Meet the man who brought Ceefax back from the dead

The software engineer was so disappointed when the BBC got rid of Ceefax that he created his OWN teletext system, run by fans and appreciated by nostalgic fans across the country

  • Peter Kwan, 63, took responsibility for keeping Ceefax’s legacy alive
  • The famous BBC text service was shut down in 2012 after 38 years
  • Kwan uses a network of volunteers to manage the service and deliver news
  • Anyone can access the service with an analog TV and a Raspberry Pi device

When the BBC got rid of its Ceefax service there was a huge disappointment.

But a dedicated software engineer created his own teletext system to keep the concept alive.

Peter Kwan, 63, uses a network of volunteers to manage the service, which he called Teefax.

Peter Kwan, 63, uses a network of volunteers to manage the service, which he called Teefax

Peter Kwan, 63, uses a network of volunteers to manage the service, which he called Teefax

It features classic Ceefax-like content including horoscopes, BBC news, weather, travel and even jokes, plus an archive of teletext pages. Kwan says it's a job of love that fans find ¿nostalgic¿

It features classic Ceefax-like content including horoscopes, BBC news, weather, travel and even jokes, plus an archive of teletext pages. Kwan says it’s a love job that fans find “nostalgic”

He said, “It’s all run by fans. There are about a dozen across the country who all focus on their pieces. We have a guy in Ireland who provides regional news and weather.”

It features classic Ceefax-like content including horoscopes, BBC news, weather, travel and even jokes, plus an archive of teletext pages. Kwan says it’s a job of love that fans find “nostalgic”.

Stroud’s grandfather of two in Gloucestershire said: “People can mostly find whatever their favorite page on Ceefax is. Usually they will have memorized the page number. We also have a couple of quizzes and games.

‘It’s all run by enthusiasts. There are about a dozen across the country who all focus on their pieces. We have a guy in Ireland who provides regional news and weather. “

To access Teefax, users must connect a Raspberry Pi – a basic computer used to help people learn to program – into an analog TV. The teletext pages are downloaded from a server and sent to the TV from which you access by pressing “text” on the TV remote control. Kwan’s project started in 2016 after Ceefax – a phonetic version of “see the facts” – was closed in 2012 after 38 years.

He said: “Towards the back of teletext I was working for a company that manufactured the equipment to create Ceefax. I realized that I could personally make the equipment using modern technology, so I started doing it.

‘We have a solid fan base, that’s for sure. As for the audience, I have no idea. If it breaks I quickly get complaints, so I know people are using it. “

Ceefax was closed in 2012 after having been operating for 38 years

Ceefax was closed in 2012 after having been operating for 38 years

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