A “social experiment” to survive without a television has resulted in a burst of creativity for one man.
Musician Martin Gough, of Willowgate, decided to ditch the “idiot box” when he had trouble tuning into any channels after moving to Pickering in January last year, eventually giving his TV to his sons, Declan 18, and 13-year-old Jamie.
And while it may be unthinkable to most of us, the result, he says, has been liberating.
“It has made me do different things that I wouldn’t have normally done,” said Martin, 51. “I wouldn’t have written a book if I was sat in front of the TV – or it would’ve taken me 20 years to do it if I was watching Coronation Street!”
The self-published book, Up ‘ill ‘n’ Down Dale, is Martin’s personal guide to the Yorkshire Dales, a place which has been close to his heart for the past 25 years.
It features the keen hill walker’s favourite locations, pubs, activities, restaurants, and more – as well as a walk or two – and will be out on sale in time for the Tour de France.
Martin said: “I just want to get it out there and see my book on the shelves. The hope is to break even – and give any proceeds to charity if I make a profit.”
His year without TV has also seen him catch up with friends more often and continue to gig, performing his One Man Rock Show and the Sound of Bowie Show.
He has also worked as a mental health nurse – and is to launch his services to private clients in March.
Other entertainment comes from listening to BBC Radio and reading and, if the mood takes him, he may watch the odd DVD on his laptop or pop to the pub so he can access wifi and catch up on his emails.
“I wouldn’t have done half the things I have if I had kept my TV,” he said. “I would be interested to know how many people out there who haven’t got a television – or do the vast majority of people watch TV?
“I’m going to continue as I am and see what the future brings and especially with spring and summer around the corner. That’s easier as the weather is better and there is more to do than during winter.”