Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Goodbye old friend. RIP Ceefax 1974-2012

It's a sad day.

At 23.30 BST in Northern Ireland this evening, Olympic champion Dame Mary Peters will turn off the last analogue TV signal in Northern Ireland and with it, in the United Kingdom.

As the victory of digital television is made complete over it's out-dated and extinguished rival, so too will be the loss of the BBC's much loved text-based Ceefax service.

At its height in the 1990s, it was viewed some 20m times a day and I was one of that regular and happy band of followers.

Watching the latest football scores come through on a Saturday afternoon (page 303?!) was a favourite past-time, waiting as I did for the home Aston Villa score on page 1 of 3 refresh as Ceefax slowly meandered its way through pages 2 and 3, back to page 1! Pages 360 onwards were also favourites of mine as they housed the information on Formula One.

The news section always gave me the latest in the world at the touch of the button and I fondly recall (on the sister Teletext service if memory serves) the old 'Bamboozle' quizes which I adored.

I also recall checking the stock market share prices regularly (page 224?!) with my parents to see whether their stocks were on the rise, or on the wane..

Here is this week's Points of View, giving a final goodbye to a much loved medium of information.

Yes, the 'Red Button' is the new, younger and flashier brother of dear old Ceefax and it does the job well. But call me old-skool if you will, but it isn't a patch on my old and much missed friend.

This below was the first part of the end of Ceefax in Northern Ireland 2 weeks ago. The final goodbye occurs this evening. It will be missed but fondly remembered.

RIP my dear old friend Ceefax


  1. I havent bothered woith it in the 11 years (almost) I've been living in Wales.
    It was too slow.
    Should have been killed off years ago....

  2. It was certainly useful in its day - I remember the pages and pages of TV listings which rotated annoyingly too slow. Even more annoying were the cinema listings!

    Still for all its faults you can be sure you won't be having to come back and redact this post in a years time - it'll be a lasting tribute to the mighty Ceefax.

    Oh, and Teletext was the ITV rival (which superceded Oracle, but I guess that's me showing my age!).


  3. Standing in Dixons on a Saturday afternoon watching the football scores come through on the display tv sets while my parental trapced around Wrexham / Chester / Llandudno shopping was a regular part of my childhood.

    While the BBC service was far superior to others the demise of the analogue text service can not occur without reference to the regular quiz Bamboozle on 4-Tel.