BBC1 Controller, Danny Cohen, was last night crowned the overall winner of the Independent Age and Barchester Healthcare Roses Awards for his “brave” and “groundbreaking” season of BBC1 documentaries: When I’m 65.

The series, which aired on primetime TV this summer and explored the issues and concerns facing older people today, saw Cohen beat off stiff competition to become the winner of winners. The evening which recognised and rewarded the best examples of coverage, across all media, concerning older people’s issues; from news reporting, through to photojournalism and the best portrayals of older people in films or TV drama.

The trophy was one of 10, given out in a glittering ceremony, held in central London and hosted by broadcaster and journalist, Janet Street-Porter.

Geraldine Bedell, Editor of Gransnet and Chair of Judges for the Roses Media Awards, explained the reasons behind the judge’s choice: “We were delighted by the number and quality of submissions and nominations for this year’s Roses Awards, but Danny Cohen’s decision to air this series on primetime TV was a brave, brave move. We were blown away by the series, which showed how amazing, astonishing and delightful older people can be. It was that much more difficult to be prejudiced after watching these programmes, which drew attention to the contribution older people make as well as showing some of the issues they face. With its When I’m 65 season, the BBC has succeeded in encouraging much wider debate about older people in society.”

The winners of last night’s Roses Awards were:

1)Best factual newspaper or magazine article about older people’s issues

Winner: Yours Magazine: The NHS needs more compassion not more money / Are you listening Mr Lansley? / Jury still out on hospital care issue by Joy Harris and Laura Bradder

Highly commended: Times 2: Won’t give up the day job, by Daisy Greenwell

2)Best use of photography to illustrate older people’s issues

Winner: Happy at 100, by Karsten Thormaehlen, images published in the Guardian

Highly commended Reflections: Elderly people as they see themselves, by Tom Hussey, published on the English Group blog

3)Best factual radio programme about older people’s issues

Winner: BBC Radio Kent: Julia George, on caring/on planning for old age care/would you rather die than have dementia?

4) Best factual new media/social media content about older people’s issues

Winner: The Kings Fund Blog

Highly commended: Alex Fox’s Blog: Shared Lives Plus

5)Best coverage of issues around dementia and/or social care (Barchester special award)

Winner: BBC2: Louis Theroux – Extreme Love: Dementia

Highly commended: The Independent: Dealing with dementia: “My dad was treated like lost luggage on a carousel,” by Arifa Akbar

6) Best provision of advice and information through the media to older people (Independent Age special award)

Winner: Paul Lewis for both the Paul Lewis Money blog and Money Box

Highly commended: Yours Magazine: Sharing the Caring – special feature looking into social care issues, by Rosie Sandall

7) Best factual TV programme about older people’s issues

Winner: BBC1: How to live beyond 100

8) Best older person’s character in a film, TV or radio drama (Gransnet special award, voted on by the readers of Gransnet)

Winner: Maggie Smith for Violet, Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey

9) ‘The Thorn Award’: worst example of stereotyping, factual error or misleading information in the coverage of older people’s issues.

Winner: David Cameron vs Dennis Skinner: The Prime Minister advises the veteran MP to take his pension and, on a separate occasion, refers to him as a dinosaur

10) The ‘Rose Hacker Award’: overall contribution to the debate on older people’s issues.

Winner: Danny Cohen for BBC1’s When I’m 65 season

For media inquiries, contact Rebecca Law on 020 7605 4291 or email

Notes to editor

What are the Roses?

Organised by Independent Age and Barchester Healthcare, The Roses set out to celebrate the best examples of coverage, across all media concerning older people’s issues, from news reporting, through to photojournalism and the best portrayals of older people in films or TV drama.

Why the Roses?

The Older People in the Media Awards, or, the Roses, have been named after Rose Hacker, the inspirational lady who got her first job in journalism with the Camden New Journal at the age of 100. Rose died in 2008, aged 101.

About Independent Age

Independent Age is a unique and growing charity, providing information, advice and support to thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It has recently merged with two other older people's charities, Counsel and Care and Universal Beneficent Society, to provide a broader range of services than any of the charities could provide separately. For more information visit:

Speak to one of our advisers for free and confidential advice and information on home care, care homes, going into hospital and other related issues. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 10am - 4pm. Call 0845 262 1863 (local call rate) or email

About Barchester Healthcare

Founded in 1992, Barchester Healthcare is recognised as a UK major care provider that is committed to delivering high quality care. The organisation has adapted and grown, from one that focused on older people needing nursing care in high quality environments, to providing personalised support for adults of all ages with a range of disabilities.

At Barchester Healthcare we pride ourselves on our dedicated dementia care. Our Memory Lane Communities are designed to encourage people living with dementia to stay as independent and active as possible. We understand that no two people are the same and take a person-centred care approach, recognising and celebrating each person's individuality.

Barchester employs almost 17,000 people to care for more than 10,000 residents at more than 220 locations in the UK and is the only care provider listed in The Sunday Times Top 25 Big Companies To Work For 2011.

For more information, please visit

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