Channel 4

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This article is about the UK public service television broadcaster. Channel 4_sentence_0

For the parent company, see Channel Four Television Corporation. Channel 4_sentence_1

For other uses, see Channel 4 (disambiguation). Channel 4_sentence_2

"Fourscore" redirects here. Channel 4_sentence_3

For other uses, see Four Score. Channel 4_sentence_4

Channel 4_table_infobox_0

Channel 4Channel 4_table_caption_0
CountryChannel 4_header_cell_0_0_0 United KingdomChannel 4_cell_0_0_1
Broadcast areaChannel 4_header_cell_0_1_0 Channel 4_cell_0_1_1
HeadquartersChannel 4_header_cell_0_2_0 124 Horseferry Road, London, England, UK

National HQ, Majestic Cinema, Leeds, England, UKChannel 4_cell_0_2_1

ProgrammingChannel 4_header_cell_0_3_0
Language(s)Channel 4_header_cell_0_4_0 EnglishChannel 4_cell_0_4_1
Picture formatChannel 4_header_cell_0_5_0 1080i HDTV

(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)Channel 4_cell_0_5_1

Timeshift serviceChannel 4_header_cell_0_6_0 Channel 4 +1Channel 4_cell_0_6_1
OwnershipChannel 4_header_cell_0_7_0
OwnerChannel 4_header_cell_0_8_0 Channel Four Television CorporationChannel 4_cell_0_8_1
Sister channelsChannel 4_header_cell_0_9_0 Channel 4_cell_0_9_1
HistoryChannel 4_header_cell_0_10_0
LaunchedChannel 4_header_cell_0_11_0 2 November 1982; 38 years ago (1982-11-02)Channel 4_cell_0_11_1
LinksChannel 4_header_cell_0_12_0
WebsiteChannel 4_header_cell_0_13_0 Channel 4_cell_0_13_1
AvailabilityChannel 4_header_cell_0_14_0
TerrestrialChannel 4_header_cell_0_15_0
FreeviewChannel 4_header_cell_0_16_0 Channel 4_cell_0_16_1
CableChannel 4_header_cell_0_17_0
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 4_header_cell_0_18_0 Channel 4_cell_0_18_1
Virgin Media (Ireland)Channel 4_header_cell_0_19_0 Channel 4_cell_0_19_1
UPC SwitzerlandChannel 4_header_cell_0_20_0 Channel 163Channel 4_cell_0_20_1
WightFibreChannel 4_header_cell_0_21_0 Channel 4Channel 4_cell_0_21_1
SatelliteChannel 4_header_cell_0_22_0
FreesatChannel 4_header_cell_0_23_0 Channel 4_cell_0_23_1
Sky (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland)Channel 4_header_cell_0_24_0 Channel 4_cell_0_24_1
Sky (Wales)Channel 4_header_cell_0_25_0 Channel 4_cell_0_25_1
Sky (Ireland)Channel 4_header_cell_0_26_0 Channel 4_cell_0_26_1
Astra 2EChannel 4_header_cell_0_27_0 Channel 4_cell_0_27_1
Astra 2GChannel 4_header_cell_0_28_0 11126 V 22000 5/6 (HD)Channel 4_cell_0_28_1
Eutelsat 10A (BFBS)Channel 4_header_cell_0_29_0 8009Channel 4_cell_0_29_1
NSS 12 (BFBS)Channel 4_header_cell_0_30_0 8109Channel 4_cell_0_30_1
IPTVChannel 4_header_cell_0_31_0
Swisscom TV (Switzerland)Channel 4_header_cell_0_32_0 Channel arbitraryChannel 4_cell_0_32_1
Eir VisionChannel 4_header_cell_0_33_0 Channel 4_cell_0_33_1
Streaming mediaChannel 4_header_cell_0_34_0
All 4Channel 4_header_cell_0_35_0 Channel 4_cell_0_35_1
TVPlayerChannel 4_header_cell_0_36_0 (UK only)Channel 4_cell_0_36_1
Sky GoChannel 4_header_cell_0_37_0 (UK and Ireland only)Channel 4_cell_0_37_1
Virgin TV AnywhereChannel 4_header_cell_0_38_0 Channel 4_cell_0_38_1

Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public-service television broadcaster with headquarters in London, a National HQ in Leeds and creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol. Channel 4_sentence_5

The channel was established to provide a fourth television service to the United Kingdom in addition to the licence-funded BBC One and BBC Two, and the single commercial broadcasting network ITV. Channel 4_sentence_6

It began transmission on 2 November 1982, the day after Welsh language broadcaster S4C's launch. Channel 4_sentence_7

Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. Channel 4_sentence_8

In 2010, Channel 4 extended service into Wales and became a UK-wide television channel. Channel 4_sentence_9

History Channel 4_section_0

Further information: Timeline of Channel 4 Channel 4_sentence_10

Conception Channel 4_section_1

Main article: Fourth UK television service Channel 4_sentence_11

Before Channel 4 and S4C, Britain had three terrestrial television services: BBC1, BBC2, and ITV. Channel 4_sentence_12

The Broadcasting Act 1980 began the process of adding a fourth; Channel 4 was formally created, along with its Welsh counterpart, by an Act of Parliament in 1982. Channel 4_sentence_13

After some months of test broadcasts, it began scheduled transmissions on 2 November 1982. Channel 4_sentence_14

The notion of a second commercial broadcaster in the United Kingdom had been around since the inception of ITV in 1954 and its subsequent launch in 1955; the idea of an "ITV2" was long expected and pushed for. Channel 4_sentence_15

Indeed, television sets sold throughout the 1970s and early 1980s had a spare tuning button labelled "ITV/IBA 2". Channel 4_sentence_16

Throughout ITV's history and until Channel 4 finally became a reality, a perennial dialogue existed between the GPO, the government, the ITV companies and other interested parties, concerning the form such an expansion of commercial broadcasting would take. Channel 4_sentence_17

Most likely, politics had the biggest impact in leading to a delay of almost three decades before the second commercial channel became a reality. Channel 4_sentence_18

One clear benefit of the "late arrival" of the channel was that its frequency allocations at each transmitter had already been arranged in the early 1960s, when the launch of an ITV2 was highly anticipated. Channel 4_sentence_19

This led to very good coverage across most of the country and few problems of interference with other UK-based transmissions; a stark contrast to the problems associated with Channel 5's launch almost 15 years later. Channel 4_sentence_20

Wales Channel 4_section_2

Main article: S4C Channel 4_sentence_21

At the time the fourth service was being considered, a movement in Wales lobbied for the creation of dedicated service that would air Welsh-language programmes, then only catered for at "off peak" times on BBC Wales and HTV. Channel 4_sentence_22

The campaign was taken so seriously by Gwynfor Evans, former president of Plaid Cymru, that he threatened the government with a hunger strike were it not to honour the plans. Channel 4_sentence_23

The result was that Channel 4 as seen by the rest of the United Kingdom would be replaced in Wales by Sianel Pedwar Cymru (S4C) ("Channel Four Wales"). Channel 4_sentence_24

Operated by a specially created authority, S4C would air programmes in Welsh made by HTV, the BBC and independent companies. Channel 4_sentence_25

Initially limited frequency space meant that Channel 4 could not be broadcast alongside S4C, though some Channel 4 programmes would be aired at less popular times on the Welsh variant; this practice continued until the closure of S4C's analogue transmissions in 2010, at which time S4C became a fully Welsh channel. Channel 4_sentence_26

With this conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter group in Wales to digital terrestrial broadcasting on 31 March 2010, Channel 4 became a UK-wide television channel for the first time. Channel 4_sentence_27

Since then, carriage on digital cable, satellite and digital terrestrial has introduced Channel 4 to Welsh homes where it is now universally available. Channel 4_sentence_28

Launch and IBA control Channel 4_section_3

The first voice heard on Channel 4's opening day of Tuesday 2 November 1982 was that of continuity announcer Paul Coia who said: Channel 4_sentence_29

Following the announcement, the channel headed into a montage of clips from its programmes set to the station's signature tune, "Fourscore", written by David Dundas, which would form the basis of the station's jingles for its first decade. Channel 4_sentence_30

The first programme to air on the channel was the teatime game show Countdown, at 16:45 produced by Yorkshire Television. Channel 4_sentence_31

The first person to be seen on Channel 4 was Richard Whiteley with Ted Moult being the second. Channel 4_sentence_32

The first woman on the channel, contrary to popular belief, was not Whiteley's Countdown co-host Carol Vorderman but a lexicographer only ever identified as Mary. Channel 4_sentence_33

Whiteley opened the show with the words: Channel 4_sentence_34

On its first day, Channel 4 also broadcast soap opera Brookside, which often ran storylines thought to be controversial; this ran until 2003. Channel 4_sentence_35

At its launch, Channel 4 committed itself to providing an alternative to the existing channels, an agenda in part set out by its remit which required the provision of programming to minority groups. Channel 4_sentence_36

In step with its remit, the channel became well received both by minority groups and the arts and cultural worlds during this period, especially under founding chief executive Jeremy Isaacs, where the channel gained a reputation for programmes on the contemporary arts. Channel 4_sentence_37

Channel 4 co-commissioned Robert Ashley's ground-breaking television opera Perfect Lives, which it premiered over several episodes in 1984. Channel 4_sentence_38

The channel often did not receive mass audiences for much of this period, however, as might be expected for a station focusing on minority interest. Channel 4_sentence_39

Channel 4 also began the funding of independent films, such as the Merchant Ivory docudrama The Courtesans of Bombay, during this time. Channel 4_sentence_40

In 1992, Channel 4 also faced its first libel case by Jani Allan, a South African journalist, who objected to her representation in Nick Broomfield's documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife. Channel 4_sentence_41

In September 1993, the channel broadcast the direct-to-TV documentary film Beyond Citizen Kane, in which it displayed the dominant position of the Rede Globo television network, and discussed its influence, power and political connections in Brazil. Channel 4_sentence_42

Channel Four Television Corporation Channel 4_section_4

Main article: Channel Four Television Corporation Channel 4_sentence_43

After control of the station passed from the Channel Four Television Company to the Channel Four Television Corporation in 1993, a shift in broadcasting style took place. Channel 4_sentence_44

Instead of aiming for the fringes of society, it began to focus on the edges of the mainstream, and the centre of the mass market itself. Channel 4_sentence_45

It began to show many US programmes in peak viewing time, far more than it had previously done. Channel 4_sentence_46

It gave such shows as Friends and ER their UK premières. Channel 4_sentence_47

In the early 2000s, Channel 4 began broadcasting reality formats such as Big Brother and obtained the rights to broadcast mass appeal sporting events like cricket and horse racing. Channel 4_sentence_48

This new direction increased ratings and revenues. Channel 4_sentence_49

In addition, the corporation launched a number of new television channels through its new 4Ventures offshoot, including Film4, At the Races, E4 and More4. Channel 4_sentence_50

Partially in reaction to its new "populist" direction, the Communications Act 2003 directed the channel to demonstrate innovation, experimentation and creativity, appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society, and to include programmes of an educational nature which exhibit a distinctive character. Channel 4_sentence_51

On 31 December 2004, Channel 4 launched a new look and new idents in which the logo is disguised as different objects and the 4 can be seen in an angle. Channel 4_sentence_52

Under the leadership of Freeview founder Andy Duncan, 2005 saw a change of direction for Channel 4's digital channels. Channel 4_sentence_53

Channel 4 made E4 free-to-air on digital terrestrial television, and launched a new free-to-air digital channel called More4. Channel 4_sentence_54

By October, Channel 4 had joined the Freeview consortium. Channel 4_sentence_55

By July 2006, Film4 had likewise become free-to-air and restarted broadcasting on digital terrestrial. Channel 4_sentence_56

Venturing into radio broadcasting, 2005 saw Channel 4 purchase 51% of shares in the now defunct Oneword radio station with UBC Media holding on to the remaining shares. Channel 4_sentence_57

New programmes such as the weekly, half-hour The Morning Report news programme were among some of the new content Channel 4 provided for the station, with the name 4Radio being used. Channel 4_sentence_58

As of early 2009, however, Channel 4's future involvement in radio remained uncertain. Channel 4_sentence_59

On 2 November 2007, the station celebrated its 25th birthday. Channel 4_sentence_60

It showed the first episode of Countdown, an anniversary Countdown special, as well as a special edition of The Big Fat Quiz and using the original multicoloured 1982–1996 blocks logo on presentation and idents using the Fourscore jingle throughout the day. Channel 4_sentence_61

In November 2009, Channel 4 launched a week of 3D television, broadcasting selected programmes each night using stereoscopic ColorCode 3D technology. Channel 4_sentence_62

The accompanying 3D glasses were distributed through Sainsbury's supermarkets. Channel 4_sentence_63

On 29 September 2015, Channel 4 revamped its presentation for a fifth time; the new branding downplayed the "4" logo from most on-air usage, in favour of using the shapes from the logo in various forms. Channel 4_sentence_64

Four new idents were filmed by Jonathan Glazer, which featured the shapes in various real-world scenes depicting the "discovery" and "origins" of the shapes. Channel 4_sentence_65

The full logo was still occasionally used, but primarily for off-air marketing. Channel 4_sentence_66

Channel 4 also commissioned two new corporate typefaces, "Chadwick", and "Horseferry" (a variation of Chadwick with the aforementioned shapes incorporated into its letter forms), for use across promotional material and on-air. Channel 4_sentence_67

On 31 October 2017, Channel 4 introduced a new series of idents continuing the theme, this time depicting the logo shapes as having formed an anthropomorphic "giant" character. Channel 4_sentence_68

Recent history Channel 4_section_5

Before the digital switch-over, Channel 4 raised concerns over how it might finance its public service obligations afterward. Channel 4_sentence_69

It was announced in April 2006 that Channel 4's digital switch-over costs would be paid for by licence fee revenues. Channel 4_sentence_70

On 28 March 2007, Channel 4 announced plans to launch a music channel "4Music" as a joint venture with British media company EMAP, which would include carriage on the Freeview platform. Channel 4_sentence_71

On 15 August 2008, 4Music was launched across the UK. Channel 4_sentence_72

Channel 4 announced interest in launching a high-definition version of Film4 on Freeview, to coincide with the launch of Channel 4 HD, However, the fourth HD slot was given to Channel 5 instead. Channel 4_sentence_73

Channel 4 has since acquired a 50% stake in EMAP's TV business for a reported £28 million. Channel 4_sentence_74

Channel 4 was considered for privatisation by the governments of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. Channel 4_sentence_75

As of 2016 the future of the channel was again being looked into by the government, with analysts suggesting several options for the channel's future. Channel 4_sentence_76

In June 2017, it was announced that Alex Mahon would be the next chief executive, and would take over from David Abraham, who left in November 2017. Channel 4_sentence_77

Public service remit Channel 4_section_6

Channel 4 was established with, and continues to hold, a remit of public service obligations which it must fulfil. Channel 4_sentence_78

The remit changes periodically, as dictated by various broadcasting and communications acts, and is regulated by the various authorities Channel 4 has been answerable to; originally the IBA, then the ITC and now Ofcom. Channel 4_sentence_79

The preamble of the remit as per the Communications Act 2003 states that: Channel 4_sentence_80

The remit also involves an obligation to provide programming for schools, and a substantial amount of programming produced outside of Greater London. Channel 4_sentence_81

Carriage Channel 4_section_7

Channel 4 was carried from its beginning on analogue terrestrial, which was practically the only means of television broadcast in the United Kingdom at the time. Channel 4_sentence_82

It continued to be broadcast through these means until the changeover to digital terrestrial television in the United Kingdom was complete. Channel 4_sentence_83

Since 1998, it has been universally available on digital terrestrial, and the Sky platform (initially encrypted, though encryption was dropped on 14 April 2008 and is now free of charge and available on the Freesat platform) as well as having been available from various times in various areas, on analogue and digital cable networks. Channel 4_sentence_84

Due to its special status as a public service broadcaster with a specific remit, it is afforded free carriage on the terrestrial platforms, in contrast with other broadcasters such as ITV. Channel 4_sentence_85

Channel 4 is also seen outside the United Kingdom where it is widely available in Ireland, especially in border counties which have been able to receive terrestrial transmissions from Northern Ireland as well as on Irish cable networks, and Switzerland. Channel 4_sentence_86

Since 2019, it has been offered by British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) to members of HM Forces and their families around the world, BFBS Extra having previously carried a selection of Channel 4 programmes. Channel 4_sentence_87

The Channel 4 website allows Internet users in the United Kingdom to watch Channel 4 live on the Internet. Channel 4_sentence_88

In the past some programmes (mostly international imports) were not shown. Channel 4_sentence_89

Channel 4 is also provided by Virgin Mobile's DAB mobile TV service which has the same restrictions as the Internet live stream had. Channel 4_sentence_90

Channel 4 is also carried by the Internet TV service TVCatchup and was previously carried by Zattoo until the operator removed the channel from its platform. Channel 4_sentence_91

Channel 4 also makes some of its programming available "on demand" via cable and the Internet through All 4. Channel 4_sentence_92

Funding Channel 4_section_8

During the station's formative years, funding came from the ITV companies in return for their right to sell advertisements in their region on the fourth channel. Channel 4_sentence_93

Nowadays it pays for itself in much the same way as most privately run commercial stations, i.e. through the sale of on-air advertising, programme sponsorship, and the sale of any programme content and merchandising rights it owns, such as overseas sales and video sales. Channel 4_sentence_94

For example, as of 2012 its total revenues were £925 million with 91% derived from sale of advertising. Channel 4_sentence_95

It also has the ability to subsidise the main network through any profits made on the corporation's other endeavours, which have in the past included subscription fees from stations such as E4 and Film4 (now no longer subscription services) and its "video-on-demand" sales. Channel 4_sentence_96

In practice, however, these other activities are loss-making, and are subsidised by the main network. Channel 4_sentence_97

According to Channel 4's last published accounts, for 2005, the extent of this cross-subsidy was some £30 million. Channel 4_sentence_98

The change in funding came about under the Broadcasting Act 1990 when the new corporation was afforded the ability to fund itself. Channel 4_sentence_99

Originally this arrangement left a "safety net" guaranteed minimum income should the revenue fall too low, funded by large insurance payments made to the ITV companies. Channel 4_sentence_100

Such a subsidy was never required, however, and these premiums were phased out by the government in 1998. Channel 4_sentence_101

After the link with ITV was cut, the cross-promotion which had existed between ITV and Channel 4 also ended. Channel 4_sentence_102

In 2007, owing to severe funding difficulties, the channel sought government help and was granted a payment of £14 million over a six-year period. Channel 4_sentence_103

The money was to have come from the television licence fee, and would have been the first time that money from the licence fee had been given to any broadcaster other than the BBC. Channel 4_sentence_104

However, the plan was scrapped by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, ahead of "broader decisions about the future framework of public service broadcasting". Channel 4_sentence_105

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom released its review in January 2009 in which it suggested that Channel 4 would preferably be funded by "partnerships, joint ventures or mergers". Channel 4_sentence_106

Programming Channel 4_section_9

Main article: List of Channel 4 television programmes Channel 4_sentence_107

Channel 4 is a "publisher-broadcaster", meaning that it commissions or "buys" all of its programming from companies independent of itself. Channel 4_sentence_108

It was the first broadcaster in the United Kingdom to do so on any significant scale; such commissioning is a stipulation which is included in its licence to broadcast. Channel 4_sentence_109

This had the consequence of starting an industry of production companies that did not have to rely on owning an ITV licence to see their programmes air, though since Channel 4, external commissioning has become regular practice on the numerous stations that have launched since, as well as on the BBC and in ITV (where a quota of 25% minimum of total output has been imposed since the Broadcasting Act 1990 came into force). Channel 4_sentence_110

Although it was the first British broadcaster to commission all of its programmes from third parties, Channel 4 was the last terrestrial broadcaster to outsource its transmission and playout operations (to Red Bee Media), after 25 years in-house. Channel 4_sentence_111

The requirement to obtain all content externally is stipulated in its licence. Channel 4_sentence_112

Additionally, Channel 4 also began a trend of owning the copyright and distribution rights of the programmes it aired, in a manner that is similar to the major Hollywood studios' ownership of television programmes that they did not directly produce. Channel 4_sentence_113

Thus, although Channel 4 does not produce programmes, many are seen as belonging to it. Channel 4_sentence_114

It was established with a specific intention of providing programming to groups of minority interests, not catered for by its competitors, which at the time were only the BBC and ITV. Channel 4_sentence_115

Channel 4 also pioneered the concept of 'stranded programming', where seasons of programmes following a common theme would be aired and promoted together. Channel 4_sentence_116

Some would be very specific, and run for a fixed period of time; the 4 Mation season, for example, showed innovative animation. Channel 4_sentence_117

Other, less specific strands, were (and still are) run regularly, such as T4, a strand of programming aimed at teenagers, on weekend mornings (and weekdays during school/college holidays); Friday Night Comedy, a slot where the channel would pioneer its style of comedy commissions, 4Music (now a separate channel) and 4Later, an eclectic collection of offbeat programmes transmitted in the early hours of the morning. Channel 4_sentence_118

In its earlier years, certain risqué art-house films (dubbed by many of Channel 4's critics as being pornographic) would be screened with a red triangle digital on-screen graphic in the upper right of the screen. Channel 4_sentence_119

Other films were broadcast under the Film on Four banner, before the FilmFour brand was launched in the late 1990s. Channel 4_sentence_120

Most watched programmes Channel 4_section_10

The following is a list of the 10 most watched shows on Channel 4 since launch, based on Live +28 data supplied by BARB, and archival data published by Channel 4. Channel 4_sentence_121

Channel 4_table_general_1

RankChannel 4_header_cell_1_0_0 Programme or filmChannel 4_header_cell_1_0_1 Viewers (millions)Channel 4_header_cell_1_0_2 DateChannel 4_header_cell_1_0_3
1Channel 4_cell_1_1_0 A Woman of SubstanceChannel 4_cell_1_1_1 13.85Channel 4_cell_1_1_2 4 January 1985Channel 4_cell_1_1_3
2Channel 4_cell_1_2_0 A Woman of SubstanceChannel 4_cell_1_2_1 13.20Channel 4_cell_1_2_2 3 January 1985Channel 4_cell_1_2_3
3Channel 4_cell_1_3_0 Four Weddings and a FuneralChannel 4_cell_1_3_1 12.40Channel 4_cell_1_3_2 15 November 1995Channel 4_cell_1_3_3
4Channel 4_cell_1_4_0 A Woman of SubstanceChannel 4_cell_1_4_1 11.55Channel 4_cell_1_4_2 2 January 1985Channel 4_cell_1_4_3
5Channel 4_cell_1_5_0 The Great British Bake OffChannel 4_cell_1_5_1 11.21Channel 4_cell_1_5_2 22 September 2020Channel 4_cell_1_5_3
6Channel 4_cell_1_6_0 Gregory's GirlChannel 4_cell_1_6_1 10.75Channel 4_cell_1_6_2 8 January 1985Channel 4_cell_1_6_3
7Channel 4_cell_1_7_0 The Great British Bake OffChannel 4_cell_1_7_1 10.54Channel 4_cell_1_7_2 30 October 2018Channel 4_cell_1_7_3
8Channel 4_cell_1_8_0 The Great British Bake OffChannel 4_cell_1_8_1 10.13Channel 4_cell_1_8_2 31 October 2017Channel 4_cell_1_8_3
9Channel 4_cell_1_9_0 The Great British Bake OffChannel 4_cell_1_9_1 10.03Channel 4_cell_1_9_2 27 August 2019Channel 4_cell_1_9_3
10Channel 4_cell_1_10_0 Big BrotherChannel 4_cell_1_10_1 10.00Channel 4_cell_1_10_2 26 July 2002Channel 4_cell_1_10_3

Kids Segment Channel 4_section_11

Channel 4_unordered_list_0

  • Take 5 (Channel 4) (1992–1996)Channel 4_item_0_0

Comedy Channel 4_section_12

During the station's early days, the screenings of innovative short one-off comedy films produced by a rotating line-up of alternative comedians went under the title of The Comic Strip Presents. Channel 4_sentence_122

The Tube and Saturday Live/Friday Night Live also launched the careers of a number of comedians and writers. Channel 4_sentence_123

Channel 4 broadcast a number of popular American imports, including Roseanne, Friends, Sex and the City, South Park and Will & Grace. Channel 4_sentence_124

Other significant US acquisitions include The Simpsons, for which the station was reported to have paid £700,000 per episode for the terrestrial television rights. Channel 4_sentence_125

In April 2010, Channel 4 became the first UK broadcaster to adapt the American comedy institution of roasting to British television, with A Comedy Roast. Channel 4_sentence_126

In 2010, Channel 4 organised Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a comedy benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Channel 4_sentence_127

With over 25 comedians appearing, it billed it as "the biggest live stand up show in United Kingdom history". Channel 4_sentence_128

Filmed live on 30 March in front of 14,000 at The O2 Arena in London, it was broadcast on 5 April. Channel 4_sentence_129

This has continued to 2016. Channel 4_sentence_130

Factual and current affairs Channel 4_section_13

Channel 4 has a strong reputation for history programmes and real-life documentaries. Channel 4_sentence_131

It has also courted controversy, for example by broadcasting live the first public autopsy in the UK for 170 years, carried out by Gunther von Hagens in 2002, or the 2003 one-off stunt Derren Brown Plays Russian Roulette Live. Channel 4_sentence_132

Its news service, Channel 4 News, is supplied by ITN whilst its long-standing investigative documentary series, Dispatches, attracts perennial media attention. Channel 4_sentence_133

FourDocs Channel 4_section_14

FourDocs is an online documentary site provided by Channel 4. Channel 4_sentence_134

It allows viewers to upload their own documentaries to the site for others to view. Channel 4_sentence_135

It focuses on documentaries of between 3 and 5 minutes. Channel 4_sentence_136

also includes an archive of classic documentaries, interviews with documentary filmmakers and short educational guides to documentary-making. Channel 4_sentence_137

It won a Peabody Award in 2006. Channel 4_sentence_138

The site also includes a strand for documentaries of under 59 seconds, called "Microdocs". Channel 4_sentence_139

Schools programming Channel 4_section_15

Channel 4 is obliged to carry schools programming as part of its remit and licence. Channel 4_sentence_140

ITV Schools on Channel 4 Channel 4_section_16

Main article: ITV Schools On Channel 4 Channel 4_sentence_141

Since 1957 ITV had produced schools programming, which became an obligation. Channel 4_sentence_142

In 1987, five years after the station was launched, the IBA afforded ITV free carriage of these programmes during Channel 4's then-unused weekday morning hours. Channel 4_sentence_143

This arrangement allowed the ITV companies to fulfil their obligation to provide schools programming, whilst allowing ITV itself to broadcast regular programmes complete with advertisements. Channel 4_sentence_144

During the times in which schools programmes were aired Central Television provided most of the continuity with play-out originating from Birmingham. Channel 4_sentence_145

Channel 4 Schools/4Learning Channel 4_section_17

After the restructuring of the station in 1993, ITV's obligations to provide such programming on Channel 4's airtime passed to Channel 4 itself, and the new service became Channel 4 Schools, with the new corporation administering the service and commissioning its programmes, some still from ITV, others from independent producers. Channel 4_sentence_146

In March 2008, the 4Learning interactive new media commission was launched. Channel 4_sentence_147

online media player showing TV shows for teenagers was launched on 26 May 2008. Channel 4_sentence_148

The schools programming has always had elements different to its normal presentational package. Channel 4_sentence_149

In 1993, the Channel 4 Schools idents featured famous people in one category, with light shining on them in front of an industrial looking setting supplemented by instrumental calming music. Channel 4_sentence_150

This changed in 1996 with the circles look to numerous children touching the screen, forming circles of information then picked up by other children. Channel 4_sentence_151

The last child would produce the channel 4 logo in the form of three vertical circles, with another in the middle and to the left containing the Channel 4 logo. Channel 4_sentence_152

A present feature of presentation was a countdown sequence featuring, in 1993 a slide with the programme name, and afterwards an extended sequence matching the channel branding. Channel 4_sentence_153

In 1996, this was an extended ident with timer in top left corner, and in 1999 following the adoption of the squares look, featured a square with timer slowly make its way across the right of the screen with people learning and having fun while doing so passing across the screen. Channel 4_sentence_154

It finished with the Channel 4 logo box on the right of the screen and the name 'Channel 4 Schools' being shown. Channel 4_sentence_155

This was adapted in 2000 when the service's name was changed to '4Learning'. Channel 4_sentence_156

In 2001, this was altered to various scenes from classrooms around the world and different parts of school life. Channel 4_sentence_157

The countdown now flips over from the top, right, bottom and left with each second, and ends with four coloured squares, three of which are aligned vertically to the left of the Channel 4 logo, which is contained inside the fourth box. Channel 4_sentence_158

The tag 'Learning' is located directly beneath the logo. Channel 4_sentence_159

The final countdown sequence lasted between 2004 and 2005 and featured a background video of current controversial issues, overlaid with upcoming programming information. Channel 4_sentence_160

the video features people in the style of graffiti enacting the overuse of CCTV cameras, fox hunting, computer viruses and pirate videos, relationships, pollution of the seas and violent lifestyles. Channel 4_sentence_161

Following 2005, no branded section has been used for Schools programmes. Channel 4_sentence_162

Religious programmes Channel 4_section_18

From the outset, Channel 4 did not conform to the expectations of conventional religious broadcasting in the UK. Channel 4_sentence_163

John Ranelagh, first Commissioning Editor for Religion, made his priority 'broadening the spectrum of religious programming' and more 'intellectual' concerns. Channel 4_sentence_164

He also ignored the religious programme advisory structure that had been put in place by the BBC, and subsequently adopted by ITV. Channel 4_sentence_165

Ranelagh's first major commission caused a furore, a three-part documentary series called Jesus: The Evidence. Channel 4_sentence_166

The programmes, transmitted during the Easter period of 1984, seemed to advocate the idea that the Gospels were unreliable, Jesus may have indulged in witchcraft, and that he may not have even existed. Channel 4_sentence_167

The series triggered a public outcry, and marked a significant moment in the deterioration in the relationship between the UK's broadcasting and religious institutions. Channel 4_sentence_168

Film Channel 4_section_19

Numerous genres of film-making – such as comedy, drama, documentary, adventure/action, romance and horror/thriller – are represented in the channel's schedule. Channel 4_sentence_169

From the launch of Channel 4 until 1998, film presentations on C4 would often be broadcast under the "Film on Four" banner. Channel 4_sentence_170

In March 2005, Channel 4 screened the uncut Lars von Trier film The Idiots, which includes unsimulated sexual intercourse, making it the first UK terrestrial channel to do so. Channel 4_sentence_171

The channel had previously screened other films with similar material but censored and with warnings. Channel 4_sentence_172

Since 1 November 1998, Channel 4 has had a digital subsidiary channel dedicated to the screening of films. Channel 4_sentence_173

This channel launched as a paid subscription channel under the name "FilmFour", and was relaunched in July 2006 as a free-to-air channel under the current name of "Film4". Channel 4_sentence_174

The Film4 channel carries a wide range of film productions, including acquired and Film4-produced projects. Channel 4_sentence_175

Channel 4's general entertainment channels E4 and More4 also screen feature films at certain points in the schedule as part of their content mix. Channel 4_sentence_176

Wank Week Channel 4_section_20

Main article: Wank Week Channel 4_sentence_177

A season of television programmes about masturbation, called Wank Week, was to be broadcast in the United Kingdom by Channel 4 in March 2007. Channel 4_sentence_178

The first show was about a Masturbate-a-thon, a public mass masturbation event, organised to raise money for the sexual health charity Marie Stopes International. Channel 4_sentence_179

Another film would have focused on compulsive male masturbators and a third was to feature the sex educator Dr Betty Dodson. Channel 4_sentence_180

The series came under public attack from senior television figures, and was pulled amid claims of declining editorial standards and controversy over the channel's public service broadcasting credentials. Channel 4_sentence_181

Global warming Channel 4_section_21

On 8 March 2007, Channel 4 screened a highly controversial documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. Channel 4_sentence_182

The programme states that global warming is "a lie" and "the biggest scam of modern times". Channel 4_sentence_183

The programme's accuracy has been disputed on multiple points, and several commentators have criticised it for being one-sided, noting that the mainstream position on global warming is supported by the scientific academies of the major industrialised nations. Channel 4_sentence_184

There were 246 complaints to Ofcom as of 25 April 2007, including allegations that the programme falsified data. Channel 4_sentence_185

The programme has been criticised by scientists and scientific organisations, and various scientists who participated in the documentary claimed their views had been distorted. Channel 4_sentence_186

Against Nature: An earlier controversial Channel 4 programme made by Martin Durkin which was also critical of the environmental movement and was charged by the Independent Television Commission of the UK for misrepresenting and distorting the views of interviewees by selective editing. Channel 4_sentence_187

The Greenhouse Conspiracy: An earlier Channel 4 documentary broadcast on 12 August 1990, as part of the Equinox series, in which similar claims were made. Channel 4_sentence_188

Three of the people interviewed (Lindzen, Michaels and Spencer) were also interviewed in The Great Global Warming Swindle. Channel 4_sentence_189

Ahmadinejad's Christmas speech Channel 4_section_22

In the Alternative Christmas address of 2008, a Channel 4 tradition since 1993 with a different presenter each year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a thinly veiled attack on the United States by claiming that Christ would have been against "bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers". Channel 4_sentence_190

The airing courted controversy and was rebuked by several human rights activists, politicians and religious figures, including Peter Tatchell, Louise Ellman, Ron Prosor and Rabbi Aaron Goldstein. Channel 4_sentence_191

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "President Ahmadinejad has, during his time in office, made a series of appalling anti-Semitic statements. Channel 4_sentence_192

The British media are rightly free to make their own editorial choices, but this invitation will cause offence and bemusement not just at home but among friendly countries abroad". Channel 4_sentence_193

However, some defended Channel 4. Channel 4_sentence_194

Stonewall director Ben Summerskill stated: "In spite of his ridiculous and often offensive views, it is an important way of reminding him that there are some countries where free speech is not repressed...If it serves that purpose, then Channel 4 will have done a significant public service". Channel 4_sentence_195

Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4's head of news and current affairs, also defended the station, saying: "As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad's views are enormously influential... As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view...Channel 4 has devoted more airtime to examining Iran than any other broadcaster and this message continues a long tradition of offering a different perspective on the world around us". Channel 4_sentence_196

4Talent Channel 4_section_23

4Talent is an editorial branch of Channel 4's commissioning wing, which co-ordinates Channel 4's various talent development schemes for film, television, radio, new media and other platforms and provides a showcasing platform for new talent. Channel 4_sentence_197

There are bases in London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Belfast, serving editorial hubs known respectively as 4Talent National, 4Talent Central England, 4Talent Scotland and 4Talent Northern Ireland. Channel 4_sentence_198

These four sites include features, profiles and interviews in text, audio and video formats, divided into five zones: TV, Film, Radio, New Media and Extras, which covers other arts such as theatre, music and design. Channel 4_sentence_199

4Talent also collates networking, showcasing and professional development opportunities, and runs workshops, masterclasses, seminars and showcasing events across the UK. Channel 4_sentence_200

4Talent Magazine Channel 4_section_24

4Talent magazine is the creative industries magazine from 4Talent, which launched in 2005 as TEN4 magazine under the editorship of Dan Jones. Channel 4_sentence_201

4Talent Magazine is currently edited by Nick Carson. Channel 4_sentence_202

Other staff include deputy editor Catherine Bray and production editor Helen Byrne. Channel 4_sentence_203

The magazine covers rising and established figures of interest in the creative industries, a remit including film, radio, TV, comedy, music, new media and design. Channel 4_sentence_204

Subjects are usually UK-based, with contributing editors based in Northern Ireland, Scotland, London and Birmingham, but the publication has been known to source international content from Australia, America, continental Europe and the Middle East. Channel 4_sentence_205

The magazine is frequently organised around a theme for the issue, for instance giving half of November 2007's pages over to profiling winners of the annual 4Talent Awards. Channel 4_sentence_206

An unusual feature of the magazine's credits is the equal prominence given to the names of writers, photographers, designers and illustrators, contradicting standard industry practice of more prominent writer bylines. Channel 4_sentence_207

It is also recognisable for its 'wraparound' covers, which use the front and back as a continuous canvas – often produced by guest artists. Channel 4_sentence_208

Although 4Talent Magazine is technically a newsstand title, a significant proportion of its readers are subscribers. Channel 4_sentence_209

It started life as a quarterly 100-page title, but has since doubled in size and is now published bi-annually. Channel 4_sentence_210

Presentation Channel 4_section_25

Since its launch in 1982, Channel 4 has used the same logo which consists of a stylised numeral "4" made up of nine differently shaped blocks. Channel 4_sentence_211

The logo was designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn and his partner [Colin Robinson] and was the first channel in the UK to depict an ident made using advanced computer generation (the first electronically generated ident was on BBC2 in 1979, but this was two-dimensional). Channel 4_sentence_212

It was designed in conjunction with Bo Gehring Aviation of Los Angeles and originally depicted the "4" in red, yellow, green, blue and purple. Channel 4_sentence_213

The music accompanying the ident was called "Fourscore" and was composed by David Dundas; it was later released as a single alongside a B-side, "Fourscore Two", although neither reached the UK charts. Channel 4_sentence_214

In November 1992, "Fourscore" was replaced by new music. Channel 4_sentence_215

In 1996, Channel 4 commissioned Tomato Films to revamp the "4", which resulted in the "Circles" idents showing four white circles forming up transparently over various scenes, with the "4" logo depicted in white in one of the circles. Channel 4_sentence_216

In 1999, Spin redesigned the logo to feature in a single square which sat on the right-hand side of the screen, whilst various stripes would move along from left to right, often lighting the squared "4" up. Channel 4_sentence_217

Like previous "Circles" idents from 1996 (which was made by Tomato Films), the stripes would be interspersed with various scenes potentially related to the upcoming programme. Channel 4_sentence_218

The logo was made three-dimensional again in 2004 when it was depicted in filmed scenes that show the blocks forming the "4" logo for less than a second before the action moves away again. Channel 4_sentence_219

In 2015, the logo was disassembled completely to allow the blocks to appear as parts of a nature scene, sometimes featuring a strange dancing creature and sometimes being excavated for scientific study, one being studied under a microscope and showing a tardigrade. Channel 4_sentence_220

The second wave of these idents, launched in 2017, depict a giant creature made of the "4" blocks (made to look almost like a person) interacting with everyday life, sometimes shouting the "Fourscore" theme as a foghorn. Channel 4_sentence_221

On-air identity Channel 4_section_26

Channel 4_unordered_list_1

  • Channel 4_item_1_1
  • Channel 4_item_1_2
  • Channel 4_item_1_3
  • Channel 4_item_1_4
  • Channel 4_item_1_5

Regions/International Channel 4_section_27

Channel 4 has, since its inception, broadcast identical programmes and continuity throughout the United Kingdom (excluding Wales where it did not operate on analogue transmitters). Channel 4_sentence_222

At launch this made it unique, as both the BBC and ITV had long established traditions of providing regional variations in their programming in different areas of the country. Channel 4_sentence_223

Since the launch of subsequent British television channels, Channel 4 has become typical in its lack of regional programming variations. Channel 4_sentence_224

A few exceptions exist to this rule for programming and continuity: Channel 4_sentence_225

Some of Channel 4's schools' programming (1980s/early '90s) was regionalised due to differences in curricula between different regions. Channel 4_sentence_226

Part of Channel 4's remit covers the commissioning of programmes from outside London. Channel 4_sentence_227

Channel 4 has a dedicated director of nations and regions, Stuart Cosgrove, who is based in a regional office in Glasgow. Channel 4_sentence_228

As his job title suggests, it is his responsibility to foster relations with independent producers based in areas of the United Kingdom (including Wales) outside London. Channel 4_sentence_229

Advertising on Channel 4 does contain regular variation: prior to 1993, when ITV was responsible for selling Channel 4's advertising, each regional ITV company would provide the content of advertising breaks, covering the same transmitter area as themselves, and these breaks were often unique to that area. Channel 4_sentence_230

After Channel 4 became responsible for its own advertising, it continued to offer advertisers the ability to target particular audiences and divided its coverage area into six regions: London, South (including Wales), Midlands, North, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Channel 4_sentence_231

At present, Wales does not have its own advertising region, instead its viewers receive the southern region on digital platforms intentionally broadcast to the area, or the neighbouring region where terrestrial transmissions spill over into Wales. Channel 4_sentence_232

The Republic of Ireland shares its advertising region with Northern Ireland (referred to by Channel 4 as the 'Ulster Macro') with many advertisers selling products for Ireland here. Channel 4_sentence_233

E4 has an advertising variant for Ireland, although Northern Ireland receives the UK version of E4. Channel 4_sentence_234

The six regions are also carried on satellite, cable and Digital Terrestrial. Channel 4_sentence_235

Channel 5 and ITV Breakfast use a similar model to Channel 4 for providing their own advertising regions, despite also having a single national output of programming. Channel 4_sentence_236

Despite the Republic of Ireland not being in the UK, Channel 4 has a dedicated variant broadcast on Sky Ireland which omits programmes for which broadcast rights are not held in Ireland. Channel 4_sentence_237

For example, the series Glee is not available on Channel 4 on Sky in Ireland. Channel 4_sentence_238

In recent years a Republic of Ireland advertising opt-out has been added to this version. Channel 4_sentence_239

Future possibility of regional news Channel 4_section_28

With ITV plc pushing for much looser requirements on the amount of regional news and other programming it is obliged to broadcast in its ITV regions, the idea of Channel 4 taking on a regional news commitment has been considered, with the corporation in talks with Ofcom and ITV over the matter. Channel 4_sentence_240

Channel 4 believe that a scaling-back of such operations on ITV's part would be detrimental to Channel 4's national news operation, which shares much of its resources with ITV through their shared news contractor ITN. Channel 4_sentence_241

At the same time, Channel 4 also believe that such an additional public service commitment would bode well in on-going negotiations with Ofcom in securing additional funding for its other public service commitments. Channel 4_sentence_242

Channel 4 HD Channel 4_section_29

In mid-2006 Channel 4 ran a six-month closed trial of HDTV, as part of the wider Freeview HD experiment via the Crystal Palace transmitter to London and parts of the home counties, including the use of Lost and Desperate Housewives as part of the experiment, as US broadcasters such as ABC already have an HDTV back catalogue. Channel 4_sentence_243

On 10 December 2007, Channel 4 launched a high definition television simulcast of Channel 4 on Sky's digital satellite platform, after Sky agreed to contribute toward the channel's satellite distribution costs. Channel 4_sentence_244

It was the first full-time high definition channel from a terrestrial UK broadcaster. Channel 4_sentence_245

On 31 July 2009, Virgin Media added Channel 4 HD on channel 146 (later on channel 142, now on channel 141) as a part of the M pack. Channel 4_sentence_246

On 25 March 2010 Channel 4 HD appeared on Freeview channel 52 with a placeholding caption, ahead of a commercial launch on 30 March 2010, coinciding with the commercial launch of Freeview HD. Channel 4_sentence_247

On 19 April 2011, Channel 4 HD was added to Freesat on channel 126. Channel 4_sentence_248

As a consequence, the channel moved from being free-to-view to free-to-air on satellite during March 2011. Channel 4_sentence_249

With the closure of S4C Clirlun in Wales on 1 December 2012, on Freeview, Channel 4 HD launched in Wales on 2 December 2012. Channel 4_sentence_250

The channel carries the same schedule as Channel 4, broadcasting programmes in HD when available, acting as a simulcast. Channel 4_sentence_251

Therefore, SD programming is broadcast upscaled to HD. Channel 4_sentence_252

The first true HD programme to be shown was the 1996 Adam Sandler film Happy Gilmore. Channel 4_sentence_253

From launch until 2016 the presence of the 4HD logo on screen denoted true HD content. Channel 4_sentence_254

On 1 July 2014, Channel 4 +1 HD, a HD simulcast of Channel 4 +1, launched on Freeview channel 110. Channel 4_sentence_255

It closed on 22 June 2020 to help make room on COM7 following the closure of COM8 on Freeview. Channel 4_sentence_256

On 20 February 2018, Channel 4 announced that Channel 4 HD and All 4 will no longer be supplied on Freesat from Thursday 22 February 2018. Channel 4_sentence_257

On 22 June 2020 Channel4+1 HD and 4Seven HD were removed from Freeview. Channel 4_sentence_258

All 4 Channel 4_section_30

Main article: All 4 Channel 4_sentence_259

All 4 is a video on demand service from Channel 4, launched in November 2006 as 4oD. Channel 4_sentence_260

The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4 or from their archives, though some programmes and movies are not available due to rights issues. Channel 4_sentence_261

Teletext services Channel 4_section_31

4-Tel/FourText Channel 4_section_32

Channel 4 originally licensed an ancillary teletext service to provide schedules, programme information and features. Channel 4_sentence_262

The original service was called 4-Tel, and was produced by Intelfax, a company set up especially for the purpose. Channel 4_sentence_263

It was carried in the 400s on Oracle. Channel 4_sentence_264

In 1993, with Oracle losing its franchise to Teletext Ltd, 4-Tel found a new home in the 300s, and had its name shown in the header row. Channel 4_sentence_265

Intelfax continued to produce the service and in 2002 it was renamed FourText. Channel 4_sentence_266

Teletext on 4 Channel 4_section_33

In 2003, Channel 4 awarded Teletext Ltd a ten-year contract to run the channel's ancillary teletext service, named Teletext on 4. Channel 4_sentence_267

The service closed in 2008, and Teletext is no longer available on Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5. Channel 4_sentence_268

Awards and nominations Channel 4_section_34

Channel 4_table_general_2

YearChannel 4_header_cell_2_0_0 AssociationChannel 4_header_cell_2_0_1 CategoryChannel 4_header_cell_2_0_2 Nominee(s)Channel 4_header_cell_2_0_3 ResultChannel 4_header_cell_2_0_4
2017Channel 4_cell_2_1_0 Diversity in Media AwardsChannel 4_cell_2_1_1 Broadcaster of the YearChannel 4_cell_2_1_2 Channel 4Channel 4_cell_2_1_3 NominatedChannel 4_cell_2_1_4

See also Channel 4_section_35

Channel 4_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: 4.