Amendment 1

Part of Media Bill - Report and Third Reading – in the House of Lords am 4:00 pm ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Watson of Wyre Forest Lord Watson of Wyre Forest Llafur 4:00, 23 Mai 2024

My Lords, I rise to support Amendment 1 and to echo some of the concerns raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Benjamin, in her Amendment 8. It is a very great honour to speak to her amendment. I congratulate her on her very important recognition with her BAFTA award last week. She has been a tireless campaigner for children’s television, which is why these two amendments are perhaps the most important that we are discussing today.

To put at the heart of the Bill the notion of public service broadcasting and to modernise it for the digital age should surely be what we are trying to achieve today. I am a member of probably the first generation of comprehensive school children who were taught using terrestrial colour television—creative programmes such as “Words and Pictures” and—dare I say it?—“Play School”. I still remember “magic e” when I write speeches for the Lords. What is sitting here is a failure to realise that we are the generation that lived in information scarcity and our children are swimming in an ocean of information abundance. That notion at the heart of public service broadcasting—good, thorough content creation that is age-appropriate and relevant to the educational journey that we ask our children and their families to go on—is what we should be addressing.

I hope that all Front-Benchers will be able to take the comments made by the movers of those amendments very seriously when they respond to the debate.