Many is the time that I get asked why I like the Test Card so much. “It’s boring…..it doesn’t do anything. Why do you want to watch it all the time?”
The thing is, I don’t want to watch it all the time. I very rarely actually “watch” it but when I do, I see more than just a picture with a load of lines and colours. It’s a very complicated technical device and without the various checks and what-nots that it can perform, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the output of the Beeb or ITV or whatever two-bit, lousy channel it is that you like to watch. Test Cards were highly important in the evolution of modern-day televisual entertainment as they filled in the gaps between the somewhat spacious programme listings in the 60s and 70s with audio and visual signals to get things just right for the arrival of “Deal or no deal” many years later.
This still hasn’t truly answered the main question though, has it? Why do I like to watch the Test Card so much? Well, it’s as simple as this. Despite all of the amazing engineering tests built into the card. Despite the long history of such an iconic image in British broadcasting. Despite the rather staggering array of music that was used in the background and despite the fact that the little girl, Carole Hersee appeared for in excess of 70,000 hours on the Test Card, the reason that I like it is this: YOU DON’T LIKE IT AND I’M GLAD THAT YOU FIND IT SO DULL! HAR DE HAR!
I hope that this has been useful and has answered a few of those niggling and puzzling questions that you may have had.