BBC Two

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"BBC2" redirects here. BBC Two_sentence_0

For the defunct Philippine television network, see Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation. BBC Two_sentence_1

For the BBC radio station, see BBC Radio 2. BBC Two_sentence_2

BBC Two_table_infobox_0

BBC TwoBBC Two_table_caption_0
CountryBBC Two_header_cell_0_0_0 United KingdomBBC Two_cell_0_0_1
HeadquartersBBC Two_header_cell_0_1_0 Broadcasting House, LondonBBC Two_cell_0_1_1
ProgrammingBBC Two_header_cell_0_2_0
Picture formatBBC Two_header_cell_0_3_0 1080i HDTV

(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)BBC Two_cell_0_3_1

OwnershipBBC Two_header_cell_0_4_0
OwnerBBC Two_header_cell_0_5_0 BBCBBC Two_cell_0_5_1
Sister channelsBBC Two_header_cell_0_6_0 BBC One

BBC Four BBC News BBC Parliament CBBC CBeebiesBBC Two_cell_0_6_1

HistoryBBC Two_header_cell_0_7_0
LaunchedBBC Two_header_cell_0_8_0 21 April 1964; 56 years ago (1964-04-21)BBC Two_cell_0_8_1
Former namesBBC Two_header_cell_0_9_0 BBC2 (21 April 1964 – 4 October 1997)BBC Two_cell_0_9_1
LinksBBC Two_header_cell_0_10_0
WebsiteBBC Two_header_cell_0_11_0 BBC Two_cell_0_11_1
AvailabilityBBC Two_header_cell_0_12_0
TerrestrialBBC Two_header_cell_0_13_0
FreeviewBBC Two_header_cell_0_14_0 BBC Two_cell_0_14_1
CableBBC Two_header_cell_0_15_0
Virgin Media (UK and Ireland)BBC Two_header_cell_0_16_0 (UK)BBC Two_cell_0_16_1
SatelliteBBC Two_header_cell_0_17_0
FreesatBBC Two_header_cell_0_18_0 BBC Two_cell_0_18_1
SkyBBC Two_header_cell_0_19_0 BBC Two_cell_0_19_1
Astra 2E (28.2°E)BBC Two_header_cell_0_20_0 BBC Two_cell_0_20_1
BFBSBBC Two_header_cell_0_21_0 BBC Two_cell_0_21_1
Streaming mediaBBC Two_header_cell_0_22_0
BBC iPlayerBBC Two_header_cell_0_23_0 (UK only)BBC Two_cell_0_23_1

BBC Two is a British free-to-air television network and the second BBC flagship service in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. BBC Two_sentence_3

It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tends to broadcast more "highbrow" programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. BBC Two_sentence_4

Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio channels, it is funded by the television licence, and is therefore free of commercial advertising. BBC Two_sentence_5

It is a comparatively well-funded public-service network, regularly attaining a much higher audience share than most public-service networks worldwide. BBC Two_sentence_6

Originally styled BBC2, it was the third British television station to be launched (starting on 21 April 1964), and from 1 July 1967, Europe's first television channel to broadcast regularly in colour. BBC Two_sentence_7

It was envisaged as a home for less mainstream and more ambitious programming, and while this tendency has continued to date, most special-interest programmes of a kind previously broadcast on BBC Two, for example the BBC Proms, now tend to appear on BBC Four instead. BBC Two_sentence_8

History BBC Two_section_0

Further information: Timeline of BBC Two BBC Two_sentence_9

Launch BBC Two_section_1

British television at the time of BBC2's launch consisted of two channels: the BBC Television Service and the ITV network made up of smaller regional companies. BBC Two_sentence_10

Both channels had existed in a state of competition since ITV's launch in 1955, and both had aimed for a populist approach in response. BBC Two_sentence_11

The 1962 Pilkington Report on the future of broadcasting noticed this, and that ITV lacked any culturally relevant programming. BBC Two_sentence_12

It therefore decided that Britain's third television station should be awarded to the BBC. BBC Two_sentence_13

Prior to its launch, the new BBC2 was promoted on the BBC Television Service: the soon to be renamed BBC1. BBC Two_sentence_14

The animated adverts featured the campaign mascots "Hullabaloo", a mother kangaroo, and "Custard", her joey. BBC Two_sentence_15

Prior to, and several years after, the channel's formal launch, the channel broadcast "Trade Test Transmissions", short films made externally by companies such as Shell and BP, which served to enable engineers to test reception, but became cult viewing. BBC Two_sentence_16

The channel was scheduled to begin at 19:20 on 20 April 1964, showing an evening of light entertainment, starting with the comedy show The Alberts, a performance from Soviet comedian Arkady Raikin, and a production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, culminating with a fireworks display. BBC Two_sentence_17

However, at around 18:45 a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre, and indeed much of west London, to lose all power. BBC Two_sentence_18

BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. BBC Two_sentence_19

Associated-Rediffusion, the London weekday ITV franchise-holder, offered to transmit on the BBC's behalf, but their gesture was rejected. BBC Two_sentence_20

At 22:00 programming was officially postponed until the following morning. BBC Two_sentence_21

As the BBC's news centre at Alexandra Palace was unaffected, they did in fact broadcast brief bulletins on BBC2 that evening, beginning with an announcement by the newsreader Gerald Priestland at around 19:25. BBC Two_sentence_22

There was believed to be no recording made of this bulletin, but a videotape was discovered in early 2003. BBC Two_sentence_23

By 11:00 on 21 April, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, thus making Play School the first programme to be shown officially on the channel. BBC Two_sentence_24

The launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was then successfully shown that evening, albeit with minor changes. BBC Two_sentence_25

In reference to the power cut, the transmission opened with a shot of a lit candle which was then sarcastically blown out by presenter Denis Tuohy. BBC Two_sentence_26

To establish the new channel's identity and draw viewers to it, the BBC decided that a widely promoted, lavish series would be essential in its earliest days. BBC Two_sentence_27

The production chosen was The Forsyte Saga (1967), a no-expense-spared adaptation of the novels by John Galsworthy, featuring well-established actors Kenneth More and Eric Porter. BBC Two_sentence_28

Critically for the future of the fledgling channel, the BBC's gamble was hugely successful, with an average of six million viewers tuning in per episode: a feat made more prominent by the fact that only 9 million were able to receive the channel at the time. BBC Two_sentence_29

Technological advancements BBC Two_section_2

Unlike BBC1 and ITV, BBC2 was broadcast only on the 625 line UHF system, so was not available to viewers still using sets only capable of receiving the 405-line VHF system. BBC Two_sentence_30

This created a market for dual standard receivers which could switch between the two systems. BBC Two_sentence_31

Set manufacturers increased production of UHF sets in anticipation of a large market demand for the new BBC2, but the market did not materialise. BBC Two_sentence_32

The early technical problems, which included being unable to transmit US-recorded videotapes due to a lack of system conversion from the US NTSC system, were resolved by a committee headed by James Redmond. BBC Two_sentence_33

On 1 July 1967, during the Wimbledon Championships, BBC2 became the first channel in Europe to begin regular broadcasts in colour, using the PAL system. BBC Two_sentence_34

The thirteen-part series Civilisation (1969) was created as a celebration of two millennia of western art and culture to showpiece the new colour technology. BBC Two_sentence_35

BBC1 and ITV later joined BBC2 on 625-line UHF band but continued to simulcast on 405-line VHF until 1985. BBC Two_sentence_36

BBC1 and ITV simultaneously introduced PAL colour on UHF on 15 November 1969, although they both had broadcast some programmes in colour "unofficially" since September 1969. BBC Two_sentence_37

In 1979, the station adopted the first computer-generated channel identification (ident) in Britain, with its use of the double striped, orange '2' logo. BBC Two_sentence_38

The ident, created in house by BBC engineers, lasted until March 1986 and heralded the start of computer-generated logos. BBC Two_sentence_39

As the switch to digital-only terrestrial transmission progressed, BBC Two was (in each region in turn) the first analogue TV channel to be replaced with the BBC multiplex, at first four, then two weeks ahead of the other four channels. BBC Two_sentence_40

This was required for those relay transmitters that had no current Freeview service giving viewers time to purchase the equipment unless they had already selected a satellite or cable service. BBC Two_sentence_41

The last region for BBC Two to end on analogue terrestrial television was Northern Ireland on 10 October 2012. BBC Two_sentence_42

At the 2012 Edinburgh International Television Festival, BBC Two was named "Terrestrial Channel of the Year". BBC Two_sentence_43

A high-definition simulcast of BBC Two began broadcasting on 26 March 2013, replacing the standalone BBC HD channel. BBC Two_sentence_44

As of 29 November 2018, there are 3 variations of BBC Two HD (Wales, Northern Ireland, and England). BBC Two_sentence_45

Operation BBC Two_section_3

The channel controllers have been: BBC Two_sentence_46

BBC Two_unordered_list_0

Adam Barker served as Acting Controller of the channel after Janice Hadlow left the channel in March 2014 and until Kim Shillinglaw began as the new permanent occupant of the post. BBC Two_sentence_47

Since 2013, the Controller of BBC Two has been given the expanded title Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, with ultimate oversight of the BBC Four service added to their duties (a BBC Four "Channel Editor", reporting up to this Controller, has day-to-day operational control of Four). BBC Two_sentence_48

The channel forms part of the BBC Television executive group and is answerable to the head of that department, and to the BBC Trust. BBC Two_sentence_49

On 20 January 2016, Kim Shillinglaw announced that she has decided to leave the BBC as the Controller of BBC Two & BBC Four and, as a result of the reorganisation, the posts of Controller of BBC Two and Four have been closed. BBC Two_sentence_50

Patrick Holland became Channel Controller of BBC Two in March 2017, following his earlier appointment as Channel Editor in July 2016. BBC Two_sentence_51

Programming BBC Two_section_4

Main article: List of television programmes broadcast by the BBC BBC Two_sentence_52

BBC Two's remit historically was one screening programmes targeting the arts, culture, some comedy and drama, and appealing to audiences not already served by BBC One or ITV. BBC Two_sentence_53

Over its first thirty or so years the channel developed a reputation for screening highly praised and prestigious drama series, among these Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), 1991's highly successful The Men's Room, a spectacular costume drama Middlemarch (1994) or 1996's critically acclaimed Our Friends in the North. BBC Two_sentence_54

The channel's "highbrow" profile is also in part attributable to a long history of demanding documentaries of all types, beginning with Civilisation and The Ascent of Man in the 1960s. BBC Two_sentence_55

Like the early Channel 4, BBC Two also established for itself a reputation as a champion of independent and international cinema, under the Screen 2 brand. BBC Two_sentence_56

The channel has sometimes been judged, increasingly in more recent years, to have moved away from this original role and closer to the mainstream. BBC Two_sentence_57

Since the launch of the digital-only BBC Four, the BBC has been accused in particular of shifting its more highbrow output to the new channel, which, until the end of the UK's digital TV switchover in October 2012, a minority (7.5% in the final quarter of 2010) of viewers did not receive. BBC Two_sentence_58

BBC Four's remit is very similar to that of the earlier remit of BBC2 and contains many documentaries and arts programmes. BBC Two_sentence_59

It has been perceived by some that this strategy is to allow BBC Two to show more popular programmes and to secure higher ratings. BBC Two_sentence_60

Since 2004 there have been some signs of an attempt to return closer to parts of BBC Two's earlier output with the arts strand The Culture Show. BBC Two_sentence_61

Its most popular programme at the moment is Top Gear. BBC Two_sentence_62

Much of BBC Two's output has previously or subsequently been shown on other channels. BBC Two_sentence_63

Some of these programmes are repeats of popular or flagship programmes from BBC Four in a late-night strand, originally called BBC Four on Two but now unbranded, for the benefit of audiences without access to BBC Four. BBC Two_sentence_64

Other programmes are moved to the channel as a result of their success on BBC Three or Four, so that subsequent series are well received. BBC Two_sentence_65

An example of this is the BBC Three series Torchwood that was transferred to the channel following the success of the first series. BBC Two_sentence_66

BBC Two is also used as a testing ground for programmes prior to their moving to the flagship BBC One: such examples include Have I Got News for You and popular comedies Absolutely Fabulous and Miranda, which moved to BBC One after success on Two. BBC Two_sentence_67

Also in August 2014 The Great British Bake Off moved to BBC One due to its success the previous year on BBC Two. BBC Two_sentence_68

In 2017, Bake Off moved from BBC One to Channel 4. BBC Two_sentence_69

Another founding part of BBC Two was to provide educational and community programming on the BBC, as part of its public service remit. BBC Two_sentence_70

The educational section of this commitment saw BBC2 broadcast a large amount of programming for the Open University, who co-produced programming with the corporation, and saw the channel broadcast BBC Schools programmes from 1983 until the programmes were transferred to the BBC Learning Zone in 2010. BBC Two_sentence_71

As a result of the channel's commitment to community broadcasting, the channel produced the symbolic Open Space series, a strand developed in the early 1970s in which members of the public would be allotted half an hour of television time, and given a level of editorial and technical training in order to produce for themselves a film on an issue most important to them. BBC Two_sentence_72

BBC2's Community Programme Unit kept this aspect of the channel's tradition alive into the 1990s in the form of Video Diaries and later Video Nation. BBC Two_sentence_73

The Community Programmes Unit was disbanded in 2004. BBC Two_sentence_74

Since January 2013, BBC Two stopped showing children's programmes and replaced the weekday morning schedule with repeats of the previous BBC One daytime schedule. BBC Two_sentence_75

They also started showing Sign Zone in the early hours, which BBC One used to show before 2013. BBC Two_sentence_76

From October 2013, BBC Two has shown classic programmes like Bergerac, Cagney and Lacey, , 'Allo 'Allo! BBC Two_sentence_77 , and Are You Being Served? BBC Two_sentence_78

on weekday afternoons, with the retro logos from 1970s and 1980s, between the current programmes. BBC Two_sentence_79

In October 2014, Russell Howard's Good News and Backchat moved to BBC Two from BBC Three. BBC Two_sentence_80

In 2014, BBC Two commissioned Britain's first transgender sitcom, Boy Meets Girl, which follows the developing relationship between Leo, a 26-year-old man, and Judy, a 40-year-old transgender woman. BBC Two_sentence_81

From 7 April 2015, the morning Sign Zone was shown before Victoria Derbyshire between 8:00am-9:00 am including See Hear on Wednesday morning. BBC Two_sentence_82

BBC Two is also known for broadcasting some news and current affairs programmes. BBC Two_sentence_83

It broadcasts BBC News updates every morning at 9am simulcasting the BBC News channel after it stops simulcasting BBC Breakfast on BBC1. BBC Two_sentence_84

At 12:15pm during the Parliament session, political debate programme Politics Live is broadcast on BBC2. BBC Two_sentence_85

On Wednesdays, due to the Prime Minister's Questions, the programme is broadcast at the earlier time of 11:15am. BBC Two_sentence_86

The programme is not broadcast on Fridays or when Parliament is on a holiday break, so the simulcast of BBC News continues until 1:00pm for the BBC News at One on BBC1. BBC Two_sentence_87

At 10:45pm, current affairs programme Newsnight takes a look at the day's headlines and talks to the people about it. BBC Two_sentence_88

BBC2 doesn't broadcast any news and current affairs programming at the weekend. BBC Two_sentence_89

From 2017 until 2019, it broadcast the UK selection show for the Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision: You Decide. BBC Two_sentence_90

The channel stopped broadcasting the show after the 2019 edition due to the fact that the BBC opted for an internal selection in collaboration with BMG Rights Management. BBC Two_sentence_91

In 2020, it was reported that Victoria Derbyshire would come to an end as part of the BBC's £80m cuts. BBC Two_sentence_92

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic Derbyshire has been presenting the first hour of BBC News which continues until 13:00. BBC Two_sentence_93

Presentation BBC Two_section_5

Main article: History of BBC television idents BBC Two_sentence_94

As well as programmes, BBC Two has also proved memorable for its numerous idents—various short sequences shown between programme junctions that serve as the channel identity. BBC Two_sentence_95

Nearly all of the identity packages used since the channel's launch in 1964 have featured a prominent numeral 2 in the design. BBC Two_sentence_96

Notable designs include the electronic double-striped 2, the white TWO ident (the only ident not to use a numeral 2), and most notably the 1991 2s. BBC Two_sentence_97

The 1991 idents featured a sans-serif numeral 2 at the centre of an initially art-related scene; however, the idents moved away from this style as the station's style changed. BBC Two_sentence_98

Although highly praised, this expansive set of idents was ended in November 2001. BBC Two_sentence_99

The BBC corporate logo was updated within the idents in October 1997, though the idents moved away from the original viridian colour scheme in these latter years. BBC Two_sentence_100

The subsequent presentation style was introduced on 19 November 2001 and kept the same figure 2, but in a yellow background and given a personality. BBC Two_sentence_101

At the time, BBC Two became the first BBC channel to feature a box logo. BBC Two_sentence_102

In 2007, BBC Two debuted the new theme, a "Window on the World", with the 2 numeral providing that view. BBC Two_sentence_103

Introduced on 18 February 2007, the new look also had the channel adopt a teal-coloured box logo, featuring the BBC logo above the word TWO, in the font Avenir. BBC Two_sentence_104

In 2014, in honour of the channel's 50th anniversary, some of the 1990s idents were re-introduced and from 2015, BBC Two Northern Ireland opted to use nearly forty idents from the 1991–2001 set. BBC Two_sentence_105

On 27 September 2018, the 1991–2001 idents were retired once again and BBC Two introduced a new set of idents, based on scenes incorporating a curve motif resembling the number 2. BBC Two_sentence_106

The new branding is designed to reflect BBC Two's "constant evolution, constant eclecticism, [and] constant sense of quality". BBC Two_sentence_107

The new idents are produced by various artists and studios, including Aardman Animations, The Mill and others. BBC Two_sentence_108

The new identity was co-developed by BBC Creative and Superunion. BBC Two_sentence_109

Regional variations BBC Two_section_6

BBC Two also has regional variations in Wales and Northern Ireland. BBC Two_sentence_110

These versions of BBC Two share the same idents, but with the nation name in the BBC Two box. BBC Two_sentence_111

BBC Two Scotland showed a lot of specifically Scottish programming on the channel, as well as its sister channel BBC One Scotland, and the schedules were often mixed around to match. BBC Two_sentence_112

BBC Two Northern Ireland and BBC Two Wales both have the option to opt-out of the main network schedule but generally stick to it, only opting out a couple of times each week. BBC Two_sentence_113

Until December 2008, BBC Wales broadcast a special, digital-only channel, BBC 2W, which contained more opt-outs than analogue-only BBC Two Wales. BBC Two_sentence_114

BBC Two Scotland existed until February 2019 when it was replaced with the national BBC Two feed in preparation for the launch of the BBC Scotland channel. BBC Two_sentence_115

In England, many of the BBC English regions were combined to form "super-regions", such as the entire North or Midlands. BBC Two_sentence_116

These had the option to opt-out of the network programming on the analogue feed, and replace it with local programming. BBC Two_sentence_117

However this was usually only done in exceptional circumstances, as all regular regional programming has been transferred to BBC One, and the English regions are not available on digital on BBC Two. BBC Two_sentence_118

There is no specific "BBC Two England"; this role is fulfilled by the network version of BBC Two. BBC Two_sentence_119

Availability outside the UK BBC Two_section_7

The Northern Irish version of BBC Two is widely available in the Republic of Ireland on satellite and cable, as well as being received directly in areas bordering Northern Ireland, or in coastal areas from Wales. BBC Two_sentence_120

The networked version of BBC Two is also available on cable and IPTV in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco and Liechtenstein. BBC Two_sentence_121

On 27 March 2013, it began being carried by British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) to members of HM Forces and their families around the world, replacing the BFBS2 TV channel, which already carried a selection of BBC Two programmes. BBC Two_sentence_122

It shares a channel with CBBC, which broadcasts from early morning until the early evening. BBC Two_sentence_123

Accessibility BBC Two_section_8

The BBC announced in May 2008 that it had achieved its aim for all programming to have subtitles for viewers with hearing difficulties. BBC Two_sentence_124

These are available on the BBC Red Button, and until 23 October 2012, via the Ceefax teletext service. BBC Two_sentence_125

The BBC also offers audio description on some popular programmes for visually impaired-viewers as well as sign language interpretation on some of its programmes for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. BBC Two_sentence_126

The percentage of the BBC's total television output with audio description available is 10%, having been increased from 8% in 2008. BBC Two_sentence_127

BBC Two HD BBC Two_section_9

Originally, programmes from BBC Two were shown in high definition on the dedicated BBC HD channel, alongside programmes from BBC Three and BBC Four, as well as some select series from CBBC and CBeebies. BBC Two_sentence_128

However, in plans outlined by the director general Mark Thompson on 6 October 2011, BBC HD would close to be replaced by BBC Two HD, a high-definition simulcast of BBC Two that would work much the same way as BBC One HD. BBC Two_sentence_129

This move allowed the corporation to save £2.1 million, used to count towards its budget deficit following the freezing of the licence fee and the additional financial responsibility of addition services. BBC Two_sentence_130

On 19 February 2013, it was announced that BBC Two HD would replace BBC HD from 6.05 am on 26 March 2013. BBC Two_sentence_131

Channel numbers for the BBC's HD channels also changed on Sky, to allow BBC One HD and BBC Two HD to sit side-by-side on channels 141, and 142 respectively on the EPG. BBC Two_sentence_132

On 16 July 2013, the BBC indicated that it wants to launch Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh variations of BBC Two HD; however, this would require the approval of the BBC Trust, with a proposal due to be presented within six months. BBC Two_sentence_133

On 10 December 2013, BBC Two HD was swapped with the SD channel in England on Sky's EPG for HD subscribers. BBC Two_sentence_134

In October 2018, the BBC announced that regional variants of BBC Two HD in Wales and Northern Ireland would launch at the end of November that year on terrestrial, satellite (Wales only) and iPlayer. BBC Two_sentence_135

BBC Two HD in these regions were swapped with the SD channel on Sky's EPG for HD subscribers. BBC Two_sentence_136

Due to the impending launch of the new BBC Scotland channel in February 2019, replacing the opt-outs on BBC Two Scotland, no Scottish HD variant was required. BBC Two_sentence_137

See also BBC Two_section_10

BBC Two_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC Two.