More than 6,000 UK households still using black and white TVs

The BBC revealed the surprising statistic as their colour TV service turns 50


Thousands of people across the UK are still using black and white television sets, the BBC revealed today.


TV licensing statistics have revealed that more than 6,500 households are still watching television shows on black and white sets.

The cities most loyal to the antiquated format are London (1,311), Birmingham (323), Manchester (245), Glasgow (136) and Leeds (121).

As you might expect, the number of black and white sets in the UK has fallen dramatically in recent years, with the rise of smart TVs and online streaming services contributing to their demise.

The remaining 6,586 households are a far cry from the year 2000, when a whopping 212,000 black and white TV licenses were registered with the BBC.

BBC One launched their colour television service on 15th November 1969, almost 50 years to the day, with the likes of Star Trek and Match of the Day being among the first programmes to benefit from it.

Paul Cooper, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “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.

“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.”


Old television sets have become a collectors item for watching today’s television shows. After all, there are few things more enchanting than seeing a soap actor gag on a witchetty grub in a moody noir aesthetic.