No TV since 1988 - Courier Newspaper
Happy with a newspaper
1988 on the box - notable TV moments in the year Andrew Lohmann abandoned it:
- January BBC1 moves Neighbours' repeat episode to its prime 5.35pm slot
- April The original series of Crossroads airs for the last time on ITV
- September The Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea and broadcast around the world
- November BBC's science ñction drama Doctor Who celebrates its 25th anniversary
- December As part of a Christmas special, Channel 4 soap Brookside airs five episodes over five consecutive days
Major TV events since 1988:
- 1997 Dianna's funeral
- 1998 Beckham's red card v Argentina
- 2000 Big Brother launches
- 2001 September 11 attacks
- 2003 Final Only Fools And Horses episode
- 2004 The X Factor launches
- 2005 Doctor Who relaunches
- 2011 Royal wedding
- 2012 Diamond Jubilee
NO TV: Southborough resident Andrew Lohmann has not owned a television for 24 years
NEIGHBOURS may have bagged the 5.35pm slot to which most of the country was glued and Crossroads with its wobbly stage sets was in its last year - but one man from Southborough wasn't watching.
In 1988 Andrew Lohmann. 53, ditched his television for good.
He said he had developed “a terrible habit of watching television” to the detriment of a social life and engaging with the world around him.
The electronics engineer, who told the Courier he had never seen footage of the passenger jets exploding into the World Trade Center in 2001 and was only “aware” Britain's Got Talent was a programme, said: “When I left home I thought. don’t bother with the TV. I had a lovely flat in the town centre, lovely neighbours and lots of things to do."
As a child with rheumatoid arthritis he had watched ample television and was inspired by Tomorrow’s World, The World About Us, Life on Earth and Doctor Who. He began “making things with batteries” aged five and those early programmes led him into engineering.
But in his twenties he got in to “bad habits” with the set in the living room.
“It was easy to just watch TV. It drew me in,” he said.
“I was a bit ‘junk TV’ because I was at home. I didn’t read a lot- I am dyslexic - so I was taking other peop1e’s impressions of things on the television. It was just too easy to watch it."
Minus the box, he became involved in “environmental stuff He campaigned for nuclear disarmament with the local branch of CND which led to a few hours in the cells at Tunbridge Wells police station in the late 1980s - and later worked with Electronics for Peace, a group of scientists concerned about the military’s dominance of electronic technology.
He also devoted more time to and computing hobbies” and found that with more time for preparing food, he preferred vegan and could cook. He also served as a town councillor in Southborough.
“I was deñnitely more sociable and had lots of women friends,” he added.
For two years Mr Lohmann read the Guardian newspaper every day in its entirety.
“With the dyslexia it really was very demanding. I gave up after two years, it got too much. But that is why I can write letters now, with the help of computers and word processors," he said.
He uses e-mail and listens to Radio Four and as his work takes him away from home, he watches television in hotels. He cannot see a time when he will move in a television, but he said he was certainly not preaching to others to ditch their sets.
“Do things because you want to. Don’t discard a TV because you want to get rid of a habit. Do it because you want to introduce a new habit. It should have a positive reason.”
He added: “We have got much deeper into the virtual world with television and Facebook and pro-filing and banking even, where it is virtual money.
“But it’s still the same substance. It’s like going in to a supermarket and seeing a whole wall of different coloured toilet rolls. It's not a choice, a different colour of toilet paper.”