TELLY addicts were left staring at blank screens over Christmas and New Year when their satellite dish broke down.

Residents in two blocks of flats in Delaware Road, Shoebury, missed out the annual TV specials and endless repeats after the screens went blank two days before Christmas.

Landlord South Essex Homes was called to fix the problem, but the repairs failed twice.

Andrea Saunders, 44, who suffers from agoraphobia and rarely leaves her home, said: “The only thing I really have for entertainment is the television, so I have been a bit lost, especially as the best films are on over the Christmas period.

“We have got no guarantees that even if someone does come and look at it again it will get fixed.”

The problem was temporarily repaired when it was first reported, but the signal went again at 10.30am on Christmas morning.

A whole new system was then set up, but this broke down again just before 11pm on New Year’s Eve.

Father-of-four Stewart Chapman, 36, said the lack of television had particularly affected parents who were trying to keep their youngsters entertained during the school holidays.

He added: “Over the Christmas period the kids were stuck at home, so it was a bit of a nightmare.

“This has happened a few times since the new satellite dish was put up in the summer, and it’s a bit ridiculous it has gone on so long.

“If something is wrong, you expect your housing association to sort it.”

Residents from the 24 flats affected have now sent a letter of complaint to South Essex Homes, which is keen to stress it replaced several amplifiers and restored the system in an attempt to solve the intermittent fault.

Group manager Paul Longman said: “We are now investigating the supply cable as it is believed the fault may be caused by this.

“This is a very unusual fault and television services are normally restored the same day. However the intermittent fault has been very difficult to diagnose.

“South Essex Homes would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused and confirm the service will be restored as soon as possible.”