The BBC Red Button Teletext Service has been saved from switch off after the NFBUK and British Deaf Association handed in a petition to the Director General of the BBC Lord Hall and to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Monday 27th January 2020.
The petition was backed by 170 organisations from across the UK, which included Age UK, the National Association of Deafened People (NADP) and the National Association of Retired Police Officers.
The petition called for an immediate pause to the closure of the BBC Red Button Teletext Service, which is a vital lifeline for many disabled, older and vulnerable people across the UK and is a much loved service by many people across the UK. The petitioners were met at the gates of 10 Downing Street by MP Damian Collins on Monday 27 January 2020, who took immediate action by writing to the Director General of the BBC asking for a halt to the switch off. Within 24 hours, Lord Tony Hall agreed to suspend the switch off and has agreed to meet with Damian Collins MP and campaigners on this issue.
- Andrew Hodgson President of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK ‘This is fantastic news, it is a victory for equality, diversity and disability and the NFBUK along with our fellow petitioners look forward to working with the BBC in an engaging and collaborative manner on this issue. The BBC Red Button teletext is a vital service for the people of Great Britain and is a lifeline to many disabled and elderly people across the nation. We would like to thank the Government and the BBC for listening and acting on the concerns raised.’
- Steve Edwards Chief Executive of NARPO said ‘ At last someone in the BBC has listened to what people are telling them. Whilst many people embrace new technology there are millions of older people who do not or cannot, in many cases because of a disability. This service is vital to ensure that these people remain connected to current affairs and can access information in a simple format, ensuring they still remain part of the community and are not left feeling isolated. This is a major victory and it is clear that this service should remain and we implore the BBC to keep this service open.’
The NFBUK are asking for people to please contact them with their further stories of why they rely, use and love the BBC Red Button Teletext Service, which will be submitted to the BBC and the Government. Please contact NFBUK via voice telephone – 01924 291313 by voice or text to 07903 155858, via email to
The NFBUK would also please encourage people to contact your MP urgently to explain how important this service is to you and that it must never be switched off.