The Newsroom

BBC News Virtual Studio

Behind the scenes (January 2021)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
MK
Mr Kite
Stale is the right word really. The pips are iconic but have been flogged to death. To be honest, looking back over the last 20 years, I only really care for the original incarnation with the map titles. The nice quick headline sequence was also much better than the current trend of it being so lengthy it could pass as a news summary.

I think what also didn't help was the insistance of including things like Breakfast and regional news. Even regional politics programmes like North Westminster didn't escape. Newsnight was lucky to retain its own theme really.

I think they should refocus the pips on the network news and let things like Breakfast and the regional programmes do their own thing. Perhaps the main 1, 6 & 10 could have more of an orchestral dimension to their themes whilst the short bulletins could retain a more basic formulation.
RB
RedButton
I disagree a little bit with that point. In my opinion one of the strengths of the 1999 (and following rebrands) is the unification of branding between all the divisions of News. Besides Breakfast and regionals programmes already do kind of their own thing while maintaining on brand.
I don´t think that the pips have to be replaced (its part of the DNA of the brand) but i agree that in the last years the themes have been stale. A lot of David Lowe last soundtracks (like WNA, Afternoon Live, Newsroom live, Reporting Scotland) don´t have anything special on it (while on the other hand the 2013 countdown and Election 2019 are top of the notch).
I would like, first of all a little bit of change on the themes (the main theme has been almost the same since 2007 and is based on the network themes of 2005. Almost 16 years!). I´m sure that David Lowe can do something different. After all between 1999-2010 there were a lot of changes on the themes of intros and countdowns. Then, it would be nice if Network, News Channel, and World have again some little differences in the composition of the intros like 1999.
I would like also a little bit more of the electronic elements on some of the themes (not at the level of the 2005 World countdown) keeping the more-orchestral themes for some places.
And finally, like many people say, they must change the headlines. They are too slow paced. They have to change not only the ammount of time but also the theme (the 2002 World or the 2007 News 24 headline bed would be ideal).
CI
cityprod
I feel like the whole BBC News brand has gotten very stale in the last few years, especially since the basics of the look and sound haven't really changed since 2008. Yes, there have been minor tweaks here and there, and the move to BH in 2013, but the staleness of it all has really started to effect other things about BBC News as well.

BBC News needs a major overhaul of its presentation, not just in music and graphics but in terms of how it presents the stories it's telling as well. The basics of that, haven't really changed since 1993, and some aspects of older news presentation, such as what you found as standard on BBC News in the 1970s and 1980s, could do with being re-introduced, not just for variety in terms of visual presentation, but also in terms of budgetary constraints. Is there any reason why a reporter has to be on location for every story? Many times, it adds nothing to the storytelling. You could have a reporter sitting or standing in a studio, green screen or real, and it would not make any difference at all.

At this point, you could use LED lighting and screens to create different looks for different bulletins and programmes, and it would be no more expensive than creating a single look across the entire brand.
RN
Rolling News
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?
MW
Mike W
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?

https://lmgtfy.app/?q=how+do+they+do+that+tv

Couldn't resist.
RN
Rolling News
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?

https://lmgtfy.app/?q=how+do+they+do+that+tv

Couldn't resist.

I only asked, is this not a discussion forum? If we just Googled everything there would be no point in this forum!

Just checked Wikipedia, Esther McVey was also a presenter alongside Eamonn.
Matthew_Fieldhouse, Mr Kite and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
RD
Roger Darthwell
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?

Yes it was Eamonn Holmes
AF
Affi_85
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?

Yes it was Eamonn Holmes


And esther mcvey!
MK
Mr Kite
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Forgot to ask - is it Eamonn Holmes narrating?

https://lmgtfy.app/?q=how+do+they+do+that+tv

Couldn't resist.


Can't have been quicker to have posted that than to have just said "Yes, it was Eamonn Holmes".
MS
msim
I really hate when people call this set cold, gloomy or pompous. To me it is everything the BBC News should be, and that is bold, authoritative, confident and serious. Headlines delivered in a snappy, no-nonsense manner and without the bloat we see nowadays. Ok the set being virtual was of course a gimmick in itself, but the news wasn't delivered with gimmicks - no need for a presenter to be stood pointlessly waving arms around or strutting about.

As a child in the 90s it was a technological marvel to see on air, moreso after the explainer in that episode of How Do They Do That? and realising so little of it was real. Robot cameras and all! I wish there were some high quality clips online of that era to fully appreciate it again. Most are quite low quality VHS transfers with dodgy audio that don't do it justice - I think the best I've seen is archive clips within in e.g. The Alan Clark Diaries.

The move to china red and cream did work in 1999-2003 for bulletins, N24 and World and was a bold change, but ever since then its just been a long drawn out and increasingly boring theme evolving away from that original look. Theres nothing problematic with a red and white theme as basic elements that continue in some form, but it feels we've essentially had the same look since 2003 now in terms of studio/set with the graphics changing little.

When - or if - BBC News rebrands again they need a confident departure within whatever constraints NBH provides. The 2008 BBC Arabic theme and look whilst in itself not suitable for a domestic audience was fantastic and would be the sort of new and bold direction I'd like to see them evolve the familiar BBC News colours and beeps towards. The events of the past year has actually been great to see Newsnight in particular move between studios and experiment with their look and presentation devices.
JO
johnnyboy Founding member
Can you imagine BBC News 24/Channel with the 93-99 set, different themes at different parts of the day, and delivered with its previous gravitas (which Al Jazeera mainly has now)?

I'd love to see some mocks for BBC News 24 of that imaginery era.
RDJ and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
RD
Roger Darthwell
Can you imagine BBC News 24/Channel with the 93-99 set, different themes at different parts of the day, and delivered with its previous gravitas (which Al Jazeera mainly has now)?

I'd love to see some mocks for BBC News 24 of that imaginery era.

That would have been amazing! Absolutely amazing!

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