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Series / Digitiser

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Hello there! I am he: The Man With a Long Chin and I am here to berate (teach) you about the perils of Digitiser. Do you see?

Digitiser holds the bizarre and unique honour of being one of the few examples of a notable Teletext feature.

Broadcasting mostly during The '90s on ITV's Teletext service (which replaced the ORACLE service in 1993), Digitiser - Digi to its friends - occupied a small run of five or six, daily-updated pages on the subject of Video Games, written initially by two individuals - Tim "Mr Hairs" Moore, and Paul "Mr Biffo" Rose, (latterly Biffo alone, with bylined columnists at weekends) and was started when Rose, merely a graphic designer for Teletext Limited at the time, one day suggested that the service cover games, and the rest is history.

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Digitiser was famed for its ability to court controversy, as well as its humour, general English-language-o-butchery, and general awesomeness.

Sadly, none of this went down well with the higher-ups at Teletext not being fond of any of it, and after years of trying, managed to force Biffo to bring updates down to thrice weekly and ditch all the humour. It didn't last, and hilarity ensued.

A year or so later - after getting a feature profiling the service in Edge and everything, Mr. Biffo decided to call it a day and concentrate on his screenwriting career, which included EastEnders, Sooty, and My Parents Are Aliens. Teletext replaced it with another games service, Gamecentral, but that one was much more straight-laced.

Celebrity fans include Alex Garland, who named one chapter of The Beach "Messed Up" after the similar Digi-catchphrase, and Ray Park AKA Darth Maul.

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Due to the ephemeral nature of Teletext, much is now lost, but thanks to fans an archive of several issues is available here.

In 2018, Mr. Biffo launched a successful Kickstarter to make a spin-off webseries Digitiser: The Show. The show was filmed that summer and the six episodes were released weekly from November to December 2018. The series was presented by Mr. Biffo, Cheap Show co-host Paul Gannon and YouTubers Octav1us Kitten, Gameplay Jenny and Larry Bundy Jr. Mr. Hairs and Stuart Ashen also appear in almost every episode. The series can be found on Mr. Biffo's YouTube channel. A second series is in planning.


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