Press release

Over 50s push Ray Quinn over the winning line

Monday 23 March 2009

  • TV voting and reality shows are popular amongst the over 50s
  • Nonetheless phone voting scandals have left a bitter taste
  • 74% of the over 50’s believe that telephone votes for TV shows should be 10p or under
  • For more information on the Saga Telephone Service, call 0800 559 3230 or click on

New research from Saga revealed that this weekend the over 50s voted with their fingers and helped Ray Quinn to win the Dancing on Ice final on Sunday. Figures* show that Ray received 46% of the older generation's vote, followed by Jessica Taylor and Donal Macintrye who received 27% each.

The furore surrounding the various phone voting scandals last year has however left a bitter taste in the mouths of the over 50’s. Almost three fifths (57%) declare that this has done lasting damage to the TV companies, and over two fifths (43%) say they don’t believe the results on reality TV are fair anymore. An additional two fifths (42%) are concerned that their votes or views wouldn’t be counted if they were to vote. However an optimistic 45% believe that the voting scandals attracted such attention that future phone-ins will be run in a more honest and fair way.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga, commented: “Our research shows that over 50s are more than just interested in TV ‘reality’ competitions – actively get involved by making their voices heard when it comes to picking their favourite contestant(s). We do however advise people that whilst it is good fun to become part of the voting system, they should check the costs of telephone voting before calling”.

Viewing figures for these kind of shows far outweigh those of soap operas, which are traditionally thought to be the programmes of choice of the over 50s. ,

Of those who had voted in one or more of the recent TV reality shows broadcast, nearly half (47%) said they “knew exactly how much the call costs” with a further 43% saying they knew “roughly how much the call costs.” In addition, the cost of calling these shows perceived to be incredibly high, with a third (33%) maintaining the calls should be free – men were most vocal about this, with almost two fifths (39%) wanting them to be free of charge, compared with only a quarter (26%) of women. A more realistic percentage (41%) said they should be less than 10p, and a further one in six (17%) think it should be between 11p and 20p.

Saga offers a low cost, reliable telephone service with a choice of tariffs to suit the varied needs of its customers. For more information on the Saga Telephone Service, call 0800 559 3230 or click on


* Internal Saga data based on the Saga Telephone Service

** Research conducted by Populus on an online poll of 15,964 British adults between 9 to 14 January 2009

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.



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