How many people in Yarmouth are still watching black and white TV?


- Credit: Archant

Ten people in Great Yarmouth are still watching TV in black and white, according to new figures.

They are among more than 9,000 people in the UK who hold a monochrome licence, although the numbers are steadily 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 50,000.

But 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, with ten licences in force in Great Yarmouth.

Regular colour broadcasts began in July 1967, with the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, three weeks ahead of Germany.

Mark Whitehouse, spokesperson for TV licensing in East Anglia, said: “It’s astounding that more than 300 households in total across East Anglia 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.”

According to this year’s figures, London leads the way in black and white penetration, followed by Birmingham and Manchester.

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The cost of a black and white TV licence is £49 compared to a colour £145.50.

Some black and white TVs may require a colour licence if they can receive and record programmes in colour, for example when using a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) connected to a black and white TV.

The cost of a black and white TV Licence remains frozen at £49 until BBC Charter Review in 2016. A colour licence costs £145.50. A TV licence is needed if you’re watching or recording programmes at the same time as they’re shown on TV, and can be bought online in minutes at

• Are you one of the ten people still viewing in black and white? Contact us by emailing or calling 01493 847958. You can also write to us at Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PA.