Round The Regions – Tyne Tees.


Tyne Tees is the ITV region for the north-east of England, which launched in January 1959, and they never lost their licence, going on to have one of the more complicated histories as far as their presentation goes. Their first ident was rather unusual, featuring a “T” in a sort-of anchor shape.

When colour came along Tyne Tees introduced what would be their most enduring symbol, the letters “TTTV” which were yellow on a blue background. This was revised in 1979 after ITV came back from their epic strike with the symbol animating in a new way and a new soundtrack being introduced. tttv3

Tyne Tees was an ITV company that didn’t contribute much to the network, among their biggest success were the music shows The Tube (for Channel 4) and The Roxy, plus the game shows Cross Wits and Chain Letters. Their local news programme had several different names over the years including Northern Lifetttv8

Tyne Tees also had in-vision continuity for many years and I have seen plenty of clips online. Their announcers included Neville Wanless, I’m sure that he was a nice chap but he wouldn’t have lasted five minutes on Thames, and his announcements at closedown seemed rather rambling. I think that Bill Steel was much better, and he announced against various horrid coloured backgrounds throughout the years. Colin Weston who was more familiar to Granada viewers also turned up occasionally to read out some birthdays and bluff his way through various technical faults. tttv1

By 1988 the Tyne Tees ident was beginning to look rather old-fashioned having been played frequently for the last nine years, so their first computer-generated look was introduced, retaining the same symbol which was now blue on yellow and was formed together by water droplets connecting to one another on sand. In September 1988 Tyne Tees went 24 hours, one of the final ITV regions to do so. tttv4

This didn’t last long as Tyne Tees took the 1989 corporate look, but by 1991 they had dropped it for another new ident. Like some regions they actually continued to use the corporate music with their new ident. By this point the TTTV symbol was over 20 years and looked rather bad with various patterns and colours added to it, so it was time for a new look. tttv2

In 1992 a new symbol was launched, a variation on the old one with the TTTV letters finally changed for the first time since the early-70s, with new music too. This brought the Tyne Tees look into the 90s, but just as it looked like this look was going to become established, by the mid-90s things were about to change. tttv5

In September 1996 Tyne Tees was used as an experiment for different branding on ITV. They were renamed Channel 3 North East, with the new ident featuring a rather oversized “3” and some irritating music. In-vision continuity at this point was dropped. The company was still called Tyne Tees though, and even the announcers seemed confused as to what the channel was called, resulting in some ridiculous announcements such as “this is Tyne Tees Television on Channel 3 in the North East”. It was not a success, and viewers were not impressed. tttv6

Viewers got another surprise in March 1998 when the TTTV name reappeared with another new ident, and an additional special version was made for the 40th anniversary in 1999. By the end of that year they had taken the second corporate look, but also continued to use a local ident, which featured a different TTTV symbol, meaning their presentation remained vaguely shambolic to the end. By the time the name left the screen for the last time in October 2002, Tyne Tees had somehow survived for almost 45 years on screen. tttv7


One thought on “Round The Regions – Tyne Tees.

  1. Michael says:

    Hi there, i like Tyne Tees Television which first went on air from 15th January 1959.

    My favourite Tyne Tees idents are the 1979 one, the 1988 Flowing Rivers ident, the 1989 ITV Generic Tyne Tees ident, the Tyne Tees logo with the blue, green and red lighting over it in the 1991 ident, the short-lived multicoloured one from January to May 1992 (as seen here), and finally the bluish-grey background from May to 4th October 1992, the 1992 one with the modern and chunky TTTV logo, the C3NE one from 1996, the 1998 TTTV one and the 2000 regional one with the Tyne Tees logo surrounded by dots (shown before regional programmes only) and the 1999 ITV Hearts Tyne Tees one (which uses the 1998 Tyne Tees logo, but unfortunately wasn’t updated to the new one introduced on 4th September 2000).

    Oh, there’s Bill Steel as well shown in the screencap of TTTV IVC in 1992 against the same multicoloured background used on the short-lived TTTV ident from January to May 1992. Steel has been at Tyne Tees until 16th March 1996 when continuity from Newcastle came to an end and he finally left the station after three decades and continuity came from Leeds the following day.

    BTW, Bill Steel is also suffering from dementia and is receiving end of life care according to this:

    When Tyne Tees was rebranded as Channel 3 North East on 2nd September 1996, the station still legally had to still be referred to as Tyne Tees Television which meant that the original name appears at the bottom of the screen of the C3NE ident and the Leeds based announcers also had a habit of calling the station by its old name, although it’s usage was rather inconsistent. Daytime announcements generally mentioned ‘Tyne Tees Television’, whilst during the evening, ‘Channel 3 North East’ or the mysterious sounding ‘Channel 3 in the North East’ were more common and perhaps the ultimate variation was the rather unwieldy “Tyne Tees Television broadcasting on Channel 3 in the North East” used before “North East Tonight with Mike Neville”.

    Mike Neville even returned to Tyne Tees in 1996 to coincide with the station’s rebranding to Channel 3 North East.

    When Granada Media Group took over Yorkshire-Tyne Tees in June 1997, the new owners announced in December of that year that the Channel 3 branding would be scrapped so that Tyne Tees was reinstated on 9th March 1998 while still retaining the C3NE fanfare. On a side note, Yorkshire was actually the first region to drop the Channel 3 branding in February 1998 which they used from October 1996, here’s a clip of that:

    When Tyne Tees was reinstated on 9th March 1998 with a new ident and retaining the C3NE jingle, the announcer Nick Oliver who used to be at Yorkshire Television said: “Good morning, and welcome to a new look for us here on Tyne Tees Television…” The re-edited versions of the 1998 TTTV idents also featured footage behind the outlined Tyne Tees logo such as the news version used before regional news and a sports version which featured football matches in the background used before regional sports programmes. The 1998 Tyne Tees idents were used until 3rd September 2000, although from 8th November 1999 it was only shown before regional news and programmes with the arrival of the ITV Hearts idents being shown before networked programmes. The 1998 Tyne Tees idents also have light blue ones at daytime and dark blue ones at nighttime.

    The 2000 Tyne Tees logo surrounded by dots (introduced on 4th September 2000) was seen on endcaps (including the purple GMG endboards) until 2004. The 2000 Tyne Tees ident was only seen before regional news and programmes with the new logo whilst the Tyne Tees version of the 1999 ITV Hearts idents still retained the 1998 Tyne Tees one before networked shows.

    So what are your thoughts and memories of Tyne Tees Television anyway?


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