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Welsh 'take over' TV networks

TELEVISION viewers are furious parts of Chester district appear to have been annexed by Wales after they started receiving Welsh channels.

TELEVISION viewers are furious parts of Chester district appear to have been annexed by Wales after they started receiving Welsh channels.

People living in CH3 and CH4 post code areas have been receiving BBC Wales and S4C on Sky Digital since Tuesday afternoon instead of the English equivalents.

And they are not happy that Sky and the BBC appear to be blaming each other for the cock-up with no-one certain about when it will be rectified.

The urban areas affected include Handbridge, Lache, Saltney, Westminster Park, Boughton, Vicars Cross, and Huntington.

In rural area customers are having problems in Christleton, Guilden Sutton, Tarvin, Aldford, Ashton, Broxton, Burwardsley, Dodleston, Eccleston, Farndon, Great Barrow, Higher Kinnerton, Hargrave and Tattenhall.

Ken Davies, 63, of Oaklands Crescent, Tattenhall, who pays £27 a month for his Sky service, said: 'CH3 has become part of Wales. Yesterday I spoke to Sky and they said 'It's nothing to do with us. It's the BBC'. But S4C is nothing to do with the BBC.

'I phoned up the BBC and they said 'It's not our fault, it's Sky.'

Mr Davies, whose relatives four generations ago were Welsh, added: 'I don't want to hear about Cardiff and Aberystwyth however nice the towns are. I'm from Manchester and I want the North West news. Wales has taken over about a third of Cheshire!'

Mr Davies said S4C was a purely Welsh language channel but he had no intention of enrolling for a course in Welsh.

He added: 'I can get channels one, two and four on my normal aerial. What annoys me is they have just decided we are part of Wales and want Welsh information.

'It's not just me. I was talking to somebody from Burwardsely and they said exactly the same thing.'

Stephen Smith, 24, who lives in Kensington Green, off Hough Green, Chester, said: 'I've got nothing against the Welsh but I would rather watch programmes I can understand!'

Mrs Carol Weaver, of Smithfields, Tattenhall, who pays £34 a month for her Sky package, said: 'I phoned the Sky customer service line on Tuesday night and they said there were about 4,500 customers who had phoned in. They said they were hoping to rectify it overnight but it's still the same today. Sky said it was the BBC's fault but if it was the BBC why would Channel 4 be affected? We cannot seem to get a straight answer.'

A Sky spokesman said: 'We have had a brief and it says some customers will receive BBC Wales for a few days. It's something to do with BBC regionalisation. They are getting their regions sorted out.'

But a BBC spokesman told the Chronicle: 'Sky has changed its postcode database and it has resulted in this anomaly. We believe they are seeking to rectify it.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
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