Also relating to this era, do we have a date for when ITV introduced generic “hearts” end credits? I believe these were updated a couple of times (with the prodcap being full-screen at one point and half-screen at another).
The first episode of The Bill to feature this style of credits was Tues 20th March 2001 (the previous Friday’s episode did not). Were they perhaps introduced on 19th March, or was the roll out staggered? ISTR that Crossroads Mk II, which began on 5th March, had these end credits from the outset.
There were at least two "revisions" of the hearts credits, the initial rollout (as above) on a couple of key shows (soaps primarily) and then effectively full time (but even then there were exceptions, the news being a key one and anything on the CITV strand) from 2001.
The initial revision used the ugly condensed font for the credits and the endcap was full screen after them, the later revision that appeared from 2002 was half screen end cap on the left while the heart animation continued to run. (some productions used fatter fonts for the credits). It was then ITN News and some of the regions decided to adopt a hearts end credit sequence (though ITN news just used it as an endcap). The hearts credit thing only appeared on ITV(1) and didn't seem to apply at all on the other channels, so you had the slightly odd situation where in the case of Crossroads its airings on the main network were hearts credited but the omnibus edition was only ever aired on ITV2 and used a standard roller. (the later 2003 incarnation did get an ITV1 omnibus which IIRC started on a Sunday and then disappeared into ever increasingly late night slots).
After the October 2002 rebrand all shows in all strands used the then new style but there were still exceptions particularly on CITV, My Parents Are Aliens kept its own credit style until the end but most of the other stuff was in the house style.
Si-Co and DE88 gave kudos