During a question and answer session after his speech, Fry told the audience: “If I wanted to be angry â€¦ I would say infantilism’s the problem.
“The number of times I turn on the television and I think ‘Gosh, children’s television’s gone on, that’s a really good art documentary â€¦ Oh my God, it’s nine o’clock in the evening. This is for grown-ups’ It’s just shocking.
“The only drama the BBC will boast about are Merlin and Doctor Who, which are fine, but they’re children’s programmes. They’re not for adults.
“And they’re very good children’s programmes, don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderfully written â€¦ but they are not for adults.
Fry said he was not arguing that all television should be pompous, academic or intellectual.
“But they ought to surprise and to astonish and to make us feel perhaps the possibility there is a world outside that we know nothing of to provoke us, to provoke in the best sense of the word, sometimes in the worst sense,” he said.