2" on a wall, a fly becomes attracted to its light, and the zapper breaks on contact as the fly buzzes away, leaving behind a smoke trail.
  • Gorilla: There were two variations on this ident. A gorilla stands up a yellow '2' in one ident, named "Gorilla Shadow", and knocks it over in the other, named "Gorilla Tantrum".
  • Swan: It featured three white '2's swimming past a clearly bemused swan, which shakes its head shortly after.
  • Dalek: Originally a special ident for Doctor Who Night, its popularity meant it went on to join the roster of regular idents. It featured black & white Daleks in the shape of '2's moving between a grey corridor. A variant on this ident, named "Exterminate", has the sequence opening with the Dalek '2' shouting the familiar phrase.
  • Excalibur: It features a bevelled, metallic, cerulean blue "2" rising from the pool of water sideways, in style of Paint. As the "2" emerges, stray droplets of water, fall back into the way, causing vertical ripples.
  • Catalyst: It features an turquoise polystyrene "2" on a dark teal and white background, a bunch of liquid droplets fly in from the top right corner of the screen and cause flames to flare up around the '2' on contact. The flames die down after about 16 seconds, revealing the 2 to be completely damaged, before the cycle repeats.
  • Wave Day: On a white background, we see a dark cyan "2" within a sheet of blue liquid that splashes around it throughout.
  • Predator: It begins centred on a '2'-shaped butterfly sitting within a jungle environment. The camera then zooms out, and the '2' is gobbled up by a larger green '2' in the form of a Venus Flytrap.
  • Kebab: Inside a grill area, we see a meat shaped "2" on a kebab spinning as the flames go up, engulfing slightly. There were 3 variations where the kebab was in different stages of cooking.
  • Woodpecker: On an orange background, we see five poles, many Viridian '2's edge their way down the poles in the same manner as a mechanical woodpecker.
  • It's Scary Out There: We zoom through an empty graveyard with fog flowing. The camera then zooms in further, until a zombie corpse like "2" bursts out of the ground and the camera suddenly pulls back as lightning flashes briefly.
  • Wave Night: A retake of the Wave Day ident, it now featured a navy blue background and darker liquid and a bright cyan "2". The side with the liquid rose is flipped.
  • After the 1997 rebrand, the idents started to be adapted to widescreen (16:9).
  • From December 1999, the URL to the official BBC website was added atop the BBC Two logo. These version were officially introduced in June 2000.
  • Special variants:
    • Made in Japan: The animation starts with the Japanese numeral for "2 (二)". A smoke effect billows out, and the Japanese "2" dissolves through to the usual "2" you see in the final image on the left.
    • Pop Art: Apparently, pop art animation; at the end, the "2" zooms in. It's unknown what actually happens as there is no description of this ident apart from the fact that it has the same audio as "Glass".
    • English: The "2" teapot is initially covered with a tea-cosy which is removed, revealing said "2" teapot. Note the Hilda Ogden style ducks on the wall!
    • Learning Zone: Various educational items (such as the equation E=mc2) float by either as real objects or shadows.
    • Rembrandt Week: The "2" is part of the eye in a self-portrait of Rembrandt. It starts as a pencil sketch, and as the camera pulls back, we see the artist's hand adding detail to the painting in a series of mixes, until the finished portrait is revealed.
    • One Day in the Sixties: The "2" is covered by a lot of stuff from the 60s.
    • One World: The globe is a flat disk which starts the sequence side-on, rotating 90 degrees along its vertical axis, until it faces camera. As this happens, coloured powder "blows" on to the disk, finally forming the image on the left. The sequence is obviously the reverse of how it was shot - the powder was blown off the disk as it rotated away from the camera.
    • Wet And Windy: The "2" is effectively the moon, reflected in the window, which bangs open and shut in the wind and rain.
    • Billboard: In time-lapse, a man on a ladder pastes the advertising billboard with sheets of paper, finally revealing the complete picture - a large "2".
    • Edinburgh Nights: Two red curtains open up, then an aqua-coloured "2" welcomes to the stage and steps in to the spotlight. This ident was used for program during the 1992 Edinburgh Festival.
    • War And Peace: A "2" made of barbed-wire forms around a single poppy.
    • Halloween Night 1: A variant of the Paint ident. The 2 is splashed by red blood and a chainsaw cuts the chunk of the "2" off.
    • Halloween Night 2: The "2" gets electrocuted by a pair of jump leads.
    • Halloween Night 3: The "2" is covered in veil. A pair of scissors cut the "2" and blood comes off of it.
    • A Night of Love: A red "2" rises out of the water, with its reflection making the shape of a heart.
    • Birth Night: The "2" is in form of a baby inside the body. All this is on the doctors' body electronic system.
    • Crime and Punishment: The "2" is in form of a light with the shadows of the jail cells in it. This takes place inside the prisoner room.
    • After Margaret: The "2" is fixed on the door of 10 Downing Street.
    • Animated 2: A "2" in the form of a piano falls from above (with piano keys playing) and crashes through the floor, leaving a "2" shaped hole in its place, the piano lands on a surface and "ANIMATED" letter being partially formed, with pieces of wood falling from above to complete the word. This ident was shown animated and cartoon programs, but it was withdrawn in 2001.
    • 30th Anniversary: A "2" falls and splashes into a cake, in the style of Powder. Surprisingly, it also has the exact same soundtrack as Powder.
    • New Moon: The "2" is in form of a satellite tower in a shadow. This takes place in the moon. This ident was broadcast in honour of the 25th anniversary of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
    • Shakespeare: A potato "2" suddenly appears from a black cauldron after 5 seconds of magical myth. This ident was used for a month of seasonal Bard on the Box programs.
    • Berlin Wall: The Berlin Wall has a "2" cut into it. The "2" gets hoisted away by a crane to show a 2-shaped hole, revealing more of the dark-blue sky background.
    • Centenary: A film canister "2" is dropped down from a great height onto a bed of unravelled film reels. This ident was used to celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema and film.
    • Mars Weekend: The ident starts in close-up on the "2" Martian surface, then zooms out to reveal the full scene, with the flying saucer blipping in and out of view. There were two versions - one with the flying saucer, and one without. This was the final new ident before the channel's revamp in October 1997.
    • Tug Of War: A rope with a "2" in the middle is constantly being tugged at both ends in front of a stone wall. The sounds of the rope being stretched are heard. This was an exclusive to BBC Wales.
  • Christmas variants:
    • Christmas 1991: A reference to Georges Méliès' A Trip to the Moon, over a night-time cloudy sky, we see a cloud in the centre with a star inside. It sprinkles star dust on the BBC logo until the star and the cloud suddenly transforms into a wrapped-up "2" in a quick explosion. A rocket then flies over the "2". A short version of the ident has the star absent and only features sound effects.
    • Christmas 1992: A red "2" appears as fairy lights on a Christmas tree.
    • Christmas 1993: A metallic "2" is hoisted up atop a Christmas tree by Hobbit-like creatures. It is then lit up into small flames.
    • Christmas 1994: A large yellow "2" is in a decorated dome against a tundra landscape.
    • Christmas 1995: Wallace and Gromit accompany a 2 covered in fairy lights while sitting down to Christmas dinner. As with Neon, the music plays in time with the fairy lights flashing, and buzzing noises can also be heard when the fairy lights flash.
    • Christmas 1996: A wizard walks on clouds in the sky, before spinning and turning into a "2" made of stars.
    • Christmas 1997: On a blurry blue room with a table, a snow "2" appears on a snow globe, which also contains many trees, mountains, and a snowman. Another version has three people reflections looking at the snow globe.
    • Christmas 1998: A green fairy moves back to reveal the 2 atop a Christmas tree with surreal white and green colours.
    • Christmas 1999: A similar theme to last year, and the first ident to feature the URL. The 2, complete with wings, knocks the fairy off the tree before taking her place, a Christmassy view from the cities against a cerulean background as the 2 with wings sits well at the top of the Christmas tree.
    • Christmas 2000: Two small white 2's skate on top of, and fall off, a huge ice-covered 2 against a blue background.
  • Occasionally, the idents (and sometimes the clock) were played out without the 1988 BBC logo used at the time; an example of this happening was the very first showing of Paint on 16 February 1991.

Music/Sounds: Depended on the variant.

  • Paint/Made In Japan: A steady cymbal crash as the paint comes into view, reaching a peak upon contact with the "2", followed by a two-note resonant sound, symbolic of the dripping paint.
  • Water/Water Reflection: A jingle featuring wind instruments and reverberated ethnic percussion.
  • Blade: A short, sharp cymbal crash with slow attack.
  • Sign: A jingle that matches the timing of the lights.
  • Copper Cut Out/B/W Copper Cut Out: A loud, metallic "clang" sound, overlaying a gentle synth pad.
  • Glass: A series of eerie bell chimes, paired with "breathy" sounds.
  • Silk: A dramatic theme consisting of haunting wails, and loud bell tolls.
  • Paper Cut Out: A high-pitched, "tweeting" melody, with faint drums.
  • Shadow: Similar to Glass, but with hints of percussion, and greater variety in the chords.
  • Powder/Centenary: A sharp, cymbal-like effect as the "2" is falling, followed by a deep cymbal crash as the "2" hits the surface, along with a sustained bass note.
  • Optic: Entitled "Inhale". An atmospheric theme consisting of warm melodic sounds and a deep bass note, with a high synth choir towards the end.
  • Diary: Entitled "Harmonic Beauty". A gentle harp theme, in E-Minor, plus very faint, high-pitched strings.
  • Steam: An atmospheric theme consisting of four synth notes, in D#.
  • Aerial: A harp theme similar to Car, in D.
  • Paint/Paint Pot: A cymbal crashes as the paint splatters the "2" and a chime theme with a constant harp note plays. Paint Pot includes the sound of the "2"s hitting the pot.
  • Neon: Two repeating harp notes, with chimes in between.
  • Zapper: Same as Neon, with added sound effects of the zapper.
  • Gorilla: A jungle theme, entitled "Forest Canopy".
  • Swan: A slow, dreamy, harp-led theme, with no percussion.
  • Dalek: Similar to the style of the Doctor Who theme.
  • Excalibur: A series of cymbal hits, accompanying each drop hitting the water.
  • Catalyst: A dramatic horn theme.
  • Wave Day/Wave Night: A three-note synth chime, with the sound of filling water.
  • Predator: Starts off quiet, building to a crescendo when the "2" gets swallowed.
  • Kebab: Entitled "Arabian Freakact". An Eastern-style theme, differing slightly in each variation.
  • Woodpecker: A whistling four-note jingle, amongst the drilling sounds, overlaying an A major synth pad.
  • It's Scary Out There: A series of sound effects, including a low bell clang.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the idents' first few weeks (February 16, 1991-March 1991), the music on the original 11 idents sounded different than later showings, with the music being much weaker. The music was later updated in March 1991, with a remastered soundtrack.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

Legacy: These idents are famous for their creative concepts, and thus have garnered worldwide recognition.

7th Logo (November 19, 2001-February 18, 2007)

Logo: This revolves around an inanimate "2" as a robot on a yellow background, with the BBC Two box logo now coloured purple.

Variants: There are several different variations of this logo:

  • Fish: The '2' is floating underwater, minding its own business, when a shoal of mackerel swim up to its "face". The '2' immediately blows bubbles at the curious group of fish, scaring them away. A smaller, solitary fish swims towards the '2' at the end. This was the first ident to be used. A later variant was introduced in January 2002 in which the entire ident (save for the BBC Two logo) is flipped, fixing the problem that was seen in the original variant in which the "2" is the wrong way around for most of the ident. This variant was used for the rest of the idents' run.
  • Bounce: The '2' bounces around like a rubber ball in slow motion for the duration of the ident. It bounces in and out of frame, closer and further away at random points.
  • Logo: The '2' is sitting away from our point-of-view when it notices something not quite right. The BBC Two logo is backwards! A blank white square sits in the place where the usual logo should be. Immediately, the '2' rushes to the scene and sprouts a pair of robotic arms. It grabs the misaligned logo with its right hand and flips it over, correcting the problem. The robotic arms fold back into the body of the '2' and it backs away, returning to its previous position.
  • Domino: A '2' turns towards a long line of other '2's, which are lined up like dominoes. The 'head 2' blows into a whistle (presumably to get the '2's to tumble over on cue) but the '2' at the front falls flat on its side. The 'head 2' gestures at the 'front 2' to get back up again, but to no avail.
  • BBC Four On BBC Two (1): A variation of "Logo" where the '2' corrects the logo as usual, but flips it around a second time to reveal the BBC Four logo.
  • Screen Clean: There is a black speck on the screen. The 2 comes toward the speck and sprouts its arms. A breath comes out of the 2 and on the speck, it tries to fix the issue but the breath quickly clears away.
  • Drip: The 2 slides around, trying to avoid the drips coming from above.
  • Invisible Walls: We see '2's going into walls that are invisible.
  • Formation: Also known as "Acrobats". A 2 gets on what looks like a home-made see-saw. Another 2 lands on the other end of the see-saw, sending the 2 flying! It lands on top of several other 2s on a ball.
  • Remote: The 2 comes to a remote and sprouts its arms. It takes the remote and wonders what to do with it. The 2 uncontrollably controls itself...even crashing into the screen at one point! Make sure to keep an eye on the BBC2 logo at moment of impact. The 2 finally controllably controls itself for a bit before sending itself off-screen.
  • Drum: The '2' is on a yellow-orange invisible drum.
  • Paintbrush: The '2' paints a human-like painting with the logo on the bottom right as a paintbox.
  • BBC Four On BBC Two (2): Another variant of "Logo" where the '2' flips it over, but the blank part is now the BBC Four logo.
  • BBC Three on BBC Two: Same as the "Logo" and "BBC Four" idents, except that this time the BBC Three logo is seen.
  • Sticky Label: A twist to the "Logo" theme. The 2 corrects the problem, but the BBC2 logo sticks to his fingers! The 2 tries flicking it off, but it lands right on his shoulder!
  • The Big Read: 6 2s are seen reading books. One 2, eager to learn the plot, flicks hurriedly through its book, and slightly laughs at the result. The other 2s flick hurriedly through their books, and laugh.
  • Flamethrower: The 2 doesn't sprout its arms...but a flamethrower. It sends fire in all directions, eventually hitting the BBC2 logo. The flamethrower goes back in the 2 as it stares at the flaming BBC2 logo. Hilariously, this ident was commonly used when the channel would close down for the night.
  • The Big Read Crowd: Also called "The Really Big Read." This time, no longer 6, but a whole screen chock full of 2s with their noses in a book. The rest goes the same as the original "Big Read."
  • 40th Anniversary: Same as the Invisible Walls ident, but various idents from the past are projected onto the "2" as it wanders through the walls. The BBC 2 box turns to show the text "40 Years".
  • Morris Dancers: The 2 plays an accordion. 6 other 2s come in and start dancing Morris.
  • Northern Ireland exclusive idents:
    • Giants Causeway: We see the 2 on a plain floor, but then it snaps its finger, causing the screen to shake, while the floor collapses, splits and separates into various hexagons.
    • Camera: The 2's "face" transforms into a camera and takes a photo, and then proceeds to show the photo. There are two variants: One shows a painting of a fish. The other shows a landscape called "Slemish". This last one was never aired.
    • Ulster Fry: The 2 moves to a table full of food; however, it instead eats the jar of pepper and leaves!
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 2001: We see the '2' sprout its robotic arms, and a glowing fairy bursts into view, with sparks flying. The fairy flies out of the '2's hands and draws a tall Christmas tree - at warp speed - out of fairy dust. She then flies around a bit before settling down onto the top of the tree, and then flies off again.
    • Christmas 2002: The 2 builds a snow-2. The 2 runs off to get something, and comes back with two sticks. The 2 puts the sticks on the snow-2, so the snow-2 looks like a self-portrait.
    • Christmas 2003: We see the robotic '2' frozen on ice. Also seen in the summer when the weather is hot.
    • Christmas 2005: Several yellow sparks fly around on black, forming the 2. Reused in 2006.
  • Some idents like Venus Fly Trap or Christmas 2000 were also re-used, but with the changed BBC Two box logo.

Technique: Very nice CGI from Lambie-Nairn!

Music/Sounds: Depends on the variant, however most tracks use a variation on the same four note tune.

  • Fish: Synthesized plucks, and ethnic-style percussion. A loud bubbling is heard when the "2" scares away the fish.
  • Bounce: Starts with the familiar four note tune, followed by an ambient electronic piece with thud noises playing every time the "2" hits the floor. If the ident is left to play long enough, a nod to the previous ident package can be heard, with a familiar reverse cymbal from the "Paint" ident playing. Sometimes the soundtrack would have a more serious tone with a calm orchestral rendition of the piece. This variation is nicknamed "Bounce Sombre".
  • Logo/BBC (Four/Three) on BBC Two: A "robotic" theme, with rhythmic bleeps, bloops, and pops. Robotic "whirring" is heard when the arms are formed.
  • Domino: The sounds of the action in the logo.
  • Christmas 2001: A "bursting" sound accompanies the appearance of the fairy, followed by fluttering and high-pitched giggling as the fairy sketches the tree.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

8th Logo (February 18, 2007-November 14, 2014)

Logo: This logo revolves around a "2", a largely modified version of the one used from 1991-2007, zooming out in form of various places and objects, often as a window looking out onto contrasting scenery. The BBC Two box is also coloured teal this time.

Variants: There are several different variations of this logo:

  • Cappuccino: A paper with a 2 cut out is held over a cup, while chocolate pieces are sprinkled on top. The paper is then removed, so we can see, albeit through the stencil, that there is now a chocolate 2 atop a cappuccino. There were two variants to this ident. The form up is the same, but in one the 2 is disturbed by the drinker dropping in two sugar cubes, and the other by the drinker scooping the froth off of the top. The colour of the chocolate pieces is also different between both versions. Withdrawn in 2009.
  • Chase: A man is being chased through some woods by a number of men with dogs. He looks around and hides in a various places involving 2's. There are five variations of this ident which follow the same of the concept.
  • Mirror: A drop slides down a mirror in the shape of a 2, and as the camera pans out we can see that the mirror is attached to the side of a car as it moves at speed down highways unknown. Originally there were two versions of this, both featuring different road scenes and different soundtracks. During the 2009 rebrand, this was the only ident to have the BBC Two logo appear, rather than fade out when the 2 appears.
  • Seascape: A shot of the sea than pans back, through a large 2 shaped hole in the sea defences, with the sea breaking all around the hole.
  • Sunroof: A shot of the leaves on a tree through a seemingly ordinary sunroof. The camera rotates round as the roof opens to reveal the sun roof is in fact a lot larger, and is the shape of a 2.
  • Tent: A zip on yellow fabric is followed as it unzips a large 2 shaped door to a tent, revealing a scene outside. There are four versions of this ident, all having different scenery: Polar (a mountainous landscape), Festival (a place covered by many other tents), Beach (a beach in evening, with some people near a campfire), and Space (a space background).
  • Tagging: A first person perspective of a man, who is using a stencil with the 2 and a spray paint can to paint the 2 in different places. There are four versions of the ident.
  • Heroes: TBA
  • Restaurant: TBA
  • Thursdays are Funny: TBA
  • Electric Proms 2007: TBA
  • White Season: TBA
  • Back to Nature: TBA
  • Electric Proms 2008: TBA
  • Winter Olympics: TBA

Technique: Depends on the variant.


  • From February 18, 2007 to June 16, 2009, the BBC Two logo fades in late into the ident on the left side of the screen.
  • From October 1, 2008 to October 2, 2008, two of the idents were edited to have the official BBC logo instead of the BBC Two logo.
  • From June 16, 2009 to November 14, 2014, the BBC Two box is at the opposite side of the screen (much like the previous logo) already formed, and it later fades out.
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 2007-2010: TBA
    • Christmas 2011-2014: TBA

Music/Sounds: Depends on the variant.

Availability: Extinct on TV.

9th Logo (September 27, 2018-)

Regular Idents
Christmas Idents

Regular Idents
Christmas Idents

Logo: We see an interactive environment, centring around a simple curve that represents the curve (looks like a curved wave) seen in the middle of a "2". Below appear the boxless version of 2007 BBC Two logo. The logo is now placed at the bottom of the screen instead of the bottom-right corner of the screen, similar to that of the 1991-2001 idents.

Later Variant: Beginning on October 20, 2021, with the introduction of the BBC's new logo, the idents were altered. The new BBC logo appears above, and the BBC Two box is replaced with "TWO" in the BBC Reith font, like with the new BBC logo. The "Subtitles" graphic is now placed in a full widescreen picture, rather than being in its original place of a 4:3 picture.

Variants: Depends on the variant:

  • Feel Good: A bunch of multicoloured blobs float around the screen, stick together forming the 2 curve and resembling the sound of balloons. This was the first ident of the new look to be used at 6am on 27 September 2018.
  • Captivating: Various paper ribbons move about on screen to form the 2 curve.
  • Escapist: Rippling purple and orange fabric looking like cave rocks make the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Silk from the 1991 set.
  • Authoritative: Piles of paper wave around forming the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Paper Cut-Out from the 1991 set. This ident is the most generic used of the set.
  • Reflective: Reflective is another generic ident used for the set. Sheets of paper turn over between the curve 2, inspired by Diary from the 1991 set.
  • Mind-Bending: White and grey lines overlapping and forming the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Optics from the 1991 set. The ding sound is the same as Authoritative.
  • Wonder: A green and blue crystalline mineral split in half by the 2 curve, inspired by Water (or Water Reflection) from the 1991 set.
  • Celebratory: A multicoloured firework theme makes up the sides of the 2 curve, inspired by Firecracker from the 1991 set.
  • Revelatory: A ribbon made of metal (resembling a slinky) moves about on screen to form the 2 curve, possibly inspired by the 1993 Slinky sting.
  • Offbeat: An orange fluffy creature moves about the screen with its sticky purple feet and stops forming the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Dog from the 1991 set.
  • Thought-Provoking: Black and white patterns dance around in the 2 curve, possibly inspired by the 1993 Op Art sting from the 1991 set. The initial version of Thought-Provoking appears to have been withdrawn along with Visceral in early October 2018. However, a revised version with the black background lightened and the white areas dimmed to an off-white/pale grey, was introduced on BBC Two in late November.
  • Visceral: Brown, black and gold pins and scales open and close forming the 2 curve. The initial version of Visceral appears to have been withdrawn along with Thought-Provoking in early October 2018. However, a revised version with reduced colour saturation was introduced at 2:40am on the evening of 3 November. Besides on 30 January 2021, the initial version of Visceral has returned due to BBC Two wins Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh TV Awards in November 2020.
  • Dark: Set entirely in shades of grey, the 2 curve animates like coral reef.
  • Gritty: Rising and falling blocks in the shape of the 2 curve. A silent version of this ident was used once on 21 September 2019.
  • Bold: A broken up black and gold stone effect (resembling a causeway) makes up the 2 curve, possibly inspired by the 2002 Giant's Causeway ident (which aired on BBC Two Northern Ireland) from the 2001 "Personality" set.
  • Charged: Clouds billowing around, the curve formed by light shining through a crack in the clouds.
  • Sharp: Several coloured threads ripping apart, with the 2 curve being seemingly cut into each one as they appear. First aired earlier as promos on the 21 October 2018.
  • Silly: Blobs of slime (with googly eyes) shaped like the 2 curve move around the screen, possibly inspired by the 2002 "Bugs" era of CBBC. First aired 3 November 2018.
  • Gripping: Dark blue-coloured fabric is seen wringing itself into the shape of the 2 curve and back. First aired 8 November 2018.
  • Absorbing: Multicoloured liquid patterns slowly move across the screen, forming the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Paint from the 1991 set. First aired 28 November 2018.
  • Sparky: A swarm of multicoloured plastic mini balls moving around the screen into the shape of the 2 curve in middle of white and back. First aired 22 April 2019.
  • Discovery: A planet sized earth map in the middle of the 2 curve in blue spins around, and stops to reveal the pale red areas of the earth in the middle of the same curve in red, possibly inspired by the 1997 Mars Weekend ident from the 1991 set. First aired 28 May 2019.
  • Intense: The camera zooming through colour rings, before they form up the 2 curve and resembling the sound of the crowd with a football being kicked about (or a tennis ball being squashed by the racket), resembling (and probably referencing) the 1988, 1996 and 1997 BBC Sport idents. The ding sound is the same as Celebratory. First aired 15 June 2019.
  • Maverick: A small white ball moves around the screen, usually bouncing off pachinko-like pegs, with various objects and shapes popping up and disappearing to form the 2 curve. The ding sound is the same as Feel Good. First aired 16 June 2019.
  • Illuminating: A light scans around the 2 curve in a multicoloured background, with the shapes are changing while it scans, possibly inspired by both the 1995 Corridor sting from the 1991 set and Invisible Walls from the 2001 "Personality" set. The ding sound is the same as Charged. First aired 20 June 2019.
  • Punchy: Consists of blue and red-orange glass stripes moving all around before they crashed together and forming the 2 curve, possibly inspired by both the 1974 Striped 2 ident and Neon from the 1991 set, with the red-orange stripes reminiscent of the 1979 ident. First aired 5 October 2019.
  • Thought-Provoking 2: Wooden blocks, furniture, metallics, walls, glass and stones moving around to form the 2 curve, possibly inspired by the 1994 Modern Art Gallery sting from the 1991 set. The ding sound is the same as Thought-Provoking. This ident serves as the second instalment of Thought-Provoking. First aired 23 November 2019.
  • Inspiring: A bunch of flower petals (resembling paper cones) swirl and spin around the screen and stops to form the 2 curve, possibly inspired by Garden from the 1991 set. The ding sound is the same as Wonder. First aired 10 April 2021.
  • Christmas variants:
    • Magical: A snow-covered fir tree with branches forming the 2 curve shakes off some of the snow, possibly inspired by the 1992 Christmas ident.
    • Glorious: Also known as Glamourous. A brightly-coloured aurora shines in a dark, starry sky, weaving into the 2 curve shape at points.
    • Cosy: Also known as Comforting. A domestic cat flicks a bauble around on a carpeted floor - only its tail is seen, occasionally settling into the shape of the 2 curve, and purring sounds can be heard.
    • Festive: Various tinsel garlands are flying around the screen into the shape of the 2 curve in middle of purple tinsel and back.


  • The IDs have won many advertising and design awards, including a Cannes Lion.
  • Superunion was the agency behind the logos, but they were designed by many different designers.
  • "Silly" was directed by Gavin Strange at Aardman Animations. An extensive behind-the-scenes look at the bump can be found here.
  • "Escapist", "Wonder", "Reflective", and "Gritty" were made by FutureDeluxe.
  • "Offbeat", "Sharp", and "Gripping" were designed by MAINFRAME (not to be confused with the Canadian animation studio of the same name).
  • Conlan Normington is the designer of "Mind-Bending" and "Thought-Provoking".
  • "Authoratative" and "Charged" were designed by The Mill.
  • "Captivating" was designed by Kasia Kijek and Przemek Adamski. It was animated with real craft paper, as can be seen here.
  • David McLeod is the designer of "Feel Good" and "Celebratory".
  • To finish off the wide range of designers, Helmut Breineder designed "Dark" and Kenneth Robin designed "Visceral". Ari Weinkle reportly made at least one ID as well.

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Music/Sounds: Depends on the variant, with a ding at the beginning.

Music/Sounds Trivia: These idents were scored by Alex Baranowski. A blog post by him going into how he composed the music for the logos can be found here.

Availability: Current. First shown at 6am on 27 September 2018.


Logo: On a dark green background, a box can be seen forming, which then splits neatly like an elevator effect and forms a Roman numeral "2" on each side, which is in letters instead. The finished product is then completed with the 1988 BBC logo underneath.

Technique: Nice computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A deep harmonic tune which sounds similar to the one on the BBC1 test ident, except it sounds faster.

Availability: This logo was never used or broadcast. It was a test ident along with the BBC1 test ident.

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