Rose-tinted nos­tal­gia in black & white

The Herald - - OPINION -

WHY, you won­der, would some­one kick against the idea of a TV screen in your house that’s the size of a wall? Who doesn’t want HD with full sur­round sound?

Well, a re­port by TV Li­cens­ing this week shows that, more than half a cen­tury af­ter colour broad­casts be­gan, more than 7,000 peo­ple still watch tele­vi­sion in black and white. And not just ’cos they’re cheap­skates.

It seems black-and-white TV re­minds peo­ple of hap­pier times. Clearly it’s a por­tal into the past, a vi­sion of kitchen-sink dra­mas and the charms of ab­ject poverty.

It re­minds the viewer of fog­gy­days that choked young throats, re­stricted all the more by the stench of can­cer-cre­at­ing Cap­stans if they dared to lo­cate to the up­per deck of a bus.

By the same to­ken, they must be a re­minder of the 1950s and 60s, when sec­tar­i­an­ism and same-sex prej­u­dice were rife in Scot­land.

Yes, we had some glo­ri­ous pro­grammes on our tele­vi­sions back then but, re­mem­ber, our black-and-white sets had only two chan­nels. And they showed an aw­ful lot of Bob Monkhouse.

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