TV Baftas 2022: Prince William praises ‘planet placement’ that puts climate change at forefront of shows

In a video address to Bafta in his role as President, the Duke shared his hope that programme-makers would do more to keep 'environmental issues high up on the agenda' - Bafta
In a video address to Bafta in his role as President, the Duke shared his hope that programme-makers would do more to keep ‘environmental issues high up on the agenda’ – Bafta

The Duke of Cambridge has praised television writers for inserting “planet placement” environmental messages into their shows to keep climate change at the forefront of viewers’ minds.

The Duke hailed the “innovative” and “emotive” messages now written into television programmes to persuade audiences to want to save the planet.

In a video address to Bafta in his role as President, he shared his hope that programme-makers would do more to keep “environmental issues high up on the agenda”.

His message introduced a special segment at the Bafta Television Awards highlighting “Planet Placement”, in which drama, documentaries, sports and entertainment shows sprinkle “sustainability messages” throughout their ordinary programming.

Recent examples, praised in a 2021 report about UK broadcasting, include the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee competition including a section on transforming charity shop clothes with a view to sustainability, and an episode dedicated to “reduce, reuse, recycle”

At ITV, ice-skaters Torvill and Dean visited Alaska to fulfill their dream of performing the famous bolero, only to find the ice had melted.

At ITV, ice-skaters Torvill and Dean visited Alaska to fulfill their dream of performing the famous bolero, only to find the ice had melted. - ITV
At ITV, ice-skaters Torvill and Dean visited Alaska to fulfill their dream of performing the famous bolero, only to find the ice had melted. – ITV

Other examples include Sky using the sports broadcast of the north London derby football match, watched by 2.6 million fans, for a “sustainability-themed quiz” between two footballers.

The Duke of Cambridge has made the environment one of the cornerstones of his work, creating his own Earthshot Prize to encourage the public to find solutions to the most critical challenges facing the planet over a decade.

Writers and producers playing unique role to ensure future of our planet

During Sunday’s Bafta awards, the Duke said: “Now more than ever, programme makers have a unique opportunity to ensure climate change and sustainability remain at the forefront of our collective consciousness.

“By creating innovative, educational and emotive content for television, writers and producers are playing a unique role in ensuring the future of our planet is something that we all want to talk about.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen some fantastic examples of this across a wide variety of programmes and genres.

“I hope you will all continue to carry on your invaluable work, keeping environmental issues high up on the agenda of programming in the years ahead.”

Dermot O'Leary on the Baftas red carpert - Ian West
Dermot O’Leary on the Baftas red carpert – Ian West

Dermot O’Leary gave a “special thanks” to the Duke of Cambridge after accepting the Bafta best live event award for The Earthshot Prize, which the presenter described as William’s “baby”.

He described working on the show as a “privilege” and “the most life-affirming experience for all of us”.

He added: “A word as well, just a special thanks to Prince William, because it is very easy to be cynical about someone who comes from such privilege but he approached the whole thing with this incredible empathy and enthusiasm, vitality and this really is his baby which is why Earthshot is now fourth in line to the throne.”

In 2019, Bafta hosted a launch event entitled “Planet Placement”, aimed at teaching the film and television industries to “help to raise awareness about climate change by introducing sustainability messages into the content we see on our screens”.

“Its purpose is to challenge the creative community and inspire them to create world-changing content,” the organisation said.

Then, Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention who is now chair of the Earthshot Prize, told programme-makers: “We must get out of the story that we cannot address it, and replace that mindset with determination, creativity and innovation. BAFTA can help us do that.”

A report into programme found that, across the main UK broadcasters, the number of times “climate change” was mentioned in one year rose from 3,125 in 2018 to 12,715 in 2020.

Published by anthonyhayble

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