By Ian Bred, Norfolk Correspondent
The county of Norfolk was celebrating today at the arrival of Ceefax, a new-fangled piece of communications technology.
Locals were glued to their television sets for hours, watching the pages of text information appear quite slowly.
Even though not many people in Norfolk can read, the Ceefax service, provided by BBC East exclusively for Norfolk, is seen as a huge step forward in bringing the county up to speed with the rest of Britain.
Locals are being told they can now see news, the weather, and even football results more or less in real time – although they have to wait for the Ceefax service to cycle through ten pages in rotation before the scores actually update.
“It’s a giant technological leap for a place like Norfolk,” said BBC East’ head of Ceefax, Bon Scott. “Television has only recently arrived in the county, and now those lucky enough to have a set can enjoy our text-based information service.
“The feedback has been mixed, we admit, as some Norfolk viewers are having difficulty getting to grips with the remote control required to use Ceefax.
“It seems having six fingers is not as useful as it sounds.”
Local man Bubba Spuckler, who lives in Downham Market with his sister and their eight children, said: “We’ve been gathering around my uncle’s TV and pointing at Ceefax a lot. We have no idea what it means but I am sure there is trickery at work.”
The Ceefax service is being updated by a team of three writers at the BBC’s offices in Norwich.
They simply copy items off the internet, then paste them into the ancient Ceefax software so that it spits out dodgy, boxy text pages to the local simpletons.