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The Week That Was: Changing Times

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'Ceeya Ceefax' ran the Sun's headline as this week's official switchover to digital TV spelt the end of the television-based information and news service. Checked weekly at its peak in the Nineties by around a third of the British population, the retro news pages - the world's first app possibly? - updated its last flight details, that day's weather and then disappeared from our screens forever. Well, from most of our screens. It's still available in a few select regions, but as analogue reaches its final days across the UK, so too will Ceefax.

Time for a little nostalgia? Barely. A straw poll round the office offered up the not-too-startling revelation that most of us presumed it had ended years ago. How on earth had it survived this long in the age of Google?

"Anything funny we could do on the end of Bamboozle?" offered up our Executive Editor. Blank faces all around. Not a lack of ideas so much as a total lack of any comprehension about what Bamboozle might be. Everyone went back to their Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.

In a case of perfect old-meets-new irony, it wasn't long before Bamboozle was trending on Twitter proving, if nothing else, not everyone on Twitter is under the age of 30.

So Ceefax is over, but that doesn't mean tomorrow's world isn't embracing a little of yesteryear. Sky Plus, TiVo and the like might be standard fare in households up and down the country, but we're back to watching programmes in real-time simply so we can share the experience with our friends and family. Witness the 12 million tuning in to watch The Voice each Saturday. I've started cancelling Wednesday nights out simply so there's at least some element of surprise when watching The Apprentice. If I'm so much as ten minutes late, Twitter and/or all the live blogs I'm plugged into has given the game away. And it's the same with Homeland, Mad Men and the like. As Grace Dent's swansong column for the Guardian this Saturday hilariously points out, TV's gotten pretty damn good recently and we want to gossip, argue and natter about it with everyone we know, whether they're sitting on the sofa beside us or not.

Future thinkers are listening and working out ways of combining the best of the old and new. Hands up who's heard of Zeebox? The brainchild of the genius mind behind the BBC's iPlayer, the TV companion app is designed to not only let you chat to friends about the shows you're all watching, but buy the box-set, download the soundtrack and order the main character's shoes, too. If it let you check the weather, they could have called it Zeefax.

Around the Web

Ceefax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.ceefax.tv Your live news search engine. !

BBC News - Ceefax: A love letter

mb21 - ether.net - The Teletext Museum - Ceefax

Ceefax switch-off: Twitter pays tribute | Media | guardian.co.uk

Ceefax: A love letter

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