Kate Garraway remembers 1970s blackouts after National Grid power outage warning

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Kate Garraway admits she found the 1970s blackouts ‘cosy and lovely’ after National Grid warned of potential planned power outages in the UK this winter.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, now 55, was a child when the miners strikes and the oil crisis resulted in outages, and she told her younger co-star Ben Shephard, 47, about her experiences.

‘You probably don’t remember it in the 70s do you? You were way too young. I remember it really vividly,’ she recalled on Friday’s episode of the ITV breakfast show.

‘I remember sitting around and we all went into the kitchen, and we had a battery powered radio. It’s when I started really enjoying news, actually.

‘They’d have Radio 4 or something on, there’d be a story in the evening, sat around with candles. Of course, because I was very little, it was quite cosy and lovely – for my parents, very, very stressful.’

Her comments come as millions of Brits have been warned to brace for an ‘unlikely’ scenario with the possibility of three-hour planned outages to stop the grid from collapsing if power plants can’t get enough gas to keep running.

Now, households are being encouraged to ‘save money and back Britain’ by using more energy during off-peak times.

To try and prevent planned power cuts, households will be paid to turn down their heating, as well as other measures like not using their washing machines during peak time, which could help save the country a lot of energy.

Details on how much money households will receive for this will be provided on November 1, after the National Grid Electricity System Operator issued its bleak ‘winter outlook’ report detailing the scenario that a shortage of gas could mean ‘planned interruptions of electricity supply to businesses and households’.

Margins between peak demand and power supply are expected to be sufficient and similar to recent years, as outlined in the National Grid ESO base case scenario for this winter.

However, the grid operator still has to plan for other scenarios in case there were no imports of electricity from Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To tackle a loss of imports from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, there are two gigawatts of coal-fired power plants on stand-by to fire up if needed to meet demand.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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