- 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.
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.
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 hosted 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.
- Berserk Button: Stay AWAY from Mr. T's BINS.
- Catch-Phrase: ...-me-do, Moc-moc-a-moc!, Stay Away From My Bins.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: The Man's Daddy.Q: What happened when Superman and Batman went on holiday?
A: Nothing - Superman stayed at home mourning the death of Batman, who had choked to death on his own eyelids!
- Defiant to the End: After years of Executive Meddling and being Screwed by the Network, Digitiser finally came to an end in 2003. But what was the very last thing Mr. Biffo left behind for the nation to see? Press reveal to find out.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Everything's Deader With Zombie Dave
- Executive Meddling / Moral Guardians: Digi would often fall foul of them, not least due to its surreal humour, which would see sub-editors at Teletext cut out whole pages of reviews and demand changes to the most innocuous of headlines. And one genuine run-in with the broadcast regulator over a joke about violence and Gossi The Dog.
- Four Point Scale: Averted. Cue Sonic 3 Fan Dumbaplenty.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh So Very Hard. Especially with Zombie Dave.
- And again with pretty much anything, courtesy some extremely paranoid Meddling Executives.
- Grand Finale
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The Man (with or without his long chin), Fat Sow, Gossi The Dog, Insincere Dave, The Snakes, The Rapping Shoe, Zombie Dave, Chester Fisho, Le Chef Du Pompt Du Pompt, Mr. T, the list goes on. And on.
- Also, A reasonably large rotation of columnists at the weekend.
- Sarcasm Mode: Insincere Dave.
- Single-Issue Wonk
- Spammer: The name Stuart N. Hardy is instantly recognisable to Digi, Your Sinclair or Amiga Power readers - the man was a serial letter writer to any service or mag that promised a prize for the best letter. Notable mainly for being boring and opinionated.
- Digiworld.TV, an attempt to bring Digi to the web, which lasted about eight weeks.
- Digitiser2000 is the current web-based Digitiser continuation.
- The Unintelligible: Zombie Dave uses this to get away with saying outrageously offensive things in an ostensibly family-friendly magazine.Zombie Dave: [Describing Lara Croft] Thrr brrrd wrrz thrr tttrrrdz.