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MERIDIAN TELEVISION : 1958-1992
Graphics and text © Dan Evans

Meridian Television 1958

Meridian Independent Television began broadcasting to the South of England in the summer of 1958. The name "Meridian" came from the line of zero longitude that ran through the region, plus the location of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Herstmonceux, Sussex. Meridian's original chairman was Fred Whipple, an eminent astronomer in his own right, hence the rather scientific-looking sun/moon logo set within the diagram of the Earth's orbit. This original ident was static and silent.

Meridian Television 1958

A special endcap for the 1958 documentary series "Sea War", made for Meridian by the Rank Organisation.

Meridian Television 1960

This frontcap was used before regional programmes. Like the original ident, it was bereft of sound and motion. It superseded the original the following year.

Meridian Television 1962

Meridian gained its first animated ident in 1962. Accompanied by a jingle composed by Steve Race, it began with the words "Independent Television" which parted to allow the now-simplified Meridian logo to zoom in. This was re-filmed in 1964 with a new jingle, again by Steve Race.

Meridian Television 1962

A start-up slide from the early 1960s.

Meridian Television 1962

The simplified logo.

Meridian Television 1964

A long version of the 1964 ident was also used. This had "The Station the Serves the South" tacked on the end, just to make sure that viewers knew where they were (!)

Meridian Television 1965

Meridian's 1960s clock.

Meridian Television 1969

Colour came in 1969, and Meridian simply electronically coloured the zoom-in part of the 1964 logo and added a new jingle. This jingle, also by Steve Race, was written for a consort of viols and was based on part of a dance by the the 17th century composer Michael Praetorius.

Meridian Television 1969

The clock had the same treatment. Electronically coloured, it was used well into the 1980s.

Meridian Television 1969

The original colour endcap.

Meridian Television 1974

Meridian's IBA start-up slide, introduced in the mid 1970s.

Meridian Television 1975

Copyright details were included in the endcaps from about 1975. At this time the company name was changed to "Meridian Broadcasting".

Meridian Television 1976

A still from the opening titles of "Meridian Tonight" as seen in the mid-70s. This was originally presented by Cliff Michelmore and subsequently by Chris Peakcock and Fred Dinenage, who remains with the station to this day.

Meridian Television 1981

A programme menu from 1981.

Meridian Television 1981

A special chromakeyed static frontcap for "Out of Town", a programme about rural life presented by Jack Hargreaves.

Meridian Television 1981

This version of the ident had no "Meridian" lettering, as it faded stright into the clock during out-of-vision junctions.

Meridian Television 1987

Meridian's on-screen look was given a facelift in 1987 with the introduction of a computer-generated ident. A new jingle was added, and for the first time, its composer was not Steve Race.

Meridian Television 1987

The matching production slide.

Meridian Television 1987

A programme menu from 1987.

Meridian Television 1988

The front page of Meridian's regional ORACLE magazine. The page designers had difficulty incorporating the Meridian name into the graphics banner, as there was insufficient room to have "MERIDIAN ORACLE" across the top. The designers considered the Granada-style idea of "MER: ORACLE: MER" to look silly, so the generic "ITV:ORACLE:ITV" banner was used with a strapline reading "Serving the Meridian region". This was used until 1993 when Teletext Ltd took over and Meridian had its own, independent text magazine.

Meridian Television 1989

Meridian adopted the Corporate ITV look in 1989.

Meridian Television 1989

This is the end result, with the colours of the logo contained within the "V". The corporate ident was used until the end of 1992.

Meridian Television 1989

The endcap was simply a still from the start of the ident, amended to include the relevant wording.

LAST UPDATE: 17th November 2002

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