BT is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the "curly cord" telephone in UK homes.

The 700-type telephone was launched in May 1959 to "set off the decor of any room and add a discrete note of good taste and luxury you can afford".

At launch BT says the telephones cost £5 and more than 33,000 were ordered in the first 8 months.

Adding to the phone's popularity was the fact the 700-type was available in different colours, including topaz yellow, concord blue, lacquer red, light ivory, two-tone grey - French grey and elephant grey, and two-tone green - aircraft green and forest green.

The cord was designed by the GPO engineering department and based on US-style phones, being curly to avoid tangles.