Carlton Television (UK)
Carlton Television began broadcasting on January 1, 1993 as the third holder of the ITV franchise for London weekdays, after outbidding the much-loved Thames Television - for which it had previously made two unsuccessful takeover attempts - in the auction-style 1991 franchise round. The company quickly became notorious for its low-budget and poor-quality programming - a stark contrast to its predecessor - and for having an appetite for corporate acquisitions. These included fellow ITV stations Central and Westcountry - both of which were rebranded with the Carlton name on September 6th, 1999 - and the license and broadcast facilities of HTV, as well as Technicolor and the film libraries of ITC Entertainment Group and The Rank Organisation. Carlton eventually ran into financial difficulties (spurred on by ONdigital, a failed digital television joint venture with Granada and an expensive TV rights deal with the English Football League that went bad), and on February 2, 2004, it merged with Granada to form ITV plc. Subsequently, the Carlton name was dropped from most uses, with ITV reinstating the Central and Westcountry names, while Technicolor Corporation was sold off. The Carlton archive holdings (including the ITC, ATV/Central, Westcountry, HTV, London Films and Rank Film Distributors libraries) are now the property of ITV plc.
1st Logo (1991-December 31, 1992)
Logo: On a white background, a roll of film flies through the air, spinning. The film roll creates two blue lines. Once the roll of film has left the picture, the word "CARLTON" in a Bembo font zooms in below the top blue line, while the word "TELEVISION" in the same font zooms in below the bottom blue line.
Variant: A still version was used on some programmes.
FX/SFX: All CGI animation.
Availability: Extremely rare for the animated version. The still version was seen at the end of programmes produced when Carlton was a production company in the early 1990s, some of which aired on the Children's Channel. This ident did not air on the channel itself.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (January 1, 1993-September 3, 1995)
Logo: On a purple background, we see "CARLTON" in a yellow Gill Sans font at the top left corner of the screen, with the "T" smaller than the other letters and resting in the "L". There's also a shadow of a fern plant taking up most of the screen, swaying ever-so-slightly, just as the 1989 ITV logo of the time, with "Part of the" above it and "Network" below it, fades in while coloured a transparent white in the bottom right corner.
- If the programme was in Stereo or in subtitles, a white box in the top right corner containing either "Stereo", "888", or both will be seen.
- In January 1993, 70 variants consisted of one or more people, supposedly representing "ordinary Londoners", fading in over the background and announcing to the viewer: "You're watching Carlton" or "This is Carlton, Television for London." For instance, the very first logo, broadcast a few seconds after midnight on January 1, 1993, featured town crier Maurice Jones shouting out the latter and ringing his bell three times, as the Carlton logo morphed into the word "LONDON" above.
- For the former ident, or rarely on its own, the background colour and also the shadowed object will change. The text would also change colour to white for these, but it could be other colours.
- In late 1993, the idents were revised to only have 25 standard ident of people doing activities, along with 4 montage versions. The background also changed to a marble-like texture. Different music was used and "You're watching Carlton" or "This is Carlton, Television for London." was no longer used.
- Sometimes, the 1989 ITV logo won't pop up.
- A 1994 ad for Del Monte parodied this logo. The text "CARLTON" was changed to "CARTON", and The Man from Del Monte (played by Brian Jackson) appeared pouring juice into a glass cup. An announcer says "You're watching...Carton" at the end.
FX/SFX: Just the moving background.
Music/Sounds: A synth theme combined with an uninspired 8-note fanfare usually played on a trumpet. The fanfare is also sometimes played on a different instrument. In the variants not featuring "ordinary Londoners", a voice-over would sometimes say: "You're watching Carlton, Television for London" or "This is Carlton, Television for London".
Editor's Note: A rather generic ident compared to the likes of Thames before it.
3rd Logo (September 4, 1995-November 24, 1996)
Logo: On a coloured background of swirling white rays and lines, these lines slowly reveal the transparent Carlton logo from before, shining on the edges and casting shadows as well. After a bit, they fade to a solid white as the rays and shining continue.
- "888" fades in the top right corner like usual if the following programme has subtitles.
- Alternatively, a different long version is used. The background is different, featuring blocks of transparent glass rotating in the background, as 6 glass bars can be seen in descending size. These slowly spread out and rotate towards the screen to reveal that its the Carlton logo, and it stays on-screen while it shines. Another variant has an alternating hue in the background and it effectively flips the animation at the end.
- A rare variant has a purple smoky background and the letters appearing in a slow flash of white before quickly dissolving.
- In both cases, the background can be one or more of six colours - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
Trivia: This logo was produced by the promotions team at Central Television, which Carlton acquired in 1994, so it's no real coincidence that the aforementioned background colours are the same as the colours in the Central "cake".
FX/SFX: The background animation, the logo shining.
Music/Sounds: A "futuristic"-styled tune with ethereal synths, phaser noises, and orchestral and jazz instruments, while being backed by a continuity announcer. The long version uses different music.
Availability: Extinct. Don't expect to find it up on productions, as it would continue to use the previous logo.
Editor's Note: A step up from the previous ident, with amazing CGI for the time and nice music.
4th Logo (November 25, 1996-September 5, 1999)
Christmas and special idents
Logo: Just the Carlton logo on a coloured background, the combination differing depending on the variant. A soft spotlight also shines across the background. The logo is usually presented in a large myriad of different animated scenarios, over 50 of them. An example would be the "Generic" ident, where the Carlton logo in yellow is seen on a red background. The logo zooms in except for the "T", which morphs into the "T" of the 1989 ITV logo, and then the rest appear around it.
- Much like the other logos beforehand, "888", (later on as "Subtitles" beginning in May 1999), is displayed in the corner if subtitles are available.
- In late 1998, an URL for "www.carltontv.co.uk" appears on the bottom of the screen in white but was later changed to "www.carlton.com" beginning in mid-July 1999.
- The "Generic" ident is also updated on October 5, 1998 with a different end result and colour scheme to match the new ITV logo at the time.
FX/SFX: Depends on the variant. None for the still variant.
Music/Sounds: None for the still variant. A four note theme which comes in different sounds for the animated variants.
Editor's Note: A charming and creative set of idents, if a little on the bland side.
5th Logo (September 6, 1999-October 27, 2002)
Logo: An animation of heart shape is shown in varying different styles is shown off, where at the end of the animation, a star shape appears in the upper right part of it and glows brightly before the screen flashes white. It then brings forth a differently coloured background with revolving Carlton stars (which is a 5-pointed star with another 5-pointed star cut out of it), with the flash receeding into a blurry white version of it that focuses in, where it also has the "CARLTON" text along with the ITV (later ITV1) logo below it. A byline reading "www.carlton.com" is also seen below. The logo continues to glow a hazy white aura around the edges.
- The logo exists in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. "Subtitles" can also be seen in the top right corner if the following programme or movie contains them.
- Later on, the URL later read "www.carlton.com/tv" and appeared via a flash of white light before shining with vertical bars of light after a bit. This was removed in 2001 and replaced with the "itv.com" URL animation.
- A New Years variant has the end result filled with chroma-keyed sparklers raining down.
- Before an airing of Star Wars in 2002, the background is instead a realistic starfield that zooms in slightly.
- For the local idents, the background colour might be orange/gold, blue and purple/blue/orange. The final variant also introduces a transparent star that also appears and quickly rotates around the logo as well.
- The background sometimes can get stretched a bit.
- Most of the time the animated background can be squished a bit.
- Another version has the logo sandwiched.
FX/SFX: The stars. Pretty decent animation. None for the international variant and the production variant.
Music/Sounds: A 4-note theme followed by the last 3 notes played in different styles.
Music/Sounds Variant: There would also be an announcer announcing the programme or movie airing on UK broadcasts.
Availability: Extinct; appeared in the regions Carlton owned (London Weekdays, Central, Westcountry and eventually Wales/West in 2001 after Carlton purchased HTV due to rights reasons).
Editor's Note: While it does provide a unique take on the "Hearts" identity that the Granada/UNM stations had at the time, its elimination of the coveted Central and less remembered Westcountry names sour its reputation slightly. Overall, a worthy effort to cap off Carlton's 9-year tenure at ITV.
- Carlton Television on TVARK