Christmas box 

1 December 1999

Christmas has been a special time for television and its promotion for a long time in the UK, despite the argument for commercial television that advertising would have the problem that the products couldn’t be bought as shops were shut!

From the start of ITV Christmas Day and Boxing Day were able to ignore the normal restriction on broadcasting hours as the Post Office or Home Office treat. Sit back with a glass of British Sherry and some cold mince pies as we go through the way Christmas and its programmes have been promoted through the years.


Granada Christmas caption from 1966
Granada's 1966 christmas clock

A very ‘at-home’ look adopted, complete with mantlepiece and an unseasonal-looking card from Granada. No doubt this was a normal ‘Granada-from-the-North’ caption card, so little money spent here.


ABC announcers David Hamilton and John Duncanson at Christmas 1967

David Hamilton and John Duncanson chat in front of a backdrop of cards and balloons on ABC Television in the North. Looks like they have just had a ‘who can tie his tie with the smallest knot’ competition.

ABC Christmas ident from 1967 ABC Christmas clock from 1967

Not much in common really between the 1967 ABC Christmas Clock and caption.

Granada Christmas ident from 1967 Granada Christmas clock from 1967

Whereas Granada seems to have spent a bit of money this year on a strange fluted version of their symbol to match the clock.


Granada Christmas ident from 1968

Granada was back to simplicity in 1968 – their regular symbol with some snowflakes stuck on it.

Rediffusion, London

Rediffusion "gothic" christmas ident, still 1 Rediffusion "gothic" christmas ident, still 2 Rediffusion "gothic" christmas ident, still 3

A constant feature on Rediffusion London at Christmas was this ‘gothic’ version of their symbol, although it was used at other times on prestige productions.

Central 1989

Coming rather more to the present, a selection of images from Central’s 1989 Kaleidoscope theme. There was a long promo made containing these (too long really), which particularly concentrated on Central’s own contributions to the network without completely neglecting those from others or bought-in films.

'Welcome to your Central Christmas' caption from 1989
Central 'Christmas Drama' caption from 1989
Central's 'Christmas Day' caption from 1989
Central Christmas caption from 1989
Central 'Music of the Night' caption from Christmas 1989
'Cliff Richard - The Event' caption from Christmas 1989

Particularly of interest was the introductory slide shown first as it refers to “Central on ITV” not long after Central gave scant interest with the new ITV corporate look.

The hi-tech

Channel 5 played the ‘subversive’ card in 1999. Why stick with James Bond or A Christmas Carol when you could watch our offerings.

Channel 5 Christmas Eve caption from 1999
Channel 5 Christmas Day caption from 1999
Channel 5 Christmas Weekend caption from 1999

The beginning of the trail for each day shewd a different ‘traditional’ Christmas image but created in mass numbers to indicate lack of imagination.

Airheads caption on Channel 5, Christmas 1999
Christmas Day from 7 caption on Five in 1999
Channel 5 Christmas menu from 1999

The endboards for the trails related more to the full ident. Note the sponsorship of whole days of programmes and the usual upbeat presentation of 5.

Five Christmas ident from 1999
Five Christmas ident from 1999
Five Christmas ident from 1999

And the ident itself, bringing images of unwrapping presents and Christmas lights.

Channel 5's New Years ident from 1999

On the other hand maybe your experience is more like the ‘y2k’ ident used for the New Year.

ITV 1999 trailer end board for the New Year period

The limited Christmas branding on the ITV endboard is twee in comparison.

A Christmas collection

Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 1 Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 2 Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 3 Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 4 Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 5 Central christmas ident from the 1990s, image 6

A Central ident used a few years later than the above.

Central, Christmas 1990s endcap for the Willows in Winter
Central 1990s endcap for the Russ Abbot Christmas Special
Central logo with fairy lights on it
Central endcap for the Three Fugatives
Carlton Presentation slide from a Christmas 1990s christmas period
Forever Young trailer endcap from Central at Christmas in the 1990s
Endcap for 'Dame Edna Kisses It Better' on Central
Central's Christmas themed trailer endcap for Dances With Wolves
Central's Christmas themed 'Secret Garden' trailer endcap

…and what to finish with apart from some more seasonal endboards. Merry Christmas!

Carlton's sparkly Christmas ident Carlton's Rudolf christmas ident Central 'stars' Christmas ident

And Christmassy idents to end.

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