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JamesWorldNews7,524 posts since 22 Aug 2004
STV Central BBC World
It’s all coming back now........

Good times, actually. I’d forgotten that Brian Hanrahan was a regular news presenter on BBC World back in the day. In fact, didn’t he also appear around 1999 at the turn to the David Lowe era as well?

And I do recall Dan Corbett being the regular weather guy too.

In unrelated news, this thread and subject matter just reminded me that its 21 years ago today since Maxine Mawhinney and Nik Gowing brought us the unfolding events from BBC World (as it was) on the night of Princess Diana’s accident.

BBC World was an incredibly good outlet back in the day.....
@JamesWorldNews | Formerly BBC WORLD
itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Thanks for all the replies so far - wow, it's turned into an interesting nostalgic discussion!

For some obscure reason, the very much extinct programme "Europe Direct" popped into my mind today. It used to air at various times on both BBC News 24 and BBC World.

I was wondering if anyone can remember much about its production history? I know that it launched with News 24 in 1997 and initially was presented from the soft set in N9


Not quite - it actually launched on BBC World a little BEFORE News 24 launched, but just by a little bit. It was produced from the as-yet-unlaunched News 24 soft area ISTR before the channel launched in Nov 1997.

Brian Hanrahan was the launch presenter.

It came from the sofa area in N9, with Europe Direct branded cushions. It was a sofa-based discussion show with guest journalists from the European press (mainly) as pundits. It was a bit like a European version of Dateline London, discussing European issues with European journalists.

When News 24 moved into N8 in 1998 (windswept conservatory era), it came from the sofa area there. I can't remember if it was still a studio show when the sofa area was replaced by a second desk area in the first Lambie Nairn beige/red iteration.


Thanks noggin. I wonder - if you too can't remember what happened to it during the first Lambie-Nairn beige/red era - if it became an on location edit at this point? I certainly don't recall it being presented from the studio during 2001-ish - although, admittedly I can't remember anything at all about it. The article citing the cutbacks in September 1999 might have something to do with it. As I recall, News 24 updated its look in October 1999. That would tie in quite nicely with this theory.

Didn’t Charles Wheeler also present it, before Shirin Wheeler took over the programme?

Any relation?


Charles Wheeler was Shirin Wheeler's father. Shirin hosted the Record: Europe. IIRC it had two title sequences during its time on air: the first with 2 acrobats doing a ribbon dance, as weird as that sounds, and the second with a glass star refracting light. Both sequences had a blue background.

According to LinkedIn, Shirin is now Head of the Video & Social Media Unit at the European Investment Bank (EIB).


I remember the acrobat ribbon dance titles as belonging to a programme called "Euro Brief" which was presented by David Jessel as I recall. It was definitely about the European Parliament and may have been the forerunner to The Record Europe? I don't know about BBC World, but I recall that Euro Brief occupied a Sunday afternoon slot on BBC News 24 in about 2001.

It’s all coming back now........

Good times, actually. I’d forgotten that Brian Hanrahan was a regular news presenter on BBC World back in the day. In fact, didn’t he also appear around 1999 at the turn to the David Lowe era as well?

And I do recall Dan Corbett being the regular weather guy too.

In unrelated news, this thread and subject matter just reminded me that its 21 years ago today since Maxine Mawhinney and Nik Gowing brought us the unfolding events from BBC World (as it was) on the night of Princess Diana’s accident.

BBC World was an incredibly good outlet back in the day.....

Yes, I do recall Brian Hanrahan presenting the main news occasionally. He certainly did from the 2000-2004 set, anyway, on numerous occasions. Also, in around 2003 he occasionally hosted "BBC Four News" and its successor "The World".
JamesWorldNews7,524 posts since 22 Aug 2004
STV Central BBC World
Blimey! Yes, you’re right. In fact, I now recall when he passed away, The Hub (successor to the above noted slot) paid special tribute to him, referring to his anchoring of the slot historically.

IIRC, Dobs was the host on that occasion.
@JamesWorldNews | Formerly BBC WORLD
itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
While we're on a nostalgia trip....

Can anyone recall if during the first BBC World flags era (1995-97), the titles to Newsday, Newsdesk, The World Today etc were shortened at some point? The only clips I can find online show quite long title sequences with flags flying around covering the globe. But I've a feeling that at some point I have seen shorter titles with edited theme music that built up much more quickly than the original version. Or is my mind playing tricks on me?
itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
I can't recall, James. Those might have been just ordinary stings that you're thinking of. What I'm (mis?)remembering is that the actual opening titles were shortened at some point. As in they built to a crescendo much more quickly than they did in the original 1995 titles like this:

a516659 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
While we're on a nostalgia trip....

Can anyone recall if during the first BBC World flags era (1995-97), the titles to Newsday, Newsdesk, The World Today etc were shortened at some point? The only clips I can find online show quite long title sequences with flags flying around covering the globe. But I've a feeling that at some point I have seen shorter titles with edited theme music that built up much more quickly than the original version. Or is my mind playing tricks on me?

Yes. From end of March to end of October 1997, featuring edited title music and a flag blowing across the screen from left to right with a blue/black background. (You'll see elements of this graphics package in the Princess Di Death BBC World coverage videos).
itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
While we're on a nostalgia trip....

Can anyone recall if during the first BBC World flags era (1995-97), the titles to Newsday, Newsdesk, The World Today etc were shortened at some point? The only clips I can find online show quite long title sequences with flags flying around covering the globe. But I've a feeling that at some point I have seen shorter titles with edited theme music that built up much more quickly than the original version. Or is my mind playing tricks on me?

Yes. From end of March to end of October 1997, featuring edited title music and a flag blowing across the screen from left to right with a blue/black background. (You'll see elements of this graphics package in the Princess Di Death BBC World coverage videos).

Many thanks, a516. I've just looked up some clips on YouTube and I see what you mean. One more question, if you don't mind - did World Business Report get an update of its branding, music etc in March 1997? I know the more familiar theme launched in October 1997 with the rest of that rebrand but did WBR have the same branding from its launch until then? Or were there various updates in the years between the launch of BBC World and Oct 1997?

You have to wonder why they bothered to refresh any branding in March 1997 when the much larger-scale rebrand happened in October 1997?!
a516659 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
While we're on a nostalgia trip....

Can anyone recall if during the first BBC World flags era (1995-97), the titles to Newsday, Newsdesk, The World Today etc were shortened at some point? The only clips I can find online show quite long title sequences with flags flying around covering the globe. But I've a feeling that at some point I have seen shorter titles with edited theme music that built up much more quickly than the original version. Or is my mind playing tricks on me?

Yes. From end of March to end of October 1997, featuring edited title music and a flag blowing across the screen from left to right with a blue/black background. (You'll see elements of this graphics package in the Princess Di Death BBC World coverage videos).

Many thanks, a516. I've just looked up some clips on YouTube and I see what you mean. One more question, if you don't mind - did World Business Report get an update of its branding, music etc in March 1997? I know the more familiar theme launched in October 1997 with the rest of that rebrand but did WBR have the same branding from its launch until then? Or were there various updates in the years between the launch of BBC World and Oct 1997?

You have to wonder why they bothered to refresh any branding in March 1997 when the much larger-scale rebrand happened in October 1997?!


World Business Report (1515 CET and overnight) and BBC World News didn't change until the last Sunday in October 1997. Only The World Today (1900 CET), Newsday (0600 CET), Newsdesk (1200 CET), News Hour Asia-Pacific (1530 CET) were revised at the end of March 1997. Not sure about Newsroom (0200-0500 CET) or the World Report (2300 CET), I have a feeling they were axed at some point during 1997, but they were at a time of night when I wasn't watching!
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