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Continuity Announcement

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"This is CBS".
—The channel's continuity announcer, probably.

In most cases, this is the short announcement between programs that identifies the network. Like a lot of this kind of tropes, it originated in radio, making this this trope Older Than Television.

There is another kind of continuity announcement. If something goes wrong in the transmission of a program, the network will usually have a message ready, such as "Temporary Fault" or "Program Change". Or "We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties, please stand by" or the ever-popular Test Pattern.

In many European countries, presenters known as "continuity announcers" or "station hosts" were employed by TV stations to appear on camera to identify the station and often introduce the programme schedule. This practice only happens on a handful of European TV stations today, with out-of-vision announcements, live (The BBC way), or pre-recorded, the main order of the day. Shows have been known to parody the latter type of announcement in scenes considered too violent, or someone actually attacking the cameraman or other production staff.

Continuity announcers also existed in North America in The '50s, mainly due to technical limitations—cuing up and playing short snippets of audio on reel-to-reel tape was time-consuming and fraught with error. So why hire two technicians to run the machines when you could hire one announcer to do it all live? Even after the "cart" became ubiquitous, the major networks still kept a live announcer on duty during the evening hours in case a breaking news bulletin needed to be passed on. (Before roughly 1970 television cameras contained temperamental tubes which had to be warmed up for 30 minutes before the cameras could be used. This is why the first bulletins of the Kennedy assassination were audio clips accompanied by a "breaking news" slide.) Nowadays, when the news department is operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and can be on air with a moment's notice, live continuity announcers are far less common.

Sub-Trope to Station Ident, an often Enforced Trope in which stations and networks identify themselves at the beginning of a show or feature. Might be included in a Signing-Off Catchphrase, a certain phrase said at the end of every work/episode in a series; or in a Network Sign Off, a TV channel or network with a set schedule stops broadcasting for the day.

Non-Fiction Examples:


  • Irish-language station TG 4 has in-vision continuity announcers, who double up as the channel's weather forecasters. Given the channel runs many different weather forecasts during the day (including individual ones on temperature, sea conditions, etc.), you get to see their announcing team on a regular basis — and they even plug programmes during the weather forecasts.
  • On Italian television, announcers were exclusively female and referred to as signorine buonasera, or "good-evening ladies". Many of them were just as well-known and loved as if they were famous actresses. RAI featured a single male announcer, from 2009 to 2010. RAI dropped announcers in 2016.
  • The Northern Ireland version of ITV, UTV, still used in-vision continuity until 2016, years after the other companies in the ITV network abandoned the practice. This was due to the long-running popularity of a guy called Julian Simmons, whose introductions to Soap Opera Coronation Street somehow acquired near-legendary status. Julian's presenting style was arguably as divisive among viewers as more serious matters in that part of the world. For many years, only Julian was allowed by UTV management to present in-vision continuity links, but the station eventually let its other staff announcers appear on camera to introduce the programmes. In-vision continuity ended in October 2016.
  • Sweden announcers are known as hallåa in Swedish and still appear on camera on TV4.
  • The BBC has in-vision announcers on its Scots Gaelic channel, BBC Alba.
    • For a very brief period in 2008, they experimented with an in-vision announcer on BBC Three, who had to compete with the pre-recorded links by the other voice of the station. In 2009, BBC Three then opened its continuity to User Generated Content—sometimes this worked very well. The rest of the time, it was badly-compressed webcam footage of some teenager stumbling over the name of the following programme.
    • The BBC is probably the only network in the world to have the continuity announcer's booth double as the set where the Excited Kids Show Hosts did their thing. In fact, come to think of it, it's also probably the only network where the Excited Kids' Show Host had to personally press the button that cued up the next cartoon. CBBC had No Budget back in the Eighties.

In-Universe examples:


Live-Action TV

  • Dead Ringers :
    • A regular feature is parodying of continuity announcements from all UK TV channels; as much a send-up of the ethos of each channel (e.g., ITV with trashy reality shows, Channel 4's obsession with property programmes) than its presentation style.
    • The radio version also sent up Radio 4's continuity announcers, in particular, how they come up with hilariously tenuous links between the programmes preceding and following them, often based on a pun.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The May 2011 rerun of "The Hand of Fear" includes an In Memoriam made by the channel's continuity announcer that is dedicated to actress Elisabeth Sladen, who gives life to Sarah Jane Smith.
    • The 2017 version of "Shada" has a period-accurate one at the beginning of the serial, complete with the announcer apologising for broadcasting the story later than planned.
      "But first on BBC One, a little later than originally billed, we rejoin the TARDIS for another adventure in time and space with Doctor Who".
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Spoofing continuity announcements are a regular element. "Now on BBC television, a choice of viewing. On BBC 2—a discussion on censorship between Derek Hart, the Bishop of Woolwich, and a nude man. And on BBC 1— me telling you this."
  • Gus Honeybun's Magic Birthdays: Gus fits his segments into these, often disappearing in an incredible hurry if the birthdays had over-run.
  • Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV: It spoofs the typical in-vision continuity announcer who still prevailed on UK TV at the time, played by Susie Blake.
    "We would like to apologise to viewers in the North. It must be awful for them."
  • Similarly, an Irish satirical comedy series in the 1980s featured a parody of a 1960s in-vision female Telefís Éireann announcer, sending up the parochial style of Ireland in that era.


  • Reproduction: Since "Circus of Death" is set during an episode of Hawaii Five-O, the re-arranged version in the single's B-side starts with a continuity announcement that mentions the aforementioned show.

Puppet Shows

  • Spitting Image: The continuity announcer is a regular character who always makes sure to add a "we here on ITV" whenever making some commentary on the bizarre events going on. He appears in Series 1 Episode 1, during the credits; in Series 1, Episode 11, to inform the viewers that the show has fallen foul of technical difficulties; and in Series 3, Episode 9 to wish the Queen a happy birthday.

Radio & Podcasts

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: One of the 'Since You Asked Me' segments comes after the credits and describes the time the storyteller met a hideous, wizened old fortune teller who said...
  • Tom Scott: Part of the Retraux aesthetic of "How the 90s VHS Look Works" is that the ending features a continuity announcement. It's a witty one because he says the program has been chosen for you by the [YouTube] algorithm.

Web Video


Video Example(s):


BBC One is visited by a cyberman

The continuity announcement introducing Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls saw a cyberman invade Duncan Newmarch's booth.

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Main / ContinuityAnnouncement

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