Colour TV

In the 1960s, we all went out and got colour television sets.

Except, of course, we didn’t. Colour sets were expensive, and until midway through November 1969, the only colour programmes were on BBC-2 and they were mostly very dull, if you could get BBC-2 where you were – something by no means guaranteed.

Even BBC-2 had only slowly been introducing colour, with a full-colour service not appearing until December 1967, well over a year since the first programmes began to be marked “COLOUR” in the Radio Times.

In November 1969, colour came to Thames/LWT, ATV, Granada and Yorkshire, plus BBC-1 in those regions. It would slowly spread across the country, with the Channel Islands being the last to get colour in 1976 and the old VHF 405-line black and white service not being switched off until 1983.

Sales of colour licences – double the cost of a black and white licence at first – didn’t overtake black and white licences nationally until 1977.

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