“I Am Now Switching Off BBC2 Analogue!”

October 17, 2007

Those were the not-so-historic words spoken at some point earlier today when a nondescript guy, in what appears to be a storage cupboard, flicked an unassuming light switch on the wall and apparently turned off the BBC2 analogue signal for the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7048817.stm

Click on “Watch Audio and Video News” in the top right to see the moment in all its glory. What I love about this is the fact that no one thought of making it into anything approaching a spectacle or show. In proper gritty British style, they’ve clearly had to shove a filing cabinet out of the way simply in order to reach the switch. Classic.

The rest of the report has the beeb desperately trying to conjure up some major historical event out of all this: Whitehaven is the first town in the UK to be (partly) switched to a digital TV signal, and apparently it’s causing some consternation for about 0.2% of the town’s over 60s. To be fair, financial assistance is available for those who can’t afford to get Sky in, but the trouble is that too many people aren’t aware of it, or don’t know how to get it.

In any case, by the time London’s signal is switched over (in 2011 – 2012), they’ll no doubt have learned a lesson or two. I predict an all singing and dancing extravaganza featuring the cast of Strictly Come Dancing and Britney performing a duet with Justin as part of a comeback tour… Or something.

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