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Thousands of viewers face Christmas without TV as replacement for fire-damaged mast not winter ready

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Thousands of viewers face Christmas without TV as fire-damaged cell tower replacement takes two months to set up and doesn’t work in winter

  • The problem is caused by the Bisldale transmitter which was damaged by fire
  • The proposed replacement is not suitable for winter use
  • It means families may need to shun TV for more traditional fun










It has long been a Christmas tradition to sit down with the TV guide in hand to plan your television viewing during the holiday season.

But families living in the Bilsdale area will be forced to spend even more time with their loved ones after the latest disaster to hit their damaged transmitter.

Locals seem to miss Johns Lewis’ latest ad or Skyfall’s annual screening thanks to the proposed replacement for the fire-ravaged broadcaster.

Mast operator Arqiva wants to put an 80m mast in a quarry to replace services it lost on Aug. 10, but says it will take two months to build – and won’t work over the winter.

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said six aircraft have been dispatched to fight the blaze at the Bilsdale Broadcasting Centre, high on the North York Moors, north of Helmsley.

The BBC reports that the worst-affected households will receive a partial refund of their TV license.

At least a million people in the northeast were affected by the fire that damaged the station.

North York Moors National Park Authority planning director Chris France said the temporary mast would not be permanently attached and would not be suitable for winter.

The transmitter (pictured above) was built in 1969 and supplies digital TV to much of the North East of England

And Arqiva says “another replacement mast” would be needed, which would require full construction permits.

More than 30 firefighters fought the blaze in August at the 1,000-foot-tall Bilsdale Transmission Center, high on the North York Moors, north of Helmsley.

Firefighters said at the time that the fire involved the tower mast itself, which is 315 meters (1,032 feet) high.

Eyewitnesses in the area described a scene of chaos, with plumes of black smoke rising from the hills and spreading across the Yorkshire valleys.

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