See Hear, the TV programme focussing on the Deaf community received special recognition at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards which took place at the Bristol Old Vic on Sunday 6th March.
The glittering gala ceremony was hosted by BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins, with guests including historian, curator and TV presenter Lucy Worsley, antique sleuth Philip Mould (Fake or Fortune), Nick Knowles and upcoming actress Ruby Ashbourne Serkis (Cider with Rosie).
RTS Bristol presented a Special Award to See Hear, part of BBC Features and Daytime Production, which has been on air for 35 years. Sophie Stone, the deaf actress who has recently starred in Doctor Who presented the award to the team and talked of its importance as the voice of the deaf community and its portrayal of deaf people as ‘people with potential.’
William Mager, Series Producer, See Hear, said:
“Many other programmes have come and gone over the years, but See Hear remains the only programme on a mainstream channel presented in sign language for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. This highlight’s the BBC’s ongoing commitment to diversity and serving minority audiences.
See Hear started out in a small terraced house in West London with a tiny production team. Since then it’s celebrated and championed deaf culture both at home and around the world, and marked key historical moments in the deaf world. We will continue to celebrate the achievements of deaf people and highlight key topical stories that affect deaf people’s lives.
This Special Recognition award means a lot to us. It’s so important that the achievements of everyone who worked on See Hear past, present and future get wider recognition.”
Roger Farrant, Executive Producer, See Hear, said:
“The See Hear team is delighted that the RTS has made this special award to recognise the programme’s achievements over the last 35 years. See Hear has always been a great champion for the Deaf community; highlighting injustice, promoting Deaf culture and celebrating the achievements of Deaf people.
The BBC has always been a world leader in making its programmes accessible for Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. See Hear is at the forefront of that, as one of the few programmes on British TV presented in British Sign Language. Its mission, to keep Deaf viewers informed about the important issues affecting their lives, is the very essence of public service broadcasting.
The See Hear team is very proud that its work over the last 35 years has been recognised by the RTS in the West of England. We know the programme is much loved by the Deaf community. It’s so important for Deaf people to see themselves reflected on screen and we remain determined to make sure that happens.”