BLACK and white televisions are all but extinct in Newquay with just six sets registered with TV Licensing, new figures have revealed.
Nationwide, the most are registered in Bournemouth, with 37, closely followed by Gloucester (31) and Plymouth (30). Penzance just sneaked into the top 10 list with 11 licensed sets.
Across the UK, the number of families watching on black and white TVs has dropped a further 12 per cent in the past year, with fewer than 12,000 sets now in use nation-wide.
With the introduction of colour TV 48 years ago and subsequent advances in technology, the demand for black and white licences has been in steady decline for years.
At the turn of the millennium there were 212,000 black and white licences issued, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000. Just three years later, in 2006, the number was less than 50,000 and today just 11,550 black and white licences remain in force across the UK.
The cost of a black and white TV Licence remains frozen at £49 until BBC Charter Review in 2016. A colour licence costs £145.50
Richard Chapman, spokesman for TV Licensing South West, said: “These figures show, even in the digital age, more than 11,000 homes still watch their favourite programmes on black and white televisions. We may be on the brink of losing black and white sets to the history books, but older technology will always be replaced by exciting new ways of watching live.
“It’s important that no matter how you watch live TV, whether on a black and white set, or online, you’re correctly licensed to do so.”
Iain Logie Baird, associate curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, and grandson of television inventor John Logie Baird, added: “Despite over 25 million people opting for a colour TV Licence in the UK, it may be some time before the black and white television disappears completely from our living rooms.
“The National Media Museum has hundreds of black and white television sets in its collection and there will always be a small group of people who prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don't want to throw away a working piece of technology.”
Top 10 ‘black and white towns’ in the South West:
1. Bournemouth 37
2. Gloucester 31
3. Plymouth 30
4. Cheltenham 26
5. Swindon 26
6. Bath 20
7. Exeter 18
8. Poole 15
9. Weston-Super-Mare 12
10. Penzance 11