John's black and white on television

WHEN it comes to television it is a black and white matter for this Ipswich man.Despite huge technological leaps in recent years, John Stevens, 63, has watched two-tone telly for close to two decades and has no plans to change now.

WHEN it comes to television it is a black and white matter for this Ipswich man.

Despite huge technological leaps in recent years, John Stevens, 63, has watched two-tone telly for close to two decades and has no plans to change now.

A lone campaigner against the quality of offerings on the box, Mr Stevens has vowed not to fork out £135.50 on a colour licence, claiming is overpriced for what you get.

Instead he saves £7.50 a month by opting for a reduced price licence to watch shows on his black and white set.

Mr Stevens, of Violet Close, said: “I am dead against paying out £135.50 for a colour licence when all the channels put a load of rubbish on.

“On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after I counted 200 repeats on all five channels.

Most Read

“You take them off and all the soaps and there would only be five per cent left to put on.

“The rest of the time the screen would be blank. It's no wonder people don't buy a TV licence.

“If you want to watch a video or Sky you have to get a colour licence for your TV. No wonder the country's going to pot.”

Mr Stevens said he has not watched a colour TV broadcast for more than 19 years, since he first met his wife Brenda.

“She had a colour television but I haven't seen any colour TV since then,” he said.

“We are currently thinking about what we will do when the digital switchover happens in a few years time.

“Black and white sets won't work with it so we would have to pay a full licence fee. I'm not sure whether we will do that or just not watch television anymore.”

Mr Stevens said he only watches TV for around five hours a week.

His favourite programmes are quiz shows such as The Weakest Link, Eggheads and Deal or No Deal.

“We enjoyed watching the darts recently but it's not quite the same in black and white,” he said.

Despite his reluctance to fork out for a colour licence, Mr Stevens' existence is not entirely colourless.

He has been in contact with TV licensing and discovered he is able to use a colour DVD player with a black and white licence.

Current rules mean video players, or recordable DVD players, cannot be used without a colour licence because of their recording functions.

For those of you watching in black and white, the pink is behind the green

Ted Lowe; BBC Commentary circa 1980

Television was originally broadcast in black-and-white.

Some colour broadcasts began in the 1950s, with colour becoming common in western industrialised nations during the 1960s and 1970s.

The United States upgraded to the colour standard between 1964 and 1967, Canada began airing colour television in 1966 while the United Kingdom settled on an official colour system in November 1969.

Australia kept airing black-and-white broadcasts until 1975