Created Fr 25-Apr-03
Revised Fr 1-Jan-21
LWT's last day began when it opted out of ITV1's night-time schedule early for a proper "start-up". Before 24-hour television, ITV companies would start their programmes with some captions and music to welcome viewers. Just before 5.30am we were taken back to those good old days. The first order of business would be an opening announcement over a caption listing the transmitters in service. For this occasion, Trish Bertram recorded the voiceover. Here we have the first draft of the re-created caption, which mimics the original format, listing the UHF and (now defunct) VHF transmitters. For legal reasons, the IBA logo from the Seventies original was replaced with an LWT logo. Next to it is the broadcast version, in widescreen, which recognises we now live in an age of digital broadcasting.
Part-way through the start-up tune, A Well Swung Fanfare, and perfectly timed to a beat in the music, there would have been a cut to the LWT logo. This was all re-created for the last day's start-up, except that this time the music was in stereo.
With the music finished, it would be time to look at the day's schedule. Dave Jeffery re-created an old programme menu, seen here, as a test. But there wasn't the time to complete it in time for the broadcast, so ultimately a less elaborate caption was created for the tribute...
You can see that the first version of the simpler menu design used a serif font. Next to it is the final version, featuring a much clearer Antique Olive typeface. If you had never seen London Weekend's presentation in the Seventies, you'd be forgiven for thinking this slide is based on a real programme menu. But what appears to be a design from the era was created especially for this start-up sequence.
Having taken us through the programme menu, announcer Glen Thompsett then introduced the ITV Morning News over a widescreen version of an old station clock.
Viewers then had to wait until 11.15pm for their next slice of nostalgia, when The South Bank Show was preceded by this classic animated LWT ident. The logo remained on screen as the announcer invited us to stay tuned, for in an hour's time, we could see a short tribute to LWT. I wonder how many people realised they were not actually watching a film from the archive, but a perfect re-creation, adapted for widescreen? As always, the animation was accompanied by the Graham Hix re-mix of the Harry Rabinowitz original. Over twenty years after updating the jingle, Graham was still around to peform the audio mix on the last-day tribute sequences.
With little space available in the schedules, the tribute programme had to be crammed into less than two minutes. It began with continuity legends Glen Thompsett and Trish Bertram explaining, in vision, that the LWT name was being laid to rest. Soon we were hurled into a montage of idents and other presentation from London Weekend's 34-year history. Here we see a re-creation of one of the early colour idents which didn't make it into the final broadcast. This time, the real film, complete with scratches, was used.
This reproduction of the classic first edition River ident, was used, and you'll see that in its new widescreen incarnation, the stripes extend even further east. The original was designed by Terry Griffiths and the accompanying jingle was composed by Harry Rabinowitz.
Finally, we have a re-created rotating 3D logo. It didn't end up in the final montage; the genuine article was used, instead.