Blast from the Past: Three TV channels

Simpler times, when we only had three channels to choose fromSimpler times, when we only had three channels to choose from
Simpler times, when we only had three channels to choose from
Too much choice isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when it comes to television channels. HELEN MCGURK tunes out

Today there are innumerable, mostly rubbish, TV channels, but many of us will remember the days when there were only three to choose from - BBC One, BBC Two and ITV.

On the BBC you could take your pick between The Goodies, Morecambe and Wise, Pebble Mill at One, Shoestring, Steptoe and Son or To the Manor Born, before the weatherman, shutdown and the national anthem.

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BBC 2 specialised in Open University programmes where bearded lecturers wearing corduroys and wide-lapel suits would stand in front of a graph to explain the intricacies of particle physics, whilst ITV was the place to go to for soaps, Coronation Street, Emmerdale Farm and Crossroads, and the unutterable filth of The Dukes of Hazard.

Occasionally there was literally nothing on, save for the test card, a picture of a long-haired girl with an alice band playing noughts and crosses with a scary toy clown.

That image became as embedded in the minds of a generation as Mork and Mindy.

Today’s television set is sleek and water-thin, but the television of yesteryear was a huge big hulking beast, with a hefty backside, a 26in screen and a dodgy aerial.

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Black-and-white sets couldn’t even be called that, since it was all greyness drizzled with electrical interference.

But with simplicity came quality. Give me a dorky lecturer explaining glacial erosion, over Naked Attraction, any day.

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