Wednesday, April 7, 2021


The cheeky monkeys at the Telegraph, Express and Mail are piling into the BBC this morning, spinning the response to a single modest complaint about homepages into a new, and completely non-existent, policy of 'not making programmes for old people'.  The writers conveniently forget the average age of a BBC One viewer is 61, and blindfold themselves to the current schedules.

We have a few pars from the original letter, written to DG Tim Davie. 

“I’m 55, and often roll my eyes when I see the iPlayer and BBC Sounds homepages, focusing as they seem to do on encouraging younger consumers with shows aimed at them, and photos of twenty-somethings listening to programmes or podcasts.”

“If the Corporation is keen on fairness and inclusivity, perhaps representing those who are major consumers of television would be a good place to start.”

He, or probably his team, handed it off to Audience Services, who responded with a rather loose letter, missing the complainant's core issue, about not finding links to programmes like 'The Bidding Room' and 'Round Britain Quiz' on the front pages of iPlayer and Sounds, and being over-faced by Little Mix and Gemma Collins.

'As you’ll appreciate, with an audience of many millions across the whole of the UK, we cannot possibly cater successfully for all individual tastes at all times, and enjoyment is a very personal matter.  We find that tastes in older age groups vary just as much as those in any other age range - for example, some older viewers prefer quizzes, soaps and lighter programmes whilst others prefer more cultural or factual programmes.

'This being the case, there simply isn’t a typical programme or range of shows that would appeal specifically to older audiences, and that’s why our television channels and radio stations and the information on our website is for a general audience.

We're a general broadcaster so by definition our approach has to be general and broad, so there needs to be a degree of compromise.'

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