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The ITC's decision to extend weekend providers to the whole network created a brace of new companies and in many cases some new ideas in TV design. Though some only managed after a false start...

Caledonian Television 1969

Weekends in Scotland were heralded with this. Static, silent and not doing anyone a favour. Caledonian's programming wasn't too bad, but it's presentation was so flat that it's image was suffering. The pan-Scottish franchise was stretching resources, but something needed to be done about image, quickly and cheaply.

Caledonian Television 1972

New Year's Day 1972 and the new look was launched. Thought up by a designer straight out of art school, Julian Powell. The logo became something closer to the St Andrew's Cross without being too close to Grampian's logo. The innovation was that, rather than being printed onto a board, the ident had been roughly painted on with sponges, the blue field having a little extra texture added by layers of paint dabbed on thickly enough to cast shadows, giving a rough surface. Still not animated, but accompanied by a few piano arpeggios, it was all ahead of it's time. Not fondly rememberd now due to a lack of the confident pomp of classic 70s idents, it did the trick at the time. Powell later went on to revamp the Pennines mast logo in 1980.

Caledonian Television 1972

Other presentation was a little more conservative in it's look, though the diagonal look was still different. Seen here, a programme slide for Frasier, an imported sitcom starring Tony Randall as an uptight psychiatrist, based on the Neil Simon film.

Caledonian Television 1972

The logo was less succesful when featured on the IBA slide and earned Caledonian a nasty letter from Grampian.

Caledonian Television 1982

Caledonian kept broadcasting until 1981, when the IBA ordered them to merge with a rival bidder to form Saltire Television (the same fate befell Southern who merged with South and South East to form TVS). Presentation changed very little and the Caledonian programming policy remained. Cosmopolitan entertainment on Saturdays and what was nicknamed the "tartan and shortbread" schedule on Sundays. Shame no-one told them that declaring colour was a bit redundant by 1982.

Caledonian Television 1994

The 90s saw a number of takeovers within the ITV companies. The onscreen changes varied. The newly ATV-owned Westward proudly played up it's connections, the ABC owned Central was subtle about it's change of ownership and TWW had no desire to impose it's brand on Scottish. Only Rediffusion was eager to "Rediffusionize" it's new acquisitions to the extent of killing the old brand. Saltire was sacrificed on the altar of it's parent to create Rediffusion Scotland. This wasn't just a cosmetic name change. The Rediffusion presentation and programming style was stamped on the company. It had worked the previous year with the birth of Rediffusion Anglia, so why not in Scotland? Viewers voted with their remotes and while the name stayed, everything else soon reverted to the tried and tested way.

LAST UPDATE: 1st April 2003

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