Central Independent Television (UK)

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Logo descriptions by Andrew Batstone
Logo captures by Eric S. and TheEriccorpinc
Video captures courtesy of granadagreg, CentralSouth5, shaunokeefe, JokerCapt, richiesherman, Halfbricktv2, azza5570, and matipionki

1st Logo
(January 1, 1982-November 1983)

Nicknames: "The UFO", "The Moon Eclipse", "The Moon", "CGI UFO", "CGI Moon"

Logo: On a dark blue background, we see what appears to be a total eclipse of the sun. The "shine" disappears after a second and then the disc turns sideways, revealing it to be a light blue planet-like object. As the shadow gets halfway round, the globe opens up like an egg and a bright array of colored lights burst out. A couple of seconds later, the two halves come back together, the lights go back inside and the word "CENTRAL" appears in a white Erbar Neo Mini font below the globe, which now has a crescent shadow.

Variants: Sometimes, the moon closes in later.

FX/SFX: The globe opening, and the lights exploding. Likely done on Scanimate.

Music/Sounds: A synthesized string arrangement with a "wah" effect. This is joined by a nine-note synthesized bell fanfare after two notes.

Music/Sounds Variants:
  • On 1983 episodes of Family Fortunes, it's silent, or very muted.
  • On episodes of Bullseye, the music is low-toned, probably to go with the pitch of the show's theme tune.

Availability: Rare. Logo buffs in the UK have preserved Central's logos, as they did with all the ITV companies. This logo is preserved on most episodes of the 1983/84 season of Family Fortunes, as well as the second series of Bullseye on Challenge.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo
(January 1, 1982-August 27, 1988)

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Nicknames: "The Moon II", "Rainbow Moon", "CGI Moon II", "CGI Rainbow Moon"

Logo: On a black background, we see a shining circular outline. A dark shadow slowly dissipates from the right side revealing a
white spherical object with a rainbow crescent. The word “CENTRAL” in the same font as before slowly fades in below the logo.

  • On episodes of Family Fortunes (the UK's version of Family Feud) from 1987, it would zoom out and plaster itself onto the video screen used in the show as it segues to the intro.
  • On ATV programmes made before the changeover to Central, the text below the logo reads "CENTRAL PRESENTS".
  • Sometimes, the white outline around the logo isn't present on the logo.
  • Some versions would be on a blue background.
  • Some versions have a copyright date below.
  • A still variant on the short-lived cartoon The Little Green Man has the moon smaller and the company name larger than usual.

FX/SFX: The shadow fading from the right, revealing the logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1st logo.

Music/Sounds Variant: On earlier episodes of Bullseye, the jingle plays in a lower pitch, and is slowed down slightly. Most likely done to keep the same pitch as the opening theme to the show. Once the theme tune changed, the logo's music returned to its normal pitch.

Availability: Rare. Used concurrently with the first one in 1982 before replacing it in November 1983. The "Central Production" variant was also seen on original airings of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, but current prints of the show & U.S. prints remove this logo however. Challenge have recently began airing episodes of Bullseye from 1983, with the low-tone variant of this logo playing before the opening credits on season 3 episodes, season 4 episodes retain the standard version.
Challenge broadcasts of most Family Fortunes episodes from the era should retain this logo as well.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo

Central Television (1986)Nicknames: "The Cake", "CGI Cake", "The Moon III", "CGI Moon III", "Rainbow Moon II", "CGI Rainbow Moon II"

Logo: On a black background, we see a cylindrical version of the symbol from the 2nd logo, which is divided into twelve blocks. There are six colour blocks (from above to below:
red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, purple) to the left, which form a crescent shape, and six white ones to the right. Under the symbol is the word "CENTRAL" in the same font as before. There are many variants of the logo, the symbol of which flies around the screen in a similar fashion to Channel 4's 1982 logo package. Note that this logo was only used in the midlands.

Variants: Many variants were used during the ident's lifespan. The following list is not exhaustive, and many other variants may exist.
  • The cake spins around several times.
  • The colour blocks come onto the screen from the bottom left, the white blocks come from the top right, and the "CENTRAL" lettering comes in from the bottom right. They then assume their position in the centre of the screen and turn to face the viewer.
  • The camera pans along the curve between the colour blocks and the white blocks in the symbol.
  • The "cake"'s white blocks are lying down whilst the colour blocks fit themselves into place. The "cake" then sits upright and turns 90 degrees anticlockwise. The "CENTRAL" text then zooms outwards below.
  • The "cake" spins downwards from the top of the screen while the "CENTRAL" text flies upwards from the bottom of the screen. The "cake" and the text then join together and the logo ends with them facing northeast.
  • The "cake"'s blocks separate from one another and fly towards the camera which then turns 180 degrees. The blocks then join together and turn around to face the viewer. ""CENTRAL"" then zooms out from the bottom of the screen.
  • the logo sometimes appears on a silver circuit board.
  • Sometimes, the ""CENTRAL" text is replaced with Central's slogan at the time "The one to watch".
  • For longer continuity announcements, several animations would be played in succession and sometimes in reverse.

FX/SFX: Decent CGI for 1985 overall.

Music/Sounds: Several different jingles were used:
  • The main tune was a fast-paced synth rock theme with synth toms. This was usually abridged.
  • A more relaxing sounding theme with xylophones and a harmonica lead.
  • A synth version of the above theme.
  • A more formal sounding piece was often played on idents just after start-up.
  • A playful sounding theme with flutes and xylophones, and with "beeping" noises in the background (a la LWT's 2000 logo)
  • A synth tune with powerful claps and a lot of pitch-bend.

: Extinct. This was only ever used in the Central region to be played over continuity announcements.

Editor's Note: None.

4th Logo
(September 2, 1988-February 21, 1998)

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Nicknames: "The Cake II", "CGI Cake II", "The Moon IV", "CGI Moon IV", "Rainbow Moon III", "CGI Rainbow Moon III"

Logo: On a black background, a
silver disc (divided into six rows and a crescent-shaped column appearing towards the screen) rotates from underneath, while six small colored balls (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue and purple) leap from the bottom of the screen. As we reach the frontal view of the logo, now in white (the crescent part is still silver), one by one the balls quickly fall and absorb into the silver segments on the left. The logo continues to rotate until it reaches the centre of the screen, while the word “CENTRAL”, "A ZENITH PRODUCTION FOR CENTRAL", or "CENTRAL PRODUCTION" (in white) fades in underneath. The end result is a segmented white disc with a multi-colored crescent three quarters towards the left.

Variants: Different variants apply:
  • Beginning from circa 1989, this logo was dropped from national program end caps. Instead, there would be a still variant of the logo, displaying "A CENTRAL PRODUCTION FOR" and the ITV logo below. Sometimes, the text below reads "A CENTRAL PROGRAMME FOR" with the ITV logo below, "A CENTRAL PRESENTATION", "CENTRAL" with "FOR" and the ITV logo below, "A CENTRAL PRODUCTION FOR MERIDIAN", "A Central Programme", "A Central Programme For" with the ITV logo below, "Central programme", or "Central presentation for" with the ITV logo below. Some versions after 1989 may have the line "for ITV" omitted.
  • Circa 1993, the logo received an update. The animation is much smoother and subtly different, and the cake now looks more colourful and pleasing.
  • The last variant of this logo was introduced In 1997, where the background was animated and shaded dark blue, but the rest is kept intact.

Custom Variants:
  • Slanted: Same as normal, except that the "cake" turns flat and facing northeast. "CENTRAL" fades above.
  • Revolving Cake Staircase: On a futuristic staircase, we zoom down it and see the logo on a ruby background.
  • Fire & Sapphire: On a sapphire background, we see fire forming the logo.
  • Shading: On a black background we see the transparent pieces of the cakes zooming up to a square, which splits the cake into it's 2 pieces, which segues into the normal or slanted version of the logo.
  • Crystal ITV: On a yellow background we see the ITV logo of the time rotating on the Central logo, in which the ITV logo turns out to be an illusion.
  • Sparkle: On a black background, we see the ITV logo zooming across a light, which turns the logo into the Central logo.
  • Powder (version 1) On an orange background, we see a translucent glass Central logo, which soon transforms into the color logo via flying streams of powder,before subtly filling out. A 35-note fanfare is used, which was only used for this version.
  • Powder (version 2): Same as above, only the music is shorter and is more high-pitched.
  • Grid (version 1): On a black squared background, we see an enclosed version of the Central logo, which zooms out on a ruby background.
  • Grid (version 2): Same as above, only the background is emerald. Used as a bumper for ITN news breaks.
  • Grid (version 3): Same as above, only the background is blue and the logo doesn't have "CENTRAL" at the bottom of it as usual.
  • Grid (version 4): Same as above, only the parts of the cake are made out of sails.
  • Grid (version 5): Same as above, only the parts of the cake are in color and "Central" appears to the right.
  • Transparent Blue: On a blue background, we see a blue version of the Central logo which starts out as a zoom-in, and ends up in its normal form.
  • Heart of the Network: On a blue background, we see the ITV logo floating to the west and the Central logo zooming in.
  • The City: On a black background, we get a view of the skyscrapers, which are the Central logo when viewed from the top.
  • Channeling Spring (version 1): On a black background, we see a extended version of the Central logo zooming to the bottom-left, showing something behind it: a line with "CENTRAL" on it. Used as a bumper for later shows.
  • Cake Model 1: The camera pans through the central logo made of coloured marble, before panning out to reveal everything in its standard position. The cake is revealed to be on a brown marble background.
  • Cake Model 2: The cake is gently sunken into a water pool.
  • ITV occasionally showed Central programmes. ITV used special variants on these programmes.

FX/SFX: Top notch CGI (for 1988).

Music/Sounds: Depending on the year:
  • 1988-1993, standard version: A synthesized “sweep” culminating in a majestic, seven-note orchestral fanfare.
  • 1988-1993, sub-variant 1: The synthesized sweep is absent. Otherwise, the music is still the same. Very rare.
    1988-1993, sub-variant 2: A violin arrangement of the fanfare.
  • 1988-1993, sub-variant 3: A synthesized variant of the theme, with two extra notes at the end.
  • 1988-1993, sub variant 4: A softer,more minimalist fanfare.
  • 1993-1996, standard variant: A nine-note fanfare with a choir at the background and glass.
  • 1993-1996, sub-variant 2: An extended version of the standard variation, with a total of seventeen notes. The animation is also slowed down.
  • 1997, standard variant: A re-arranged version of the nine-note fanfare, with extra detail in the background.
  • 1997, sub-variant 1: A fifteen-note fanfare with rock guitars. Slowed down animation.

(This list is unlikely to be exhaustive, due to Central's usage of many logos throughout the years.)

Availability: Rare. Reruns of Family Fortunes and Bullseye episodes from 1988 on Challenge have the animated "Production" variant of this logo intact. Can also be seen on Rosie & Jim on Canadian cable channel BBC Kids (which is available in the United States as a VOD service on select providers). Also found some Inspector Morse tapes by BFS Video, as well as a Cineplex Odeon/MCA VHS of Woof!. Challenge airings of Blockbusters also have the still version of the "Production" variant intact. VHS and DVD releases of The Dreamstone feature the still "Production" variant, though on the DVD release, the length of time the logo stays on after the credits end is shortened for the Cookie Jar logo.

Editor's Note: This logo is a favorite of many UK logo fans.

5th Logo

Central Television (1989-1990)

: "ITV Generic"

See ITV for description.

6th Logo
(August 31, 1998-March 1, 1999)

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Logo: Basically the same animated logos as those used by Central's owners Carlton at the time, but with the word "CARLTON" replaced by "CENTRAL".

Variant: At the end of certain programmes, the word "Production" appears below.

FX/SFX: Same as Carlton Television.

Music/Sounds: The same four-note theme as on Carlton's logos, coming in different sounds. Sometimes it has the announcer's voice-over announcing the intro of a TV show, TV movie, or theatrical movie.

Availability: The Ident variants were short-lived and are extinct. The 'CENTRAL Production' end cap appears on the 1998-1999 series (Series 6) of Dale's Supermarket Sweep, but later prints which air on Challenge plaster that and the Pearson/Carlton logo with the FremantleMedia logo, but is retained on at least one episode. The 1998-1999 series (Series 18) of Family Fortunes also used this and is normally retained whenever Challenge re-broadcasts the series.

Editor's Note: It's basically a form of branding strategy used by Central's owner Carlton, which would expand when the company replaced the Central branding with their own in March 1999.