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*UPDATE* Save the BBC Red Button Teletext Service

The NFBUK would like to update you on our petition to ‘Save the BBC Red Button Teletext service’ permanently but we still urgently need help and support to save it.

To date, we now have 413 supporting organisations, which includes over 60 Age UK organisations across the UK with many other national, regional and local organisations supporting it too. Please reply to the NFBUK as soon as possible as we will be meeting the BBC shortly and we want to hand in this petition to them when we meet.

If you or your organisation wishes to support this Petition

All you need to do is simply send an email to Sarah Gayton, who is coordinating the campaign for NFBUK or to the NFBUK or phone/text Sarah on 07903 155858, and state ”YES” and give the NAME of your Clubs, Groups, Societies, Organisations, Guilds and Rurals etc.


About the BBC Red Button Teletext Service

As you will most likely be aware, the BBC had intended to switch off the Red Button Teletext Service on 30th January 2020.  However, NFBUK submitted an Emergency Petition to the BBC and to 10 Downing Street on 27th January 2020 to appeal for this service to be retained.  By 29th January 2020 the Petition had been backed by over 175 UK organisations and on this date, after receiving the Petition, the BBC agreed to keep the service switched on pending further review.  The BBC has now confirmed that they will make a fresh decision on the fate of this service in the Spring.

The NFBUK will be meeting with the BBC to highlight the concerns expressed by many people who contacted the NFBUK in desperation at the prospect of this BBC Red Button Teletext Service being closed down permanently.  At this meeting the NFBUK will re-submit their Petition.

The BBC Red Button Teletext Service is a vital lifeline for many disabled and elderly people, as it provides information on the news, weather, sports results and much more in a static text form which is accessible to many people including those who are sight impaired, deaf, disabled, housebound, and elderly etc.  It is also a very easy to use format for many non-disabled people. This service can be used without the need for Internet connection.  For a variety of reasons many people do not have Internet access or do not know how to use a computer, tablet or smart phone. This is a particular problem in rural areas which is demonstrated on the following BBC Breakfast tweet.

Any questions please ask and thank you for your help and cooperation.

If individuals wish to sign we just need a name emailed to the NFBUK at with a “YES”.

If you have Facebook account we would be grateful if you could share our post to spread the word about the petition please

Kindest regards,

Andrew Hodgson
President of the NFBUK

No personal details will be shared with third party organisations. 

 The Petition States

  • The NFBUK requests that, the BBC Red Button Teletext Service, initially planned for closure on 30 January 2020, be allowed to continue on a permanent basis as from March 2020 at which time the BBC will again review their decision as to whether it will be retained or closed down permanently.
  • Immediate clarification and public scrutiny on how the BBC came to the decision to switch off the BBC Red Button Teletext in relation to:                   
    • The BBC’s Mission and five Public Purposes outlined in the Royal Charter (4);
    • BBC Broadcast Agreement with Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport December 2016 (5);  
    • BBC’s Public Sector Equality Duties under the Equality Act 2010 – has an Equality Impact Assessment been undertaken? 
    • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Articles 9 on Accessibility and 21 Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Access to Information.
  • Request all assessments that may not have been undertaken in reaching the decision to switch off the Red Button Teletext Service are undertaken, and for these to be performed in an inclusive and accessible manner, to ensure hard to reach users of the service are fully engaged in this process. This is to include full collaboration, engagement and consultation with disabled people’s organisations, charities and organisations for and of disabled, older and vulnerable people, who are not online, or do not use the internet much and other groups of people who are important for these assessments.   
  • Retain the BBC Red Button Teletext Service and ensure the service becomes fully accessible with a speech option added to ensure that the BBC can fulfil its Mission, Public Purposes and its Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010. \