Martin Parr creates new BBC idents to reflect British diversity

The new portraits represent "oneness" and feature different groups of people coming together across the UK, united by their shared passions and interests

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For the last ten years we’ve watched clips of animals and objects moving in circles between programmes on the BBC, be it hippos, motorbikes, kites or penguins. But for 2017, the broadcaster has commissioned new BBC idents from photographer Martin Parr to “capture an evolving portrait of modern Britain in all its diversity”.

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On New Year’s Day the first new ident was aired, showing a group of open water swimmers from Somerset. Other new images include a Zumba class from Bristol and the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team.

The BBC said that the new portraits would be based around the theme of “oneness” and would feature “different groups of people coming together across the UK, united by their shared passions and interests”.

The groups have been selected to reflect the diversity of modern Britain and the changing mood of the nation through significant events in the coming year. We can expect to see about 20 different idents – but some have yet to be filmed.

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So long to circles

Martin Parr said: “To have the chance to makes stills and film these diverse groups of people, but sharing the same interests or roles all over the United Kingdom is a real privilege.”

The director of BBC content Charlotte Moore added that it was important the channel idents moved with the times.

“What better way to demonstrate this than by commissioning Martin Parr, one of the most celebrated documentary photographers of our time, to create idents from a series of portraits that reflect and represent the rich diversity of communities living in the UK today?” she said.

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“Renowned for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, I hope that the series of images Parr captures across the year will document everyday Britain in all its glory and serve as a fascinating and lasting record of 2017.”