AS the digital switchover signals the end of the analogue television system in the UK, it also means the end of Ceefax, a real-time information service that offered millions of television viewers the latest news, weather, entertainment and sport.
As the UK says goodbye to Ceefax - phonetic for ‘see facts’ - we look at the five things that will be missed most about the BBC’s pixelated precursor to the internet.
One of Ceefax’s most popular services offered timely text-based updates for all the latest sports scores on a matchday. As long as you had a radio, it was the next-best thing to watching it on television, and at least as good as the illegal Iraqi streams that we definitely, absolutely do not advocate watching.
Nocturnal Ceefax viewers were often greeted by an oddball collection of jazz fusion, white soul and a jamboree of genres that only people who go on holiday to Polaris World are exposed to. A hint of sleaze about this ostensibly tasteful music, too: the sort of thing you’d imagine playing in the background on a yacht full of shirtless, middle-aged Sicilian bachelors.
Colour weather map
Not so much a weather map as a piece of contemporary pop art, its blocky, obnoxious colours was clearly the result of cruel joke meant to give the impression of a tropical climate. Hilarious.
TV guide and entertainment pages
For those that were really into Ceefax (guilty), digging beyond its news and sport sections brought up its rather well-hidden music and entertainment pages. Despite being aimed at young teenagers, its music reviews were amusingly hostile to the pop fodder it often covered. An altogether more popular service, the TV guide was by far the most convenient way to choose what to watch (and it’s still faster than the BBC’s cumbersome red button service).
Last, but by no means least, is Ceefax’s news service, widely admired for its accuracy and timeliness. Page 101 also proved especially useful for breaking news, particularly in the absence of a televised bulletin.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east