Links? You want links? Well, stuff these in your filthy bosom, Graham...
Below you'll find a list of some of the most significant Digi and Digi-adjacent pages on the web, along with a host of sites about teletext in general, and teletext recovery in particular.
Digitiser 2000 is the current incarnation of our beloved Digi, rebooted by Mr Biffo as a blog. Featuring the same kind of humour, reveal-o-jokes, and excellent writing, it should be your first stop for Digi reading in the Space Year 2000AD.
DIGITISER 2000: GAMES OF MY YEARS
The Games of My Years series will be of particular note to anyone interested in the history of Digitiser (and indeed, Biffo himself). We're taken on a comprehensive tour of Digi's inception, through its glory years, hitting the notorious Digigate rocks, and then coming roaring back for a swell final few months:
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 1
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 2
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 3
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 4
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 5
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 6
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 7
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 8
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 9
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 10
Games of My Years: Digitiser Part 11
DIGITISER 2000: DIGITISER AT 25
Digi turned the grand age of 25 on 1 January 2018, and Biffo treated us to a whole stuffed gut full of content celebrating this proud anniversary. Not only were there retrospective look-backs to complement the Games of My Years series, but a full week's worth of actual classic Teletext-style Digi, created by Biffo from scratch. It was an absolute joy.
The official YouTube home of Digitiser, featuring exactly the sort of absurd videos you would want from such a thing. Includes Digitiser The Show and the epic web series, Mr Biffo's Found Footage. Hail Xenoxxx!
All the major players in Digi lore feature on Twitter, and it's often the first place you'll hear about new Digi events and projects. It goes without saying that you really should be following Mr Biffo, but all the great Digi writers are there, including Calvin 27, Sextus McSwine, and even Gand! Do the follow thing now:
It's a proud thing knowing that Digi had such a great influence and "ruffled" so many "feathers" that both it and its writers came to merit articles on Wikipedia. The Digi article is nice and comprehensive and definitely worth a look if you want to "gen up" futther.
Bubblegun was an offshoot site from Digi, started by Biffo and Steve Horsely in the late '90s. It took a humourous look at pop culture, and featured a number of familiar Digi characters such as The Snakes, Zombie Dave, and Dr Derek Doctors, as well showcasing Biffo's 'Knife & Wife' cartoon strips. The site hasn't been updated in a number of years, but it's kept online now as an archive.
The original - official - Digitiser page on Teletext Ltd.'s own webiste. Long since offline, this is recovered from Archive.org. There's not an awful lot here, but it's a curious piece of history, with its mix of broadcast-Digi articles and playable games featuring typically Digi characters.
Biffovision was the original personal home on the web for Biffo's work. It sprung up around the time he started trying to break into scriptwriting, and featured samples of a number of projects he'd been working on, plus a range of early 'Knife & Wife'. In Digi's later years it featured a message board - The Board Of Biffo - wherein the community could mingle and proceed to cuss each other bad (sadly).
Mr Biffo's post-Digitiser official site. The snapshots saved by archive.org include transcripts of prank instant message chats (later going on to feature Loopy Lisa, the star of Biffo's book, Confessions of a Chatroom Freak), comic strips, FAQs, career news, and even a little shrine to the dear departed Digi. The best way to explore this content is by using the links below:
Official Digitiser Obituary Page
Mr Biffo kept a regular blog for a couple of years post-Digi. It was deleted at the time he stepped away from his Digi-era persona and from the public eye, concentrating on his scriptwriting career and simply being Paul Rose. Some enterprising soul created this unofficial archive of his blog posts so they could still be read, which includes discussion about the lead-up to and broadcast of the Biffovision TV pilot.
David McCaffery's 'Digi-Me-Do' fansite - known to many simply as 'moleman.freeserve.co.uk' - has been offline now for some years (recovered here from Archive.org), but while it lived it was an excellent site featuring screengrabs of classic Digi moments, reveal-ohs, and archived Man Diaries. It certainly helped me out a few times when I had to catch up after going away on holiday, or being tied-up in a papoose, or something.
Still hungry for my encyclo-Digi reminisci-words? The Digi entry on TV Tropes.org goes beyond the Digi Wikipedia page, with some juicy fact-ohs that will make your brain stem quiver.
Mentski's 'Digi!' was one of the first Digitiser fansites on the web (recovered from Archive.org), and in the early days was probably the most significant, seeing as it featured the first known interview with Mr Biffo - wherein he relayed to us the 'Handsome Crab' origin of Digi humour as we knew it. Sadly, that interview is no longer accessible through this snapshot, but there's plenty of other interesting stuff if you care to dig about for flakey bits.
Page 670 was another of the original raft of Digi fansites, gracing the web just two months after Super Page 58. It immediately set itself apart with its original writing, including a Man Diary-inspired journal documenting the adventures of The Man's pink beret, which at this point didn't feature on his Digi graphic. A curious look back at the kind of fan-run site that used to be commonplace in the mid-to-late '90s 'Geocities' era.
In its heyday the Digitiser Cartoon Strip Generator allowed you to live out your Mr Biffo fantasies by creating your very own Digi reveal-o-stories, featuring a myriad array of characters. Sadly no longer functioning now that it only exists as an Archive.org snapshot, it's still an interesting curio to have a nose around all the same.
Read the articles on Digitiser 2000 in simulated teletext-style, and revel in the joy of seeing modern content rendered in blocky 3-bit graphics.
A whole website dedicated to Sheffield's most infamous resident, frequent Digi correspondent (among many others), and King Of The Mess-Ups himself, Stuart N Hardy. Such was Hardy's infamy that Chris Young's Unsatisfactory Software was committed to documenting his many and varied appearances across the UK's letters pages. We may never know the full truth about the man himself, but for Hardyologists, this is a goldmine of information.
The old site, still available on archive.org, has even more details for thirsty Hardy-heads.
Every column Stuart Campbell wrote for Digitiser's weekend Panel 4 strand. Includes his unbroadcast final offering, written in the shadow of Digigate, which arguably "did more harm than good" to Digi's cause at Teletext Ltd.
The official website for Mr Biffo's day job as an award-winning TV scriptwriter.
Exciting news came early in 2018, as Mr Biffo announced ambitious plans for a Digitiser YouTube series. Billed as proper retro gaming telly infused with the classic Digi spirit, as soon as the Kickstarter opened to fund it, Biffo was inundated with support. The show debuted on YouTube in November to great acclaim, with another series in production to coincide with Digi's 30th anniversary in 2023.
Originally an exclusive video for backers of Digitiser The Show, this special look at the origin of Digi was eventually made available for all - and what it is too. Mr Biffo (Paul Rose) and Mr Hairs (Tim Moore) are both interviewed by Show co-hosts Octav1us and Gameplayjenny, with some real hot and juicy hist-o-nuggets being offered up for your approval. Hell, even the little guy that "does" this website joins in the fun half way through.
Some most excellent person has put a recovery of the very first edition of Digi on YouTube. Yes, you can see it nice and high-res in Super Page 58's Vault, but there's something about watching the pages tick over just as they would when reading teletext, and seeing all the flashing bits and bobs in the ads, that gets your nostalgia gland good and pumping.
Biffo has been kind enough to speak his brain-thoughts to a number of inquisitive fans over the years. Many of these interviews can be found on YouTube, some of which are linked below - and there are loads more here. Swayze!
Play Expo Blackpool 2018: Digitiser 25th Anniversary Talk with Mr Biffo
The Retro Hour interview with Mr Biffo
Retro Unlim: Hangin' Out With... Paul Rose AKA Teletext's Mr Biffo AKA Mr Digitiser
Teletextr Podcast 04, March 2016 - Teletext After Hours
The series Biffo was born to make. A rip-roaring comedy-horror tour de force dredged from the depts of his brain stem, featuring twisted humour, insane sketches, bizarre adverts, and everything you would expect to come from Biffo's fevered imagination when he doesn't have anyone to answer to. Created in 'found footage' style, pieced together from VHS tapes Biffo supposedly found in a carboot sale, it gradually tells a wider sci-fi story, and is essential viewing for all Digi fans. Hail Xenoxxx!
In 2006 Mr Biffo and Mr Hairs reunited for the first time in nearly ten years, working on a TV pilot for BBC Three. 'Biffovision' was a freewheeling mix of spoof Saturday morning children's TV show, sketches, and surreal humour in the grand Digi tradition, and could have made for a wonderful series had it been picked up. Alas, that never came to pass - but at least we got to meet an android with a metal chuff!
Another TV pilot - the first of Biffo's, in fact - from 2001, 'Knife & Wife' was based on the comic strips of the same name that Biffo had drawn since he was a kid, and had revived in hilarious style for Bubblegun. It featured such legendary talent as Terry Jones, Jessica Heinz (then Stevenson), and Kevin Eldon, and is notable for getting the expression 'moc-moc-a-moc!' on TV. Unfortunately it never hit the highs of the comic strip, or captured its spirit, and Biffo has since stated his disappointment with how it turned out. Still, though: a signifcant piece of Digi history.
Digitiser The Show series 1 co-host Octav1us delves into the arcane wonders of teletext in this excellent video, featuring a suitably reverential overview of Digi too. Also includes an interview with Mr Biffo himself, and a terrifying characterisation of The Man's Daddy.
A lovely article looking back at Digi, written by one its former stars of the letters page, Matt Gander - or, to give him his Biffo-appointed name, "Non-shiny goose".
Detailed and loving tribute to Digi, taking in history, achievements, and what it meant personally to the author (Steve Perrin, who wrote Microbrits). Even has a look at Mar10 Day, which arguably started thanks to Digi.
Another glowing article on Digitiser's history and humour, featuring plenty of choice Digi quotes plucked from this very website.
Written at the time of Teletext Ltd.'s demise, this article gives a tour of the end for the service. Features a shout-out to Digi, which it describes as "the greatest contribution Teletext gave us". Who are we to argue?
Jason Robertson's Teletext Archive is an astonishing achievement. Bringing together recovered editions of teletext services from all over the world, this is the best, most comprehensive archive anywhere online, with recoveries from the dawn of Ceefax right up to contemporary European broadcasts. All pages are presented in HTML, meaning they're fully searchable. Register and you can even upload your own recoveries directly to the archive, as many have already done.
A superb site dedicated to Mega-Zine, Teletext's teens forum, which built up a passionate, long-lasting fanbase. The curator, aka teletext recovery supremo Andrew Nile, is constantly adding more letters - all searchable, all indexed by 'Ziner. If you ever wrote in, chances are one of your letters is included here.
Alistair Cree's Turner The Worm Archive collects complete Turner stories - as written and drawn by Paul Rose - and presents them in a nice little viewer. This is an ongoing project, and thanks to the miracle of teletext recovery, new stories are being added all the time.
Archive of recovered teletext from various different UK services. All of the Digitiser it contains is safely collected within Super Page 58's Vault, but there's plenty of non-Digi stuff on this site. Y'know, if that's your thing.
Teletext recovery guides
If you'd lke to have a go at recovering teletext pages from old video tapes yourself, the following guides and tools should give you everything you need:
Teletext in general
A whole wiki dedicated to teletext. As with all wikis, the articles are user-generated - so sign up, add some content, and get into arguments with other mods about obscure points of governance .
Remember Usenet? Never mind, it was rubbish. Unlike the old newsgroups like alt.digitiser (you are not advised to click this link), Discord is a proper service, and not held together with twigs and mastic and that. The dedicated teletext Discord server is a lively and popular community of friendly experts on all things blocky, and the place to go if you want to talk artwork, consult the oracles (see what I did there?) about teletext recovery, or find out about the latest events.
As well as being a renowned teletext artist and co-host of the wonderful Teletext R podcast, Dan Farrimond's Teletextart.co.uk site is the leading light of the online teletext community. Regular articles, live streams, and art showcases are all offered up with a wry smile and a light jazz soundtrack.
Further evidence that teletext people are excellent people comes in the form of Arbitrary Files, and more specifically, its owner David Walford. David is a selfless and generous figure in the community, organising events such as Chunky Fringe and Block Party, details of which appear here. He's also a talented retro gaming developer, creating a Spectrum game based on Mr Biffo's Found Footage, which you can find here - as well as the development diary of Digitiser The Game.
Alistair Cree is one of the cornerstones of the online teletext community, and a plate-spinning tech titan. His website is a great place to start if you're interested in the technical side of teletext, with a range of tools and information.
Want to create your own genuine teletext pages? This online editor is all you need - well, along with a lot of patience as you get to grips with the arcane ways of teletext...
The WePresent strand fro WeTransfer take a look at the teletext art scene, featuring contributions from Mr Biffo and his Bubblegun buddy Steve Horsely, aka the teletext art icon Horsenburger.
Do you know of any important moments from the annals of Digi history that have been omitted? If so, then mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) right now, man. Credit will be duly given for anything that gets put up.