Here’s the truth in black and white - seven people in Stevenage still haven’t switched on to colour TV

There are only seven black and white TV licences still registered in Stevenage

There are only seven black and white TV licences still registered in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

More than 9,000 people in the UK are still watching black and white TV - including seven in Stevenage, according to the people who keep an eye on who has bought a licence and who hasn’t.

At a time when the BBC is struggling with budget cuts and growing numbers of younger viewers avoiding the TV licence completely by watching programmes on catch-up services online, the number of ‘black and white only’ licences continues to fall each year.

But nearly 50 years after colour programmes first became available, and as the nation switches over to digital services and watches either on giant HD televisions or tablets and smartphones, some households are still shunning the attractions of 21st century technology.

At the turn of the century there were still 212,000 black and white TV Licences in place, but that has now slumped to fewer than 10.000.

TV Licensing spokesman Martin Dyan said: “It’s astounding that at least seven households in Stevenage still watch on a black and white telly, especially now that more than half of homes access TV content over the internet.

“Whether you have the latest TV or a black and white set from the 1970s, if you are watching or recording live television, then you do need a TV licence.”

Television and radio technology historian Jeffrey Borinsky said: “There are hundreds of collectors like myself who have many black and white TVs - some of them are purists who won’t have colour TV in the house.

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“We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets. It’s pure nostalgia and the joy of seeing old equipment still working in the internet age.

“Older people who grew up with black and white still love it and don’t see why they should throw away their perfectly good set to get colour they don’t even want. Unfortunately even the youngest black and white sets are over 20 years old and very few people now mend TVs at all. In a few more years this group will have gone to TV heaven.”

According to this year’s figures, London leads the way in black and white penetration with more than 2,000 licences issues, followed by Birmingham (429) and Manchester (313).

The cost of a black and white TV Licence is £49 compared to the £145.50 fee for a colour licence.

Are you still using a black and white TV? Let us know, email news@thecomet.net.

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