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40 years of colour TV—but East Enders still watch in black & white

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:14 05 October 2010

HUNDREDS homes in East London are still watching telly in black and white—even though we’ve had colour TV since 1969. The 40th anniversary of the first colour transmissions in Britain is this Sunday

By Mike Brooke

HUNDREDS homes in East London are still watching telly in black and white—even though we’ve had colour TV since 1969.

The 40th anniversary of the first colour transmissions in Britain is this Sunday.

But there are still 247 households registered in Tower Hamlets with monochrome sets, according to the TV Licensing agency. Neighbouring Newham has even more—293 sets.

There are another 5,000 across the rest of London, totalling 28,000 altogether throughout the UK.

Black and white sets are not ready for the dump just yet, despite rocketing sales in flatscreens and wallscreens and just a short wave from the close-down of analogue transmissions altogether as Britain goes all-digital.

The licensing agency has published the figures today (Thursday) to celebrate the anniversary of the first colour broadcasts on BBC1 and ITV on November 15, 1969.

The statistics show many families still bucking the trend of emerging technologies changing the way we watch, such as BBC iPlayer, computers, smart’ phones and games consoles.

But the TV Licensing agency is using the anniversary as a warning that we still need a licence to watch or record programmes as they’re transmitted however we watch, on the internet, a laptop, mobile phone, games console, or just peering at gran’s old black and white telly left over from the Swinging Sixties.


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