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Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 13:40 GMT
BBC balloon could be grounded
BBC balloon logo
The balloon logo takes in 30 different global locations
BBC One could scrap its popular balloon presentation ident as part of a general "healthcheck" of the channel.

The logo appears in between programmes and flies over 30 global locations including Tower Bridge in London and the Sydney Opera House, Australia.

The Radio Times recently reported how much viewers enjoyed the balloon films and invited readers to write in with new location ideas.

However, BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey is reviewing whether or not the balloon ident is still relevant since its introduction in 1997.

Lorraine Heggessey
Heggessey has sought advice of inhouse marketing department

Ms Heggessey took over as channel controller in November and has been looking into the station's image.

"Ms Heggessey has brought an inhouse marketing team to look at all aspects of BBC One and give it a general healthcheck," said a BBC spokesman.

"The balloon ident is just one of many things under review as it has been screened 40,000 times since it was first shown."

The balllon replaced the long-established spinning globe ident.

The change came as part of a corporate-wide revamp of the BBC logo and colours.

In that time, the balloon films have undergone a process of evolution, taking in popular crazes such as bungee jumping or special times of the year such as Christmas.

However, in an interview with The Independent, Ms Heggessey said she considered the balloon out of date.

"The balloon to me feels very slow; it goes across this majestic landscape but doesn't feel in touch with the viewers," she said.

Ms Heggessey added that she wanted to give the channel a more solid image and she particularly disliked the term "Auntie" when referring to the BBC.

"BBC One is starting to suffer from that image now," she told the newspaper.

"The broad strategy is as much about tone and style as it is about content - to feel warmer, more modern."

The BBC spokesman said the review of BBC One was in its very early stages.

No decision about the balloon ident's future is therefore expected for some time.

See also:

22 Sep 00 | Entertainment
BBC defends boss over Frostrup
14 Sep 00 | Entertainment
First woman to run BBC One
22 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Ian Wright transfers to BBC
18 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Public consulted on BBC digital plans
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