Thames Television was a franchise holder of the British ITV television network, serving London on weekdays between 1968 and 1992. It was both a broadcaster and a producer of television programmes, making shows both for the local region it covered and for networking nationally across the ITV regions.
The first version of the Thames Skyline ident, in black and white.
The first idents to be used comprised a plain screen with the words ‘FROM THAMES’ written in white in the Helvetica font.
The most popular version of the Thames ident. It lasted for 19 years, and was spoofed by comedians like Kenny Everett and Jim Davidson. The Ident was updated twice, once in 1976 and again in 1986 when it was digitally remade.
Late Night ident
Possibly one of the scariest idents of that era. Used to introduce night time programming.
The classic ident was finally withdrawn in the summer of 1989, ahead of ITV’s first attempt at generic presentation. To celebrate Thames’ 21st anniversary, a special ident was commisioned. A sign of things to come for the station…
Generic Ident 1
The triangle design was retained for the company’s first ITV generic ident from September 4th 1989, although it was soon to be changed…
Generic Ident 2
The generic ident was updated in September 1990 to incorporate Thames’ new logo.
Initially, this ident introduced in September 1990, was only used before local programmes; the modified ITV generic ident featuring this new logo (above) was used for networked shows. Once Thames learned of the loss of its franchise to Carlton in October 1991, this ident was used for all programmes from the start of November 1991.
1990-1992 Film Ident
Slides: 1989 Summer
1988 promo Sting
1988 promo endbroad
1989 Promgramme promo
Januaray – Spring
1989 Tuesday Line up
1989 promo endbroad
1991-92: Promo endbroad
Used until 1989
Standard Clock 1989-1992
Click to see an enlarged version.
1990-1992: Break Bumper
Front and Endboards
Thames… A Talent for Television
In 1992, Thames lost its (by then renamed) ‘Channel 3′ franchise to broadcast to London during weekdays as a result of losing the silent auction used to renegotiate the expiring contracts (previous contract tenders had been based on merit alone – the record of incumbents against the potential of new applicants – with no cash element). The successful company was Carlton Television, a subsidiary of Carlton Communications and headed by Michael Green. A special montage ended the station’s last broadcast on New Years Eve 1992. The montage, variants of which were also aired in the last days of the station’s broadcasts, comprised clips of notable Thames programmes, and included short segments of some of the station’s previous idents. It was played to the song “I Only Want To Be With You” by The Tourists, and ended with a modified version of the ident used at the time and announcer Bruce Hammal reading the line “Thames, a Talent for Television”. This was followed by the sounds and image of Big Ben, a common practise for marking the start of the New Year, which was also the time that Thames’s ITV franchise would end but not before ITN showed their news report.