Ulster Television

Compiled by Andrew Batstone

1st Logo

Nicknames: "Early Oscilloscope", "The Mountains Of Mourne"

Logo: On a black background, seven white dots appear one by one at random places on the screen while they all slowly zoom in together. The first three dots are then connected by two lines - the first short, the second long - which appear simultaneously on the screen. The process is then repeated with the last three dots being joined. Then, two lines draw upwards from the third and fifth dots at the same time, connecting with the fourth dot at the top of the screen to create a “zig zag”. The words “Ulster” then “Television” slowly appear at the bottom of the screen via a “venetian blind” effect.

FX: The appearance of the dots and the lines, the lines tracing themselves.

Cheesy Factor: The whole thing looks very quaint.

Music: A rendition of the Irish folk song The Mountains Of Mourne, played on a celesta.

Availability: Extinct on television, but preserved by UK logo enthusiasts.

Scare Factor: Very high, bordering on nightmare, the dark background and the creepy celesta jingle can very easily unsettle viewers, not to mention the murky sound quality.

2nd Logo

Nicknames: "Classic Oscilloscope", "Zig-Zag Telly"

Logo: An already-formed, still 2D image of UTV’s 1969 logo, similar to the previous design, only the lines have been made thicker and the dots have disappeared. A stylized television screen shape surrounds the new design. The words “Ulster Television” (in a plain, sans-serif font) are underneath the logo. Both the oscilloscope device and text are in yellow against a blue background.

FX: None.

Cheesy Factor: None here.

Music: None.

Availability: See the 1st logo.

Scare Factor: Low, unless still captions get to you.

3rd Logo

Nicknames: "UTV Lollipop", "Telly On A Stick"

Logo: On a black background, we see a silver statuette made up of a stick with a cube roughly in the middle. On the cube’s four faces is the oscilloscope device featured in logo 2. The statuette rotates slowly for the duration of the ident, while light reflects off its silver surface. The words “Ulster Television” (in yellow) appear just below the cube part via a “wiping” effect.

FX: It's a live action logo.

Cheesy Factor: Oh golly, where do I start?! This is an absolute screamer. This logo was originally commissioned for the station’s 21st anniversary celebrations in October 1980. Little did they know it would be used for eight long years! By around 1982, computers were making an impact in logo and graphic design, you'd think UTV would have retired the "lollipop" by then.

Music: A very dated and cheap sounding analog synth ditty. Compliments this logo quite nicely.

Availability: Again, see the 1st logo. Last seen on "TV Hell" in the early '90s.

Scare Factor: Median to high, the strange turning silver thing and primitive synth music can test the nerves of many a viewer.

4th Logo

Nickname: "CGI Oscilloscope"

Logo: On a predominately white background with silver “streaks” and “blotches”, we zoom up to a UTV oscilloscope device lying on its side, with a yellow “zig-zag pattern” drawing itself within a blue “TV shape”. As we get close up, we quickly zoom away, revealing the entire logo. A silver CGI banner with the words “Ulster Television” waves itself in from the bottom right of the screen, settling underneath the oscilloscope.

FX: Decent CGI (for 1989).

Cheesy Factor: Can’t see much wrong with this logo, makes quite a nice change from the infamous “lollipop”.

Music: A synthesized horns, piano and drums fanfare.

Availability: Once again, see the 1st logo.

Scare Factor: Low. This logo is quite clean.

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