Yorkshire Television is the ITV contractor for Yorkshire, England, and the surrounding areas. It was formed from a ‘shotgun marriage’ between two applicant groups in the 1967 franchise round, Telefusion Yorkshire Ltd and Yorkshire Independent Television, the former having large financial backing (supported by the Blackpool-based Telefusion television rental chain) and the latter having the better plans (but fewer resources). It went on air on 29 July 1968 from purpose-built colour studios in Leeds, the first of their kind in Europe.
1968 – 1969
‘Pa Pa Pa Pa Paaa!’ or however you sing it! 1968 marked the first broadcast of that famous YTV jingle along with the debut of the station’s chevron which would serve the station for well over 30 years
1969 – 1981
The swish 1960s animation may have gone but these static idents were no less scary!
Arguably the most loved YTV ident, dubbed ‘Liquid Gold’. A Yorkshire Chevron rises from a liquid gold plate to take its rightful place in the centre of the screen. It reportedly cost a small fortune to produce and yet it still only lasted for 3 years!
21st Birthday (1989)
Proving that the presentation budget had been well and truly spent on the Liquid Gold ident, this simpler formation celebrated Yorkshire’s 21st birthday. And I’m sure you will agree that the ‘21 years of entertainment and excellence’ tagline is not in anyway overly pretentious at all. Definitely not…
Following Yorkshire’s buyout of Tyne Tees Television in 1992, a new overnight service for both stations was launched entitled Night Shift, broadcast across both regions from YTV’s transmission centre in Leeds with pre-recorded continuity from the station’s announcing staff. Separate overnight presentation for the YTV and Tyne Tees areas was introduced two years later.
In 1989 the ITV network tried to implement a generic look across the regional franchisees. YTV’s ident looked like this…
1990 – 1994
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t go down well with YTV bigwigs; half of their famous logo was missing! So a few months later this edited version was created featuring a more prominent chevron.
1994 – 1996
Surprisingly the generic look remained on air for 6 years, long after the vast majority of ITV companies had binned their respective generic idents. So 1994 saw a long overdue refresh to Yorkshire presentation. Images from around the region were placed beneath a radiant chevron. The new idents were the first YTV idents not to feature the “Ilkley Moor Ba’ Tat” jingle used since the station’s launch.
1996 – 1998
Apparently employees of Yorkshire’s Taste & Decency dept. were out on a day trip when a Leeds-based design team created this nightmarish ident. A gold chevron turns into a gold 3 which turns into a spinning gold chevron. Er, that’s about it, but at least the famous Yorkshire jingle had returned.
1999 – 2002
Many have often wondered why so many of the above Yorkshire idents were produced when they were only needed to introduce an ever decreasing amount of regional programmes. Here is the answer: by October 1998 the England and Wales ITV franchises were owned by 4 companies: Carlton Communications (London Weekday, Central, Westcountry), United News & Media (Anglia, Meridian, HTV), Granada Media Group (Granada, LWT, Tyne Tees, Yorkshire) and Border Television which had somehow managed to retain its independence. Almost 10 years after trying and failing to introduce a single identity across the ITV regions, it was decided a unified ITV look should be attempted again. After all, with fewer companies to please the process should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong! Following fall outs between GMG and Carlton and plenty of picking up balls and going home the October 1998 date for introducing a new generic look was missed. A new network symbol had been chosen (a heart shape) but the companies failed to agree on a design for the idents.
So in 1999, with a unified ITV looking increasingly unlikely, GMG set about creating new full time idents for their 3 northern franchises: Granada, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire. Unfortunately, mere weeks after completion, Carlton announced it was going solo and would be using its own set of Heart idents, designed by Lambie-Nairn. This gave GMG, UNM and Border the green light to launch their generic Hearts. The downside was the above YTV idents, which were far superior in terms of quality to the Heart idents, were relegated to regional use. All 25+ of them!
Yorkshire was rebranded to ITV Yorkshire on 28 October 2002, and the ITV1 celebrity idents in use across England and Wales employed the ‘Yorkshire’ identifier only before regional non-news progrmaming.