Mike Blair, executive producer of School Swap: The Class Divide,  returned to the Thomas Arnold Hall on the 26 January to lecture on a subject close to his heart, the question Does TV Matter?

With over thirty years of experience in television journalism, Mike was able to deliver a powerful and humorous evaluation of the role of TV in modern Britain that had the audience engaged from the beginning. His assertion was that, far from being a dinosaur in this digital age, good television remains an important medium in raising public awareness of issues in a way that the internet never can.

Mike used examples from the most popular current affairs programme in Britain, Tonight,  and concentrated on important social issues like low pay, lack of social housing and the endemic problem of loneliness in modern Britain. His message was clear; good television employs emotion as a trigger to get audiences to engage and empathise with the less fortunate of British society.

Nearly five months after the screening of ITV’s School Swap,  Mike also reflected on the impact of the programme. He told the audience that it was a huge social media hit and had received the most favourable reviews of any programme that he has ever produced. He also complimented the whole school community for embracing the documentary and feels that we have all played a part in a valuable social debate on the future relationship between state and private schools.

The evening was rounded off with a fine vote of thanks by school prefect Ben Higgins and the audience left in no doubt that TV is still a force to be reckoned with whilst Mike Blair is involved in the production of such excellent programmes.