Salford Pensioners Association and Salford Against The Cuts last night staged a Question Time protest outside the new BBC Studios at MediaCityUK.
"We've been trying to get the leader of the pensioners on Question Time for two years and the latest statement from them is that the bright lights and pressure would be too much for them" said George Tapp of the Salford Pensioners Association
"If that's true, does it mean that they're cancelling the Queen's Speech this year?" he asked "She's a pensioner, so are they going to cancel it? Today is David Dimbleby's 73rd birthday. We're welcoming him to Ordsall, although he seems to be running away now and basing all his programmes in Scotland."
The protesters gave out leaflets with a statement from Dot Gibson, general secretary of the 1.5 million strong National Pensioners Convention… "We were told our representatives wouldn't be able to cope with the lights and the stress of a live broadcast. It's ridiculous and condescending and smacks of ageism. We have accused the BBC of ageism in the past as it seems they don't want to acknowledge our existence or our right to a voice in society."
At yesterday's protest, the BBC wouldn't allow banners to be placed near the windows of the studios, although a BBC liaison officer did agree to listen to the pensioners' demands.
Around the country, pensioners are leafleting studio audiences as they go in to watch Question Time. But George Tapp claims that people are not allowed in to watch the programme unless they put the leaflets in the bin.
"It's disgusting" he says "We're not going to go away, we're going to have a regular presence here."
For details of further protest watch this space.
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