With the digital switchover concluding this week in Northern Ireland, the last analogue signal carrying the Ceefax service will be switched off tomorrow at 11:30pm, bringing the BBC's original teletext service to a close, 38 years after its launch.
The rest of the UK lost the opportunity to "see facts" via Ceefax at digital switchover. Viewers in Whitehaven, Cumbria lost the service in late 2007, while the Tyne Tees region only lost the service last month meaning that early morning Pages from Ceefax was the only way to revisit Ceefax in post-switchover regions, albeit without the interactivity of being able to select page numbers!
|The Ceefax weather map. Note the page number top left...|
|A BBC London Page - Ceefax left London TV screens in April|
|How Ceefax switches to Digital TV... It doesn't....|
Just before 6am, a special caption showing Ceefax pages from over the years was aired, including (in the top left of first image) a screenshot of the Ceefax AM introduction page. Ceefax AM aired on BBC One before BBC Breakfast Time/Breakfast News in the era before the overnight BBC News simulcast.
This was followed by an on screen announcement: "That was TV history. Farewell and thank you Ceefax for the past 38 years." BBC News has published a slide show of old Ceefax pages online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19996372
Pages from Ceefax used to consist of a simulcast of a Ceefax page, most recently page 152, which contained a loop of the main news, sport, business and weather headlines. Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, the service used to contain many adventurous graphics, before becoming a little more reserved as time went on.
Earlier on during the weekend, Pages from Ceefax had been stuck with content from Wednesday/Thursday, with pages including out-of-date weather and news headlines. This appeared to have been rectified during the early Sunday showing of Pages from Ceefax.
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