Our History

The Voice of the Listener & Viewer

The Voice of the Listener & Viewer (VLV) was founded in 1983 in response to proposals to turn Radio 4 into an all-news and current affairs channel. Having launched and won that campaign, VLV’s founder, Jocelyn Hay, continued to campaign as issues arose which needed an organisation able to speak on behalf of audiences. Along with colleagues, Jocelyn set up Voice of the Listener (as it then was), becoming Executive Chair and built it into the UK’s main consumer voice on issues affecting broadcasting and quality and diversity in radio and television programmes.The Voice of the Listener became Voice of the Listener & Viewer in 1991. 

Since Jocelyn’s death in 2014 VLV has continued to work to ensure that the voices of listeners and viewers are heard in the debate about public service broadcasting and the role it plays in the UK’s national life. 

30 July 1927 - 21 January 2014


Jocelyn Hay CBE, the founder and President of the Voice of the Listener & Viewer, died on 21 January 2014, aged 86. Jocelyn was a freelance writer and broadcaster before she founded VLV in 1983. Having been appointed an MBE in 1999, she was made a CBE in 2005 for her work with VLV. She was awarded the Elizabeth R Award for an Exceptional Contribution to Public Service Broadcasting by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 1999 and in 2007 was presented with the European Women of Achievement Award (Humanitarian category) by the European Union of Women, British section. She was a trustee of Mediawise (formerly Presswise), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Society of Authors.

At the time of her death Colin Browne, Chairman of the VLV said, ‘Jocelyn was an inspiration to all of us who believe in quality and diversity in British broadcasting. Through her own strength of personality and strong convictions, and by gaining the respect of politicians and media executives, she helped to ensure that the views of listeners and viewers were listened to by decision makers across the industry. She had remained active and involved in the organisation until very recently. My colleagues and I will miss her hugely.’

BBC Director-General, Tony Hall said, ‘Jocelyn Hay had a huge impact on broadcasting in this country. She never stopped campaigning for better quality programmes and for all broadcasters to put their audiences first. She always believed it was every broadcaster’s duty to make engaging programmes that captured the public’s imagination. She will be much missed.’