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Spencer For Hire5,811 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Personally I much preferred the George Fenton themes before the 1993 versions. Sorry, but I found the classical-style orchestral arrangements way OTT and rather pompous.


It's interesting how different we all are as that's exactly the reason I liked them. It was the BBC saying "we're the BBC!" and not being ashamed of it. That's a far cry from 2019, sadly.

Although the '93 themes are my favourite BBC1 news themes, I think my number one choice from across any outlet would have to be the BBC World flags theme music from 1997-2000. That was epic without the pomposity. Never beaten in my opinion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHYHsSKEQ5w


You're right - that's great, and I think that shows you can achieve a sense of confidence and authority without an air of superiority. But I'd also argue the first News 24 countdown also achieved the same. Smile
Robust amateurism
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Robert Williams685 posts since 25 Jan 2003
London London
Wasn't the kite added to the titles at a later point to soften them up a bit? The original version was just lots of businessmen in their suits and ties, not sure who it was designed to appeal to beyond Apprentice contestants. I know it was "of its time" but it was a terrible opening sequence.

Were the non kite titles intended for the first hour were previously there was Business Breakfast?


The kite definitely wasn't there at all at first - it wasn't added into the titles until around a year or so later. I didn't like the original version of the titles as they seemed to imply the programme was only for you if you were a business person or a city worker. Nor did I like the watered down version of the music.

I agree that the One O'Clock and Nine O'Clock News of the mid-80s were the best before it all went overly pompous in 1993. I liked the look of the virtual era, if not the music, until News 24 came along with a much fresher look and it suddenly all seemed incredibly dated in comparison .
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msim555 posts since 29 Sep 2003

No BBC logo or name anywhere either - unthinkable now.


Not much consistency either. Here for Election 97 they are using the 1986 theme from Breakfast Time, a theme which itself was scrapped eight years earlier in the 1989 rebrand, but using the 1993 theme for the region opt out.

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Jay Lee542 posts since 7 Apr 2015
London
Wasn't the kite added to the titles at a later point to soften them up a bit? The original version was just lots of businessmen in their suits and ties, not sure who it was designed to appeal to beyond Apprentice contestants. I know it was "of its time" but it was a terrible opening sequence.

Were the non kite titles intended for the first hour were previously there was Business Breakfast?


The kite definitely wasn't there at all at first - it wasn't added into the titles until around a year or so later. I didn't like the original version of the titles as they seemed to imply the programme was only for you if you were a business person or a city worker. Nor did I like the watered down version of the music.


Yes, I seem to remember the initial Breakfast News sequence from 1997 saw suited people walking amongst glass skyscrapers, people digitally imposed walking up Big Ben (!) and then ending with people walking along what looked a little like the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. The kite version that came in a little later was presumably in response to a need to "lighten the tone" and saw more casually dressed people at the end of the sequence at a beach / grassy cliff top (?) flying a kite.

It was a horrible edit of the original Breakfast News theme. I still love watching the original title sequence that launched in 1989 and ran through to 1993. Although the BBC had quite clearly dispensed with the populist approach of Breakfast Time by that point and viewers switched in their droves to TV-AM as a result, the original theme tune and title sequence for Breakfast News very confidently and stylishly (for the time) spelt out what it was about.
thegeek4,818 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
The "Headlines from BBC News" summary on my smart speaker (which was formerly a straight bulletin by a Radio 2 duty newsreader) has been replaced by a double-headed, dumbed-down thing, with a Lowe-esque headlines bed throughout. I can't find an example of it online though.
Alan de Robson131 posts since 8 Aug 2012
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I agree - the 1993 themes are my favourites too. David Lowe's music was revolutionary in 1999 but it's way past its sell by date now. The golden age of Lowe music was most definitely between 1999 and 2003. Everything since has got progressively worse (with the sole exception of the 2007 BBC News 24/World music). Maybe we still love the 1993 themes because they were relatively short-lived and didn't really get messed around with in the same was Lowe's have? Either way, the orchestral themes certainly sounded more 'expensive' compared to the relatively 'cheap' sound of Lowe's music.

You're not alone in disliking the current BBC News countdown. In my opinion, it was at its best between 1999 and 2003. Every iteration since has been underwhelming and personally I think it was a waste of time and money commissioning an orchestra to add strings to it in 2013. It's hardly noticeable.


For me, the opening two or three bars (I think that it is the correct term) to the 93-99 Six O'Clock News music was immense. It rose from just a cymbal sound to a full orchestra belting out the tune in such a dramatic way.

I also loved the Breakfast News 93-99 music and the One O'Clock News reversion of the same era. I thought the Nine O'Clock News's theme tune was worse than the original 89-93 version but only marginally so - it sounded a lot more synthesizer driven. Of course, I believe the same era saw the introduction of an electric guitar to the Newsnight theme tune which, for me, worked well.

I loved the whole look of the 93-99 era too. Given how computer graphics have progressed in the time since, it would be really interesting to see how the look would have evolved had they stuck with it.

I have to differ with you on the countdown - I never liked it. I did like the flags to-the-hour sequence but I am and was a huge fan of the flags anyway. My big problem with the countdown since 2005 is the "reporter-as-hero" vibe - it's making the news more personality-driven, a development which I believe cheapens BBC News.

Perhaps the thing I miss just as much as the old 93-99 era was the era when reporters giving live interviews back to the studio presenter did not refer to each other by their first names and they did not thank them for giving them an update. Very American - and I love America and Americans but I am British, goddamn it! Very Happy
OFCOM's queen bitch
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cityprod1,937 posts since 3 Oct 2005
Westcountry Spotlight
The "Headlines from BBC News" summary on my smart speaker (which was formerly a straight bulletin by a Radio 2 duty newsreader) has been replaced by a double-headed, dumbed-down thing, with a Lowe-esque headlines bed throughout. I can't find an example of it online though.


Sounds like BBC Minute.
gregmc3,324 posts since 10 Dec 2004
It’s a brand new bulletin which is run by a new team working on smart speaker audio projects. Which does also feature a new remix by David Lowe.
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buster1,743 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London

No BBC logo or name anywhere either - unthinkable now.


Not much consistency either. Here for Election 97 they are using the 1986 theme from Breakfast Time, a theme which itself was scrapped eight years earlier in the 1989 rebrand, but using the 1993 theme for the region opt out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS_zV6pSjd4


Wasn't that because there wasn't a long version of the 1993 Breakfast News theme (or 89, presumably)? I think the 1986 long Breakfast Time theme was used throughout the 90s whenever they needed a long version to put under some pictures. I think I've seen a Gulf War example somewhere using the 86 long theme (though I struggle to tell the difference between the 86 and 89 versions so could be wrong!)
Woodpecker420 posts since 19 Jan 2018
Central (West) Midlands Today
The "Headlines from BBC News" summary on my smart speaker (which was formerly a straight bulletin by a Radio 2 duty newsreader) has been replaced by a double-headed, dumbed-down thing, with a Lowe-esque headlines bed throughout. I can't find an example of it online though.


Sounds like BBC Minute.


Why is a radio bulletin double-headed, anyway? Seems a bit pointless for something that runs for a mere minute or two.
Spencer For Hire5,811 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Perhaps the thing I miss just as much as the old 93-99 era was the era when reporters giving live interviews back to the studio presenter did not refer to each other by their first names and they did not thank them for giving them an update. Very American - and I love America and Americans but I am British, goddamn it! Very Happy


I actually think the over-thanking of colleagues on air has been a very BBC thing for many years rather than something new or American, but it does drive me mad.

I know many will totally disagree, and consider it polite and friendly, but so often it's unnecessary, and deadens a programme's pace. Breakfast is especially guilty of this with their banal, creaking, awkward links out of weather and sport, etc.. Just get on with it!

And don't get me started on regional presenters thanking the network host for throwing to them. They can't hear you, you know they can't hear you, we know they can't hear you, and we know you know they can't hear you! (Yes I'm looking at you, Look North Yorkshire).
Robust amateurism
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itsrobert6,275 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Perhaps the thing I miss just as much as the old 93-99 era was the era when reporters giving live interviews back to the studio presenter did not refer to each other by their first names and they did not thank them for giving them an update. Very American - and I love America and Americans but I am British, goddamn it! Very Happy


I actually think the over-thanking of colleagues on air has been a very BBC thing for many years rather than something new or American, but it does drive me mad.

I know many will totally disagree, and consider it polite and friendly, but so often it's unnecessary, and deadens a programme's pace. Breakfast is especially guilty of this with their banal, creaking, awkward links out of weather and sport, etc.. Just get on with it!

And don't get me started on regional presenters thanking the network host for throwing to them. They can't hear you, you know they can't hear you, we know they can't hear you, and we know you know they can't hear you! (Yes I'm looking at you, Look North Yorkshire).

Totally agree with you, especially about BBC Breakfast. What really annoys me is how Louise Minchin in particular shoehorns "morning!" into any kind of interview or transition. E.g. "we're joined now by our correspondent X. X, what's the plan now? Morning!" It's awkward and completely destroys the flow. And don't get me started on Naga!
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