The Newsroom

Best and Worst Regional Titles and Themes

Pre Corporate Era

SC
scottishtv Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
Demented set.

"...and breakfast is served between 6 and 10. Would you like a hand with your bags, sir?"
*
SC
scottishtv Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
My most favourite of these (by far) was the version with the thistle-themed spinning film reel and thistle-themed newsdesk.

The Scotland Today titles that came after those extensively feature the Wingdings font in the background. Bizarre!

(1:08 )

Not the worst, but Grampian's short Gaelic news programme Telefios had very boring titles, featuring a videotape marked "NEWS" being put in a machine. TV-Ark only has the slightly longer weekend omnibus version, but it's still there:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=89608
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Demented set.

"...and breakfast is served between 6 and 10. Would you like a hand with your bags, sir?"
*


Let me just press some random keys on this keyboard to find out!

There were a lot of dodgy desks over the years, weird ones where the presenters would face each other, or be miles apart
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
II think it's been discussed before that this was the worst era for Granada Tonight/Reports (part of the typing-on-keyboard era I think). TBF the titles aren't too bad, it's just that bizarre set.

https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=91818

The titles were too long, and somewhat boring.

I recall seeing that version when visiting family at the time and being astounded by that set design. It looks like they're presenting from the Headmaster's Study at an expensive private school. Whoever thought that was a good idea was clearly using a controlled substance. Shocked

The clip of the reporter struggling with a deck chair was familiar to me, and I've just realised it's because more clips from that report were featured in the ITV 50 celebrations (2:16)

SW
Steve Williams
Regarding Bob Greaves, I'm guessing it was a way to keep him on the programme after he stopped doing the news


Bob did a load of other things for Granada at the time, and of course returned to being main presenter when John Huntley left, but in that period he was a bit of a presenter-at-large and would just pop up doing pretty much whatever he fancied, the sort of character all regional news programmes seemed to have in those days and they thrived on. Greaves and Hall together was a big deal for Granada, they talked it up like it was Lennon meeting Jagger, the two big regional news characters together at last. Hall had left BBC North West under a bit of a cloud I think after he got nicked for shoplifting (though obviously, they didn't know the half of it), but it's hard to imagine a bloke with a medallion saying "'ey up, love!" really thriving at John Birt's BBC.

Seems to me that some BBC regions were better than others. BBC East were down the lower end. Mercifully, I think BBC North West were one of the better ones. The 1988 'bonking worms' NWT titles were probably their best...

https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=106097


I grew up with those bonking worms titles, that seems the definite NWT title sequence and theme tune to me. I know the woosh at the start is a bit ridiculous, and the set looks like a padded cell, but I still think they look quite good and the theme is nice.

Another classic example of 'we've now got a computer than can do 3D animation, so we are going to use every single feature available'


This thread always seems to be alighting on Central, but we could pick it up and so I'd sometimes flick over to them. I always thought the titles 3:30 into here are a great example of that, the logo animating on, exploding and then being put back together again, just because it can.



That does remind me though of Peter Snow being interviewed about the election night graphics in 1992, and being asked why they span around, and he said "They spin round because we can make them spin round, and at three in the morning you've got to do something to keep people interested!".
JamesWorldNews and TheSebastian gave kudos
JO
Jon Recently warned Central (West) Midlands Today
To be fair compared to some of the examples here those Central News titles are quite subtle. Very much of their time of course, but I’m sure you could point out loads of elements of title sequences from every era that exist just because they can be done.
JamesWorldNews and Meridian AM gave kudos
IT
itsrobert Founding member Granada North West Today
Those 2001 titles include John Prescott getting egged, which is a bit of a stretch to say happened in Granadaland, it happened in Rhyl! You might just be able to pick it up there, but I doubt HTV were very happy at Granada claiming it.

I always understood that parts of North Wales were classed as being in the Granada region, though, or at least an overlap area. I don't see it as a problem as there has historically been quite a strong connection between North Wales and places like Chester, Wirral and Liverpool. I certainly recall news stories from places like Rhyl and other parts of North Wales being featured quite prominently in Granada Reports over the years. They will certainly have covered the Prescott punch in Granada Reports that day, so that probably explains why it featured in the titles.
CO
Colm Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Colm posted:
From the era when UTV title sequences had an unhealthy obsession with lens-flare, and the climax to the 'UTV Live' theme tune was, well, an anti-climax:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw6la6Fa7us


Not to digress, Colm, but what about that sofa?


That set was quite the mish-mash; the same desk carried over from the previous set, and that sofa area which even Queen Pamela couldn't elevate to fabulousness.
HA
harshy Founding member
Demented set.

"...and breakfast is served between 6 and 10. Would you like a hand with your bags, sir?"
*


Let me just press some random keys on this keyboard to find out!

There were a lot of dodgy desks over the years, weird ones where the presenters would face each other, or be miles apart

How did this make it to air lol that is insane.
HA
harshy Founding member
A one-stop shop here with a whole host of looks. One of them was rather purply Newsnighty! (Thanks to the author and to TV Ark for the clip).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng8EEib8Mug

The first 1 minute 15 seconds of that video was probably presented to BBC execs back in 1999/2000 as justification for why BBC News should take a generic look in the regions and nations. Their first generic look though is probably my favourite interpretation of the post-1999 look and theme.

As others have said though Central 1997 is tricky to top - still looks pretty good today IMO. North West Tonight of the late 90s was also pretty decent.


As for the worst - ripped from a US station IIRC, and very much of it's time, the final look of Granada Tonight - "Bringing the News Home to You" hasn't aged well at all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0JR1pcTvNs

Except for the sofa I quite liked the Granada tonight graphics wonderful use of the G logo and angled and nice set too just the sofa wasn’t good.
HA
harshy Founding member
For me its this Calendar intro from 1989. Authoritative and ballsy:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=93199

Loved those titles you knew it was time to watch the local news with the excellent and forever missed Richard Whiteley.
ST
Stuart West Country (West) Spotlight
I think BBC North West were one of the better ones. The 1988 'bonking worms' NWT titles were probably their best...
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=106097

That was certainly good, as they hadn't made much of an effort until just a few years before.

However, I always felt that some of the later ones were rather nice from Manchester.

But it was only many years later that I realised the failed 'BBC North super-region' was peddling different versions of the same theme music for their regional news programmes from 1995.

Bloody cheapskates! Laughing

Manchester:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=103668

Newcastle:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=69870

Leeds:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=70291
Last edited by Stuart on 5 August 2020 8:26pm

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