MEDIA Luvvies have been left traumatised by Tory plans to privatise Britain’s only commercially-funded public broadcaster forty years after it was launched by forward-thinking Tory PM Maggie Thatcher.
Channel 4 has said it is “disappointed” at the Government’s decision to proceed with plans to privatise the broadcaster without “formally recognising the significant public interest concerns which have been raised”.
Actor Robert Lindsay, known for his roles in Citizen Smith and My Family told Times Radio that the decision had “shocked him” and claimed our “freedom has been taken away from us.”
“I think Channel 4 is an extraordinary channel and should be preserved for what it is, I just find it extraordinary.” he added.
Opponents to the Tory plan to sell off the ‘second jewel’ in the British media crown after the BBC, have left critics seething… but they fail to see the sheer worth of the network – a reported £1 billion – that will help fill taxpayer coffers.
The channel had long been known to broadcast niche, edgy and cutting-edge programming that became popular – see Brookside, Big Brother and Shameless but after a decade focusing on post-populist programming, poaching shows from rival broadcasters such as the BBC with the exhausted ‘The Great British Bake Off’, and subjecting care home residents, hungover students and NHS patients to daytime shows such as: ‘I unpacked a Channel 4 executives ham sandwich, now I have my own daytime show’, sorry… “Steph’s Packed Lunch”, should network bosses really be surprised at the plan to sell off the fledging Channel in the Netflix age?
Ever since the Celebrity Big Brother 5 race-row of 2007, Channel 4 has been afraid to take massive risks. Not since Big Brother has it really had a gigantic homegrown hit, is it really fit for purpose?
The Channel should be focusing on its legal remit, where it is required to produce programming that takes ‘innovate and bold creative risks’ and also champions unheard voices. Still, the Channel has been drowned out by only one voice as of late… the liberal lefty voice and the silent majority of Tory-voting Brits have had enough.
The Channel has also been blase about its funding method, – knowing it can always fall back on the Government. Even when it began in 1982, the network blew £1,000-a-week (around £4,000 today) on royalties for its famous ident music.
Composer Lord David Dundas was paid each time Channel 4 played the theme he composed for the network called ‘Four-Score’ and it totalled approximately £1000 per week.
As it cost Channel 4 a lot of money, it was no longer used by 1992, ten years after the channel had launched. At the time, the sequence of four notes was the shortest musical piece to be copyrighted, but this embodies the non-commercial attitude that the Channel has always embodied.
Despite being the first UK broadcaster to offer an ‘on-demand’ service with 4od in 2006 – years before Netflix-on-demand style offerings became a ‘thing’ – the broadcaster has now fallen behind the curve.
The market has stiff competition from the likes of Netflix, and dwindling audiences, the network is no longer home to groundbreaking programming, cutting edge technology and controversy.
The broadcaster needs to adapt and learn to survive on its own two feet, it has the capacity to do just that if it moves out and stops living at home with its Government Mummy and Daddy aged 40.