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Ulster Television

                        Last Updated: February 11, 2020

Ulster Television began broadcasting as the ITV franchise holder on Hallowe'en 1959. The following are images from throughout the decades.

31st Oct. '59 - at least 9th January 1971


The above symbol was the first used by the station in the late fifties. It is apparently a crude representation of towns and cities in Northern Ireland and above right is where the towns are represented

1970 -1984 (occasionally in use until 1987)

Image will appear here shortly

Colour arrived via the Divis transmitter, and with it, an new version of the Ulster "oscilloscope".  The standard blue background with yellow foreground held to UTV was to last until the introduction of their 25th anniversary ident.

1984 - 1988


To celebrate Ulster's 25th anniversary of broadcasting, this silver statuette of the company's logo was revealed.  Hated by everyone it seemed, the statue was to become a pinnacle symbol of Ulster's television past.

Late 1988 - June 3rd 1993


3-D idents were in vogue by the time Ulster updated its idents. Scottish, Anglia & Central all had computer generated idents all stemming from Channel 4's successful attempts back in 1982 by the time Ulster had gained theirs.

During this time, these images were the main force behind Ulster's presentation.


Paul Clark and Kate Smith presenting Six Tonight, Ulster's main regional news programme during this period.



Introduced in early 1993, a sign of changes to come in Ulster.  Six Tonight was to be dropped for a new 1 hour news programme for the region.  This was the first look at the new UTV.

June 4th 1993 - October 1996  


UTV in 1993

October 1996 - June 30th 2000  


UTV in 1996

July 1st 2000 - Dec. 2000


UTV had another revamp to coincide with c-day on Saturday 1st July 2000. This was they day when all advertisements on some digital channels would start being broadcast in 16:9 widescreen. The ITV companies all use widescreen idents now, and UTV is no exception. On digital TV you can see the UTV idents in all their 16:9 glory.

This is the new endcap for UTV trailers. The short-lived UTV logo which had been superimposed on the trailers themselves has vanished, unlike the [itv] logo on the generic trailers, which now appears within the 4:3 cut-out of the 16:9 frame.


The old break bumper (above right) was retained for a short time, cropped to 14:9. It appeared with horizontal black bars on analogue and vertical ones on digital.

Jan. 2001 - Dec. 2001  


UTV in 2001

Jan. 1st 2002 - Oct. 27th 2002  


Updated idents for the new year, with a few variants, but not as many as seen in previous years.

Oct. 28th 2002 - 19th November 2003  


Part of the unified ITV1 look, one way or another, UTV's hastily made idents, sometimes classy, most times messy.

UTV also adopted some of ITV1's "Celebrity" idents, adopting of course the logo, and keeping most of the free from V/O!

275Kb (Des Lynam),
239Kb (Gillian Taylforth)

20th November 2003 to 15th January 2006  


Aah, now this is more relaxing, whilst ITV goes for "people" idents, UTV gets real showcasing it's beautiful landscape in these series of idents harking back to 2001's idents.

16th January 2006 - 24th October 2012  


Continuing on the theme of promoting Northern Ireland's beautiful sights; reminding us of the best of Ulster.

17th October 2016 - current  

© ITV plc

The takeover from ITV has been on the cards longer than LWT has been making awesome idents.  However, the butchered job of merging two equally strong identities has little to be desired.  Maybe the U could have been in the circle rather than out of it.  Maybe the U could have been in the itv font.  Maybe none of this could have happened at all and UTV merged with RTÉ instead??!

Other UTV sites
Transdiffusion - Ulster
Irish TV
Teilifis - UTV
The Other UTV Website
Ulster Television History - ITW
Ulster - The TV Room
Ulster - Grundie's Web
Ulster - TV50

All images pre 2001 captured by Richard Bell.  1993-2000 commentary written by Richard Bell


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