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Farewell to the 2s: BBC Two unveils "simple curve"

BBC Two is to undergo its biggest refresh in over 25 years as it ditches the famous 2 idents.

From Thursday 26th September, the channel will get a new on-screen look and soundscape. Replacing the 2 will be idents featuring what the BBC calls a "simple curve".

Spot the 2

Users of Sky+HD and Sky Q boxes have spotted a short clip of the channel's new identity by searching "BBC 2 Ident Sept 18":

BBC Two is due to say farewell to the 2 idents at the end of Wednesday night's programming, at around 2:30am of the early hours of Thursday.

BBC Two's 2 idents have been a staple of the channel since 1991 and were first introduced by former channel controller Alan Yentob. At the time, the rebrand was deemed a success in changing the public's perception of the channel, which had previously been viewed as being 'stuffy'.   In 2001, new revised 2 idents on a yellow background were introduced, with gave the 2 a personality and two robotic arms:

Six years later, a modified version of the 2 featured in a series of  "window on the world" idents, including a 2-shaped sunroof:

To mark the channel's 50th anniversary in 2014, BBC Two brought back the original 1990s idents.

But the channel has faced sharp budget cuts in recent years, which has led to much of the daytime schedule being filled with BBC News Channel programmes and repeats.

No channel refresh comes without marketing blurb, and the BBC says the look shows off the channel's "specialism, challenging and complex programming, creativity, alternative outlook and unorthodox DNA".

Audio to accompany the animations was created by award winning British composer and sound designer Alex Baranowski

The new look has been developed by BBC Creative and agency Superunion; animators include Aardman.

Highlights on BBC Two this autumn include a new series of Autumnwatch, which will be based in the USA for the first time and the return of Horizon (incidentally also featuring a curve in its on-screen look, above), including Michael Mosley embarking on Britain’s largest ever trial to investigate the placebo effect in The Placebo Experiment - Can My Brain Cure My Body? There's also a special tribute to the late Sir Ken Dodd in the pipeline, which is due to air later this year.

Updated 26/09/2018