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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Last flight for BBC balloon
Balloons at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The BBC balloon took off in a mass fiesta ascent
The globe balloon scrapped as BBC One's presentation symbol is going into retirement following its final official flight.

Footage of the balloon - which took off in a mass ascent from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta on Friday - used to be screened between television programmes on the channel.

The balloon was filmed flying over dozens of locations including Tower Bridge in London, the South Downs, Felixstowe port and the Forth railway bridge in Scotland.

The red and yellow globe, built by the world-famous Camerons factory in Bristol, is going into the care of the Sussex-based Balloon Preservation Group.

'Overwhelming pride'

The balloon made its maiden flight from the Bristol fiesta site at Ashton Court in 1997 piloted by James Mossman, who also flew for the BBC filming.

Mr Mossman said many people had not believed the icon was real.

"Even professional cameramen said: 'You mean you actually put that balloon near that castle or near that bridge and that's real?'" he told BBC News Online.

The BBC balloon
The BBC balloon was filmed near landmarks
He said following the seven weeks of filming - by a director in a helicopter alongside - he had felt a moment of "almost overwhelming pride" when he had seen the results on television.

"It has to be said, though, that you couldn't actually see me in the basket.

"They tried most of the time to avoid seeing the basket as it was more about the abstract of seeing the 'world' and the location in the same shot," he said.

There have been more requests for the globe to appear at fiestas and events than any other balloon.

BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey dropped the balloon image in a review as she considered it out-of-date.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 at the time of the decision.

The BBC balloon is among the favourites on the BBC Bristol website which is screening live reports from the fiesta which continues until Sunday.

See also:

05 Aug 02 | England
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
21 Jul 02 | England
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