Before it became a bit shit, the BBC was responsible for some of the most memorable home video idents, some hallucinogenic, some terrifying, all playing before Only Fools and Horses, Brum, or ‘The Best of Mr Blobby’. I’ve decided to rank them, since there are only four and I had a spare half an hour that could have been used to do the washing up, but wasn’t.
Disclaimer: My views are not the views of the BBC. I don’t think the BBC will die on the hill of ‘Jaffa Cakes are biscuits’.
4. Corporate Training Video
Meh. This makes me want to read the ‘tracking control’ advice instead of actually watching the ident. In fact, I watched it, wrote that sentence, then had to go back and watch it again because I’d already forgotten it.
Best suited to: Your dad’s VHS of ‘Managerial effectiveness strategies for men called Alan’.
Did you enjoy watching this video? Good, because now we have to remind you that you will all die at some point. This was famously the ident that followed the closing scene of Blackadder Goes Forth, so maybe that’s why it stuck in the heads of a generation as morbid and unsettling.
Best suited to: The closing scene of Blackadder Goes Forth. Can’t complain.
2. Idents by Enya
This ident was clearly conceived back when the general consensus was ‘everyone abroad plays pan pipes. As such, let’s show the world we love them by also playing pan pipes!”
“Great Idea Malcolm.”
“Thanks Alan. I love you Alan.”
I don’t think it’s even proper pan pipes, it was just going that way.
Best suited to: A film from Peru about a boy trying to sell his mother.
1. Calpol overdose
This ident is brilliant because it manages to encapsulate the feeling of being at an arcade in Skegness with 10p burning a hole in your pocket. If you look closely, you can even see the ‘prize shop’ off to the left, with its assortment of novelty erasers and fake rubber fingers on display. The downside is that it does make you feel violently ill.
Best suited to: Day Of The Triffids, as long as viewers can phone in halfway through and win a pencil.