Tele­vi­sion choices used to be much sim­pler

The Argus - - OPINION -

LAST Fri­day I got a blast from the past, as I learned that Chan­nel Four cel­e­brated their 36th birth­day.

For any­one born be­fore the 1980s when RTE launched RTE2, this was a time when there were only four TV chan­nels avail­able to watch - RTE1, BBC1, BBC2 and UTV - and liv­ing here so close the bor­der, we re­ceived those UK chan­nels. If you lived any­where in the midlands or west coast, the only sta­tion avail­able was RTE.

In­stantly Chan­nel 4, was a game changer and they com­mis­sioned many ex­cit­ing and pioneering pro­grammes such as Brook­side, which was much edgier and than Corona­tion Street and oth­ers such as Scrapheap Chal­lenge, The Word, TFI Fri­day, while their news pro­gramme was vastly dif­fer­ent than any­thing on air at the time.

Chan­nel 4, also helped give rise to re­al­ity TV which has changed the TV land­scape with the ar­rival of Big Brother.

Look­ing now, it is hard to imag­ine just how lim­ited TV view­ing and choice was then, five chan­nels, no video recorders, Sky+ was unimag­in­able, the tele­vi­sion and there was only one, in many houses in the 1980s was only black and white, no colour and no re­mote con­trol, you ac­tu­ally had to get up off the sofa to change chan­nel, ad­just the vol­ume or turn off the tele­vi­sion.

The funny thing is, you never heard any­one com­plain about there been noth­ing to watch, which is a reg­u­lar cry to­day, that TV with hun­dreds of chan­nels, Sky+, Net­flix and there is noth­ing to watch other than re-runs of Friends, Only Fools and Horses or Last of the Sum­mer Wine.

Yes I know, I’m get­ting old.

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