BBC One 'Rhythm & Movement' idents

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Capoeira was regularly used before news broadcasts.

The BBC One 'Rhythm & Movement' idents were a set of on-screen channel identities designed by Lambie-Nairn and used on BBC One from 29 March 2002 to 7 October 2006. They replaced the balloon idents, and spelled the end of the much recognised globe identity by the BBC, which had been used in various ways since 1963.

Components of Look[edit]

The presentational package featured numerous people of various backgrounds dancing in a predominantly red background to a soundtrack based around an upbeat central jingle. The BBC One logo is now located in a red box, similar in style to BBC Two's idents of the time, with the BBC logo stacked on top of an upper case 'ONE'. The music for all idents was written by Peter Lawlor of Water Music Productions in London.[1][2] The look was also the first one not to feature a station clock. It has been reported that a station clock was designed for the new look, however BBC Marketing decided not to use it. The concerns with this stemmed around a lack of serious ident to link into the news, and indeed this problem famously occurred one day into the new look upon the death of The Queen Mother.

Promotional style originally consisted of the BBC One box placed in the lower left corner of the screen throughout the promotion and an end board consisting of a translucent white strip along the bottom containing the box logo. This end board style was recreated for the, less frequently seen, static captions. This style was changed on 1 May 2004 to an orange background that would close shut over the end of a promotion to contain the programme title. The static slide was also updated, with the space for the programme image reduced to the top quarter of the screen.


Title Air dates Description
Acrobat 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Filmed in the Royal Horticultural Society Halls in Victoria, the ident shows three acrobat performers in white costumes, on red sashes (Aerial Silks) performing acrobatic tricks while suspended from the roof. The accompanying jingle is mid-tempo and performed by a string section, and this ident was also used frequently to introduce the news. The Ident was conceived & choreographed by Roger Robinson of Acrobat Productions and the 3 aerial performers were Jane Osborn (left), Melissa Merran (centre), and Michele Laine (right).
Ballet 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Filmed at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, the ident features 10 ballerinas dressed entirely in red. The camera slowly tracks, showing the Minack stage where the ballerinas perform a graceful dance, with the dramatic Cornish coastline in the background, accompanied by a string quartet with the cello dominant. This ident sequence was the most sombre of all the idents, and a still of it was used when BBC announced the death of the Queen Mother. For most of its life, this ident was used during times of "reflection" only, namely times of national tragedy and the death of a Royal Family member. It was mainly used to introduce coverage of funerals, such as that Pope John Paul II and George Best. This ident was also the last out of all the Rhythm and Movement idents to be shown on the channel, played in full as part of the final montage.
Bollywood 8 November 2002 – 7 October 2006 First broadcast on 8 November 2002, this ident features 9 males and 9 females dancing a traditional Indian dance, much like a Bollywood movie. The females wear red in this ident, while the males wear white.
Capoeira 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Filmed against the London skyline above the now–demolished tower of International Press Centre on Shoe Lane in Holborn, it shows Mestre Poncianinho and Contra-Mestre Casquinha doing Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. The camera circles around two Capoeiristas throughout its duration. The two performers are dressed in red and white. An alternative edit, which joins the action a few seconds earlier than the standard version, was used in Wales and Scotland. This ident was commonly seen introducing the lunchtime news on weekdays.
Festival 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Sometimes known as Rave, and filmed at RAF Bovingdon, it begins with a close up of two women dancing together with a "techno"-style version of the BBC One jingle playing in the background, before zooming out to reveal a large crowd of people dancing in the same way, somewhat resembling a rave party. Red takes a prominence in the background. This version of the jingle was sampled in a later dance music track, Forever and a Day by State One in 2003.
Haka 29 March 2002 – 3 January 2005 Filmed in a field of Gilfach Goch in Wales, it first shows a closeup of a Māori native, Jo Hutley, and then pulls back to reveal 14 Welsh amateur rugby players performing Haka, a traditional Māori dance that shows art and movement by using hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue and eyes. The players are dressed in red-striped polo shirts . The music is slow and played on strings, accompanying the sound of the rugby players' chant. This ident was eventually withdrawn after licensing issues with the music, and did not appear in the final montage. It was also one of the only two idents to be withdrawn during its run (the other being Tai-Chi (reflection)). The ident was usually used to introduce sports programming, and occasionally to introduce the weekend news bulletins.
Hip-Hop 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Sometimes known as Basketball, and filmed on a basketball court, this ident shows three basketball players dancing in their wheelchairs to a hip hop theme. The dancers are all dressed in red, with matching accents on their wheelchairs. The lead dancer is Ade Adepitan, a British paralympic basketball player, and presenter of the CBBC programme Xchange. The dance is made up of different wheelchair-basketball moves used in the game.
Massai 5 January 2004 – 7 October 2006 Launched on 5 January 2004, this ident was filmed on an African Savanna. It features nine native Maasai tribesmen dancing in the centre. It is the only 'Rhythm & Movement' ident to be filmed outside the UK. The music is predominantly percussion-based.
Music Video 4 October 2002 – 7 October 2006 First broadcast on 4 October 2002, to coincide with the premiere of Fame Academy, the ident was filmed in studio with a red backdrop. It features one lead dancer and six back-up dancers. This ident resembles a music video, hence its name. It was the first ident that was not part of the original set of eight.
Salsa 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Filmed in Sarratt, Hertfordshire against a decorated red backdrop, the camera first focuses on a couple dancing salsa, and then reveals a large group of dancing couples from a variety of backgrounds doing the same thing.
Skateboarders 5 September 2003 – 7 October 2006 Launched on 5 September 2003, the ident features three skateboarders skateboarding through a shipyard. This ident was filmed on location at the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The featured skateboarders are, from left to right, British professional skateboarders Olly Todd, Franklin Stephens and Danny Wainwright. Because the accompanying jingle is a mellow interpretation performed on a solo piano, this ident was often used to introduce the news, and when exiting the afternoon CBBC strand. It was also often used in the Midlands and Northern Ireland.

On 7 September 2005, BBC Northern Ireland made a slight alteration to the skateboarders ident by turning the "BBC One NI" logo from red to green and introducing a new square in the opposite corner of the screen showing an English flag with the word "Nil" written over it. This was to celebrate Northern Ireland's 1–0 victory over England in a qualifier match for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The ident was shown again the following Saturday ahead of Football Focus. It was the last ident to be used in Northern Ireland due to the setting of the ident taking place in Belfast.

Tai-Chi 16 June 2003 – 7 October 2006 First broadcast on 16 June 2003, the ident features seven people dressed in traditional Chinese clothing performing t'ai chi on a lochside. This ident had two versions: one with the camera drawing back, revealing all the performers and their mirror image on the loch; the other (withdrawn in 2003) starts with the mirror image and spins round to reveal that the viewer is actually looking at the reflection.

The tai chi exponents in the ident were mainly students of Edinburgh-based tai chi instructor Ian Cameron, most of whom are teachers in their own right. The particular tai chi form performed was taken from the traditional Wudang system, adapted to suit the demands of the landscape. It was filmed near Loch Rannoch in Scotland. It was used frequently before the news.

Tango 2 January 2003 – 7 October 2006 Launched on 2 January 2003, the ident was filmed in Leadenhall Market in the City of London and features three couples dancing the tango, supposedly in the rain.
Tap Dogs 29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006 Filmed inside Littlebrook Power Station in Dartford, Kent, this ident shows six members of the dance troupe Tap Dogs performing a tap dance in red T-shirts. The upbeat jingle incorporates the sound of the troupe's tap shoes.
Tumbler 4 January 2005 – 7 October 2006 First broadcast on 4 January 2005 replacing Haka, the ident features five people (all with some red on their clothes) breakdancing on a walkway. It had to be relaunched after 24 hours, apparently due to a copyright dispute over the background music. BBC One Scotland continued to use the original version until the rebranding in 2006. The jingle is upbeat and features synthesised brass. It was filmed on location at the now-demolished BBC Birmingham Pebble Mill Studios, and was the final 'Rhythm & Movement' ident to be added to its regular playlist.

Special Idents[edit]

The BBC continued its long tradition of using special idents at Christmas time throughout this branding period. The first ident, Snowflakes featured children dressed as snowflakes falling to earth and running around against a red sky background. This ident was used in 2002 and, for the first time in its history, was re-used again in 2003. BBC Two also followed suit the same year, although rather than re-using an ident, they were used alongside that year's newer one. This re-using of the previous years ident caused public controversy and, as a result a new ident, entitled Christmas Puddings, was created the following year. The ident featured children dressed in red and bouncing on Space Hoppers that looked like Christmas puddings against a red background. The ident was designed by a young viewer of the children's programme Blue Peter, as part of a competition. A new ident was commissioned for 2005 entitled Christmas Tree. In this one included children, again dressed in red, walking round a giant Christmas tree, carrying brightly coloured balls. The background this time was green, and the look and music has often been compared to the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Tim Burton. On BBC One Wales, in 2005, an ident was shown to celebrate Wales' win in the 2005 Six Nations Championship. Played to the "Festival" music, it featured Wales supporters celebrating in a public house. The ONE in the BBC ONE box in the bottom-left corner of the screen was replaced with WON.

This look was unusual in that no special idents were produced for events or programmes. However, a way used to promote the third series of Little Britain was for the shows announcer, Tom Baker to provide the continuity announcements for the evening over the normal idents.


The idents were very quickly parodied by digital channel E4 in 2002 with spoofs of the Capoeira, Ballet and Acrobat idents.[3][4]

Comedians French and Saunders also created spoof idents for their 2002 Christmas special in which, dressed as old women, they first copied the Acrobat ident yet came loose from their ribbons and fell to the ground while in a spoof of Hip-Hop, the pair drove around slowly in mobility scooters.

Comedian Peter Kay also made spoof editions of the Hip-Hop ident in 2003 in the guise of his Phoenix Nights character Brian Potter. The second version was shown minus the BBC One logo in 2005.[3] This ident was used to introduce the Comic Relief of 2003.

A further spoof featured Jon Culshaw as Tony Blair dancing in a fictional ident outside 10 Downing Street. This was shown on a July 2003 episode of Dead Ringers, broadcast on BBC Two.[3]

Spoofs have also cropped up in BBC Three's animated adult comedy series Monkey Dust, making use of the generic red theme of the normal idents to show short films such as a gangland killing and the resulting aftermath.


In August 2005, BBC One controller Peter Fincham had hinted that the dancers may be on their way out. He told the Edinburgh International Television Festival that "It may well be that the time is coming to look at a new way of doing it. No date or direct decision has been made but it's under review".

In September 2005, it was announced that the BBC were working on a new set of idents to replace the dancers. A spokeswoman said "There is an idea for a change, but it is in very early days".

According to the Media Guardian, Fincham then confirmed that in autumn 2006, the 'Rhythm and Movement' idents would be replaced with a new presentation package, along with a new schedule. As speculated, Red Bee Media would create the new presentation package. Red Bee created the new idents for the ITV channels that were introduced in January 2006. On 26 September the BBC confirmed that from 7 October 2006, the 'Rhythm and Movement' idents would be replaced by a new Circle ident collection, including kites, surfers and hippopotamuses.

The idents aired for the final time on 7 October 2006, at 1:10 am, in which a montage of idents was aired together, ending with the rarely seen 'Ballet' ident. The new idents made their debut on 7 October 2006 at 9:58 am BST, marking the end of the 'Rhythm and Movement' idents, which had defined the channel for four and a half years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Lawlor on MySpace Music
  2. ^ "BBC ONE launches vibrant new look" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 26 March 2002. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "BBC1 Spoof idents". TV Ark. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  4. ^ E4 Idents page - Shows BBC One spoof idents

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Balloon globe idents
BBC television idents
29 March 2002 – 7 October 2006
Succeeded by
Circle idents