The King’s Coronation – the First UK TV Programme with Accessible Live Commentary and Audio Description

Image of the logo to mark the Coronation of King Charles III on 6th May 2023. The logo features a crown in navy blue surrounded by a ring of red flowers

Saturday the 6th of May 2023 will mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. It will be a day full of ceremony and majesty—a grand occasion to bring the country together.

In 1953 Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation marked history. It was the very first televised Coronation. For the first time in history millions of people were able to watch the crowning of their new Queen from the comfort of their own home. And later, a recording of the broadcast reached millions more worldwide.

The upcoming Coronation of King Charles will be no less ground-breaking. It will be the very first Coronation in history to be broadcast live to a worldwide audience, and the first with live audio description.

Audio descriptions are usually added after recording and filming. But during the Coronation, BBC television presenter and writer, Petroc Trelawny, will be delivering live description and commentary to a blind and partially sighted audience.

According to RNIB, while the event is broadcasting live on BBC1, a synchronised accessible commentary will be available on the BBC Red Button. On ITV1 viewers will be able to access the live audio description by pressing the AD/ audio description button on the remote control. Blind and partially sighted viewers can also listen live across BBC Radio, which is available to RealSAM Pocket customers in the UK.

It truly is history in the making, for the world to witness live for the very first time a new King being crowned once more in Britain. And it is a sign of real progress for blind and partially sighted people for this to be the very first broadcast on UK TV with live audio description for those living with sight loss.

By Guenivir Kendrick


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