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Bradford has third highest number of people watching TV in black and white
Bradford still has 90 households with a black and white television licence, the third highest across Yorkshire and the North-East, according to new figures released by TV licensing today.
In line with new advances in technology, the number of families watching black and white TVs has dropped a further 12 per cent in the past year, with fewer than 12,000 sets now in use nationwide.
However, Bradford’s figure remains relatively high, with only Leeds, with 165 licences, and Sheffield, with 111, showing a higher proportion of retro viewers.
Paul Williams, a spokesman for TV Licensing, said the demand for black and white licences had been in a “steady decline” for a number of years. In 2000, there were still 212,000 issued across the UK, but this figure had dropped to 93,000 by 2003, down to 50,000 in 2006, and now just 11,550 remain in force.
“Today’s figures show that, even in the digital age, more than 11,000 homes still watch their favourite programmes on black and white televisions,” said Mr Williams.
“We are on the brink of losing black and white sets to the history books, but older technology will always be replaced by exciting new ways of watching live.”
But, despite the fact it is nearly 48 years since the birth of colour transmissions, combined with the effects of the digital switchover and the recent surge of festive seasonal television, laptop, tablet and smartphone sales, it seems there are still some nostalgic UK homes firmly attached to their trusty black and white TV sets.
Iain Logie Baird, associate curator at Bradford’s National Media Museum, and grandson of the inventor of the television, John Logie Baird, said that despite their decline, the black and white TV would always have its place in the nation’s hearts.
“Despite more than 25 million people opting for a colour TV licence in the UK, it may be some time before the black and white television disappears completely from our living rooms,” he said.
“The National Media Museum has hundreds of black and white television sets in its collection, and there will always be a small group of people who prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology.”
The cost of a black and white TV licence remains frozen at £49 until the BBC Charter Review in 2016.
A colour licence, costing £145.50, can be bought online at tvlicensing.co.uk.
Households without a TV licence risk the threat of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
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