Baroness Bakewell hails ‘terrifically good’ role models

BARONESS Joan Bakewell has hailed a number of women in television and film for being “terrifically good” role models.

Baroness Bakewell
Baroness Bakewell

Speaking after winning an Older People in the Media Awards gong, the 82-year-old broadcasting veteran highlighted a number of women who have “put in 110%”.

She said: “People like Sue Perkins, who is terrifically good. Emma Thompson’s another in the world of film, she’s older of course. Sky’s Kay Burley is very good.

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“There are women to look to and all the women you see have got there by being capable, good at their job, turning up on time, writing good scripts, doing good interviews - they’re all terrifically hard-working.

“I’m a great fan of Channel 4’s Cathy Newman. I think she’s a wonderful role model. There are plenty around to look at and see how they do their job because in order to be there, they have to put in 110%.”

The Older People in the Media Awards is a celebration of the best representations of older people’s issues in the media.

It is run by the charity Independent Age in collaboration with Gransnet, the social network for the UK’s 14 million grandparents.

Baroness Bakewell took home the best older person’s champion in the media award, beating Baroness Ros Altmann, broadcaster Angela Rippon and campaigner Dame Esther Rantzen.

Speaking about her award, she said: “It’s wonderful. They’re all impressive women.

“Angela are Esther have had huge careers and are still evident in the media doing wonderful work. They’re enormously resourceful women with a great profile.”

But she added: “Ros Altmann used to be a great defender of women’s pensions and in the House of Lords last week I put a question which she wasn’t really able to answer satisfactorily, so she’s lost a few brownie points there.”

Baroness Bakewell has spoken extensively about older people’s rights, often using her own experiences as an example, and served as the government-appointed Voice of Older People from 2008 to 2010.

The Labour peer said the Older People in the Media Awards gives winners a platform to speak out.

“There are 10 million people over 65 and some of us have a high profile, and this is an opportunity for us to draw attention to the problems the 10 million have.

“It’s good that we should keep up the profile of older people - on their behalf, not for ourselves. We should have a presence in the media.”

JB Morrison, a founding member of 1990s indie rock band Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, won the gong for the best older person’s character in a book, film, TV or radio drama.

The award was for character Frank Derrick, who features in his book Frank Derrick’s Holiday Of A Lifetime.

Morrison beat thespian heavyweights including Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi to the award.

He said: “I was surprised and flattered just to be nominated. Winning against characters played by Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi is a bigger surprise.”