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BBC: Information Services

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd February 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has undertaken an impact assessment on the effect on older people of the decision by the BBC to end the red button service; and what representations he has made to the BBC on this decision.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent from the government; therefore, the government has no role in deciding whether BBC services, such as the BBC Red Button teletext service, should be continued.

It is the BBC’s responsibility to assess the potential effect of the closure of the BBC Red Button service on older people. The Government welcomes the BBC's decision to pause the closure of the Red Button service, ahead of its review of the impact of the closure on the most vulnerable including the elderly, and deaf and blind licence fee payers.

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