Age, Gender, and Television in the United Kingdom

Nick Redfern

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    I apply correspondence analysis (CA) to data produced for the British Film Institute’s (BFI) ‘Opening our eyes’ report published in 2011 to discover how age and gender shape the experience of television for audiences in the United Kingdom. Age is an important factor in shaping how audience perceive television, with older viewers describing the medium as ‘informative’, ‘thought provoking’, ‘artistic’, ‘good for people’s self-development’ and ‘escapist’, while younger viewers are more likely to describe television as ‘exciting’, ‘fashionable, and ‘sociable’. Younger respondents are also more likely to describe the effect of television on people/society as negative. Variation in programme choice is highly structured in terms of age and gender, though the extent to which of these factors determine audience choice varies greatly. Gender is the dominant factor in explaining preferences for some programme types with age a secondary factor in several cases, while age is the explanatory factor for other genres for which gender seemingly has little influence. Male audiences prefer sports, factual entertainment, and culture programmes and female audiences reality TV/talent shows, game/quiz/panel shows, chat shows and soap operas. Older audiences prefer news, documentaries, and wildlife/nature programmes, while music shows/concerts and comedy/sitcoms are more popular with younger viewers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-73
    JournalJournal of Popular Television
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


    • correspondence analysis
    • television audiences
    • programme choice
    • genre
    • gender
    • age


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