MLA: I urge BBC to reverse its decision to axe live coverage of Twelfth of July

A letter from John Stewart:

The Twelfth parade in 2016 passes down Bedford Street past the Ulster Hall, near where the BBC took live footage. "The live coverage enables those who are unable to attend to see and feel part of the event on the day," writes John Stewart. 
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Twelfth parade in 2016 passes down Bedford Street past the Ulster Hall, near where the BBC took live footage. "The live coverage enables those who are unable to attend to see and feel part of the event on the day," writes John Stewart. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

This is the wrong decision by the management of BBC Northern Ireland to cease live television coverage of the Twelfth of July Parade in Belfast and it is one that they should reverse.

The Twelfth is one of the biggest events of the year in Northern Ireland which generates millions for the economy. Hundreds of thousands of people come out across the country to participate in and watch the Twelfth.

The live coverage enables those who are unable to attend to see and feel part of the event on the day. There are those who are housebound, the elderly, the vulnerable and those who for one reason or another just can`t make it on the day.

Letter to the editor

The programme which the BBC is discontinuing is also very well made. Not only does it contain live coverage of the Twelfth itself, but it’s also educational with pre-recorded pieces about the history of the Twelfth and those participating in it. To decide to drop it is totally irrational. I would appeal to Adam Smyth, the Interim Director of BBC Northern Ireland, and his senior colleagues to reverse this decision.”

John Stewart, Ulster Unionist MLA (member of Orange Order)