Round The Regions – Meridian.

MERIDIAN

Meridian became the third company to have the ITV franchise for the south-east of England after the demise of TVS. There isn’t too much to say about their presentation really, their look changed little from when they came to air in January 1993 to the end almost a decade later. Their symbol was a rather bizarre thing, a sort-of all-in-one purple, yellow and red sun and moon eclipse that would serve as the main image of Meridian for the whole time that it was on air. Also curiously the company’s full name is “Meridian Broadcasting”, not “Meridian Television”, not sure why. meridian1

Meridian did briefly have a try at some in-vision continuity, but only overnight for about the first year or two that they were on air. They were clearly trying to replicate TVS’s Late Night Late service that was popular in the late-80s, even bringing in Graham Rogers who was one of the announcers. I’m sure he enjoyed being sat there throughout the night and introducing the various shows for insomniacs including Noisy Mothersmeridian3

Meridian did have a few variations of their ident, and the music was also changed occasionally, and by the late-90s a small “ITV” was added which was a sign of things to come, and like most other regions in November 1999 they adopted the corporate look which was used until the end of regional ITV in October 2002. meridian2

Meridian didn’t contribute a huge amount of programming to the network and they didn’t come across as ambitious as TVS were, seemingly realising their place as a mid-ranking ITV company. They did make lots of local programming though, and also co-produced a few memorable CITV shows including Wizadora and Zzzap! Meridian also produced a few programmes in the early days of Channel 5. vlcsnap-01307

As far as their local news coverage goes, Meridian Tonight was the main programme which was usually hosted by Fred Dinenage who has been a popular presenter on ITV in the south-east of England back to the Southern days, and he is still there, hosting the current equivalent ITV News Meridian.

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