The pair claimed that the industry has become less accessible to young people hoping to enter the business.
Speaking with The Telegraph, the I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! hosts said that the days of TV being an “accessible place” had “gone by the wayside”.
“When we were growing up we had shows like Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Jossy’s Giants on TV,” said McPartlin. “Catherine Cooksons were being filmed up the road in Northumberland, you had Tyne Tees down the road where they filmed The Tube.
“You read the stories of the bands going up from London on the train, getting absolutely trolleyed, and giving some of the best performances. It felt like TV was an accessible place for two lads from Newcastle. These days that seems to have gone by the wayside.”
Donnelly added: “TV got very London-centric in the 1990s/early Noughties. The energy it brings to a city if you’ve got a good media hub – when we were growing up it was all around us. I think that stopped and we’d like to try and bring a bit of that back.”
Ant and Dec have now teamed up with the Prince’s Trust for Making it in Media, a new project aimed at giving young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds a start in the TV industry.
The scheme will target 16-to-25-year-olds not in education, employment or training, and offer career guidance, grants and meetings with potential employers.
“By the time we’re finished with them they’ll have a real skill set to work with,” said Donnelly. “They’ll hopefully bring real value, a fresh set of eyes and a fresh voice to wherever they go.
“If broadcasters want younger viewers, get young people in to make programmes, in front of or behind the cameras. Otherwise they stay on social media and TV runs the risk of losing them completely.”
You can find out more about the scheme here.
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