Teletext In View
The teletext broadcasts began with both Ceefax and the independent service Oracle in the mid 70s. The service itself looked very basic by modern standards, with only 8 colours, some blocky graphics and simple effects, but over the decades people grew to love the service. The end of the 90s saw the beginning of the end though. With it being pushed out of the emerging digital spec in the UK (contrasted with the continent), and the growth of the internet making the text services less profitable, the service hit decline. Teletext, the main commercial provider on ITV, Channel 4 and Five effectively pulled the plug at the end of 2009, with Ceefax following in disappearance as digital switchover was completed in 2012.
During its heyday, the teletext services had an unusual side benefit. They were great for filling hours of unprofitable overnight space cheaply. All you needed was a text generator that could sit playing pages in a loop for hours without anyone monitoring, and you were sorted. To celebrate the end of the service, we take a look back at some of these 'in vision' appearances, right up until the last night of Pages From Ceefax.
Oracle - 1991
Jobfinder - 1992
4-Tel on View Ad - 1989
4 Tel was Channel 4's own service, containing listings and information on Channel 4. Ran seperately to Teletext, it was eventually phased out in favour of an alternative service provided by Teletext Ltd themselves. During its lifetime, overnight closed time on Channel 4 was often filled with 4-Tel on View; a loop of the usual pages played out in broadcast form, with a series of animations between. Shown here, an ad for the service, courtesy of Ashley B.
4-Tel on View - Christmas 1994
Some Christmas theming for the 4-Tel overnight service. From the early hours of January 3rd 1995, so we're not quite out of 12th night yet!
4-Tel on View (Intro) - 1996
Recorded from overnight Channel 4 in 1996, there now follows a series of animations from throughout the 4-Tel on View sequence. The sequence itself, in this case, went on for around 10 minutes, with short animations in between. First, a friendly chap brings out a crumpled up paper, and welcomes us to 4-Tel on View!
4-Tel on View (Highlights) - 1996
4-Tel on View (Competition) - 1996
4-Tel on View (About) - 1996
4-Tel on View (End) - 1996
BBC2 (Closedown to Pages on Ceefax) - 2001
Switching from commercial television over to the BBC now, and it's the end of the day for BBC2 in 2001... so there's just time to say a few goodnights, before switching to Pages From Ceefax. And if they thought UK Economic Growth hitting a 2.5 year low was a major issue then, they certainly wouldn't like our 2008 economy...
BBC Ceefax - Last Pages From Ceefax Intro - 22/10/2012
The switchover of the last region from analogue to digital in the UK spelled the end for the traditional World Service Teletext. Along with this went the BBC tradition of filling dead overnight airtime with a broadcast version of Pages from Ceefax. To mark the occasion, a recreated version of the BBC2 of the early 80s was broadcast along with some music for the last time. This shows the intro to that last overnight slot.