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Newsnight's new look

Peter Rippon | 13:01 UK time, Monday, 22 March 2010

In its 30 years Newsnight has had almost as many title sequences as editors. Here's the story so far:

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And tonight, we are introducing a new set of titles and studio backing on the programme.

Now I know messing with a national institution can be perilous, and this time round we have fiddled with pretty much everything, but I am very pleased with the results.

You can see a preview here:

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It is striking how title sequences resonate differently with different audiences.

Newsnight has an incredibly passionate and loyal following, and viewers tend to love the titles sequence that was being used when they first discovered the programme.

The most frightening challenge for me this time was altering the music. We have changed it, but not a lot.

It was composed by the now legendary George Fenton as a favour to the first editor. I spoke to George about the titles and he confessed that he did go to bed sometimes slightly frustrated with parts of the old version.

He has re-worked it slightly to make it crisper and fresher. Hopefully he will now sleep more easily.


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  • 1. At 2:22pm on 22 Mar 2010, Tom wrote:

    It's good. I like the music, and the visuals reflect the previous few title sequences, but with added CGI. I do however feel it is too urban centric and that the scene (water and skyscrapers) suggest London. In other words I don't think it reflects the UK too well, and only acts to reinforce a view that parts of the BBC, especially news, are too London centred. I hope the next iteration adds something of the rural and regional nature of the UK.

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  • 2. At 2:23pm on 22 Mar 2010, Mistress76uk wrote:

    Fabulous! Love the new titles :o)

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  • 3. At 2:26pm on 22 Mar 2010, flicks wrote:

    Like the first 5 seconds but feel the curve with-in a rectangle should be symmetrical. The circle is all nature the rectangle - human. And in my opinion a disaster for photography. A lens makes an image circle not a rectangle. But that's another story.

    Not that keen on the font for the newsnight lettering or the proportion to the BBC lettering.

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  • 4. At 2:32pm on 22 Mar 2010, Tom wrote:

    Short comment. Why is this board 'pre-moderated'? Surely post-moderation would be adequate here. I don't see much likelihood of posts breaking house-rules here.

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  • 5. At 2:59pm on 22 Mar 2010, barriesingleton wrote:


    In keeping with the trend (edgy?) I see Daily Politics has changed one silly desk for another. Is BBC really strapped for cash, or just two straps short of a straight-jacket?

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  • 6. At 3:55pm on 22 Mar 2010, flicks wrote:

    #4 - New here Tom ?

    Take a look at some of the threads .

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  • 7. At 4:56pm on 22 Mar 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    Very polished, in every sense.

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  • 8. At 4:56pm on 22 Mar 2010, Hyperstar wrote:

    I rather you save 6Music then spend money doing a new title for Newsnight that's not needed

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  • 9. At 5:10pm on 22 Mar 2010, Tom wrote:

    Thanks @flicks, yes I am new here. Just had a look at some previous threads, and yes, I take your point!

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  • 10. At 5:45pm on 22 Mar 2010, SarahMcDermott wrote:

    Hi Tom
    It's BBC policy that all our boards are pre-moderated to make sure they don't break house-rules. We do aim to have a really short turn-around between the comment being submitted, then moderated and published. These are the BBC's house rules, if you're interested:
    Sarah, Newsnight

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  • 11. At 6:27pm on 22 Mar 2010, barriesingleton wrote:


    The 'Byers' Leopard' has been spotted in his usual haunts - again. One cannot help wondering if 'Peter's Mandyrill' will break out of his reserve for the third time - unlucky. The arrival of 'Blair's Fox' (the one that turns whiter than white, when doing a 'snow job') could well prove the catalyst.

    Watch this vacuous locality.

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  • 12. At 8:06pm on 22 Mar 2010, daylightsaving wrote:

    What a waste of money! It's as bad as the previous one. Stop wasting our money on changing the titles so pointlessly frequently, please.

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  • 13. At 8:08pm on 22 Mar 2010, ryanw wrote:

    What a MONUMENTAL waste of money! No credit crunch at the BBC then? How much license fee payers money did you waste on this?

    Wouldn't the money have been better spent on proper journalist like tonights Despatches programme on Channel 4?

    Mr Rippon this is not a good use of our money.

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  • 14. At 00:13am on 23 Mar 2010, barriesingleton wrote:


    If you listen to 'Feedback' on Radio 4, those responsible for overtly self-indulgent programs, routinely come onto the program. When they are confronted with the errors of their ways, they say (implying listeners 'only know what the like' - not what is good radio) "I think we are getting it about right." This seems to sum up the BBC, and in such behaviour, they are all too similar to our Westminster dross. And we pay for the whole charade! No wonder Jeremy looks content to sit there with the meter running - another cabbie.

    It seems there is little we can do but fulminate impotently.

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  • 15. At 9:47pm on 23 Mar 2010, stevie wrote:

    there's me thinking I was watching ground-breaking historic television with Howard on the receiving end of Jeremy's wrath when all it was was mayhem going on in the gallary because some suit forgot to get the next VT up to speed...I feel sort of cheated...and I do wish you hadn't told me!

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  • 16. At 1:15pm on 24 Mar 2010, Peter B wrote:

    Rather short opening as opposed to the traditional 'building up' opening. Simple and to the point yet I am slightly uncomfortable with the size of the 'BBC' lettering in relation to 'newsnight'. We already appreciate newsnight as being a BBC institution and thus we do not need oversized BBC lettering shadowing newsnight to somehow reaffirm this. The former opening sequence was also simple, clean and modern and so I beg to ask why bother changing? Graphics department short of credible work recently?

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  • 17. At 6:32pm on 07 Apr 2010, Hyperstar wrote:

    This blog hasn't been updated for a while......

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  • 18. At 11:21pm on 08 Apr 2010, tankturner wrote:

    I have just heard Mr Paxman telling the three MP contributors to stop interupting each other as it annoys the viewers. He then proceeded to interupt everyone consistently which is far more annoying. JP needs to up his game. The next four weeks will be bad enough without be subjected to his opinions all the time. 1118pm 08 Apr

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  • 19. At 00:36am on 11 Apr 2010, daylightsaving wrote:

    Just to accentuate this, I've noticed that the BBC News branding and theme music hasn't changed in years and years now. So why does Newsnight need to do it on almost an annual basis?

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  • 20. At 7:28pm on 12 Apr 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    Your website says:

    "During the MEP and council polls, in line with political parties and other UK broadcasters, the BBC will not be reporting the election campaign or offering discussion about the campaign."

    No mention of Westminster polls - I actually did not know that there was a Euro election taking place for MEPs (if this is what you mean?)

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  • 21. At 10:57am on 22 Apr 2010, Guy Singh wrote:

    You may be interested in looking at how Twitter feeds showed election debate candidates faired on the different subjects related to the question that were asked by the audience, you can find such an analysis here

    This is going to run again tonight so it will be interesting to see how the results compare against last week.

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  • 22. At 09:10am on 24 Apr 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    Hey, congrats!

    It's the one year anniversary since the last news editorial post.

    Since when, we have had one post... on a 'new look'. Possibly as a result of an internal press release?

    Apt metaphor for the state of news reporting these days.

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  • 23. At 1:59pm on 09 Sep 2010, theott wrote:

    Do have a look at the News re foxes in London.
    Have a word with the multitude o protestors against fox hunting and ask them why there are foxes in London. Seems easy to me

    The Ott

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  • 24. At 01:07am on 22 Mar 2011, restassured wrote:

    Was about to opinionate on the state of the world etc and what do I see, contributors largely going on about the new title sequences and studio backing blah,blah, blah. Talk about navel gazing while the rest of the world is on fire. Not sure if it's British phlegm or the usual apathy. Personally don't give a tuppenny t about the title sequences, total distraction from the quality of news input. Now you've drawn me into it. God.

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