Hundreds of black and white televisions still in use in Northern Ireland

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By Rebekah Black

More than 500 black and white televisions remain in use in Northern Ireland half a century after the introduction of colour TV.

According to figures from TV Licensing, there were 535 monochrome TV licences in force in Northern Ireland at the end of September 2019.

This represents a slight drop from 566 for the same period in 2018.

Most of the black and white TV licences are registered in Co Antrim (155), followed by Co Tyrone (153), Co Down (82), Co Londonderry (78), Co Armagh (38) and Co Fermanagh (29).

Across the UK, 6,586 black and white TV licences were in force at the end of September 2019 - a fall of 575 compared with the same time last year.

In 2000, this figure stood at 212,000.

Meanwhile, four Northern Ireland towns and cities feature in the top 20 list in the UK for black and white licences across the UK: Belfast placed at number seven with 79 monochrome licences, followed by Omagh in ninth place (71), Dungannon in sixteenth (47) and Newry in eighteenth (39).

Sinead Doyle, from TV Licensing Northern Ireland, said it is interesting to know that some prefer to watch in monochrome.

"When BBC One launched its colour TV service in November 1969, there were only three channels available. Fast forward to 2019, and more than half (53%) of TV households have in some way an internet connection to their TV and access to hundreds of channels," she said.

"Whilst only accounting for a very small proportion, it's interesting to know that some households still like to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly."

BBC One launched its full colour service on November 15 1969.

The new service was also extended to ITV, bringing it in line with BBC Two, which had been offering colour programmes - including Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the Eurovision Song Contest - since 1967 under controller David Attenborough.

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