Farewell, Ceefax: TV teletext service dies; nonsense pages immortalized in "Look Around You"

As Rob noted in an earlier Boing Boing post, the UK television teletext service known as Ceefax ("See Facts") has been terminated. So sad! It began in 1972. I remember staring at the chunky pixelly pages for hours in my hotel room, on my first visit to the UK in the 1990s.

Robert Popper, funnyman and Look Around You co-creator, says:

I thought I’d perk you all up by digging out the Pages from Ceefax, that Peter Serafinowicz and I made for our Look Around You DVD extras. They’re full of nonsense. Hope you enjoy the guitar I did too. Included here is an improvised modern classical piece. I was trying not to laugh while I played…

I remember these fake Ceefax screens well from the Look Around You DVDs. I had no idea Popper played the music, too. Brilliant. More below.


  1. I say with no hyperbole, that as a child in the early 80’s, going to visit my grandmother (and her Ceefax/Teletext-capable TV) was a rare treat; going hand-in-hand with access to 8bit Acorn computers, I envisioned a time in the future when computers would have access to something like Ceefax’s (seemingly global) network of information and news.  (Yes yes, the internet really hadn’t broken into the 8-year old british kid market yet in 1982).. 

    Still, end of an era here. I’m sure there are no end of Englishmen out there for whom Ceefax/Teletext was our first introduction to digital delivery and set our dreams of the future in motion.

    1. This brings back memories. There was some good stuff on Channel 4’s Teletext in the mid to late 90s.

  2. My favourite thing about CEEFAX was when they broadcast Telesoftware – downloadable software for home computers back in the 80s. So much easier than typing in code from magazines.

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