Channel 4 Schools (1995)

Here is another piece of television presentation that has brought the memories flooding back. An early morning (4am) Channel 4 Schools broadcast.

I remember the blue slide with the Channel 4 logo on it. It actually looks very classy. Channel 4 had quite a slick presentational style at this point. They used Gill Sans a lot, before it became the BBC’s corporate font a few years later.

Like all of the best television presentation, this is ever so slightly scary. These Channel 4 Schools idents and countdowns used to scare me witless as a child.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, and switching on the telly just to check that the world hasn’t gone mad overnight. Then you tune into Channel 4 and are presented with that freakish, ghostly Channel 4 Schools ident. These figures from the past are rigid and look as though they have been stuffed, yet they are staring right at you, beady-eyed. It certainly sent the willies right up me as a nine-year-old!

The music is quite freaky too. It sounds like it is being transmitted from a shipwreck.

Considering the target audience — primary school children — it is all very arty and avant-garde. As a piece of television presentation, I love it — but it doesn’t quite seem right for schools programmes, does it?

And now, with my web hat on, check out the amazingly 1990s URL advertised at the end:

I certainly remember seeing web addresses that were a lot more unweildy than this being broadcast on the television in the 1990s. (An early Blue Peter URL that was so long it had to scroll across the screen sticks in my mind — but more on that in a future television presentation gem of the week.) But the needless complexity of this URL still amuses me.

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