Black and white TVs still going strong in Banbury

More than six households in Banbury still use a black and white TV. NNL-151231-093150001
More than six households in Banbury still use a black and white TV. NNL-151231-093150001

It may be hard to believe, but more than 9,000 people in the UK are still watching black and white TV, including more than six in Banbury.

Nearly 50 years after former BBC Two controller David Attenborough raced to broadcast colour TV in the UK ahead of his German television colleagues, 9,356 black and white licences are still in force across the UK.

Despite the switchover to digital transmissions and an increase in the use of HD televisions as well as tablets and smart-phones to access TV content, some UK households are shunning the attractions of 21st Century technology.

Martin Dyan, spokesperson for TV Licensing, London and the South East said: “It’s astounding that more than six households in Banbury still watch on a black and white telly, especially now that over half of homes access TV content over the internet, on smart TVs3.

“Whether you have the latest 4K TV or a black and white set from the 1970s, however, if you are watching or recording live television, then you do need a TV licence.”

The number of black and white licences issued each year has, however, steadily been declining. In 2000 there were 212,000 black and white TV Licences in place, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000 and in 2006 the number stood at less than 50,0002.

Jeffrey Borinsky, a television and radio technology historian, added: “There are hundreds of collectors like myself who have many black and white TVs; some of them are purists who won’t have this new-fangled colour TV in the house.

“We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets. It’s simply 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.”

Are you one of those living in Banbury are still watching black and white TV? Get in touch with us by calling 01295 227792 or emailing