Media Websites

TV Whirl - Celebrating 20 Purple Years

Site updated daily (May 2016)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
tesandco Founding member
Re-run the fun for 20 Purple Years - 22/3/2001 - 22/3/2021

A few folks over recent weeks have mentioned this one. So for the 20th anniversary I've dug a little something back out from Revision 3 of the site, from around 2002. For those who remember back that far, in the early days the site featured a 'fun' section, which was basically a small batch of poorly edited files in an attempt to inject some humour. Well they seemed funnier at the time anyway!

The section was withdrawn from the site around 2006. As all the files were crudely edited at the low resolution shown there, there was no scope to update them as standards advanced without doing them completely from scratch. And given they weren't that funny anyway it was decided to lay it to rest.... until now! Yes, once again here they all are in their original Real Media and Windows Media format glory, in their original page setting. #20PurpleYears

Last edited by tesandco on 23 March 2021 9:26pm
BillyH Founding member
I'd misremembered a couple of these as real clips for years!
That page has really stuck with me, I think because it was obviously unique to TV Whirl and felt a bit like a video version of APFS. Also because it was removed, I then was left with the memory of seeing these but not quite being sure if they existed.
bilky asko
Thanks for all the kind words everyone (and I was nearly right with the name Ash, given I only had a 'B' and my memory to go off Razz).

I've tended to find Web Archive a good idea in theory, but it is so slow, buggy and misses so much out - invariably always the pages you want. Though this does lead me on nicely to my last birthday update for today.

The TV Whirl Forum - #20PurpleYears

There's been an awful lot of talk around pres forums lately, what with changes coming at the end of the month here and over at Digitalspy. But how many of you were members of TV Whirl Forum? Running from 2002 through to around 2007, during an era where pretty much every site had one, it was never a big place. Well after much hacking around this evening (you try getting 17 year old PHP scripts to run on modern day PHP and MySQL), I can finally present to you an almost complete post archive of our old purple television forum (just note this is a read only archive only really covering the main posts, profiles and anything functional wont actually work). Relive the posts of Digifiend's Network and other pres sites long since gone, as well as finding a never ending stream of people requesting things they never ended up getting. Were you a member at the time (even if you don't recall signing up now), and did you even start a thread there you've long since forgot all about? Well now's your chance to find out!

I'm sure there's some posts on that forum that point towards what you, ahem, know about me now...

Is it that you own a widescreen television now? 2004 you would be ashamed.
I had one in 2002...
tesandco Founding member
And to the future...

As part of our birthday celebrations this week to celebrate #20PurpleYears, not everything is about the past - we're also looking to the future. So as part of that, we're finally launching a project which has been under work quietly in the background for several months with an updated video player for the site. All video is now streamed out properly from the server rather than just being a simple file. This should improve speed of playback and search.

However it also allows us to add some new features I've wanted to do for a while at the same time. Many of them intended to bring a little bit of fun, as well as broaden the reach of who can access pres material.

On every clip now, there's an audio selector. By default you'll be on the regular track. But by flicking to the 'Random Mashup' channel, you'll be given the audio from a random clip of a similar length on the site. As this is random, the results will probably range from the dull and terrible, to the bizarre and hilarious, with everything in between. It's easy to reload it or share what comes out so lets see how that one goes!

Properly transcribed subtitles have started being added to some clips. But we don't just transcribe the spoken word. We also transcribe what some of those classic idents may actually look like written down. We imagine how one might actually write Yorkshire's fanfare, or those notes of the ATV eye. Given these are all done manually there's only a small selection in for now, but this is a section which will be added to over time. For now you can find some examples in the Tyne Tees, Yorkshire, Granada, Central, LWT and Thames sections - just look out for the purple '888' icon on the clip.


This player is all new, so expect a few bugs and teething issues which will be ironed out in the coming days (iOS/Safari in particular are a bit twitchy at the moment and may not have access to all features, but I'm working on bringing full support here too).
Last edited by tesandco on 28 March 2021 6:09pm
tesandco Founding member
20 years on TV Forum

As everyone knows TV Forum closes for the final time at the end of the month. Given we originally launched the TV Whirl site the very same day as the forum on 22nd March 2001 and have been on the forum ourselves since the summer of that first year, I couldn't close off my time here and wrap up our own #20PurpleYears celebration without taking a little look back at some of our time here from over the years. A place which has been a home to us all for so many years and will be sorely missed. So join us in a trip down memory lane one final time...

The Website Threads
Firstly our website threads. This particular thread, started in 2016 with the major CMS rebuild of the site, is surprisingly only our fifth main one in 20 years. However there were many others in much earlier days, especially given back in those earlier days we used to often take a break of a few weeks or even months between major updates. Although most of the links and images are long since gone as it was usually free hosting, courtesy of Asa's recently expanded archive section, we're going to wrap up the time here with a chance to go back in time. Cringe as we relive the embarrassing posts of a young webmaster in his late teens and early 20s as the fledgling TV Whirl site grew.

Revision 2-4 (2001-2002) (or )

A thread featuring a lot of talk of Tripod, Boardhost, Bravenet, D4F and other free webhosts of that era, until we finally bought the domain in November 2001 and have then been able to keep that same address ever since. With a lot of focus on the long since gone clips from The Simpsons and Pokemon, and an unnervingly high focus on the background image we were using (I do know there was a good reason for this, but after so many years I can't remember exactly why). Besides my own updates, the thread features regular contributions from SpiringUnhacked, who later ended up banned I think, and Max, who I believe later turned out to be a prolific websnatcher of clips (in those pre-Youtube days when this was frowned upon in the pres community). Our award for 'only members still with us' from this thread would have to go to BillyH and James2001 though!

Revision 5-6 (2002) (or )

Quite a shortlived thread for some reason, mostly just featuring me posting the updates... And yes, the hosting changes continue. I think at the time that was the norm for pres sites though. I seem to recall TV Ark having nightmares too!

Revision 7 (2003) (or )

Another fairly shortlived thread, around the time when we added our first international presentation, recorded via an old analogue satellite box and minidish pointed out of an open window. We did seem to have more contributors on this one, though admittedly the only name I still recognise as a regular now is again James2001.

Revision 8-13 (2003-2006) (or )

This was our longest running original thread, seeing the site through several designs, the addition of the Worst Ad Awards, the inclusion of content from Ashley B's old TV Box site (before he went on to launch This Is Five) and more. There's frequent debates on whether the site is working for people (back when people used to actually notice such things), and in true Betamax vs VHS style, we also argue frequently over whether Windows Media or Real Media format is better to use. A lot more contributors to this thread remained on the forum until the end, such as dbl, Ashley B and Steve in Pudsey. And there's also a disproportionately high number of strange posts from Nini who is no longer about on here, but with whom I had a bit of a tit-for-tat friendship at the time.

That was to be our last major thread for several years until this current one. We did continue with lots of smaller updates, just none seemed to quite warrant a thread anymore.

The Events
Outside of the main website threads though, we've been there to regularly contribute content to many events on TV Forum in the pres world over the years, so here's just a selection of some of those. I've mainly had to link to a few of the later threads here, just as they actually still have a lot of the content present on the server and were more searchable. Not many people may realise this mind but even with rebuilds and changes, I still keep dedicated folders on my server for everything from about 2009 onwards, just to try and keep links and images in as many historic TV Forum threads as possible working!

* (or ) - ITV Wales News gets the 'Parking' look (2009)
* (or ) - Channel 4 3D Week sees the return of the 80s blocks (2009)
* (or ) - BBC One HD launches (2010)
* (or ) - BBC Ceefax closes down for the last time (2012)
* (or ) - Channel 4 rebrands (2015) - running posts
* (or ) - E4 rebrands (2018) - running posts

Last edited by tesandco on 30 March 2021 11:48pm - 2 times in total
madmusician and paul_hadley gave kudos
tesandco Founding member
20 years on TV Forum - PART 2


A little while back, Asa graciously added in a latest updates feed from the site, which pulls in the latest information from an RSS feed on the site. However it didn't take me long to sniff out the user agent and customise the feed to send different messages specially for TV Forum users. Over the years this has been used for many little fun notes, most of them usually only there for less than a day for the very eagle-eyed spotters to this site. We will miss not having to ensure we update our site before 8.44, 12.44, 16.44 and 20.44 (+1 hour in the summer) from now on.

One such thing we did for a few months was something called 'Updatekus'. These were short haiku-style posts, describing the latest update in a semi-philosophical way. So, for the first time ever on this special lookback occasion we present the full collection of them.

* BBC One (Pudding) - Christmas 2016 - Updateku - The table is set, For the newest arrival. Congrats it's a pud!
* BBC One (Skaters) - 2017 - Updateku - Dance hall is ready. Those people move so freely. They do have skates!
* BBC One (Ten Pin Sting) - 2017 - Updateku - In bowling alley, A sting to prepare the ball. The strike is coming!
* BBC One (Llama Trekkers) - 2017 - Updateku - Gathered in the hills, A great llama is their love. Walking with purpose!
* BBC One (CiN - 80s) - 2017 - Updateku - In vast seas of blue, The shining globe spins silent. This pres is above parr!
* BBC Four (Gulls) - 2007 - Updateku - In the evening sky, Seagull warriors fly wild. Don't be below them!
* BBC Four - Christmas 2009 - Updateku - That festive garden, With the ice dancing outwards. A tradition now!
* BBC Four - Christmas 2016 - Updateku - In snowy woodland, Reindeer plod on by - jingling! Ten years we've waited.
* BBC Four (Gay Britannia) - 12374 - Updateku - In all directions, colours sliding and crossing! Let us show some pride!
* BBC HD (Fishing) - 2010 - Updateku - A calm, sunny lake. Great sharks suddenly surge forth! The brief moment ends.
* ITV1 HD (Lanterns) - 2010 - Updateku - Night sky waits ready. Lanterns fly all around them. A calm floating glow.
* ITV1 HD (Promo) - 2010 - Updateku - By pools and kitchens, Ant and Dec talk up launches. It's the brighter side!
* ITV1 - Christmas 2011 - Updateku - Overgrown sport court, but now with added Christmas. Money must be tight!
* ITV1 (Break) - Christmas 2011 - Updateku - In the night lit street, Santas are found cartwheeling. It makes sense somehow!
* ITV1 - Christmas 2012 - Updateku - One Christmas at night, Toys form a tree of magic. Logo is soon gone!
* ITV (Kitchen) - Christmas 2016 - Updateku - Ready in kitchen, The food is soon to follow. Wait, is it Christmas?
* ITV (Candy Floss) - 2017 - Updateku - The pink spinning void, Getting fluffier inside. Hey it's just candy!
* ITV (Ice Scraping) - 2018 - Updateku - Biting winter cold, Cruel torture on our glass. We will defeat this!
* ITV3 (Thread) - 2010 - Updateku - Look close at the thread, and detail with the needle. That's some fine craftwork!
* ITV3 (Flowers) - 2017 - Updateku - A glass jar of time. Flowers growing deep within. Butterfly loves it!
* ITVBe (Balloons) - 2017 - Updateku - By sea of purple, balloons float past quickly here. It's still no globe though!
* ITV2 (Cuboid) - 2003 - Updateku - Squares dance a quickstep. Forming shapes with bright colour. We've seen this before.
* ITV2 (Pool) - 2009 - Updateku - Unseen diver jumps. Splash! The ripples cascade out. Pictures dance in wake.
* ITV2 - 2017 3 - Updateku - In seas of nonsense. Those items flow, drop and walk. Squeak - it's a hotdog!
* Channel 4 (Warning) - 2009 - Updateku - Quick warning flash by. Graphic scenes continue now! It begins again.
* Film4 (Forest - Wolves) - 2017 - Updateku - Deep in the forest, Majestic Wolves run like wind. Where are they going?
* Film4 (Corridor - Paranormal) - 2017 - Updateku - Hotel corridor, with powerful poltergeist! It must hate that pink!
* 4Music (Sandwich) - 2017 - Updateku - Get on that plate now. Yes it's tasty sandwich time. ...Should it be moving?
* 4Music (Mug) - 2017 - Updateku - A fresh mug of eyes, Crazy cat watches you stir. Now have some lasers!
* 4Music - 2017 3 - Updateku - Darkness all around, Only coloured blocks light up. Not quite Channel 4.
* E4 (E-Sting - Sloth Party) - 2015 - Updateku - Out in fields of green, Sloths come out for party fun. My, he's a big one!
* 5Star (Tunnel) - 2017 - Updateku - The shapes and light meet, dancing in that magic place! Okay, a tunnel...
* My5 (Blue) - 2017 2 - Updateku - Endless blue sea. Blocks clash and light each other. We don't know either!
* My5 (Yellow) - 2017 2 - Updateku - Endless yellow field. Blocks clash and light each other. We don't know either!
* 5USA - 2017 3 - Updateku - Red stones seen ahead, Or is it a great big bridge? Nope, it's just some roads!
* Spike (Tattoo/Hawk) - 2017 - Updateku - Escape the grey mist, Fly now hawk and spread your wings! TV's beneath you.
* Spike (Fight/Policecar) - 2017 - Updateku - On the battlefield, It's good versus skeleton! Oh - here's the police!
* Virgin1 (Menu) - 2010 - Updateku - Cold, sterile menu. But Red can add life to it. Nope, he's gone again!
* True Crime (Break - Red) - 2017 - Updateku - Dark night tension builds, Sudden shatter of glass - smash! Red echo lingers.
* Dave (Alarm Cockerel) - 2017 - Updateku - Rows of time in line. Sudden sound of the morning! Calm returns after.
* Drama (Field - Long) - 2017 - Updateku - Distant view of field. Man approaching with surprise. A sweet loving scene!
* Quest (Menu) - 2009 - Updateku - Dark with low focus, a spanner crashes downwards. Truly festive pres!
* Really (Colin - Long) - 2017 - Updateku - A crime scene awaits. He looks on calm and collect. It's really life!
* Really (Roger - Long) - 2017 - Updateku - Pylon behind him, The memories are still there. Really turns red!
* Lloyds Bank - 1996 - Updateku - Medieval Times, Where man has a pet dragon. One still fears the bank!
* Stella Artois - 1996 - Updateku - In ye old French towns, One man does naught but good deeds. Still no drink for him!
* Knightmare - 1993 - Updateku - In depths of darkness, Lord Fear awaits dungeoneers! Must wear that helmet!
* The Bill - 1984 - Updateku - In Old London Town, Police walk their daily beat. Twenty six more years!
* TTTV Teletext - 2001/08/11 - Updateku - Third channel reborn. Now part of the family. But text sees nothing!

And with that, we close up our #20PurpleYears celebration, and say our final goodbyes to TV Forum with a message familiar to many...

Thanks for all the memories,

Last edited by tesandco on 31 March 2021 7:02am
Besides my own updates, the thread features regular contributions from SpiringUnhacked, who later ended up banned I think,
Oh man, now that's a bad memory from my college days. That person was an imposter. Guess what the S stands for in my username.... only thing is, I didn't use my real name online. Only ever my initials or a completely unrelated alias.
One of my earliest memories of TV Forum was a bunch of trolls, I assume from a school or college, flooding the forum with insulting posts about James Spiring one afternoon.

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