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Some Norfolk viewers STILL watching black and white TVs

PUBLISHED: 07:01 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:40 01 February 2020

A couple watching a back and white TV - as some still do in Norfolk  Picture: Getty

A couple watching a back and white TV - as some still do in Norfolk Picture: Getty

Getty Images/H. Armstrong Roberts

More than half a century after the birth of colour TV, some Norfolk viewers still prefer a black and white telly.

Steptoe and Son was one of the classic sitcoms which went from black and white to colour  Picture: PA/Tony Harris.Steptoe and Son was one of the classic sitcoms which went from black and white to colour Picture: PA/Tony Harris.

Figures from TV Licensing show there are 50 diehard monochrome licence holders in the county.

They include 24 in Norwich, eight in King's Lynn and five in Great Yarmouth.

Rachel Roberts, spokesperson for TV Licensing in East Anglia, said: "When BBC One launched its colour TV service in November 1969, there were only three channels available. Fast forward to 2019, and more than half of TV households have in some way an internet connection to their TV and access to hundreds of channels.

"Whilst only accounting for a very small proportion it's interesting to know that some households still like to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly."

Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnet (right) in the much loved comedy series Til Death Do Us Part in 1966. Left to right: Tony Booth as son-in-law Mike, Una Stubbs as daughter Rita,  Dandy Nichols as wife Else and Warren Mitchell as Alf. Picture: PAWarren Mitchell as Alf Garnet (right) in the much loved comedy series Til Death Do Us Part in 1966. Left to right: Tony Booth as son-in-law Mike, Una Stubbs as daughter Rita, Dandy Nichols as wife Else and Warren Mitchell as Alf. Picture: PA

Across the UK the number of black and white licences has plummeted over the years. There were 6,586 black and white TV licences in force at the end of September 2019 - a fall of 575 compared to the same time last year. In 2000, the figure stood at 212,000.

But the stats show that despite the rapid growth of smart TVs, smart phones and tablets to access TV content, a surprising number of households still appear to enjoy the nostalgia of monochrome TV sets. They remain popular with collectors with vintage and portable TV sets regularly traded online.

A licence is still needed to watch live TV and stream BBC programmes on iPlayer on a black and white TV or monitor and costs £52. But, if they are used to download BBC programmes on iPlayer or to record any live TV, then a colour TV Licence is needed.

BBC One launched its full colour service on November 15, 1969. The new service was also extended to ITV, bringing them in line with BBC Two, which had been offering colour programmes - including Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and The Eurovision Song Contest - since 1967 under controller, David Attenborough.

Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) as first seen outside the Rovers in Coronation Street in black and white, in 1970.  Picture: Granada TVBet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) as first seen outside the Rovers in Coronation Street in black and white, in 1970. Picture: Granada TV

The first programmes showing in colour included Star Trek and Dixon of Dock Green, the Harry Secombe Show and Match of the Day.

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