Written by IainB
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Topics: TV, BBC, Tranmere Rovers

Monday, 21 May 2012

image for Britain's last Teletext user now has it delivered
Mr Kettledrum's television barely picks up colour, let alone the internet

2012 may not be the end of the whole world, but it was the final year that Teletext was broadcast in the UK. For those under thirty, Teletext was like the internet on a television, before there was internet on the television. Hundreds of pages of information were broadcast alongside analogue television signals containing useful snippets of information, such as the weather in Dundee or dog grooming tips for cat lovers.

"The switch to digital has given us, finally, the opportunity to switch off Teletext," said Charlie Facks, head of the BBC Written Media department. "Our analysis shows that there was only one person still using Teletext."

That person was George Kettledrum, 74, from Birkenhead.

"I got a letter from the BBC," said Kettledrum. "They told me that they were going to be switching Teletext off. It was nice of them to tell me personally. I was a little upset at the news. I don't do this inter webby malarky."

Teletext was supplanted by the internet over ten years previously, and as the internet grew, Teletext dwindled.

"Mr Kettledrum was quite distraught," said Facks. "Suicidal, almost. So we've agreed to send him Teletext updates by post. He only used about twenty pages, so it's no problem for us."

According to Facks, Mr Kettledrum was overjoyed at the prospect of getting his Teletext content through the letterbox instead of the television.

"To be honest," said Kettledrum. "I'd rather have learned how to use the inter webby malarky to get my weather and this week's Tranmere Rover's score. I'm also not sure how they're going to do the live updates of the Tranmere games through the post. I don't know what the post is like at Media City, but in Birkenhead, it only comes about eleven in the morning. I know it's been a while since Rovers scored, but, still..."

Facks had no sympathy for Teletext's last known user. "If he's that interested in the score at Tranmere, he can just go to the ground. I was considering ringing him up after every goal, but the obstreperous sod can sod off now, if that's his attitude."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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