Emma Soames: It's time to unlock talent for the older generation

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The Independent Online

I wouldn't want to be ghettoised but I don't think anybody watches one single channel these days. We are all channel surfers now and older viewers have very firm views about quality. BBC figures show more people watch television when they are over 60 than any other demographic.

It seems exciting and I like the idea of all the new music videos, but I would not want to see endless re-runs of The Golden Girls and Bootsie and Snudge. If it produces original programming that is very watchable and not littered with four-letter words, and which older viewers can actually hear without too much background noise, it will be a hit – and not just with the over 50s. There were some fantastic programmes made in the 1970s. I am not saying there are not some very good ones made now, but the standard then was very high – and we must not underestimate the Helen Mirren factor. There is no shortage of wonderful talent among this generation and it would be wonderful to give these older women presenters another chance. I don't think reality television is really our thing.

Emma Soames, 60, is editor-at-large at Saga Magazine

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