2000 Today was an internationally broadcast television special to commemorate the beginning of the Year 2000. This program included New Year's Eve celebrations, musical performances, and other features from participating nations.

2000 Today
Fire themed variation of the ident
GenreNew Year's television special
Created byZvi Dor-Ner
Developed byZvi Dor-Ner
Presented byVarious (see below)
StarringMusical artists
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Executive producers
  • Avril MacRory
  • Peter McGhee
  • Neil Eccles
  • Zvi Dor-Ner
Running time
  • 28 hours (United Kingdom)
  • 25 hours and 30 minutes (International broadcasts)
Original release
NetworkVarious (see below)
Release31 December 1999 (1999-12-31) –
1 January 2000 (2000-01-01)
ABC 2000 (United States)
Millennium Eve: Celebrate 2000 (Ireland)

Most international broadcasts such as the Olympic Games coverage originate from a limited area for worldwide distribution. 2000 Today was rare in that its live and taped programming originated from member countries and represented all continents including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America & Oceania.



2000 Today was conceived as part of the Millennium celebrations, given the numerical significance of the change from 1999 to 2000. 2000 Today was commissioned by the BBC as one of the five main millennium projects that were broadcast across TV, radio and online services throughout 1999 and 2000.[1]

Most nations that observe the Islamic calendar were not involved in 2000 Today. However, a few predominantly Muslim nations were represented among the programme's worldwide broadcasters such as Egypt (ERTU) and Indonesia (RCTI). Africa was minimally represented in 2000 Today. The only participating nations from that continent were Egypt and South Africa. Portugal-based RTP África distributed the programme to some African nations.

Antarctica was mentioned on the programme schedule, although it was unclear if 2000 Today coverage was recorded or live.



The programme was produced and televised by an international consortium of 60 broadcasters, headed by the BBC in the United Kingdom and WGBH in Boston, United States.[2] The editorial board also included representatives from ABC (Australia), CBC (Canada), CCTV (China), ETC (Egypt), RTL (Germany), SABC (South Africa), TF1 (France), TV Asahi (Japan), TV Globo (Brazil) and ABC (USA). The BBC provided the production hub for receiving and distributing the 78 international satellite feeds required for this broadcast. The idents for the programme were designed in the UK by Lambie-Nairn and the BBC for use by all the participating broadcasters taking part in the event. The linking theme throughout all the idents and promotions was a distinctively shaped stone engraved with the year 2000.[3] The themes were: desert, fire, ice, lasers and water; plus a special BBC News ident.[4]

Up to 5,000 staff worked on 2000 Today, 1,500 of them in BBC Television Centre in West London, where all eight television studios were used during the 28-hour broadcast.[5] Each participant financed and produced its own contributions and shared the core costs proportionately to its size and wealth.[2] It is estimated to have cost $6 million to produce and broadcast.

2000 Today was nominated for "Best Visual Effects and Graphic Design" at the 2000 British Academy Television Craft Awards.[6]

Programme timeline


2000 Today's core international broadcast was 28 hours long, following the beginning of the New Year 2000 across the world's time zones. The programme was tailored by individual broadcasters to provide local content and hosts.

The broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom started on 31 December 1999 at 09:15 UTC. 2000 Today started its international feed at 09:40 UTC, with the Kiribati Line Islands celebrating the arrival of 2000 at 10:00 UTC.

Most of Europe celebrated midnight at 23:00 UTC. Broadcasting celebrations from many countries under Central European Time posed a particularly complex broadcast challenge. 2000 Today chose to rapidly air each nation's midnight observances in succession, using tape delays in most cases. This hour of the broadcast included a blessing by Pope John Paul II from Vatican City and the pyrotechnic display of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. ABC 2000 Today however decided to use Paris for its broadcast in the United States while French broadcasters TF1 and France 2 covered the festivities live from the Eiffel Tower. In addition, Italian broadcaster Rai used the pope's blessing for its Millennium - La Notte Del 2000 broadcast.

2000 Today's international feed finished shortly after midnight celebrations were broadcast from Samoa on 1 January 2000 at 11:00 UTC. BBC One in the United Kingdom continued to broadcast with national features until 13:30. Later the same evening, it aired a two-hour highlights programme, The Best of 2000 Today.[7]



National hosts


Music performers


Musical artists were part of the 2000 Today broadcast, including:

North America
South America

Participating broadcasters


The following nations broadcast 2000 Today. Some nations were licensees of the broadcast, rather than formal members of the broadcast consortium.[11]

Recorded time broadcasts

  • Longest time broadcasts: HTV (42 hours 30 minutes)
  • Shortest time broadcasts: VTV (6 hours)



2000 Today had an estimated worldwide audience of 800 million people,[2] with an audience of 12.6 million people on the BBC alone.[5]


2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 1999
RecordedAugust to November 1999[14]
LabelSony Classical
  • Grace Row
  • Tan Dun
Tan Dun chronology
Bitter Love
2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Singles from 2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium
  1. "One Love"
    Released: 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [14]

2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium is a television soundtrack album of music commissioned by the BBC for its internationally broadcast television special, 2000 Today and released by Sony Classical Records in December 1999. The music was composed and conducted by multi award-winning composer Tan Dun, and performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, London Voices choir, New London Children's Choir, and a group of world instrument performers from around the world. It was featured on PBS and ABC throughout the promotions leading up to the broadcast and throughout the broadcast itself, providing musical "stepping stones" from country to country, culture to culture, day to night.[16]

The programme's theme song was a cover version of Bob Marley's song "One Love" performed by the Gipsy Kings, Ziggy Marley, Tsidii Le Loka and the Boys Choir of Harlem.[17] This version was released as a single in Europe.[18] "One Love" was performed live by Gipsy Kings as part of the broadcast from Miami, Florida.[16]

Track listing


All tracks are written by Tan Dun, with the exception of "One Love" by Marley and Curtis Mayfield

1."One Love"Boys Choir of Harlem, Gipsy Kings, Tsidii Le Loka, Ziggy Marley4:05
2."Beyond Light" 5:46
3."Reflection" 4:39
4."At Sunrise" 3:17
5."Africa, Africa" 3:18
6."Crossings" 4:27
7."The East" 5:07
8."Antarctica" 4:27
9."Dreams" 3:16
10."Stones" 3:17
11."Celebration" 3:29
12."2000 Passions" 7:22
Total length:52:30


  • Tan Dun – composer, conductor, producer
  • Charles Harbutt – engineer, post production
  • Mary Lou Humphrey – liner notes
  • Photonica – photographer
  • FPG International – photographer
  • Grace Row – producer

See also



  1. ^ "BBC News | Entertainment | BBC uncorks its millennium plans". news.bbc.co.uk. 14 July 1999. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "2000 TODAY". BBC. Archived from the original on 7 March 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Greek TV Idents : 2000 Today". www.greektvidents.com. September 2002. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  4. ^ "2000today.co.uk". www.2000today.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 December 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b Wells, Matt (3 January 2000). "BBC wins Big Ben ratings battle". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ "2000 BAFTA Television Craft Awards winners and nominees – Awards database". British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ "The Best of 2000 Today". 1 January 2000. p. 78. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020 – via BBC Genome.
  8. ^ "Fim de Ano na TV" (PDF). Diário de Notícias (Madeira). 31 December 1999. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  9. ^ "BBC News | ENTERTAINMENT | BBC's all-star millennium bash". news.bbc.co.uk. 2 December 1999. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Egypt2000.com * The Twelve Dreams Of The Sun * Main Page". 10 June 2002. Archived from the original on 10 June 2002.
  11. ^ "SONY CLASSICAL". 6 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011.
  14. ^ a b 2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium at AllMusic. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Tan Dun: 2000 Today - World Symphony For The Millennium". www.arkivmusic.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  16. ^ a b "SONY CLASSICAL". 6 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Yawns greet BBC millennium line-up". The Independent. 3 December 1999. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Tan Dun - One Love". Discogs. Archived from the original on 2 October 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.