BBC Two '1991-2001' idents

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File:BBC Two Paint ident.jpg
Paint, the first and last of this series to be broadcast.

BBC Two '1991-2001' idents were broadcast from 16 February 1991 until 19 November 2001 on BBC Two. The idents were created by branding agency Lambie-Nairn (and later, BBC Animation & Design), who also created the Channel 4 logo still used to this day. The idents consist of a sans-serif '2', enlarged in the middle on-screen, accompanied by the colour viridian and synthesized bell music.[1]

The ident package was retained following the corporate rebrand of the BBC in 1997 with a new logo and new idents commissioned.


The newly recruited BBC2 controller, Alan Yentob, noticed that the then logo for the channel, which featured 'TWO' in red, green and blue within a white background and the 'O' being white, was affecting the reputation of BBC2. Surveys commissioned realised that most viewers thought the new look "dull" and "worthy". He then decided to commission a worthy successor capable of displaying the personality of the channel, revealing his thoughts in the How Did They Do It? episode - about the idents.[1]

"I realized there was a problem almost as soon as I took over the channel [BBC2]. It was obvious that the logo [TWO] made absolutely no impact. In fact, it was something anyone could have told you. It was singularly unmemorable, and told you nothing about the personality of the channel. So we decided to commission a corporate design company to do some research."

Alan Yentob[2]

The idents were designed by branding expert Martin Lambie-Nairn, and first aired on the same day as the BBC1 virtual globe ident, also designed by Lambie-Nairn as part of a corporate rebrand of both channels.

"We took this '2', actually, and you think to yourself "Well, there's nothing special about this". But there is something special about this, actually. It's a very distinctive '2'. It's very sharp bits on it and it's rather nice and fat. The reason we wanted that particular '2' is because we wanted to do things with it. So, you need lots of '2', lots of body on the '2' in order to achieve that."

Martin Lambie-Nairn[2]


The idents featured a sans-serif '2' in a variety of different forms and environments accompanied by an element of the colour viridian and accompanied by a static corporate logo DOG below the '2'. Another DOG often used with the look was a small '888' legend in the top right of the screen. This meant that subtitles were available to accompany the programme on Ceefax page 888. Following the 1997 rebrand, the BBC logo was changed, with the word TWO added after the logo at the bottom of the screen. The '888' legend was also phased out, to be replaced with 'Subtitles' following the uptake in digital television and the increased use of the new BBC Text service. The new idents commissioned after 1997 also placed less emphasis on the use of Viridian and the bell music. Later on, as the Internet also began to increasingly grow, the URL of BBC's website ( was included in idents on-screen in January 2000.[3]


Title Air dates
16 February 1991 - 19 November 2001
Paint featured a white polystyrene '2' on a black & white background, splashed by a blob of viridian paint which hurtles in horizontally from the right side of the screen. In this ident's soundtrack, the paint is heralded by a steady cymbal crash as it comes into view, reaching a peak upon contact with the '2', followed a two-note resonant sound, symbolic of the dripping paint. 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.[4]

The first showing of this ident as well as the first showing of the whole run, coincidentally or not, did not feature the DOG as it would later show the 1991 and later on the 1997 corporate logo, subtitles indicator (originally 888 then later on "Subtitles") etc.[1] It was both the first and last in this series of idents to be broadcast.

Edited in October 1997.
16 February 1991 - 19 November 2001
This ident featured an aqua-coloured '2' on a background of the same colour, 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. Wind instruments and reverberated ethnic percussion featured in the audio, enhancing the atmosphere. One of the four original idents to be shown throughout the run of the whole series.

Edited in October 1997.

16 February 1991 - 19 November 2001

One of the four idents to last the entire run, Blade featured a sharp, metal '2' falling into a viridian-coloured block and impaling it on its edge, standing and wobbling. Audio is a short, sharp cymbal crash with slow attack, subtly changing tone and fading out as the '2' has pierced the block.

Edited in October 1997.

16 February 1991 - 19 November 2001

Also known as Sign, it had a '2' on a black background with seven viridian neon lights attached to it, flashing in random sequences. The soundtrack matched the timing of the lights as they flashed on and off.[5] It was one of the four original idents to be shown throughout the entire run.

Edited in October 1997.

Copper Cut-Out
16 February 1991 - 31 December 1999

As the title suggests, it featured a copper cut-out of a '2' off of which sparks flew, as the figure glowed at its edges. This was punctuated with a loud, distinctive metallic clang sound in the audio, which overlaid a gentle, major chord pad.

Edited in October 1997 but was withdrawn at the end of 1999 along with Silk, Firecracker, Diary and Steam.

16 February 1991 - December 1993 (Northern Ireland and North West in 3 October 1997)

Featured a glass-cut '2', which reflected light — with some noticeable viridian colour — in various directions. Soundtrack consists of a resonant bell-like chime, between lighter bells paired with breathy sounds, giving a relaxing feel. It was one of the first to be taken out of service, along with Paper Cut-Out but was played by accident once in the North West in about 1996/1997. However, this ident continued in Northern Ireland until the 1997 revamp.

16 February 1991 - 31 December 1999

This ident included a swathe of viridian silk literally drifting over the top of a '2' shape, as if they were ocean waves. Haunting wails and loud bell tolls to form a dramatic soundtrack, conjuring up imagery of the '2' as a sinking ship. The jingle used in Neon is also heard in the audio. This was known to be a nightmare-inducing ident back in the day, especially with children.

Edited in October 1997 but was dropped from the line-up at the end of 1999 along with four other idents.

Paper Cut-Out
16 February 1991 - December 1993

Paper Cut-Out featured a completely grey, paper-like foreground, with a '2'-shaped cut-out in the middle. The background behind it featured a colourful blue sky, with white clouds. The audio track is minimal, with faint drums and a high-pitched, tweeting melody, heavy on repetition. Along with Glass it was withdrawn in 1993. This was the very first ident to be taken out of service.

Black & White Copper Cut-Out
16 February 1991 - 3 October 1997

This ident was the black-&-white equivalent of the original Copper Cut Out with viridian sparks flying off the '2'. Withdrawn from the line-up in 1997, when the BBC corporate logo was revamped.

16 February 1991 - 3 October 1997

A simple ident, showing the cast shadow of a slowly rotating '2' on a viridian wall. The soundtrack shares some note similarities with Paint and Glass, albeit is not as minimal, with hints of percussion and greater variety and prominence in the chords. Withdrawn from the line-up in 1997, when the BBC corporate logo was revamped.

Water Reflection
16 February 1991 - 3 October 1997

A subtle variation on Water, the light was altered in such a way that it cast a reflection of the water line onto the top half of the '2'. It also had the same audio as Water. This was also withdrawn before the 1997 corporate logo revamp along with four other idents.

16 February 1991 - 1 March 1991, January 1994 - October 1997, June 2001 - 19 November 2001

Garden depicted a circular patch of grass in the middle, from which sprouted several white flowers that formed the shape of the '2'. Introduced as a one-off ident in 1991 for a series of gardening programmes, it was launched as a regular ident two years later, albeit with different music. The soundtrack originally had the remix of Water but had its own soundtrack with the music being quite similar to that of Car, small sound of bells to begin with and gets louder when the '2' rises from the patch. It was withdrawn from the line-up before the 1997 corporate logo revamp, however it was brought back again for the 2001 Chelsea Flower Show (albeit with the then current "BBC TWO" legend) and remained in use until the end, making it the only ident to have been reinstated.|-

26 October 1992 – 19 November 2001

This featured a birds-eye view of the '2' falling onto a bed of white powder, revealing a layer of viridian powder beneath it, left streaked around the '2' as the stray particles clear away. Red and blue lights were cast onto the figure as it fell. The audio track has a sharp, cymbal-like effect as the '2' is falling, and this culminates in a deep cymbal crash as the '2' hits the surface, along with a sustained bass note. The soundtrack continues in the aftermath of the crash, with a faint, deep texture accompanying the bass, although this would have been rarely heard, due to the track usually being faded down for continuity by that point.

A variant for celebrating 30 years of BBC2 had the background a cake with "30" on it; the 2 is blue and instead of powder flying away, cream flies away. It, unusually, has the same tune as the regular Powder ident.

Edited in October 1997.

26 October 1992 - 19 November 2001

Optics included many optical fibers of mainly viridian and green colour, swaying from side to side, initially with great momentum but slowly and eventually settling into the shape of the '2' symbol. The slow-tempo audio was atmospheric, carried by warm melodic sounds and a deep bass note, with a high choir pad towards the end. Along with Powder, this was one of the first new idents to be added to the roster, and allegedly replacing Glass and Paper Cut Out, it was to be the joint-second-longest-running ident and would last for the rest of the series until the 2001 rebrand. An ident produced with CGI, Optics was also the last ident to be played out with the slanted BBC logo.

Edited in October 1997.

1 November 1993 – 19 November 2001

One of a new series of idents introduced in 1993. It featured a viridian '2' with an aerial moving about on wheels in a yellow studio, in the same manner as a remote-controlled car. The car noise varies in pitch as it whizzes around at varying speeds. It's possible that this inspired the 2001-2007 series of idents.[6]

Edited in October 1997.

1 November 1993 - 19 November 2001

Also known as "Fluffy Dog". This ident included a fluffy green '2' whirring, yapping and doing back flips in the manner of a toy mechanical dog. The bassline of the audio track is the same as that heard in Copper Cut Out. There was also a short variant where the '2' turned into a scared piece of cotton, but it was only seen during a Monster Night promo from 1998.

Edited in October 1997.

1 November 1993 - 3 October 1997

A 2 shaped balloon floats around in a sky. This ident was taken out of use in 1997 to avoid a clash with the BBC One balloons.

Crystal Ball
1 November 1993 - December 1995

A rarely seen ident that was introduced as one of the 1993 idents, Crystal Ball was inexplicably dropped after just 26 months. It featured a crystal ball rolling across a blue, purple and green background, revealing a distorted image of a '2' as it passed over the middle of the screen. One possible explanation for its removal so quickly after launch was the similarity between it and the BBC One 'Virtual Globe' ident. It's also rumoured that the ident was pulled due to the decreased visibility of the '2', which was only in view for a split second. A sparse minor chord composition overlaid subtle howling effects, lending a mystical feel. This was the third ident to be taken out of use and was withdrawn at the end of 1995.

1 November 1993 - 31 December 1999

Also known as "Exploding Fireworks" or simply "Fireworks". This featured a viridian '2' on a rusty-looking brown desk, with live firecrackers attached to it. The firecrackers go off, launching the '2' towards the camera, before it is pulled back into place by an attached cable — which can be clearly seen after the final explosion. The final firecracker actually fails to go off. The featured soundtrack starts with a rich, deep orchestral texture as the fuse burns down, then as each firecracker goes off, it is paired with a simultaneous crash and musical note — while both during the explosion and in the aftermath, windchimes play a waltz through the piece.[7] The notes played during the explosions are vaguely similar to what became BBC Two's signature tune from 2001–2007.

Edited in October 1997 but was withdrawn at the end of 1999 along with 4 other idents.

February 1995 - 31 December 1999

This ident featured a white '2' on a black background, with paper layers peeling off and drifting away. This was originally meant to have several layers quickly peel off, but instead looped the same four layers in different directions due to tangling wirework.[8] The music consists of a gentle E-minor chord-scale piece, led by a harp on single plucked notes, plus very faint, high-pitched strings. This ident along with Steam were the last regular idents to be added to the line-up before the 1997 revamp.

Edited in October 1997 but was withdrawn at the end of 1999 along with four other idents.

February 1995 – 31 December 1999

This featured a viridian-coloured, metallic '2' of extremely hot temperature, as a ring of syringes dispensed water droplets which fell onto and around the figure. Any drops landing on the boiling '2' instantly evaporated into steam, and upon impact were accompanied by a tinkling sound on the audio track. The soundtrack bore a strong resemblance to that of Optic, only with a D# chord progression, with four synth-lead notes in order to create an atmospheric feel. This ident along with Diary were the last regular idents to be added to the line-up before the 1997 revamp.

Edited in October 1997 but was withdrawn at the end of 1999 along with four other idents.

Like Firecracker, the four notes played at the beginning of the ident are vaguely similar to what became BBC Two's signature tune from 2001–2007.

4 October 1997 – 19 November 2001

Aerial featured a viridian '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. The soundtrack is slightly similar to Car (which aired in 1993 from the previous era), featuring notably prolific use of synthesized bell sounds. This was the first ident to be shown with the then-new "BBC TWO" legend. This was one of the new idents to be added to the line-up after the 1997 revamp along with Duck, Paint Pot, Zapper and Gorilla.

4 October 1997 – 19 November 2001

This ident depicted a soapy setting, from which a yellow '2' resembling a rubber duck emerged, giving a little squeak. Later showings of Duck has the 'BBC TWO' DOG's colour changed to black in order to be visible on the lighter background.

Paint Pot
4 October 1997 – 19 November 2001

In a parody of the original Paint ident, a silver paint pot is bombarded by lots of little viridian '2's, once again falling sideways.[9] The music is similar to Paint, with some slight changes to the score. Usually, apology screens were made on this ident.

4 October 1997 – 19 November 2001

This featured a fly zapper in the shape of a '2' upon a wall. A fly is attracted to it, but the zapper breaks on contact and the fly buzzes away, leaving a smoke trail behind it. Behind the sound effects of the zapper is essentially the same audio as Sign.

4 October 1997 – 19 November 2001

There were two variations on this ident. A gorilla stands up a yellow '2' in one ident and knocks it over in the other. Originally a special ident for a wildlife programme, it became a regular symbol.

January 1998 – 19 November 2001

Introduced at the start of 1998, it featured three white '2's swimming past a clearly bemused swan, which shakes its head shortly after. The soundtrack was of mid-slow tempo, no percussion, with harp and a rich, dreamy background texture.

13 November 1999 – 19 November 2001

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. The audio intro draws inspiration from the style of the series' famous theme tune lead. A variant on this ident, named Exterminate, has the sequence opening with the Dalek '2' shouting the familiar phrase.

1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

One of six new idents to be introduced at early 2000, Excalibur featured a blue '2' rising from a pool of water sideways, à la Paint. As the '2' emerges, stray droplets of water fall off the '2' and back into the water, causing (vertical) ripples, with each drop that hits the water being accompanied by a finger cymbal-esque note on the soundtrack. This ident did not feature the viridian. It was the last in this series of idents to be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland.

1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

In this ident, liquid droplets fly in from the top right corner of the screen and cause flames to flare up around the '2' on contact. This is heralded with the sound of dramatic, blaring horns. The flames die down after about 16 seconds, revealing the 2 to be completely undamaged, before the cycle starts again. The music was later updated with the same audio as Sign along with flaring sounds.[10]

Wave Day
1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

Originally called Wave, this featured a '2' within a sheet of blue liquid that splashes around it throughout. The soundtrack opens with a three-note melodic synth chime that features occasionally thereafter, and the sound of filling water serves to enhance the visuals.

1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

Predator begins centered on a '2'-shaped butterfly sitting within a jungle environment. The camera then zooms out, and the '2' is gobbled up by a larger '2' in the form of a Venus Flytrap. The audio starts off quiet and gentle, but then builds to a crescendo as the butterfly '2' gets swallowed, before returning to quietude. This ident was later revived (albeit with the then-current look) in mid-2006 (renamed Venus Fly Trap), and remained in occasional use until the entire set was revamped in 2007. This along with the Christmas 2000 ident (used for the 2006 Winter Olympics between 10–26 February) were the only idents to be revived in the 2001-2007 set.

1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

Kebab has a '2' made of meat on a kebab spinning. It has a new Eastern soundtrack. There were 3 variations where the kebab was in different stages of cooking.

1 January 2000 – 19 November 2001

This ident depicted five metal poles, of varying distance, against an orange background. Viridian '2's edge their way down the poles in the same manner as a mechanical woodpecker. The soundtrack features a fitting whistled four-note jingle, vaguely similar to what became BBC Two's signature tune from 2001–2007, amongst the drilling of the woodpecker '2's.

Wave Night
2 September 2000 – 19 November 2001

Introduced in the last half of the year, it was a retake on the original Wave (Day) ident. It now featured a darker background and liquid pool, with a bright cyan '2'. The side(s) at which the liquid rose were also reversed, for example starting up the left side instead of the right. The soundtrack was the same as the original Wave Day. This was the final ident to be added to the regular roster before the entire set was revamped in 2001.

Special Idents

Since 1974, BBC Two has aired special idents for use at national celebrations such as Christmas. The Christmas idents were changed annually throughout this period (except for 2001 where the channel would have rebranded prior to Christmas of that year), and were seen as a Christmas tradition for BBC's 1 and 2 to produce a new Christmas package on an annual basis (This tradition was broken in 2003 when BBC One reused the previous years ident, and in recent times when the same ident was used alongside BBC Two for 4 Christmases consecutively). In contrast, Halloween and St. Valentine's Day idents were only produced between 1991 and 1997.

  • Christmas 1991 - A wrapped up 2 set against a cloudy night sky with stars and the moon interacting and looking.
  • Christmas 1992 - A red 2 appears as fairy lights on a Christmas tree.
  • Christmas 1993 - A metallic coloured 2 is hoisted up atop a Christmas tree by hobbit like creatures.
  • Christmas 1994 - A large yellow 2 in a dome against a tundra landscape.
  • Christmas 1995 - Wallace and Gromit accompany a 2 covered in fairy lights while sat at Christmas dinner.
  • Christmas 1996 - A wizard walks on clouds in the sky, before spinning and turning into a 2 made of stars.
  • Christmas 1997 - A white 2 in a snowglobe with the faces of BBC Two's Christmas lineup appearing as reflections in the snowglobe.
  • 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.
  • Christmas 2000 - Two small white 2's skate on top of, and fall off, a huge ice-covered 2. This ident was reused for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

As well as the Holiday idents, many other special idents were produced, mainly to introduce themed nights of programming on the channel, or specific programmes.

Title Used
Made in Japan
From 14th September 1991 ? Possibly a little earlier.
The animation starts with the Japanese for "2". A smoke effect billows out, and the Japanese "2" dissolves through to the usual "2" you see in the final image on the left. Audio was the same as "Paint".
Pop Art
Mid-Late 1991?
Some very random animation. Audio was the same as "Glass".
From 15th October 1991 ?

The "2" teapot is initially covered with a tea-cosy which is removed to reveal the image you see on the left. Note the Hilda Ogden style ducks on the wall!

Rembrandt Week
March (and possibly April) 1992

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 World
From 3rd May 1992

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.

From 6 May 1992

In time-lapse, a man on a ladder pastes the advertising billboard with sheets of paper, finally revealing the complete picture - a large "2".

War and Peace
From 3rd October 1992

A "2" made of barbed-wire forms around a single poppy.

Halloween Night
31st October 1992

The Halloween Night special consists of three idents. The first was a parody of Paint, in which red blood splashes on the 2, and then cut off by a chainsaw.

The second ident for "The Vault of Horror" night of programmes features the 2 electrocuted by jump cables.

The third ident, a parody of the Ghost sting, featured the 2 covered in white cloth and stabbed by a knife.

A Night of Love
13th February 1993

This clever ident rose out of the water, with the "2"s reflection making the shape of a heart.

Birth Night
27th February 1993

The ident was highly original: an ultra-sound scanner showed not a baby, but a "2".

Crime and Punishment
From 16th May 1993

This clever shot of a prison cell from above shows light from the "2" shaped window with bars across.

One Day in the Sixties
26 October 1992 - 19 November 2001

Over twelve hours of classic programmes and films from the swinging 60s, including the pilot of "Steptoe and Son", "Peyton Place", "Man Alive" and "Department S". The ident had suitably groovy music to accompany it, as the various small squares alternated randomly between 60s imagery and the familiar "2".

30th Anniversary
16th April 1994

This appropriately named ident was used on April 16th 1994 to celebrate BBC2's 30th Birthday. The "2" plunged down from a great height (like "Powder", and with the same audio) with cream splattering everywhere.

Early-Mid 1995

This appropriately named ident was used in 1995 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema and film. The "2" plunged down from a great height onto a bed of film and cinema tapes.

Mars Weekend
From 5th July 1997

It 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. The soundtrack sounds suitably Martian! There were two versions - one with the flying saucer, and one without. This was the final new ident before the BBC TWO revamp in October 1997.

Red Dwarf Night
14th February 1998

A series of five idents, each used on "Red Dwarf Night" in February 1998. Each ident was transmitted only once. Unfortunately BBC Presentation made a mess of the first one, fading up half a still on top of the image.

The theme is a love affair between the "2", which has a red antenna sticking out of its head, and a scutter, one of the mechanical robot service droids on board Red Dwarf.

Evolution Weekend
27th March 1998

The single ident was animated by starting with the still image of a "2" in clear water. A stone is dropped causing large ripples in the water. We see the reflection of a monkey peering in to the water, as it morphs into an ape, early man, and into modern man before he moves away to reveal the "2" where we started. Further ripples are seen with just the "2" visible.

It's Scary Out There

The ident features an empty graveyard. The camera the zooms further into the graveyard until a giant '2' pops out of nowhere, and the camera zooms back.


During the run of the idents, there were also quick, usually humorous short animations shown before the trailers known as 'Stings'. Such examples included a 2-shaped pancake landing in a frying pan, a '2' performing stunts on a bicycle, or a set of spinning plates in the form of the '2'. These were sometimes themed to suit a particular event, such as sport coverage. Examples include a set of snooker balls racked in the '2' shape (of which — like some others — there was more than one variant of the scene). Animations were also often created annually to match the theme of that year's Christmas symbol; for example, a set of short animations featuring Wallace and Gromit were used during the 1995 Christmas period along with a similarly themed ident. Blink and you'll miss them.

Today, these 'sting' animations are not remembered as prominently as most of the idents. They were usually only a few seconds long and, particularly from 1997, the '2' would become a character rather than a symbol, an idea that was carried on for the BBC Two yellow idents from 2001.

Below is an incomplete, short summary of some of the stings.

Name Description
Jelly A gelatin (jelly) '2' jumps over the floor in a room. The room and the 2 are both dark yellow. First aired 1993.
Cliffhanger A '2' hanging on the top of a wooden object, possibly about to fall off. Introduced in 1993.
Crash A '2' crashes into the screen and gets dizzy. First aired 1995.
Door A '2' in a dark room, with a door being closed, leaving the '2' in darkness. There were two versions in this ident. Introduced around 1994 and usually used as a closing ident.
Polaroid A polaroid camera, printing off a photograph with a '2' on. The colour of the 2, and the angle of the camera, were changed from time to time. Introduced in 1991.
Ten Pin A bowling game, showing a '2' as the only pin not knocked down. A ball is rolled to try to knock the 2 over, but the 2 jumps into the air, making the ball fall down. First aired 1995.
Egg An egg cracks, revealing a 2'. Introduction date 1992.
Hangover A glass of water (or some other type of transparent liquid), with two '2'-shaped Alka-Seltzer tablets being dropped into the water and dissolving. Introduced around 1994.
Spaghetti A bowl of '2'-shaped spaghetti pieces in a tomato sauce. First aired 1991.
Plunge A '2' jumps from a high diving board into a pool of water. First aired 1995.
Slinky A Slinky-shaped '2' rolls down some stairs. First aired 1993.
Cuckoo Hooligan A naughty cuckoo '2' leaps out of a clock, and tries to hit the camera. First aired 1993.
Pump An inflatable '2' pumps on a patio. First aired 1995. There was a variant where the 2 is pumped too big, with the music in a different end. First aired 1993.
Velcro Also known as 'Sticky Pad'. A '2' made out of Velcro in a vidarin room tries to get out. First aired 1997.
Harley Bike A bicycle '2' does a trick, and then rides home. First aired 1993.
Newton's Cradle A '2' ball is seen in a Newton's Cradle type of toy. First aired 1994.
Pounce A '2' that looks like a cow or a cat tries to pounce on a dot. First aired 1994.
Hair Curlers A hair drying machine opens to reveal '2' shaped hair curlers in the woman's hair First aired 1991.
Sub One of three animated shorts featuring the duck '2', who also starred in his own ident. The '2' pops up from underneath the bubbles, and like a submarine periscope, looks around in different directions, before sinking below surface again. First aired 1997.
Ducks The second in this family of shorts. A '2' is crowded by hundreds of rubber ducks. First aired 1997.
Jaws The third in this family of shorts. This one features the duck '2' swimming through the bubble bath squeaking the theme from Jaws. First aired 1997.
Web The spider makes its web, and the web turns into a '2'. First aired 1995.
Whacky A saw makes a circle around the '2', causing the '2' to fall. First aired 1993.
Fridge The '2' becomes fat in a freezer and falls. First aired 1998.
Crane A 2 made of metal is picked up by a hook. First aired 1995.
Zebra A 2 colored white and black stripes blends on a same colored background. Aired first in 1997.
Moon A 2 shaped spacecraft lands on the moon. First aired 1994.
Wood A grey 2 chips up a wooden floor. 1996 first time around.
Boombox A 2 is blown away by a boombox. Aired first 1994.
Monster A giant 2 rampaging in a city. First aired 1996.
Switch A 2 transports via a Star Trek like device. First aired 1993.
Tent A white 2 cuts tent supports off. First aired 2000.
Dance A 2 dances by spinning a la ballet.First aired 2000.
Wreck A wrecking ball hits a giant 2 but cracks on impact. First aired 1999.
Magnet A 2 magnet gets everything and the camera attached to it. First aired 2000.
Dry A hair dryer dries a 2 made of cotton. First aired 1991.
Robot A giant 2 gets a smaller one at top which that one gets a 2 which gets a 2 with a robotic camera. First aired 1998.
Fast A 2 walks down a road then speeds off. First aired 1999.
Tin Foil Layers of tin foil overlap and create a 2 shape. First aired 1995.
Pinball A 2 spins, stops then hits a glass object making it spin again. First aired 1993.
Plates A group of plates spinning in a 2 shape. First aired 1992
Television A 2 does a dance on TV by another 2. First aired 1991
Fish Lots of fish form a 2 before swimming off. First aired 2000.
Kiss A 2 jumps to a TV and kisses the screen. First aired 1992.

Snooker Ball A 2 is made from snooker balls.First aired 1993.

Crash A rusted 2 is stuck between a group of wheels.First aired 1995.

Mad The 2 is bouncing on the TV.First aired 1999.

Puzzle A puzzle is finished to reveal a 2.First aired 1991.

Ghost A 2 is seen behind a sheet like a ghost.First aired 1991.

Further references

  • The 1991-1997 version of Powder was aired in the titles of the 3rd National Television Awards on 8 October 1997 on ITV1. This was the final broadcast of this version, and it had ceased to exist on BBC Two some days before. It was only a second long clip of the ident.
  • An Internet meme based on making mock-versions of the BBC Two '1991-2001' idents has appeared. Some various mock idents include Blade II, Spin, Transylvania, Starfield, and Water Splash.
  • The B.F.T. titles from Children's BBC in 1991 featured a small recreation of the Blade ident in the opening titles.
  • 'Glass' appeared as part of a spoof BBC Two programme menu sequence in 1994 comedy series The Day Today, which aired shortly after the ident had been removed from regular network use.
  • A British Pizza Hut advert from 1994 parodied the idents greatly. The advert started with the Paint ident. A man appeares, persumably the "painter", and tells the viewer about a new offer at Pizza Hut. This then changes to a family eating in Pizza Hut as a big '2' falls down from nowhere and pierces into the table (a parody of Blade), and the family say "that could take someone's eye out". The advert closes with a version of the Powder ident with the Pizza Hut logo replacing the '2'.
  • The '2' features in the opening titles of BBC Two shows Top of the Pops 2 and BFT2


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "BBC Two | 1991 Idents". TVARK. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 tvlivevideo. "BBC2 1991-2001 Idents / How Do They Do That?". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  3. "Our Work Archive". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. alwardemshire (1991-04-20). "How did they did the BBC2 1991-2001 Idents 1". Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  5. alwardemshire (1991-04-20). "How did they did the BBC2 1991-2001 Idents 2". Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  6. "BBC Two | 2001 Idents". TVARK. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  7. alwardemshire (1991-04-20). "How did they did the BBC2 1991-2001 Idents 3". Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  8. alwardemshire (1991-04-20). "How did they did the BBC2 1991-2001 Idents 4". Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  9. Jimwoodward1212 (1999-04-16). "BBC 2 Paint-Pot Ident". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  10. Jimwoodward1212 (2008-11-09). "BBC 2 Catalyst Ident". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 

External links

Preceded by
BBC television idents
16 February 1991–19 November 2001
Succeeded by
Personality 2s